Kristin Johnson

Associate Professor
Science, Technology and Society

Kristin JohnsonKristin Johnson’s research focuses on the history of the life sciences, and the relationship between science and religion since the 17th century. She has a special interest in the naturalist tradition in the 19th and 20th centuries, and she authored the book Ordering Life: Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition, in 2012. The naturalist tradition encompasses a range of disciplines that study living organisms through naming and classifying them, while explaining a region’s biodiversity. In her work Johnson examines how changes in the intellectual, political, and cultural environments in which naturalists have worked have influenced their research, local institutions, and their relations with society. This history helps understanding of the current successes and problems of the life sciences—from debates over teaching evolution or intelligent design to tensions regarding science funding. Johnson teaches in the Science, Technology and Society Program, including the courses Evolution and Society since Darwin; Science, Technology and Society 1800-present; History of Ecology; History of Medicine; Evolution and Ethics; and Science and Religion. Johnson has written an historical novel about science and religion in the United States, set in the 1920s, and is working on a book on the history of evolutionary theodicy and science. 


B.A., University of Washington, 1997; M.A., Ph.D., Oregon State University, 2000, 2003

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