Oren Harman, Chair

Professor Oren Harman is the Chair of the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University. He was trained in history and biology at the Hebrew University, Oxford, and Harvard, and is a historian of science and a writer. Oren teaches evolutionary theory, the history and philosophy of the life sciences, the interplay between scientific, social, and philosophical thought, and writing. His books include The Man Who Invented the Chromosome (Harvard, 2004) and The Price of Altruism (W.W. Norton, 2010), which won the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Book of the Year in Science and Technology, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and was nominated for the Pulitzer prize.

 

Oren is the editor [with Michael Dietrich] of the trilogy: Rebels, Mavericks and Heretics in Biology (Yale, 2008), Outsider Scientists (Chicago, 2013), and Dreamers, Visionaries and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences (forthcoming Chicago, 2018), and an editor of Historiography of Biology [upcoming, Springer, 2017]. He has been a frequent contributor to The New Republic and Haaretz Magazine, and is the co-creator of the Israeli Oscar-nominated documentary series "Did Herzl Really Say That?". His work has been featured in The New York Times, The London Times, Nature, Science, The Economist, Forbes, Chronicle of Higher Education, New Scientist, Scientific American, Times Higher Education, Discover, The Huffington Post, American Scholar, New York Review of Books, RADIOLAB, and has been supported by the Council on Higher Education, the Israel Science Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others. 

 

Professor Harman lectures widely, and has been a guest of the Pasteur Institute, Hong Kong; the European Molecular Biology Laboratories, Heidelberg; the Humanities Center at Yale University; The Royal Society of Arts, London, and many others. He grew up in Jerusalem and New York City and now lives in Tel Aviv, where he sings with the Tel Aviv Chamber Choir. In 2015 Oren was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by his university. He was a Visiting Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University during 2015-2016. Oren's latest book, Evolutions, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2018.

 

Publications

​Books:

1. Evolutions, forthcoming, (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2018)

2. Dreamers, Visionaries and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences, ed. with Michael Dietrich, forthcoming (University of Chicago Press, 2018)

3. Historiography of Biology, ed. with Michael Dietrich and Mark Borrello, forthcoming (Springer, 2017)

4. Outsider Scientists: Routes to Innovation in Biology, ed. with Michael Dietrich, (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

5. The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness (W.W. Norton, 2010) (Bodley Head/Random House, 2010) [Winner, 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010; American Library Association 25 Best Books of 2010; Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Writing Long List)] [trans. Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Polish]

6. Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology, ed. with Michael Dietrich, (Yale University Press, 2008)

7. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (Hebrew), Scientific Editor, (Resling, 2008)

8. The Man Who Invented the Chromosome: A Life of C.D. Darlington (Harvard University Press, 2004) [trans. Chinese]

Journal Volumes:

9. Editor, Special Volume, “Approaches, Styles, and Narratives: Reflections on Doing History of the Sciences”, Science in Context, 26, 4, 2013

10. Editor, Special Volume, “The Art of Scientific Biography”, Journal of the History of Biology, 44, 4, 2011

11. Editor, Special Volume, “Towards New Paradigms: The Language of the Sciences and the Language of the Humanities,” The European Legacy: The Journal of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, vol. 3 no. 5, August 2008

Journal Articles:

12. “Avoiding Weird Parents: a reply to Anna Wierzbicka’s ‘Back to Mother and Father’”, Current Anthropology, 57, 4, 2016, pp. 422-425

13. “Altruism On One Foot”, Journal of the History of Biology, 48, 2, 2015, pp. 337-351

14. “Chance and Necessity Revisited”, Journal of the History of Biology, 47, 3, 2014, pp. 479-493

15. “A History of the Altruism-Morality Debate in Biology”, Behaviour, 151, 2014, pp. 147-165. Reprinted in Evolved Morality: Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience, eds. Frans de Waal, Patricia Smith Churchand, Telmo Pievani and Stefano Parmigiani, pp. 11-29 (Brill, 2014)

16. “Explaining the Gap: On Humans and Other Animals”, Journal of the History of Biology, 46, 4, 2013, pp. 739-755

