Daniel Kevles

Scholar in Residence

Daniel Kevles

Scholar in Residence

Dan Kevles recieved his B.A. from Princeton University (Physics) in 1960, training at Oxford University (European History) from 1960-61, and his Ph.D. from Princeton (History) in 1964. His research and writings encompass the interplay of science, technology, and society past and present with a focus on the United States. His particular research interests include the history of physics, biology, scientific fraud and misconduct, plant and animal breeding, biotechnology, intellectual property, and science, arms, and the state.

His teaching areas are the history of modern science and technology, including genetics, physics, science and technology in America, innovation and intellectual property in living organisms, science and national security, and the United States in the 1970s.



  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 1964
  • B.A., Princeton University, 1960


Areas of Expertise
  • HSHM: US since 1939
  • Politics, government, science, technology & national security
  • Eugenics
  • Genetics
  • Biotechnology
  • Intellectual property

“Medicare, Medicaid, and Pharmaceuticals: The Price of Innovation” in Health Affairs, 2015.

“Reflections on the History of Eugenics: Past, Present, and Future” in HSNS: Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 2014. 

“Inventions, Yes; Nature, No: The Birth of the Products-of-Nature Doctrine from the American Colonies to the U.S. Courts” in Perspectives on Science, 2014.

“A Primer of A, B, Seeds: Advertising, Branding, and Intellectual Property in an Emergent Industry” in UC Davis Law Review, 2013.

“The Genes You Can’t Patent” in New York Review of Books, 2013.

“Oppenheimer’s Patriotic Duty” in Times Literary Supplement, 2013.

“Can They Patent Your Genes?” in New York Review of Books, 2013.

"Not 'A Hundred Millionaires': Federal Science in the Civil War and the Gilded Age” in Issues in Science and Technology, 2013.

"Genes, Railroads, and Regulation: Intellectual Property and the Public Interest” in Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present, Palgrave MacMillan, 2012.

“Cultivating Art and Property in American Fruits” in Smithsonian Magazine, 2011.

“New Blood, New Fruits: Protections for Breeders and Originators, 1789-1930” in Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property: Creative Production in Legal and Cultural Perspective, University of Chicago Press, 2011.

“Eden and Empire: The Mercantile Origins of American Colonial Husbandry” in The Yale Review, 2011.

“From Eugenics to Patents: Genetics, Law, and Human Rights” in Annals of Human Genetics, 2011.

Living Properties: Making Knowledge and Controlling Ownership in the History of Biology (with Jean-Paul Gaudilliere and Hans-Joerg Rheinberger), Max Planck Institute for History of Science, 2009.

“The Contested Earth: Science, Equity, and the Environment” in Daedalus, 2008.

“The Poor Man’s Atomic Bomb” in New York Review of Books, 2007.

Inventing America: A History of the United States (with Alex Keyssar, Pauline Maier, and Merritt Roe Smith), W.W. Norton, 2002 (2nd ed., 2006).

“Dr. Atomic: An opera about the moral complexities of Hiroshima” in Slate, 2005.

“Scientists, Arms, and the State: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Twentieth Century” in Berkeley Papers in the History of Science, 2005.

“International Eugenics” in Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, United States Holocaust Museum, 2004.

“Eugenics, the Genome, and Human Rights” in The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life, Joseph Henry Press and the American Museum of Natural History, 2002.

The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science, and Character, W. W. Norton, 1998.

The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project (with Leroy Hood), Harvard University Press, 1992.

In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity, Alfred A. Knopf, 1985 (paperback ed., University of California Press, 1986; paperback ed. with new preface, Harvard University Press, 1995).

The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America (Alfred A. Knopf, 1978; paperback ed., Vintage, 1979; Harvard University Press, 1987, 1995).