Londa Schiebinger

The John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science
History Department, Building 200
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2024

Director, EU/US Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering and Environment Project

Tel (650) 723-2760
schieb AT stanford.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Publicity Photos


Background and Current Research

Londa Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science in the History Department at Stanford University and Director of the EU/US Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment Project. From 2004-2010, Schiebinger served as the Director of Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Over the past twenty years, Schiebinger's work has been devoted to teasing apart three analytically distinct but interlocking pieces of the gender and science puzzle: the history of women's participation in science; the structure of scientific institutions; and the gendering of human knowledge.

Londa Schiebinger presented the keynote address and wrote the conceptual background paper for the United Nations' Expert Group Meeting on Gender, Science, and Technology, September 2010 in Paris. She presented the finding at the United Nations in New York, February 2011. The UN Resolutions of March 2011 call for "gender-based analysis ... in science and technology" and for the integrations of a "gender perspective in science and technology curricula."

She has worked with the European Commission on a number of projects. January 2011 she entered into a major collaboration with the European Union for her Gendered Innovations project. In addition to drawing experts from across the US, this project now has access to experts from the EU 27 member states. The finished project was presented at the European Parliament, July 2013.

Her study, "Housework is an Academic Issue," with Shannon Gilmartin, Academe (Jan/Feb. 2010): 39-44, was profiled on ABC News. A 30-minute interview on gender in science can be seen on Belgian television.

Schiebinger's work in the eighteenth century investigates colonial science in the Atlantic World. In particular she explores medical experimentation with slave populations in the Caribbean. Her project reconceptualizes research in four areas: first and foremost knowledge of African contributions to early modern science; the historiography of race in science; the history of human experimentation; and the role of science in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world.

Londa Schiebinger has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize and John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Schiebinger has just been appointed a Distinguished Affiliated Professor at the Technische Universität, Münichen, and member of their Insitute for Advanced Studies. She has also served as a Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin, the Jantine Tammes Chair in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Groningen, a guest professor at the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, and the Maria Goeppert-Meyer Distinguished Visitor, Oldenburg University. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities, Rockefeller Foundation, Fulbright-Hays Commission, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst.

Londa Schiebinger was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2014, and awarded an honorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2013; the Interdisciplinary Leadership Award from Women's Health at Stanford Medical School, 2010; Prize in Atlantic History from the American Historical Association, 2005 and the Alf Andrew Heggoy Book Prize from the French Colonial Historical Society, 2005, both for her Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World. She also won the 2005 J. Worth Estes Prize from the American Association for the History of Medicine for her article "Feminist History of Colonial Science," Hypatia 19 (2004): 233-254. This prize goes to the author of an article of outstanding scholarly merit in the history of pharmacology. Her work has been translated into thirteen languages.

Londa Schiebinger's research has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitschrift, La Vanguardia, El País, at the London Museum of Natural History, on NPR, and elsewhere. She speaks and consults nationally and internationally on issues surrounding women and gender in science, medicine, and engineering.

Schiebinger is currently accepting graduate students in History of the Atlantic World, Gender in Science and Medicine, Colonial Science, Race, and Eighteenth-Century European Science and Medicine.


Ph.D. Harvard University, Department of History, 1984
M.A. Harvard University, Department of History, 1977
B.A. University of Nebraska, Department of English, 1974

Selected Publications

2014 Women and Gender in Science and Technology 4 volumes. Edited by Londa Schiebinger.

2013 Gendered Innovations: How Gender Analysis Contributes to Research (Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union). Edited by Londa Schiebinger and Ineke Klinge.

2011 Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering and Environment. Edited by Londa Schiebinger.
To visit Gendered Innovations website click here.

2008 Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance (Stanford University Press). Edited by Robert N. Proctor and Londa Schiebinger.

2008 Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering (Stanford University Press). Edited by Londa Schiebinger.

2008 Dual-Career Academic Couples: What Universities Need to Know with Andrea Davies Henderson and Shannon K. Gilmartin (Stanford: Clayman Institute for Gender Research, 2008).

2008 Climbing the Technical Ladder: Obstacles and Solutions for Mid-Level Women in Technology with Caroline Simard, Andrea Davies Henderson, Shannon K. Gilmartin, and Telle Whitney (Palo Alto and Stanford: Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology in collaboration with the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, 2008).

2004 Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (Harvard University Press). Foreign Translation: Japanese (Kosakusha Publishing Co., in progress). Winner of the Prize in Atlantic History, American Historical Association, 2005, and the Alf Andrew Heggoy Book Prize, French Colonial Historical Society, 2005.

