International Accolade for Eminent Department of History Scholar

17 September 2010

Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of History, Professor Warwick Anderson, has achieved the highest international honour in the field of science and technology studies with his most recent book.

Professor Warwick Anderson
Professor Warwick Anderson

In a further coup for the well-decorated author, Warwick's The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) was awarded the 2010 Ludwik Fleck Prize at the annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) in Tokyo this month. This was the first occasion 4S has met outside North America and Western Europe.

The Ludwik Fleck Prize celebrates the best book in science and technology studies (STS) each year. Anderson joins previous winners of the esteemed award Donna Haraway, Steven Shapin, and Londa Schiebinger.

Anderson says he is especially pleased to win the Award, named for the pioneering philosopher of medicine and immunologist Ludwik Fleck, as the book he is currently working on features Fleck as an historical figure. His new work will consider "the development of ideas about self and non-self in twentieth century medicine".

A prolific writer in the areas of the history of science and medicine, race, human difference and public health, Prof. Anderson is well accustomed to international publishing success.

His most recent accolade is the third honour bestowed upon Lost Souls, which also recently won the 2010 William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM). This Medal is awarded for the most outstanding scholarly work published in the field of medical history for the preceding five years.

The novel also received the 2009 New South Wales Premier's General History Prize.

Anderson's previous work, Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygeine in the Phillipines (Duke University Press, 2006; Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2007) was winner of the 2008 Social Sciences award at the Philippines National Book Awards. His first book, The Cultivation of Whiteness: Science, Health and Racial Destiny in Australia (Melbourne University Press, 2002; Basic Books, 2003) won the 2004 W.K. Hancock Prize of the Australian Historical Association.

Professor Anderson is also currently a Professional Research Fellow in the Centre for Values, Ethics, and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney. His wide research activities now include projects in the development of ideas about autoimmunity, the history of scientific studies of race mixing and the history of disease ecology.

Before his arrival at Sydney, Anderson was Chair of the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has held past teaching positions at Harvard, Melbourne, UCSF and UC-Berkeley.

Written by Emily Jones