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Myles Jackson
Professor of the history of science at Gallatin, Myles Jackson is also Professor of History of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He was the inaugural Dibner Family Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology of Polytechnic Institute of NYU from 2007-2012. He currently serves as the Director of Science and Society, a new inter-school minor at NYU. His research interests include molecular biology and intellectual property in Europe and the U.S., genetic privacy issues, and the history of 18th- and 19th-century German physics. Professor Jackson received his Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge in 1991. Before coming to NYU, he taught at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago. He has been a senior fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT and the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. He has published more than 40 articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries on the history of science and technology from the Scientific Revolution to the present. His first book, Spectrum of Belief: Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics (MIT Press, 2000) received the Paul Bunge Prize from the German Chemical Society for the Best Work on Instrument Makers and the Hans Sauer Prize for the Best Work on the History of Invention. It was translated into German as Fraunhofers Spektren: Die Präzisionsoptik als Handwerkskunst (Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2009). His second book, Harmonious Triads: Physicists, Musicians and Instrument Markers in Nineteenth-Century Germany (MIT Press), was released in 2006 with the paperback edition appearing in 2008. Professor Jackson received the Francis Bacon Prize for Contributions to the History of Science and Technology from Caltech, where he served as the Francis Bacon Visiting Professor of History during the winter and spring terms of 2012. He has won teaching awards from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Erfurt Academy of Sciences in Germany, and the German National Academy of Sciences- Leopoldina. He is currently finishing up a manuscript tentatively entitled, “The Genealogy of a Gene: Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race”, editing a collection of essays on gene patenting forthcoming in Perspectives on Science (MIT Press), and co-editing a forthcoming volume, Music, Sound, and the Laboratory, for the History of Science Society’s Yearbook, Osiris, with the University of Chicago Press.

Entries by Myles Jackson

Pharmacogenomics and the Biology of Race

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 12:54 PM

The numerous and impassioned responses to Nicholas Wade's recently published Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History have once again reminded us of the complexity, ambiguity and perils of writing about the biology of race. In the US one is reminded of the collective sins of our past, including the...

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Charles Babbage on Intellectual and Manual Skill

(6) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 4:04 PM

With last year marking the one-hundredth year of Alan Turing's birth, I thought it would be an appropriate time to think about the historical relationship between mechanical and intellectual skill. In 1950 Turing rather famously posed the question of whether or not machines could think. Over a century earlier, Charles...

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Gene Patents

(13) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 5:53 PM

When one thinks of patents, one generally thinks of mechanical contraptions, the products of a creative genius, such as Thomas Edison. Rarely does one think of human genes. Alas, since 1982 the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents on human genes. As of 2005 nearly 20 percent...

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