Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society

Author Tracks the Evolution of Darwin
Meeting the Minds: Historian of Science Janet Browne
By Peter Dizikes. The Boston Globe, April 23, 2007

If you like science, you may have read a bit of Charles Darwin’s writing. Janet Browne, on the other hand, has read every bit of Charles Darwin’s writing: books, notes, stray jottings, and more than 14,000 letters exchanged by the principal founder of evolutionary biology.

“I spent a long time with him,” says Browne, a historian of science acclaimed for her two-volume biography of Darwin, published in 1995 and 2002. “Darwin was in my computer.”

That closeness has paid off. The first volume, “Charles Darwin: Voyaging,” was called definitive by the late Harvard biologist Ernst Mayr, while the second, “Charles Darwin: The Power of Place,” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography.

Now Browne is doing some voyaging of her own. After two decades at University College London , she began teaching at Harvard this spring. Why the move? Many academics have material reasons to cross the Atlantic, but Browne cites Harvard’s intellectual atmosphere and strong tradition in the history of biology, and she says a postdoctoral year she spent at Harvard in the 1970s was “an eye-opener, the most exciting thing I had done in my life until then.”

Read more


Pharmacy Mall
Features and Profiles
Essays, Reviews, and Misc
All Posted Articles
Bio and Contact Info
RSS for Articles


My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, Technology Review, and numerous other publications. You can learn more about me here.


E. Coli and You
The New York Times, June 29, 2008

The Meaning of the Butterfly
The Boston Globe, June 8, 2008

Joseph Needham's Grand Question
Seed, May/June 2008

Pure Science
The New York Times, April 13, 2008

Nature Nurtures Learning
The Boston Globe, December 31, 2007

Genes Open New Frontier in Privacy Debate
The Boston Globe, September 24, 2007

Cambridge Scientists Put on a Show
Nature Network Boston, May 1, 2007

Edward O. Wilson Sees Accord on Climate Action
The Boston Globe, January 29, 2007

Genome Human
The New York Times, July 30, 2006

Galileo Groupies
Slate, February 3, 2006


Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society


Measure for Measure
Technology Review, July/August 2010


Andrew Hearst


Photo credit: Flickr user alb Marcos, via a Creative Commons license