2004 Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics, edited by Londa Schiebinger and Claudia Swan (University of Pennsylvania Press).

2004 Nature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press)--new edition.

2001 Feminism in Twentieth-Century Science, Technology, and Medicine, edited by Angela Creager, Elizabeth Lunbeck, and Londa Schiebinger (University of Chicago Press).

2001 Oxford Companion to the Body, edited by Colin Blakemore and Sheila Jennett; Section editors Alan Cuthbert, the late Roy Porter, Tom Sears, Londa Schiebinger, and Tilli Tansey (Oxford University Press).

2000 Feminism and the Body, edited by Londa Schiebinger; a collection of essays by Janet Browne, Sander Gilman, Lynn Hunt, Thomas Laqueur, Marina Warner, and others (Oxford University Press).

1999 Has Feminism Changed Science? Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Foreign Translations: Japanese (Kosakusha Publishing Co., 2002); German (München: Beck Verlag, 2000); Portuguese (Editora da Universidade do Sagrado Coração, 2001); Korean (Dulnyouk Publishing Co., 2002).

1993 Nature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science (Boston: Beacon Press). Foreign Translations: Japanese (Tokyo: Kosakusha Publishing Co., 1996); German (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta Verlag, 1995); and Hungarian (in preparation). Winner of the Ludwik Fleck Book Prize, Society for Social Studies of Science, 1995.

1989 The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern Science (Cambridge: Harvard University Press). Foreign Translations: Japanese (Tokyo: Kosakusha Publishing Co., 1992); German (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta Verlag, 1993); Chinese (Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing); Portuguese (Lisbon: Pandora Ediçioes, 2001); and Greek (Athens: Katoptro, 2003).

"Housework is an Academic Issue," with Shannon Gilmartin, Academe (Jan/Feb. 2010): 39- 44.

Editor, Forum, Isis, Journal of the History of Science Society, 96 (2005):52-87 on "Colonial Science" with articles on Britain by Mark Harrison, Iberia by Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, the Jesuits by Steven J. Harris, and France by Michael A. Osborne.

Editor, article cluster for Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28 (2003):859-922 on "Feminism Inside the Sciences" with articles on physics (by Amy Bug), archaeology (by Margaret W. Conkey), and evolutionary biology (by Patricia Adair Gowaty).

Editor, special section, Science in Context, 15 (2002):473-576 on "European Women in Science" with articles on France by Claudine Hermann and Françoise Cyrot-Lackmann, on Germany by Ilse Costas, and the Netherlands by Mineke Bosch.

Prizes and Awards

Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2014.
Donorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2013.
Interdisciplinary Leadership Award (2010), Women's Health, Stanford Medical School.
Prize in Atlantic History, American Historical Association, 2005,
Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (2004).
Alf Andrew Heggoy Book Prize, French Colonial Historical Society, 2005,
Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (2004).
J. Worth Estes Prize for the History of Pharmacology, American Association for the History of Medicine, 2005, for "Feminist History of Colonial Science," Hypatia (2004).
Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize, Berlin, 1999-2000 (first woman historian to win this senior prize).
Faculty Scholar's Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts and Humanities,
Pennsylvania State University, 2000.
National Science Foundation, Grant for Graduate Training and Research, 2001-2004.
National Science Foundation Scholars Award, 2002-2004.
Senior Research Fellow, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, 1999-2000.
National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine Fellowship, Spring 1998.
Claire Booth Luce Foundation, Scholarships Grant, for Women in the Sciences and
Engineering Institute, PSU, 1996-98.
National Science Foundation Scholars Award, 1991-1993, 1996.
Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Nebraska, 1996.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1995.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Officer's Grant, for the WISE Institute, PSU, 1995.
Class of 1933 Distinction in the Humanities Award, PSU, 1994.
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 1991-92.
Award for Enhancement of Undergraduate Instruction, PSU, 1991.
American Council of Learned Societies, Summer 1989.
Rockefeller Foundation Humanist-in-Residence, Rutgers U., 1988-89.
National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship, 1986-87.
Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, 1985-1986.
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Grant, Summer 1985.
Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Foundation,
Marion and Jasper Whiting Fellowship, Paris, Summer 1982.
Fulbright-Hayes Graduate Scholar in Germany, 1980-81.
History of Women in Science Prize, History of Science Society, 1994, for "Why Mammals are Called Mammals," American Historical Review (1993).
Roy C. Buck Essay Prize, PSU, 1990, for "The Anatomy of Difference: Race and Gender in
Eighteenth-Century Science," 18th-Century Studies.


