Daniel Kevles

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Daniel J. Kevles (born 2 March 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American historian of science. He is currently the Stanley Woodward Professor of History at Yale University (a position he assumed in 2001) and an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. He was previously a professor of the humanities at the California Institute of Technology, where he also served as faculty chair, from 1964 to 2001.

His research interests have been primarily on the history of science in America, the interactions between science and society, and environmentalism. He is best known for his survey works, which generalize large amounts of historical information into readable and coherent narratives. His books include The Physicists (1978), a history of the American physics community, In the Name of Eugenics (1985), currently the standard text on the history of eugenics in the United States, and The Baltimore Case (1998),[1] a study of accusations of scientific fraud.

The mathematician Serge Lang subsequently waged an unsuccessful campaign to prevent Kevles from being granted tenure at Yale, claiming that Kevles' book was too sympathetic to David Baltimore.[2] Although sharply criticized by Lang and some others as well,[3] it was generally praised for meticulous scholarship and detailed reporting.[4][5][6]

In 2001 Kevles was awarded the Sarton Medal by the History of Science Society. Recently he has been working on a history of the uses of intellectual property in relation to the life sciences from the eighteenth century to the present.


  1. Kevles, Daniel J. The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science, and Character (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.; 1998)
  2. Tim R.A. Cooper, "Yale to tenure two science history stars; Professors to boost ailing humanities program" (Yale Daily News, 20 Jan. 2000, pp. 1, 4); T.R.A. Cooper & Charles Forelle, "Tenure offer draws fire from Lang; Kevles in town, likely to accept history of science position" (Yale Daily News, 31 Jan. 2000, pp. 1, 3); Serge Lang, "On A Yale Kevles Appointment" (paid advertisement) (Yale Daily News, 3 Feb. 2000, pp. 6-9); Jon Butler & Frederic L. Holmes, "On the history of science at Yale" (Guest Column) (Yale Daily News, 7 Feb. 2000, p. 2); Lila Guterman & Scott Heller, "Peer Review" (Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 Feb. 2000, p. A14); John Chin, "Battle of professors: Lang irate, Kevles indifferent" (Yale Herald, 11 Feb. 2000) [1]; Michael Miarmi, "Serge Lang is fighting a losing battle" (Opinion) (Yale Herald, 11 Feb. 2000) [2]; S. Lang, "Holes in Butler-Holmes editorial and YDN decisions" (Guest Column) (Yale Daily News, 15 Feb. 2000, p. 2); Henry Whitaker, "The case of Caltech's Daniel Kevles" ("Brute Fact" column) (Yale Daily News, 17 Feb. 2000); Matthew Matera, "Kevles settles in after last year's controversy" (Yale Daily News, 27 Oct. 2000)
  3. Gunsalus, C.K. (1999) Review of Kevles' "The Baltimore Case..." New England Journal of Medicine 340(3): 242 (21 Jan.); Greenberg, D.S. Letter (ScienceWriters, Spring 1999, p. 26); Shashok, K. (1999) The Baltimore affair: a different view. International Microbiology 2(4): 275-8 (Dec.); Lang, S. "On A Yale Kevles Appointment" (paid advertisement) (Yale Daily News, 3 Feb. 2000, pp. 6-9); Moran, G. (2002) Review of Kevles' "The Baltimore Case..." J. Information Ethics 11(1): 90-3; McCutchen, C.W. (2002) "The Baltimore Case" Misrepresents a Major Piece of Evidence. J. Information Ethics 11(1): 5-6.
  4. Hull, David L. (3 December 1998). "Scientists Behaving Badly". NYREV.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. British Medical Journal October 2, 1999
  6. NY Times September 14, 1998

External links

  • Yale U. History Dept. Kevles page
  • Radio: "Scientific Misconduct," Hour One on Science Friday, Talk of the Nation, NPR 2 October 1998 [3]: discussion of research fraud, Baltimore Case, and Kevles' "The Baltimore Case..."; Guests: D.J. Kevles, D.S. Greenberg, and C.K. Gunsalus.