Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Virginia Commonwealth University
Website URL
science, biology, popular science, genetics, museums, science education
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I study the intellectual, cultural, and social history of the modern life sciences in the United States. I hold degrees in Biology (B.S.) from Loyola College (now Loyola University) in Maryland, and History & Philosophy of Science (M.A. and Ph.D.) from Indiana University.  I have been awarded numerous grants and fellowships — from the Mellon Foundation (1995-96), the Davis Center for Historical Studies (“Animals and Society”) at Princeton (1996-1997), and the National Science Foundation.  Formerly the Marilyn Simpson Chair of Science and Society (1998-2006) at Sarah Lawrence College, I have held visiting professorships at the University of Oslo and the Institute for Advanced Study, Lancaster University, UK.

In 2013 I was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Section L (History and Philosophy of Science), cited for “for distinguished contributions to the history of the modern life sciences and for exceptional service to the discipline of the history of science.”  I am currently the co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of the History of Biology.

Recent Publications

2014   Life on Display: Revolutionizing Museums of Science and Natural History in the Twentieth-Century United States.  (With Victoria E.M. Cain) Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (planned paperback release in Fall 2018)

–Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the History of Technics, Media Ecology Association (June 2016)
–Outstanding Book Award, History of Education Society (November 2015)
–New Scholars’ Book Award, American Educational Research Association, Division F (History and Historiography) (April 2015)

Reviews: Endeavor, 2016, 40(4): 271; “Interpreting Visual Cultures of Science” (Essay review) in Annals of Science, 2016, 73(4): 443-446; Isis, 2016, 107(1): 202-204; Journal of American History, 2016, 102(4): 1225; Winterthur Portfolio, 2016, 50 (1): 90-91; British Journal for the History of Science, 2015, 48(4): 719-21. American Historical Review, 2015, 120 (5): 1911-12; Archives of Natural History, 2015, 42(2): 373;  History of Education Quarterly, 2015, 55 (3): 396-99; New England Quarterly,2015, 88(3): 534-37; Science, 2015, 347 (6222): 618; New Books Network (January 2015 podcast, including interview with authors; Nature, 2014, 516 (35): 18-20.


2004   Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Choice Outstanding Academic Book (2004)

Reviews: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (Essay review), 2006, 37: 363–372; Metascience, 2005, 14(3): 477-80; Social Studies of Science, 2005, 35 (6): 955-958; Australian Review of Public Affairs (April 2005); Isis, 2005, 96(1): 151-52; Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2005, 79 (2): 357-8; American Scientist, 2005  (Jan-Feb, 2005); Journal of the American Medical Association, 2004, 292 (12): 1497; Biology Digest (Nov. 2004); Journal of the History of Biology, 2004, 37(3); Choice (Oct. 2004); Nature, 2004, 431 (2); New England Journal of Medicine (July 2004); Chronicle of Higher Education (Nota Bene), 2004, 50 (33): A21.


Edited Volumes

2013     Animals on Display: The Creaturely in Museums, Zoos, and Natural History.  (With Liv Emma Thorsen and Adam Dodd) State College, PA: Penn State University Press (Animalibus Series).

— Primary North American editor and press contact plus co-author of “Introduction: Making Animals Visible”

— Essay collection inspired a museum exhibit (“Animal Matters”) curated by Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson at Galleri Svedrup, University of Oslo (24 May – 24 August 2012).

Reviews: American Historical Review, December 2015, 120 (5): 1853-54; Archives of Natural History, April 2015, 42(1): 187; Isis, December 2014, 105 (4): 835-36.

Selected Journal Articles


–“Inaugural Editorial,” Journal of the History of Biology¸51 (1): 1-2 (2017 DOI ) with Marsha Richmond

–“Introducing ‘Biology in Culture,’ 51 (2): 407-409 (2018 DOI: ) with Lijing Jiang and Marsha Richmond

2013     “Looking for Women Scientists and Finding STS,” (Analytical essay review of Volumes 1-3 of Margaret Rossiter’s Women Scientists in America series), Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 43(3): 371-380.

2008    (With Katherine Pandora) “Science and the Everyday World: Why Perspectives from the History of Science Matter,” Isis: International Journal of the History of Science Society, Focus Section (ed. by Jane Maienschein) on “What is the Value of History for Science?”, 99: 350-364.

This Focus Article was discussed in August-October 2008 on the following blogs: EtherWave Propaganda (Will Thomas); Time to Eat the Dogs(Michael Robinson, University of Hartford); Scratchpad (Alexis Turner); The World’s Fair (Ben Cohen, University of Virginia)

Media Coverage,
Country Focus
Unites States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Medicine, Museums, Pedagogy, Science, Women