Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

In Memoriam: Dorothy Nelkin

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

In Memoriam: Dorothy Nelkin

Article excerpt

Dorothy Nelkin, one of the major figures in Science Studies of the last quarter-century, died on 28 May at her home in Manhattan after a brief bout with cancer. She published more than 180 articles and either authored or co-authored twenty-six books--including Selling Science, The DNA Mystique, Dangerous Diagnostics, and Body Bazaar. There was a common theme through much of her work, an analytic stance that balanced an appreciation for the power and limits of science with a tenacious critical perspective--always poised to puncture the hubris and excesses of scientific claims-makers. She enjoyed international acclaim for her scholarly work, and she also played important roles in science policy, serving on the National Advisory Council for the Human Genome Project, the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and on numerous commissions.

It was the interface between science, technology, and the public that animated her passion in science studies, and which she illuminated in so many different arenas of inquiry. She was as comfortable pursuing the impacts of the commercialization and creeping corporatization of university research as she was curating a museum exhibit that portrayed the relationship between art and science. Indeed, Dot Nelkin was equally conversant with the technical matters of DNA forensics and the social origins of arcane principles of patent law. All of these subjects found their way into her numerous and eclectic publications.

Dorothy Wolfers was born on 30 July 1933 in Boston. She grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. She attended Cornell University, where she met and married the distinguished physicist, Mark Nelkin. She was awarded a university professorship at New York University, one of the highest honors possible there, even though she earned only a bachelor's degree in philosophy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.