Professor & Chair

Janice and Julian Bers Professor of History and Sociology of Science

Department Chair, 2017-2018

364 Claudia Cohen Hall
By appt.




Ph.D., Cornell University
M.S., Cornell University
B.S., University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests

Genetics and genomics
Cold War science
Warfare and science

Selected Work

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.

"Patrons of the Human Experience: A History of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 1941-2016," co-authored with Joanna Radin.  Current Anthropology Vol. 57, Supplement 14 (October 2016): S218-S301. [article pdf attached below]

“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.  

Teaching Fields

American science
history of genetics
gender and science
science and popular culture
science and war


Faculty Bookshelf