M. Susan Lindee

Janice and Julian Bers Professor of History and Sociology of Science
Ph.D., Cornell University
M.S., Cornell University
B.S., University of Texas at Austin
Contact Information
Office Address: 
364 Claudia Cohen Hall
(215) 898-2271
Email Address: 
Office Hours: 
By appt.
Teaching Fields: 
  • American science,
  • history of genetics,
  • gender and science,
  • science and popular culture,
  • science and war.
Research Interests: 
  • Gut Feelings and Technical Precision: Thinking about Cystic Fibrosis
  • Rational Fog: A social history of weaponized truth — science in the Cold War
  • Co-organizer, with Ricardo Santos, of a Wenner-Gren Symposium, 2010, on the comparative history of biological anthropology.
Selected Publications: 


Under review: “The Rise of the Genome”  Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 

Forthcoming, American Anthropologist, Ricardo Ventura Santos, Susan Lindee and Vanderlei Sebastião de Souza, "Building a site of cognition: Shades of primitiveness in human biological diversity studies in Cold War Brazil, 1962-1970." 38 page manuscript, 9,000 words.  No page numbers yet.  There will be a commentary on our paper by two senior scholars.

“Performing anger: H.J. Muller, James V. Neel, and radiation risk.”  In Bernd Gausemeier, Staffan Muller-Wille and Edmund Ramsden, eds., Human Heredity in the Twentieth Century.  2013, London, Pickering and Chatto, 205-215.   

“Map Your Own Genes: The DNA Experience.” 2013,  In Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber, ed., Genetic Explanations: Sense and Nonsense  Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 186-200.

Co-editor, with the Brazilian anthropologist Ricardo Ventura Santos, of a special issue of Current Anthropology, “The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations: World Histories, National Styles and International Networks,”  based on our conference March 2010, publication April 2012. 


Susan Lindee and Rebecca Mueller, 2011. Is Cystic Fibrosis Genetic Medicine’s canary?  Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 54, No. 2, Summer 2011, pp.  316-331.

“Experimental Wounds: Science and Violence in Mid-Century America” 2011. In Susan Smith, ed., “Health Legacies:  Militarization, Health, and Society” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, v. 39, n. 1 (Spring) 8-20.   


Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine 2005  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 

Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science Beyond the Two Culture Divide With Alan Goodman and Deborah Heath, edited volume from a Wenner-Gren Foundation Symposium.  University of California Press, 2003. 

The DNA mystique: The gene as a cultural icon with Dorothy Nelkin.  2004. New edition, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.  Originally, 1995, New York: W.H. Freeman.  Translations: Japanese, 1997; French 1998. 

Suffering Made Real: American Science and the Survivors at Hiroshima Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.  

Book Images: 
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Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine