Angela N. H. Creager

Thomas M. Siebel Professor in the History of Science
Office Phone
125 Dickinson Hall
Office Hours
Tuesday: 1:30 pm-3:20 pm

Angela Creager studies the history of 20th-century biomedical research. Professor Creager graduated from Rice University with a double major in biochemistry and English (1985) and completed a Ph.D. in biochemistry (1991) at the University of California, Berkeley, where she developed an interest in the history of biology. Supported by postdoctoral awards, she retrained as a historian of science at Harvard University and MIT, and joined the Princeton History Department in 1994. Her first book, The Life of a Virus: Tobacco Mosaic Virus as an Experimental Model, 1930-1965 (2002), shows how a virus that attacks tobacco plants came to play a central role in the development of virology and molecular biology. Her second book, Life Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine (2013), traces how and why artificial radioisotopes were taken up by biologists and physicians, and examines the consequences for knowledge and radiation exposure. In 2022, she and six coauthors published Residues: Thinking Through Chemical Environments, which considers the environmental impacts of chemicals production, consumption, disposal, and regulation. She is also the coeditor of four volumes, most recently Risk on the Table: Food Production, Health, and the Environment (2021), with Jean-Paul Gaudillière.

Current Project

Professor Creager is writing a book on science and regulation in the 1960s through the 1980s, focusing attention on how researchers conceptualized and developed techniques for detecting environmental carcinogens.

Watch Professor Creager discuss her book project in a short video with the Wissenschaftskolleg.

Teaching Interests

Professor Creager teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on the history of science, the history of biology, and the legacy of the atomic bomb in postwar science, technology, politics, and culture. In 1998 she received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Selected Articles

Atomic Energy Commission Bibliographies of Scientific Publications Using Government-Supplied Radioisotopes

Download digitized Atomic Energy Commission bibliographies (from 1949, 1951, and 1955) of papers published using U.S. government-suppied radioisotopes here, or via the link above. The creation of these files was funded through an National Science Foundation CAREER grant, SBE 98-75012.

Photo credit: Sameer Khan / Fotobuddy LLC

Area of Interest
Environmental History
History of Technology
Home Department & Other Affiliations
20th Century
21st Century
North America