University of Pittsburgh
Primary Faculty

Michael Dietrich



History and Philosophy of Biology with an emphasis on scientific controversies in twentieth century genetics and evolutionary biology as well as the histories of developmental biology and molecular evolution.


Ph.D., 1991. University of California, San Diego, Philosophy Department.
B.A., 1985, Virginia Tech, Philosophy Department.

Selected Courses Taught

History of Genetics

Philosophy of Biology

History of Modern Biology

HPS 2571: Going Molecular: Understanding the Impact of Molecular Biology

Selected/Recent Publications

Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences. Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich, Editors. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, Forthcoming 2018).

Outsider Scientists: Routes to Innovation in Biology. Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich, Editors. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2013).

Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology. Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich, Editors. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008).

“Experimenting with Sex: Four Approaches to the Genetics of Sex Reversal before 1950,” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (2016), 23-41.

Nathan Crowe, Michael R. Dietrich, Beverly Alomepe, Amelia Antrim, Bay Lauris ByrneSim, and Yi He, “The Diversification of Developmental Biology,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53 (2015), 1-15.

“Explaining the “Pulse of Protoplasm”: The Search for Molecular Mechanisms of Protoplasmic Streaming,” Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 57 (2015), 14-22.

Michael R. Dietrich, Rachel Ankeny, Patrick Chen, “Publication Trends in Model Organism Research, “ Genetics 198 (2014), 1-8.

“Molecular Evolution” in The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Kostas Kampourakis, Editor, (Dordrecht: Springer Verlag, 2013), 239-248.

Professional Membership/Offices

• Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the History of Biology

• General Editor, Mendel Newsletter

• International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB)

• History of Science Society

• Philosophy of Science Association

• American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)