Samantha’s research interests generally concern the histories of technology and the physical sciences from the 1920s to the present. In particular, she is drawn to how technologies develop within the confines of the scientific profession and institutions given the interplay of government and the commercial industry. She questions how eager and willing scientists are to accept new technologies into their profession, doubting the assumption that scientists always seek the best ways to practice their art.
Samantha develops exhibits to help introduce the general public to issues in the history of science and technology. She curated several exhibits for Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ, including Pluto at 85: From Discovery to New Horizons and Space Guard Academy. In 2016, asteroid 25166 Thompson was named in her honor.