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Janet Browne

English: Historian of science Janet Browne, introducing Steven Shapin before his Distinguished Lecture at the 2008 History of Science Society meeting
Born 1950 (age 59–60)
Residence United States of America
Fields Historian of Science
Institutions Harvard
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin
Imperial College, London

E. Janet Browne (born 1950) is a British historian of science known especially for her work on the history of 19th century biology. She taught at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College, London, before returning to Harvard.


Browne gained a BA degree from Trinity College, Dublin in 1972 and from Imperial College, London an MSc (1973) and PhD (1978) on the history of science.[1] She was a research fellow at Harvard University.[1]

After working as an associate editor on the University of Cambridge Library project to collect, edit, and publish the correspondence of Charles Darwin, she wrote a two volume biography of the naturalist: Charles Darwin: Voyaging (1995), on his youth and years on the Beagle, and Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (2002), covering his post-Beagle years through the publication of his theory of evolution and beyond. The latter book has received acclaim for its innovative interpretation of the role of Darwin's correspondence in the formation of his scientific theory and recruitment of scientific support. In 2004, the latter volume won the History of Science Society's Pfizer Prize, the Society's highest honor awarded to individual works of scholarship.[2] In 2003, it also won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography.

Browne is currently the Aramont Professor in the History of Science at Harvard University. She specializes in life sciences, natural history, and evolutionary biology from the 17th to the 20th century.


  1. ^ Browne, Janet (1996). Voyaging. Princeton University Press (Alfred A. Knopf). pp. cover. ISBN 0-691-02606-8.  

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