Fa-Ti Fan's research centers on the history of science, modern East Asia, nationalism, and imperialism. He is particularly interested in the issues of cultural encounter, knowledge translation, representations of nature, and inter/transnational cultural relations. He has published a book on British scientific encounters in Qing China and is currently working on two projects: one on the intersections of nature, nation, and international politics in Republican China and the other on science and mass politics in Communist China.
At Binghamton, he has taught a range of courses in East Asian history, the history of science, environmental history, and comparative and world history. He has served on the editorial boards of Isis, the official journal of the History of Science Society, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, East Asian Science, Technology and Society, and the book series, Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century (Chatto & Pickering Publishers), among others.