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Jessica Riskin

Frances and Charles Field Professor of History

A.B., Harvard University, History and Science (1988)
PhD, University of California at Berkeley, History (1995)
Academic Appointments
Professor, History
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Editorial Board member, Isis (2013 - Present)
Associate Editor, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2007 - Present)
Conference Organizer, Theories of Evolution and their Applications: History of Science and History of Populations, 18th -21st Centuries, Sciences Po, Paris (2013 - 2013)
Council member, History of Science Society (2009 - 2012)
Program Co-Chair, History of Science Society Annual Meeting (2009 - 2009)
Invited participant, Kandersteg Seminar on intellectual history and political thought, Remarque Institute, NYU (2007 - 2007)
Conference organizer, Science and Sensibility in the American Enlightenment, Stanford (2007 - 2007)
Member, Leo Gershoy Award Committee, American Histotical Association (2004 - 2007)
Member, Program Committee, Society for French Historical Studies annual meeting (2005 - 2005)
Conference organizer, Workshop on the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life, Stanford University (2003 - 2003)
Honors & Awards
Frances and Charles Field Professorship, History Department, Stanford University (2021-)
Enhanced Sabbatical Fellowship in the Humanities and Arts, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2021-2022)
Patrick Suppes Prize in the History of Science, American Philosophical Society (2021)
Inaugural Chair in Humanites scientifiques, Sciences Po, Paris (2011-2012)
Membre associe, REHSEIS, CNRS and Universite de Paris-7, Paris (2010-2011)
Visiting Research Fellowship, History Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australia National University, Canberra (2007)
William H. and Frances Green Faculty Fellowship, Stanford University (2004-2007)
]. Russell Major Award, American Historical Association (2004)
Scholar's Award, Program in Science and Technology Studies, National Science Foundation (2003)
Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (2003)
Jessica Riskin received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught at MIT before coming to Stanford, and has also taught at Iowa State University and at Sciences Po, Paris. Her research interests include early modern science, politics and culture and the history of scientific explanation.

Riskin is the author of Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (2002), which won the American Historical Association's J. Russell Major Prize for best book in English on any aspect of French history, and the editor of Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life (2007) and, with Mario Biagioli, of Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (2012). She is also the author of The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Debate over What Makes Living Things Tick (2016), which won the 2021 Patrick Suppes Prize in the History of Science from the American Philosophical Society.


(650) 723-9379

Research Interests