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Lynn K. Nyhart


Title: Vilas-Bablitch-Kelch Distinguished Achievement
 Professor, History of Science

Interests: History of biology, especially natural history and
 evolution, anatomy and physiology, ecology, and
 marine science; biology and society; history of
 relations between elite and popular science.

Email:lknyhart@wisc.edu
Phone:(608) 262-3978

Office:Room 226, Bradley Memorial Building

Biography

My current research examines the history of ideas about biological individuality, parts, and wholes in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. What counts as a whole individual in biology? What counts as a part? Anatomists, physiologists, zoologists, and botanists have all found this a compelling question at different moments in the history of biology, and one of those moments was the middle of the nineteenth century, when not only biological individuals, parts, and wholes were being defined but also modern nation-states and the roles of their citizenry. How did biological language spill over into political language, and vice-versa? What was the role of translation in circulating (and blocking) ideas about these topics through different language and cultural groups? These are two of the many questions I'm pursuing, together with my project collaborator Scott Lidgard (Field Museum). In 2012 we have co-organized two workshops to explore such issues in a larger interdisciplinary framework that brings together historians, philosophers, and biologists, with the aim of producing a synthetic volume on biological individuality.

Beyond my research, I'm interested in rethinking how the discipline of the history of science should situate itself within our larger culture. As president of the History of Science Society (2012-13), I've been working with our members to rethink the role of our organization in a world in which Ph.D. degrees do not necessarily lead to tenure-track academic positions, and in which we need to be creative about finding opportunities for engaging with a wider interested public. It is an exciting challenge, and there is much to be done.

Curriculum Vitae

Lynn K. Nyhart's C.V.

Education

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, History and Sociology of Science, 1986

M.A., University of Pennsylvania, History and Sociology of Science, 1982

A.B., Princeton University, History/History and Philosophy of Science, 1979

Books

"Modern Nature: The Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany" book cover image Lynn K. Nyhart, Modern Nature: The Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

Awarded the 2009 Susan E. Abrams Prize in History of Science.

"Science and Civil Society (Osiris, Volume 17)" book cover image Lynn K. Nyhart and Thomas Broman (eds.), Science and Civil Society (Osiris, Volume 17) (University of Chicago Press, 2002).

"Biology Takes Form: Animal Morphology and the German Universities, 1800-1900" book cover image Lynn K. Nyhart, Biology Takes Form: Animal Morphology and the German Universities, 1800-1900 (University of Chicago Press, 1994).

Book Sections

"Knowing Global Environments: New Historical Perspectives on the Field Sciences " book cover image "Emigrants and Pioneers" section in Jeremy Vetter, ed., Knowing Global Environments: New Historical Perspectives on the Field Sciences (Rutgers University Press, 2010).

"Cultures of Natural History " book cover image "Natural History and the 'New' Biology" section in N. Jardine, J. A. Secord, E. C. Spary, eds., Cultures of Natural History (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Articles

Lynn K. Nyhart, "Wissenschaft and Kunde: The General and the Special in Modern Science," Osiris 27 (2012), 250-275.

Lynn K. Nyhart, "Economic and Civic Zoology in Late Nineteenth-Century Germany: The 'Living Communities' of Karl Moebius," Isis 89:4 (1998), 605-630. Winner of the1999 Derek Price Award from the History of Science Society for outstanding article published in Isis.

Courses taught

HistSci 202: The Rise of Modern Science
HistSci 333: History of Modern Biology
HistSci 343: The Darwinian Revolution
HistSci 909: Seminar in History of Biology and Medicine
ILS 202: Western Civilization: Science, Technology, Philosophy II

Lynn K. Nyhart
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