Michael Dietrich

  • Professor • Department Chair

History and Philosophy of Biology.  Science and Values. Digital and Computational Humanities. 

Much of my research focuses on scientific controversies, such as disputes over genetic drift, molecular evolution, and macroevolution.   My interest in the drivers of innovation in science has also led me to research the role of outsiders and diversity in biological research. 

Selected Courses Taught

  • Development of Modern Biology
  • Scientific Controversies
  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Integrated History and Philosophy of Science

Professional Membership/Offices

  • 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)

Representative Publications

Nature Remade: Engineering Life from Gene Drives to Gaia. Luis Campos, Michael R. Dietrich, Tiago Saraiva, Chris Young, editors. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2021). 

The Handbook of the Historiography of Biology, Michael R. Dietrich, Mark E. Borrello, and Oren Harman, Eds. (Dordrecht: Springer, 2021). 

Michael R. Dietrich, Oren Harman, and Ehud Lamm, “Richard Lewontin and the Complications of Linkage,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 88 (2021), 237-244. 

Michael R. Dietrich, Rachel Ankeny, Nathan Crowe, Sara Green, and Sabina Leonelli, “How to Choose Your Research Organism,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 80 (2020).  

“What is the nature of scientific controversies in the biological sciences?,” Philosophy of Science  for Biologists.  Kostas Komparakis and Tobias Uller, Editors (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 235-254. 

Scott Dietrich and Michael R. Dietrich, “Ernest ‘Chinese’ Wilson’s Re-imagined Legacy in Sichuan, ”Trans-Asia Photography Review9 (2019).  

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