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: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine, was published by University of Chicago Press in the fall of 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 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.
Atomic Energy Commission Bibliographies of Scientific Publications Using Government-Supplied Radioisotopes
To download digitized Atomic Energy Commission bibliographies (from 1949, 1951, and 1955) of papers published using US government-suppied radioisotopes, click here or on the link above. The creation of these files was funded through an National Science Foundation CAREER grant, SBE 98-75012.
1. Life Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine
2. The Life of a Virus: Tobacco Mosaic Virus as an Experimental Model, 1930-1965
3. Feminism in Twentieth-Century Science, Technology, and Medicine (Women in Culture and Society Series)
4. The Animal/Human Boundary: Historical Perspectives (Studies in Comparative History)
5. Science without Laws: Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives