Historian of 20th Century Science, member of History of Science Society, SHOT

AAAS Annual Meeting 2/18/2017, Hynes Convention Center, Boston
Photo by Atlantic Photography

Resident ScholarWSRC / Brandeis University
515 South Street, MS 079, Waltham, MA 02454
Tel: 781-736-8119, Fax: 781-736-8117
pninaga@brandeis.edu

Founding Director—Scientific Legacies
249 Orchard Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA
Tel: 617-283-7464, Fax: 617-484-2709
pga@silg.org
Full-size scan of article (French)biographical article about me by Reine Degarie in Gazette of the University of Ottawa (February 7, 1997), p. 5.

I am a Historian of Science with broad interdisciplinary interests and special expertise in the history of molecular biology and biotech; cultural memory; gender politics in science and society; and science policy (see Publications by Subject Area). I live in an international space composed of five core-countries in which I have studied, taught, conducted the bulk of my original research, and continue to visit often (US, Israel, France, UK, Canada); and countries in which I give invited lectures or attend conferences, repeatedly (Italy, Sweden, Mexico, among others). I am fully trilingual (speak, read, and write) in English, Hebrew, and French, further seeking to improve my basic knowledge of Spanish. My formal education covers science (chemistry and biology), philosophy, sociology, and history.

I have taught as a Visiting Associate Professor of History of Science and Women’s Studies at UC-Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and l’Université d’Ottawa, and continue to seek the dream position that will combine all my widespread research, teaching, and outreach interests in a glorious package. Internationally known by my versatile research agenda and critical outlook (See p. 3 in CV & List of PublicationsPDF document for highlights), I remain a freeborn lioness (remember “Born Free”) roaming the global academic jungle in search of ecosystems free of snakes and related fauna.

At the present time I am diligently working on a book, DNA at 50: History and the Ethics of Memory, (2003, 1953) that challenges the historiography of one of the greatest discoveries in the second half of the 20th Century. My other current projects include research on the under-representation of women in science (see Women in Science: The 2005–06 Debate); and a new, non-profit think tank, Scientific Legacies, providing advice on strategic planning for scientific anniversaries.

family photoMy small family includes Alan whom I met at U. Penn in Philly shortly after my arrival in the US as a doctoral student; and Estee, internationally known as the child who climbed on the furniture in a castle in England, prompting the guards who failed to catch the then 18 months old runner to utter in despair that “only an American child could do something so terrible!” (Those who remember that “incident” from a BSHS-HSS meeting will be glad to know that Estee survived her reputation and graduated from Brandeis as a pre-med in May 2008; she returned from 6 months of “service” in Beijing, where she taught English and volunteered in a health NGO. She also toured Tibet, Shanghai, Hong-Kong and Tokyo. She started medical school in August.

When I am not traveling, I live in Belmont, MA, a western suburb of Boston half way between Brandeis and Harvard; colleagues and friends are welcome to stay over. Recent news include:

  • A trip to Montreal in November 2010 for the History of Science Society Meeting. This was a great occasion to revisit former teachers from my Ph.D. Program at Univ. de Montreal, the once renowned IHSPS. It also explains why I missed some of you/ your sessions; but I hope you noticed my compensatory efforts at the HSS banquet, the Hyatt bar, the reception w PSA, the book exhibit, and at the session I chaired where all in the audience got a chance to speak.
  • A trip to the “land of milk and honey” in June 2010 (with Estee): This was a combo business / pleasure trip: 2 lectures at the science and medical campuses of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a 3rd at the Israeli Society for History of Science, held at the Jerusalem Science Museum. Grace to our relatives in Pardesyia – a clan of 4 generations which provided Estee with 9 cousins, we went on an awe-some trip to Upper Galilee: rafting on the Jordan river; trail walking in the Dan nature reserve; and visiting Dona Grazia’s Museum near the Sea of Galilee. We also visited with many friends, some dating to childhood, especially in Haifa where we also put flowers on my dad’s grave.
  • In November 2009, while in Phoenix in connection with the History of Science Meeting (see link on p. 1 “What’s in a session?”) I took to diving in the “nearby” Grand Canyon with a new, all-glass helicopter; (see “photo gallery” under “Grand canyon”)
  • In July 2009, en route to, from, or at, the International Congress for History of Science in Budapest, I cruised the Danube on the first evening with conference colleagues, did frequent swimming at the famous Gellert spa; and detoured into Vienna, and Salzburg; see “summer 2009” in the “Photo Galleries”.

Less recent news include: conferences in Syros/ Greece (2008); Maastricht and Atlanta (2007) Berlin and MNPLS (2005); see links under “recent conferences” and a high school reunion in September 2005 in Haifa where I was pleased to count myself among those who look now better than at 18!