Laureates 2018

2018 Past - History of Science

Prof. Evelyn Fox Keller

Prof. Evelyn Fox KellerMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA

Evelyn Fox Keller is Professor Emerita of History and Philosophy of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Throughout her career, she has pushed the boundaries of science, confidently crossing the borders that separate disciplines both within the sciences, and between the sciences and the humanities.   She has also fought to break down the barriers keeping women out of the highest reaches of scientific achievement. 

Her pioneering work on language, gender, and science has been hugely influential on shaping our views of the history of science. Fox Keller has extensively examined the role of language in the History of Science, and more specifically, in genetics and molecular biology, interrogating the historical legacy embedded in scientific language. Furthermore, her early insights into the relation between language, gender and science helped both to reveal many of the obstacles to the pursuit of science faced by women, and to begin to envision what a gender-free science might look like.

She has authored a number of books, including A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock, Reflections on Gender and Science, The Century of the Gene, Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors and Machines, and The Mirage of a Space Between Nature and Nurture.

Among her numerous awards Prof. Fox Keller has received over a dozen honorary degrees from prestigious institutions, including The University of King’s College, Smith College, Dartmouth College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Amsterdam.  

Prof. Fox Keller is also a MacArthur Fellow and the recipient of the Bernal Prize for the Social Studies of Science in 2011. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the American Philosophical Society and serves on the editorial boards of various journals including the Journal of the History of Biology, and Biology and Philosophy.