The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Evelyn Fox Keller

b. March 20, 1936

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Evelyn Fox Keller until we are able to commission a full entry.

Physicist, biologist, professor, and writer, 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.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Evelyn Fox Keller." (Viewed on September 22, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/keller-evelyn-fox>.

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