Professor Hayton offers courses on the history of science, focusing on later medieval and early-modern Europe. His courses adopt a cultural studies of science approach that places scientific activities back into the social, intellectual and instititutional context in which they occurred. Recent courses include surveys of ancient through medieval science, the history of witchcraft and the occult in early-modern Europe, the history of the scientific revolution as well as seminars on science at royal and imperial courts and the practice of science in the medieval university.
Hayton's research centers on the interactions between science and society in late medieval and Renaissance Europe, especially in the courts and universities of central Europe and the Holy Roman Empire. He’s first book explores the role of astrology and natural knowledge as propaganda in the political and dynastic program of Emperor Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor from 1493-1519. Hayton is currently working on two new projects. The first, "The politics of astrology in Renaissance Hungary," uses astrology and science to understand the courtly world of Matthias Corvinus, Hungary's most important pre-modern monarch. His other project, "From Prognosis to Prediction," traces the development of weather prediction in late medieval Germany.
- "Instruments and Corporate Bodies: Teaching Astrology between the Arts and Medical Faculties," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Forthcoming.
- "Martin Bylica at the Court of Matthias Corvinus: Astrology and Politics in Renaissance Hungary," Centaurus 49(2007): 185–98.
- "Astrology as Political Propaganda: Humanist Responses to the Turkish threat in early Sixteenth-Century Vienna" Austrian History Yearbook 38(2007): 61–91.
- "Michael Psellos's De daemonibus in the Renaissance," in Reading Michael Psellos, ed. Charles Barber and David Jenkins (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 205—27.
- "Joseph Grünpeck's Astrological Explanation of the French Disease," in Responding to Sexual Disease in Early Modern Europe, ed. Kevin Siena (Toronto: CRRS, 2005), 241–74.