Erik L. Peterson
- PhD, University of Notre Dame, 2010
- History & Philosophy of Science & Medicine
- Race science, Social Darwinism, & eugenics
- Evolution, genetics & epigenetics
- Biology education in the USA, UK, France, & Germany
- Science, medicine, & popular culture from the Victorian era to the present
- On the Edge of Cutting: How America Became the First Eugenic Nation, and Why It Might Again (proposal under review).
- Understanding Darwin. Cambridge Understanding Life series. University of Cambridge Press (expected 2024).
- History & Philosophy of Science, Key Reflections; Part III: Late Enlightenment / Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century (1750 to 1900). New York: Bloomsbury (co-editor with E. Crull, City University of New York; expected 2024).
- “Speaking of Race“–the interdisciplinary podcast about the history of race & science.
- A Deeper Sickness online: the Digital Museum of the Pandemic Year, 2020.
- “The Racialist Origins and Purity Assumptions of the Concept of Admixture in Human Evolutionary Genetics,” Human Genomics (co-authoring with K. Kampourakis, University of Geneva) (under review).
- “Myth: That Darwin’s Hatred of Slavery was Due to His Belief in Racial Equality,” in Darwin Myths & the Nature of Science, edited by K. Kampourakis. New York: Oxford University Press (expected 2024).
- “A ‘Fourth Wave’ of Vitalism in the Mid-20th Century?” in Vitalism & its Legacies in the Twentieth Century, edited by C. Donohue and C.T. Wolfe. Berlin: Springer (expected 2023).
- Foundations of Medical Humanities (IDMD 102)
- History of Science/Medicine 1: Stonehenge to Magnets (HY 115)
- History of Science/Medicine 2: Gravity to Genomes (HY 116)
- Evolution for Everyone (ANT 150)
- A Global History of Gaming (HY 307)
- Race & Science (HY 345)
- Epidemics! A History of Medicine (HY 346)
- Darwin’s (R)evolution (HY 455)
- Blood & Guts & Toilets in Victorian Britain (HY 494/495(H))
Awards and Honors
- Distinguished Teaching Fellow, University of Alabama (2017-2020)
- Outstanding Student Advisor Award, University of Alabama (2015)
- Honored Instructor Award, University of Wisconsin – Madison (2011)
- National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, SES-0849138 (2009 – 2010)
- University of Notre Dame, Zahm Research Grant (2008)
- 2022 A Deeper Sickness: Journal of American in the Pandemic Year, 2020. Boston, MA: Beacon Press (with M. Peacock, University of Alabama).
- 2021/a “Race & Ethnicity: Historical and Contemporary Issues,” in The Handbook for Cultural Anthropology, edited by L. Cliggett and L. Pedersen. New York: Sage Publications (co-authored with L. J. Weaver, University of Oregon).
- 2021/b “‘What is Dead May Not Die’: Locating Marginalized Concepts Among Ordinary Biologists,” Journal of the History of Biology (co-authored with C. Hall, Bowdoin College).
- 2020 “What Methods Do Life Scientists Use? A Brief History with Philosophical Implications,” in Philosophy of Science for Biologists, edited by K. Kampourakis and M. Uller. Cambridge: CUP.
- 2019 “Can Science Sort the Wheat from the Tares? A Brief History of Bias (and Worries About Bias) in Science,” in What is Scientific Knowledge? An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology of Science, edited by K. McCain and K. Kampourakis, 195–211. London: Routledge.
- 2017/a “Race and Evolution in Antebellum Alabama: the Polygenist Prehistory We’d Rather Ignore,” in Evolution in the American South, edited by A. Glaze, C. Lynn, W. Thompson, L. Reed, 33–59. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- 2017/b “‘So Far Like the Present Period’: a Reply to ‘C.H. Waddington’s Differences with the creators of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis: a Tale of Two Genes’,” History & Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39: 19-22.
- 2017 The Life Organic: The Theoretical Biology Club and the Roots of Epigenetics. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
- 2015 “Mendel, Mendelism, and Education: 150 years since the ‘Versuche’,” Science & Education 24 (1&2) Berlin: Springer: 1-228 (special book-length double issue co-edited with K. Kampourakis, University of Geneva).
