Gene Cittadino is an historian of science broadly trained in the sciences, philosophy, and history. His main focus in teaching and research is on understanding the nature and culture of science and interpreting its place in our culture, historically and in the present. His writing has focused on episodes and themes in the history of the life sciences, particularly ecology, botany, and evolutionary biology. Before coming to NYU, he taught or held research positions at Harvard University, Brandeis University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Wisconsin, MIT, and SUNY Potsdam. Over the past several years, he has been involved in workshops, symposia, and conferences aimed at understanding the interaction of science and cultural values in the shaping of environmental policy. He is the author of Nature as the Laboratory: Darwinian Plant Ecology in the German Empire, 1880-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 1990), a study of the influence of Darwinism and colonialism on early ecological research in Germany. His current book projects include a history of the science of ecology and a study of an American border dispute over oil land that had implications for land-use policy, resource conservation, the use of scientists as expert witnesses, and Native American rights. His most recent publication concerns the relationship between ecologist Paul Sears and the Atomic Energy Commission’s Project Plowshare.
Teaching and Research Interests
history of science, technology, and medicine/public health; evolutionary biology and ecology; science and society; environmental history
B.A. Philosophy, Knox College, 1968 M.S. Botany-Ecology, Michigan State University, 1974 M.A. History of Science, University of Wisconsin, 1977 Ph.D. History of Science, University of Wisconsin, 1981
Gene Cittadino organized, chaired, and presented a paper in a session titled “Urban Inspirations: Chicago's Influence on Environmental Theory and Practice" at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Environmental History, which was held in Chicago, Illinois, from March 29 to April 2, 2017.