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Curriculum Vitae: 
Professional Affiliations: 

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Association for the History of Medicine

American Historical Association

American Society for Environmental History

British Society for the History of Science

Columbia History of Science Group

History of Science Society

International Academy of History of Science

Pacific Circle [Commission of Division of History of Science and Technology, International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (DHST-IUHPST)]

Science and Empires [Commission of DHST-IUHPST]

Honors and Awards: 

President, Division of History of Science and Technology, International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Full Member, International Academy of the History of Science

Co-recipient of Berendel Foundation Cantemir Prize for Intercultural Humanism

Expert Assessor of International Standing, Australian Research Council

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
Courses Taught: 

HSTS 415/515 Theory of Evolution and Foundations of Modern Biology

HSTS 423/523 Science and Religion

HSTS 417/517 History of Medicine

HSTS 599 Seminar in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Research/Career Interests: 

Michael A. Osborne specializes in the history of modern biology, medicine, and environmental issues. He is especially interested in evolution, public health, regenerative medicine, and alpine environments.


Osborne discovered the history of science as an undergraduate at Oregon State University, where he benefited from charismatic and intellectually demanding professors. Before becoming a professor he worked for a number of government and private agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Fellowships or grants from the National Science Foundation, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Camargo Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and other agencies have supported his research and that of his graduate students. Before returning to OSU he was professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he continues as Research Professor of Environmental Studies and History. His most recent book is The Emergence of Tropical Medicine in France.

Select Publications

The Emergence of Tropical Medicine in France

The Emergence of Tropical Medicine in France  (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

Winner of the 2014 John Lyman Book Award (honorable mention) in the category of Naval and Maritime Science and Technology by the North American Society for Oceanic History


 Nature, the Exotic, and the  Science of French Colonialism (Indiana University Press, 1994)  Nature, the Exotic, and the Science of French Colonialism

Edited Volume

  • Special issue on "Science, technoscience, and imperialism,” Science, Technology, and Society 4, no. 2, (1999) [Co-editor with D. Kumar].

Representative Articles

  • "Parasitology, zoology, and society in France, ca. 1880- 1920," in Lynn Nyhart and Scott Lidgard, eds. Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives (Forthcoming University of Chicago Press, March 2017).
  • “Science in North Africa,” in Hugh Slotten and Ronald L. Numbers, eds. The Cambridge History of Science, vol. 8, Modern Science in National and International Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, accepted April 2016).  
  • "Medical Climatology in France: The Persistence of Neo-Hippocratic Ideas in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 84 (2012): 543-563. [co-authored with R. Fogarty]
  • "Eugenics in France and the Colonies,” in A. Bashford, P. Levine, eds., Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 332-46 [Co-author, R. S. Fogarty].
  • Nature, technology, and the human condition,” in M. Drenthen, et. al., eds. New Visions of Nature: Complexity and Authenticity  (Springer, 2009), pp. 267-78 [Co-author, C.  Newell].
  • “Raphaël Blanchard, Parasitology, and the positioning of Medical Entomology in Paris,” Parassitologia 50 (2008) [pub.2009]: 213-20.
  • "Science in the French Empire," Isis 96 (2005): 80-87.
  • "Views from the periphery: Discourses of Race and Place in French Military   Medicine,” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 25 (2003):  363-89 [Co-author, R. S. Fogarty].
  • "Acclimatising the world: A history of the paradigmatic colonial science, " Osiris 15 (2001): 135-51.

Recent Professional and Editorial Activities

Associate Editor, Journal for the History of Biology (2009-2012).     

Proceedings and Conference Presentations: 

The most recent conference I have organized was a bi-lingual venture with speakers from Asia, South Asia, North America, and Europe entltled "Science and Scientists in Global Context: The Circulation of Knowledge and Techniques." It was held on 5 December 2014. A fuller description is available at the URL below:

Additionally, I blog occasionally on their site where you can see my « Some thoughts on yellow fever » at:

I was also co-program chair of the Columbia History of Science Group meeting in 2018.