Angela Creager studies the history of 20th-century biomedical research. Professor Creager graduated from Rice University with a double major in biochemistry and English (1985) and completed a Ph.D. in biochemistry (1991) at the University of California, Berkeley, where she developed an interest in the history of biology. Supported by postdoctoral awards, she retrained as a historian of science at Harvard University and MIT, and joined the Princeton History Department in 1994. Her first book, The Life of a Virus: Tobacco Mosaic Virus as an Experimental Model, 1930-1965 (2002), shows how a virus that attacks tobacco plants came to play a central role in the development of virology and molecular biology. Her second book, Life Atomic: Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine, will be published by University of Chicago Press in 2013. She is also the coeditor of three volumes, most recently Science without Laws: Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives (2007). She has served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Program in History of Science and is affiliated with Princeton’s Program in the Study of Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is currently serving as Vice-President of the History of Science Society.
Professor Creager has begun a project on science and regulation in the 1960s through the 1980s, focusing attention on how researchers conceptualized and developed techniques for detecting environmental carcinogens
Professor Creager teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on the history of science, the history of biology, and the legacy of the atomic bomb in postwar science, technology, politics, and culture. Since coming to Princeton she has regularly taught a seminar in association with the women’s studies program, “Gender and Science,” which considers the historical participation of women in science and takes up feminist critiques of scientific knowledge and practice. In 1998 she received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Recent Journal Publications
- “Atomic Transfiguration,” The Lancet 372 (15 Nov 2008): 1726–1727
- “Phosphorus-32 in the Phage Group: Radioisotopes as Historical Tracers of Molecular Biology,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (March 2009): 29–42.
- “Radioisotopes as Political Instruments, 1946–1953,” Dynamis 29 (2009): 219–239.
- “Technical Matters: Methods, Knowledge and Infrastructure in Twentieth-Century Life Science,” with Hannah Landecker, Nature Methods 6 (2009): 701–705.
- “The Paradox of the Phage Group,” Journal of the History of Biology 43 (2010): 183–193.
- “The Right Way to Get It Wrong,” with David Kaiser, Scientific American, June 2012, pp. 70–75.
1. The Life of a Virus: Tobacco Mosaic Virus as an Experimental Model, 1930-1965, University Of Chicago Press
2. Feminism in Twentieth-Century Science, Technology, and Medicine (Women in Culture and Society Series), University Of Chicago Press
3. The Animal/Human Boundary: Historical Perspectives (Studies in Comparative History), University of Rochester Press
4. Science without Laws: Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives