Prof Evelleen Richards

Evelleen Richards is Honorary Professor, School of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney (from 2009). She completed a BSc (in biomedical science) at the University of Queensland (1966), and a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of New South Wales (1976). From 1974 to 1996, she taught in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Wollongong. She has held visiting research positions in the School of Science and Technology Studies, University of New South Wales; the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University; the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Cambridge University; Imperial College of Science and Technology, London; and the Linus Pauling Institute for Science and Medicine, Palo Alto. From 2003 to 2017 she was an Affiliated Research Scholar, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. She has served on numerous journal editorial boards, including: Isis, Science, Technology, & Human Values, Science as Culture, and Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. She was Collaborating Editor of Social Studies of Science from 1994 to 1999. She is recipient of a number of Australian Research Council Grants(1981-83, 1983-4, 1991, 1992, 1993-5); and has received travel awards from Harvard University and the Fidia Research Foundation, the British Society for the History of Science, the Wellcome Trust for the History of Medicine, the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group, and the Darwin Festival Committee, Cambridge. She has twice served as President of the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science.

Research Interests:

1) The Social Analysis of Contemporary Scientific and Medical Controversies and their Policy Implications
Her research in this area has centred on the crucial problem of the evaluation of contentious medical technologies and therapies, with particular concern to show the value of contemporary historical and sociological analyses in illuminating medical practices and policy, notably clinical trials and drug regulation. This resulted in a number of publications and a book on the history/politics of cancer drug evaluation, focussing on the vitamin C and cancer controversy. In connection with this work, she has undertaken invited consultancies for the Victorian Law Reform Commission and the US Office of Technology Assessment. She has also drawn on her experiences in the social investigation of medical controversies to contribute to the theoretical analysis of the role of the analyst in such disputes. In this connection, she was a featured speaker in the Presidential Plenary at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Perdue University, Indiana, 1993, and initiated, co-edited and contributed to a special issue of Social Studies of Science (1996).

2) The social and cultural history of evolutionary biology
Her published work in this area offers a reassessment of traditional evolutionary historiography, particularly in relation to non-Darwinian evolutionary theorists and to issues of gender and race. In recent years, she has subordinated publication in other fields to the completion of a major contextualist study of the genesis and reception of Charles Darwin's concept of sexual selection. She was a featured speaker on this work at the Darwin 2009 Festival, Cambridge. Her book, Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection, is in press with University of Chicago Press.

3) Gender and science
This research is focussed on the response by nineteenth century feminists to Darwinian evolutionary theory and theorists. Her publications in this area, notably her pioneering 1983 analysis, “Darwin and the Descent of Woman,” are standard reading in Women’s Studies courses.

Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection
Vitamin C

Selected Publications
Richards, E., Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection. Chicago University Press, 2017
Richards, E., Vitamin C and Cancer: Medicine or Politics? Macmillan, London; St. Martin's Press, New York, 1991.

Richards, E. “Evolution”, Routledge International Women's Studies Encyclopedia, Routledge, New York, 2000, Vol. 2, 644-47.
Richards, E. “Redrawing the Boundaries: Darwinian Science and Victorian Women Intellectuals”, Contexts of Victorian Science, ed. B. Lightman, Chicago University Press, Chicago and London, 1997, 119-142.
Richards, E. “Evaluating Drugs: Knowledge, Politics, and Power”, in P. A. Komesaroff and J. Wiltshire (eds.) Drugs in the Health Marketplace: Experiments in Knowledge, Culture and Communication, Arena Publications, Melbourne, 1995, 13-20.
Martin, B. and Richards, E., “Knowledge, Controversy, and Public Decision-Making”, in S. Jasanoff, G.Markle, J. Petersen, and T. Pinch (eds.) Handbook of Science, and Technology Studies, Sage Publications, 1994, 506-526.
Richards, E., “'Metaphorical Mystifications': The Romantic Gestation of Nature in British Biology” in A. Cunningham and N. Jardine (eds), Romanticism and the Sciences, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990, 130-143.
Richards, E., “Huxley and Woman's Place in Science: The ‘Woman Question’ and the Control of Victorian Anthropology” in J. R. Moore (ed.), History, Humanity and Evolution: Essays in Honour of John C. Greene, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989, 253-284.
Richards, E. “Darwin and the Descent of Woman” in D. Oldroyd and I. Langham (eds.) The Wider Domain of Evolutionary Thought (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1983), 57-111.

Edited Collections:
Richards, E. and Ashmore, M. (eds.), “The Politics of SSK: Neutrality, Commitment and Beyond”, Special Issue, Social Studies of Science, 26 (2), 1996, 219-486.
Martin, B. and Richards, E. (eds.), “Women in Science”, Special Issue, Philosophy and Social Action, 14 (2), 1988, 1-64.

Journal Articles :
Richards, E. “(Un)Boxing the Monster”, Social Studies of Science, 26, 1996, 323-356.
Richards, E. and Ashmore, M., “More Sauce Please! The Politics of SSK: Neutrality, Commitment and Beyond”, Social Studies of Science, 26, 1996, 219-228.
Richards, E., “A Political Anatomy of Monsters, Hopeful and Otherwise: Teratogeny, Transcendental Anatomy, and Evolutionary Theorizing”, Isis, 85, 1994, 377-411.
Martin, B., Richards, E., and Scott, P., “Who's a Captive? Who's a Victim? Response to Collins' Method Talk”, Science, Technology & Human Values, 16, 1991, 252-5.
Scott, P., Richards, E. and Martin, B., “Captives of Controversy: The Myth of the Neutral Social Researcher in Contemporary Scientific Controversies”, Science, Technology & Human Values, 15 (1), 1990, 474-94.

Essay Reviews:
Richards, E. “Banging on about Darwin: Hodge in Context”, Metascience, 21, 2012, 151-55.
Richards, E. “The Whole Wallace: Mapping the Multi-Dimensional Man”, Metascience, 14, 2005, 237-241.
Richards, E., Review of James Secord, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, Review Symposium, Metascience, 10, 2002, 11-18.
Richards, E. “Democratizing Darwin”, Annals of Science, 52, 1995, 509-517.
Richards, E., “Showdown at High Noon for Linus Pauling”, Science as Culture, 3 (15), 1993, 282-295.