• AM2016_Lillehaugen

    ACLS Fellow Brook Danielle Lillehaugen presenting her research at the 2016 ACLS Annual Meeting 

  • ACLSfellowJohnMurphy

    ACLS Fellow John Murphy leading a tour of his exhibit

  • Bookcase_new

    Browse recent titles by ACLS fellows on Pinterest.

Helen Anne Curry F'11

Helen Anne Curry

Peter Lipton Lectureship in the History and Philosophy of Science
History of Modern Science and Technology
University of Cambridge, UK
last updated: 04/27/17

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2011
Doctoral Candidate
History of Science
Yale University
Accelerating Evolution, Engineering Life: Science, Agriculture, and Technologies of Genetic Modification, 1925-1955

This dissertation offers a history of the development, application, and public reception in the United States of early technologies of genetic modification in plants. It explores how scientists, breeders, and lay observers at mid-century came to view methods that produced genetic mutations—whether x-rays directed at dormant seeds, a chemical applied to flower buds, or radioactive cobalt placed in a field of crops—as agricultural tools. By revealing a widespread belief that mutagens could enable breeders to speed up evolution, producing genetic variations “at will” and engineering plant types “to order,” the project challenges a more common framing of genetic technologies as having originated in the 1970s and sheds new light on the nature of current debates about genetic modification.