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Dartmouth Commencement 2008

Posted 06/08/08

Honorary degree citation to Evelyn Fox Keller (Doctor of Science)
Evelyn Fox Keller
Evelyn Fox Keller

The child of Jewish immigrants from Russia, and educated through the New York public school system, you eventually found your way, via mathematics to physics.   From physics you branched out in multiple directions, including molecular biology, mathematical biology, the history of science, and feminist thought. You encountered boundaries and stereotypes, which you confronted. And as a scholar, you encouraged others to confront them, too. Today, you are a Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, emeritus.

Your books include the acclaimed biography of the scientist Barbara McClintock, as well as Reflections on Gender and Science, The Century of the Gene, and Making Sense of Life. Famous for the questions that you ask, you have added to the body of scientific knowledge on subjects such as biological clocks and genes. But you have had perhaps the greatest impact as a philosopher and historian of science. Here you have reminded us that a gender-free science can only come as we recognize how science is gendered.

Your awards have been many, including both a MacArthur Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and you have held appointments at a number of institutions. On this occasion, Dartmouth is privileged to confer upon you its own honor: the degree Doctor of Science.

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