Evelyn Fox Keller
Evelyn Fox Keller’s work in gender, biology, and the history of science led her to question the gendered metaphors and assumptions of biologists and sociologists, which often blinded them to basic scientific facts. Keller earned her PhD in physics from Harvard and explored the intersection of physics and biology before beginning research on women’s experiences in science in 1965. She interviewed women scientists, explored the ways in which science currently understood gender, and investigated scientists’ attitudes about gender going back to the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution. Keller argued that the metaphors we use to frame knowledge change the questions we ask and the way we understand our relationship to our environment, our society, and our own bodies. Similarly, thinking of the individual as the genetic and sociological base unit ignores issues of reproduction as well as sex-based differences in everything from metabolism and disease resistance to color perception. Through her extensive writing and lecturing on these issues, Keller has helped change science’s understanding of itself. She is currently professor emerita of history at MIT.
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