- 2014 “The Conquest of Vitalism or the Eclipse of Organicism? The 1930s Cambridge Organiser Project and the Social Network of Mid-Twentieth-Century Biology,” British Journal for the History of Science 47: 281-304.
- 2011 “The Excluded Philosophy of Evo-Devo? Revisiting Waddington’s Failed Attempt to Embed Alfred North Whitehead’s ‘Organicism’ in Evolutionary Biology,” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33: 301-320.
- 2008 “William Bateson from Balanoglossus to Materials for the Study of Variation: the Transatlantic Roots of Discontinuity and the (Un)naturalness of Selection,” Journal of the History of Biology 41: 267–305.
- “Creating A Deeper Sickness,” American Advertising Federation of Tuscaloosa.
- “A Deeper Sickness: Disease and Disinformation,” OPCAM Politics Broadly, University of Alabama.
- “The Historical Roots of the Public Health Responses to COVID-19 in the South,” American Historical Association, Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Presented “Afraid of the Dark: John Beddoe and the Building of the ‘Index of Nigressence’” and chaired/organized “Building Race into the Machine: Race, Big Data, and Algorithms,” History of Science Society/Society for the History of Technology, Annual Convention. New Orleans, Louisiana.
- “Creating the Digital Museum for Deeper Sickness,” Digitorium 2021, Annual Convention. Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- “Sustaining an Interdisciplinary Podcast,” Humanities Podcasting Symposium, NYU Center for the Humanities.
- Chair/commenter on “Racial Bodies of Knowledge: Reformulations of Human Difference in Physical Anthropology,” History of Science Society, Annual Convention. Zoom conference.
- “Anti-Evolutionism was Really About Race,” American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science for Seminaries.
- “Charles Darwin & the Church: Not the Story You’ve Been Told,” Inherit the Wind at Theater Tuscaloosa.
- “How the West was lost: Revisiting the supposed failure of Anglo-American theoretical biology,” History of Science Society, Annual Convention. Utrecht, Netherlands (presented in absentia).
- “Darwin & Evolution: Misconceptions that make teaching more difficult,” National Science Teachers Association, Annual Convention, St. Louis, Missouri.
- “Human Biodiversity Studies = Just Bad-Old Race Science,” ALLELE, University of Alabama.
- “Josiah C. Nott’s Impact,” Evolution for Everyone, University of Alabama.
- “Darwin, Wallace, and the (quite possibly) Racist Birth of Anthropology,” University of Missouri.
- “Who’s Afraid of ‘23andMe’? Some Implications of ‘Recreational Genomics’,” Boston College.
- “‘Like Somebody Who Has Seen Thousands of Trees but Has Never Seen a Forest’: The critical role of History and Philosophy of Science in Science Education,” History of Science Society/Philosophy of Science Association, Annual Convention. Seattle, Washington.
- “Finding the Organism in Computational History of Biology,” Bowdoin College.
- “Epigenetics is 76 years old, so why are you just now hearing about it?” University of Minnesota.
- “Nott, Our Doctor: How Medicine, Race, Religion, and Evolution Collide,” Alabama State Archives and Museum of History.
- “C.H. Waddington, organicism, and epigenetics,” The Santa Fe Institute.
- “You are already teaching Nature of Science; here’s how to do it better,” National Science Teachers Association, Southern Section meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- “Evolution in the classroom doesn’t have to be scary,” National Science Teachers Association, Southern Section meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- “A century of science/technology fears in American film,” History of Science Society, Annual convention. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- “What if biological theory repeats itself?” Southern History of Science and Technology (SoHoST), Nashville, Tennessee.
- “The promises and perils of History of Science pedagogy using Sci-fi,” History of Science Society/Philosophy of Science Association, Annual Convention. Atlanta, Georgia.
- “How to Talk About Darwin” National Science Teachers Association, Annual Convention. Nashville, Tennessee.
- “Was Biology ‘stuck’ in the early 20th Century? Is it still ‘stuck’?” Ruhr-Universität–Bochum, Germany.