Historical consultant for "Out of the Chrysalis: A Portrait of Maria Sibylla Merian" by Flare Films. West-coast US premiere at Stanford University 2007.

Research co-director for television documentary film: "Too Long a Sacrifice," on life and politics in rural Northern Ireland, for Central Television and the British Film Institute, aired on Britain's Channel 4, November 1984; also at the London Film Institute and on PBS (channel 13, New York) March 1986.

Current courses

Gender in Science, Medicine, and Engineering (History 144/344)
Innovations surrounding women and gender have rocked science and technology in the past three decades. This course examines at the history of men and women's participation in science from the eighteenth-century to the present. We look in particular at how gender analysis has sparked creativity in human knowledge. Examples of success come from medicine, biology, engineering, and archaeology. Questions remain concerning whether gender analysis has anything to offer physics, mathematics, computer science, or chemistry-issues we will also address. The question is how can an understanding of how gender operates in science, medicine, and engineering to open new questions and fields for future research. This course also examines gender in academic culture, exploring the many unexamined biases that impede women moving to the top in their fields. We analyze the many efforts underway nationally and internationally to transform science, medicine, and engineering into fields where women, too, can flourish.

Science, Medicine, and Empire
England, France, Spain, and Holland all secured vast colonial holdings by way of new markets in coffee, tea, sugar cane, pepper, nutmeg, cotton, ipecacuanha, and other profitable plants. Colonial sciences and medicines were important militarily and strategically for positioning emerging nation states in global struggles for land and resources. This seminar will focus on the global exchange of knowledge, technologies, plants, peoples, disease, and medicines. Key questions include: Whose knowledge is embedded in the use of these plants - Amerindians, African slaves in the Americas, European voyagers? How did disease travel and influence European colonization of tropical lands? What is the political economy of nature? How did racism arise and what is its relationship to colonialism? We will consider primarily French, British, and Dutch interests in the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, but take examples from India, North and South America, and elsewhere as needed. We read key primary and secondary texts on voyaging, colonialism, science, slavery, and environmental exchange.

The Body in Science, Medicine and Culture
The human body as a natural and cultural object, historicized. This course investigates the cultural history of the body from the eighteenth century to the present from many points of view. First we see how medicine and science have sex and raced bodies. Next we look at "body politics," focusing on elaborate rituals surrounding monarchs' bodies in absolute states and the shift to notions that "biology is destiny" in modern democratic societies. The course also delves into the embodiment of cultural ideals, such as 'Liberty' and 'Justice,' and asks how bodies function symbolically in culture. Finally, we study aspects of bodily practices associated with masculinities and femininities across several cultures.


  • Isis, Journal of the History of Science Society (Advisory Board 2004-2009).

  • Science (Board of Advisors, Book Reviews 2001-2007).
  • Science Studies, Finnish Society for Science and Technology Studies (2005-).
  • Eighteenth-Century Studies (Board of Editors 1995-7; Advisory Board 1993-1995).
  • Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society (1994-).
  • Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering (1994-).
  • Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology (1994-).
  • Gender and History (2000-).
  • Gender and History (2000-2004).
  • Journal for the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (1994-).


Board Member, Women's Health Strategic Planning, Stanford Medical School, 2010-.

Consultant, United Nations, Expert Group Meeting on Gender, Science, and Technology, Paris, 2010.

Advisor, European Union project on Gendermedicine (EUGIM), 2009-.

Advisory Board, Gender in Science, Engineering and Technology, Portia Ltd, London, 2009-.

Women's Health Multidisciplinary Leadership Committee, Stanford University, 2009-.

Board of Trustees, RWTH Aachen, 2007-2009.

Advisory Board, Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, Sweden, 2007-.

Scientific Steering Committee, CIREM, Barcelona, and Universite Libre de Bruxelles, EU grant, "Meta-Analysis of Gender and Science Research," 2007-.

Advisory Board, Gender, Economy, and Long-Term Historical Change Project, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden, 2005-.

Advisory Board, Asian Network for the Study of Women and Science, based in Japan, 2005-.

Advisory Board, European Union, History Project, 2004-2007.

Advisory Board, Center for WorkLife Law at University of California, Hastings, 2005-.

Consultant, American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia, Tercentenary of Carolus Linnaeus's Birth, 2003-2007.

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