About

Spearheading this project are Jole Shackelford (PI), Jennifer Gunn, and Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, who submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation  for funding to explore a larger research initiative for the history of biological rhythms research generally and to establish a research initiative in the history of recent science at the University of Minnesota in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine program. The NSF grant proposal documents are attached below.

Principle Investigators:

Jole Shackelford

I am a historian of early science and medicine with a research specialty in ideas about the inner workings of nature that were developed in medieval and early modern Europe.  At the center of my work has been Paracelsus and his Scandinavian followers, but recently my research interests expanded in a new direction, namely the history of chronobiology!  After Franz Halberg (inventor of the term "circadian rhythm") casually suggested to me in January 2009 that somebody should write about the history of chronobiology, I set foot on a long and steep learning curve to inform myself about this subject and its historical and philosophical contexts, becoming more intrigued as I climb.  My father was a classical geneticist with a minor in endocrinology, and I grew up amid the laboratories and lecture halls of the agricultural campus at the University of Wisconsin.  Perhaps for this reason, the history of study of biological rhythms has become something of a personal journey and genealogical reflection as well as a fascinating historical puzzle.  I received B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin.  (Photograph by Gorm Shackelford)

Jennifer Gunn

I am a historian of 19th- and 20th-century medicine, interested in the historical intersections of health, medicine, biology, social sciences, institutions, and public policy. Integrative approaches have been central to my education: I earned my B.A. from Hampshire College and my M.A. and Ph.D. in History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania (1997). I am working on a book that addresses the significance of place and practice in American medicine by exploring the history of rural health and medical practice in the Upper Midwest, 1900-1950. In addition, I have done extensive research on the history of population studies and demography in the interwar period, and on the history of philanthropy. The University of Minnesota offers a wealth of opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. In the Academic Health Center (AHC), I have been involved with initiatives around interprofessional, community-based education, and in developing a history of the AHC. In the larger university, I am working with faculty in History of Science and Technology, History, Anthropology, Global Studies, and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies on projects related to health, biomedicine, global philanthropy, environment, and social issues.

Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

Much of my research has focused on science in public venues and at the intersection of scientific practice and public engagement through sponsorship, consumption, participation, and formal and informal learning. I have also investigated the ways in which gender and other diversities have played out in the history of modern science, primarily in North America. I enjoy teaching, often offering seminars on new topics that are of contemporary interest, and have been able to teach at a number of other institutions along the way, including Cornell, the University of Melbourne, the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and the University of Auckland. My work has been facilitated by fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Fulbright Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center as well as NSF and other research grants. I am a past president of the History of Science Society and served on the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Post Doc:

Tulley Long

Originally from Oregon, I earned a Master's degree in the History of Science from Oregon State University after receiving a double BS in microbiology and environmental science and working as a molecular biologist at the same institution. My MS thesis focused on a large forest ecology study in the United States during the 1970s.  While I maintain an avid interest in the history of ecology, my Ph.D. work at Johns Hopkins has broadened my interests to include topics in biology and biomedicine in the twentieth century more generally.  My research projects over the last five years have included a survey of how mid-twentieth century scientists engaged with the population problem, an examination on the connections between urban ecology and public health, and a study of how biochemical and enzyme research reoriented the biological sciences at Johns Hopkins. This last project was published as: "William McElroy, the McCollum-Pratt Institute, and the Transformation of Biology at Johns Hopkins, 1945-1960," Journal of the History of Biology 42(2009):765-809.

My dissertation, entitled “Constituting the Stress Response: Hormones, Institutions and Laboratory Practices in America, 1930-1955,” is an examination of research on the physiology of stress in the years surrounding the Second World War. By following the work of endocrinologists, physiologists, and biochemists, which sought to elucidate the exact hormonal mechanisms by which the body responds to changes and challenges in its environment, the dissertation analyzes the development of the hormonal understanding of the stress response and the ways in which scientists deployed this knowledge toward military and civilian problems of stress in Cold War America.  The concepts and chemicals behind the physiological stress response were put to work as explanations and research tools in a number of different scientific investigations following 1950, including those of the mechanisms behind circadian periodicity.  As part of my postdoctoral work, I plan to extend my doctoral research in this direction, exploring the periodicity of endocrine function.

Research Assistants:

Frazier Benya

Maggie Hofius

Workshop Participants:

Alan Love

  Department of Philosophy and member of the Center for the Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota

Mark Borrello

 Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota

Jennifer Alexander

 Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota

Dominique Tobbell

 Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota

Susan Jones

 Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota

Robert Seidel

 Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota

Tom Misa

 Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota

Juliet Burba

 Bakken Museum of Electricity and Life Curator and Historian

Frank Barnwell

 Emeritus professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota

Karen Ross and colleagues

 historians from the departments of Biology and Education at Troy University and will be partners in developing the undergraduate course.
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NSF_Project_Bibliography_Chronobiology2009.pdf
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Frazier Benya,
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NSF_Project_Description_Chronobiology2009.pdf
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Frazier Benya,
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NSF_Project_Summary_Chronobiology.pdf
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Frazier Benya,
May 4, 2011, 12:00 PM
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