17. “Altruism: A Saga”, Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution, 59, 2, 2013, pp. 117-124

18. “Right as diverse pathes leden”, in “Approaches, Styles, and Narratives: Reflections on Doing History of the Sciences”, ed. Oren Harman, Science in Context, 26, 4, 2013, pp. 553-555

19. “Unformed Minds: Juveniles, Neuroscience and the Law”, Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44, 3, 2013, pp. 455-459

20. “On Modelling Emergence” with Stephen Grand, Biological Theory, 8, 1, 2013, pp. 7-14

21. “Shakespeare Among the Ants”, Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44, 2013, pp. 114-118

22. “Is the Naturalistic Fallacy Dead? (And If So, Ought It Be?)”, Journal of the History of Biology, 45, 3, 2012, pp. 557-572

23.  “The Myth of Disinterested Science”, Journal of the History of Biology, 44, 2, 2011, pp. 345-355.

24. “Birth of the First ESS: John Maynard Smith, George Price, and the discovery of the lost ‘Antlers’ Paper”, J. Exp. Zool. B (Mol. Dev. Evol.), 316, 1, 2011, pp. 1-9

25. “Helical Biography and the Historical Craft: The Case of Altruism and George Price”, Journal of the History of Biology, 44, 4, 2011, pp. 671-691

26. “Scientific Biography: A Many Faced Art Form”, Journal of the History of Biology, 44, 4, 2011, pp. 607-609

27. “The Price of Altruism and the Limits of Scientific Inquiry”, BMC Proceedings, 5 (suppl. 1) 2011, p. 11

28. “Epistemic Virtues and Leibnitzian Dreams: on Science, Faith and the Humanities,” with Peter Galison, The European Legacy: The Journal of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, vol. 3, no. 5, August 2008, pp. 551-575

29. “When Philosophy of Science Counts,” Minerva: An International Review of Science, Learning & Policy, 46, 2008, pp. 133-138

30. "Pure Intelligence: On Intelligence Testing, Puritanism, and the Methods and Burdens of History," Journal of the History of Biology, 41, 2008, pp. 167-183

31. “On the Power of Ideas,” Minerva: An International Review of Science, Learning & Policy, 45, 2007, pp. 175-189

32. “Powerful Intuitions: Re-reading Nature versus Nurture with Charles Darwin and Clifford Geertz,” Science in Context 20 (1), Spring 2007, pp. 49-70

33. “Haldane and Darlington,” Haldane Newsletter no. 2, ed. Krishna R. Dronamraju, Foundation for Genetic Research, Houston TX, March 2007

34. “Method as a Function of Disciplinary Landscape: C.D. Darlington and the History of Cytology 1925-1950,” Journal of the History of Biology, 39 (1), 2006, pp. 165-197

35. “The Cyril Dean Darlington Papers,” Mendel Newsletter, The American Philosophical Society, no. 14, March 2005, pp. 4-6

36. “Cyril Dean Darlington: The Man Who Invented the Chromosome,” Nature Reviews Genetics, 6 (1), January 2005, pp. 79-85

37. “C.D. Darlington and the Invention of the Chromosome,” Endeavour, 27 (2), 2003, pp. 69-74

38. “C.D. Darlington, and the British and American Reaction to Lysenko and the Soviet Conception of Science,” Journal of the History of Biology, 36 (2), 2003, pp. 309-352

Book Articles:

39. “Peter Kropotkin: Anarchist, Revolutionary, Dreamer”, in Oren Harman and Michael Dietrich, eds., Dreamers, Visionaries and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences, ed. with Michael Dietrich, forthcoming (University of Chicago Press, 2018)

40. “Perchance to Dream: Fostering Novelty in the Life Sciences”, in Oren Harman and Michael Dietrich, eds., Dreamers, Visionaries and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences, ed. with Michael Dietrich, forthcoming (University of Chicago Press, 2018)

41. “Scientific Biography”, Historiography of Biology, eds. Michael Dietrich, Mark Borrello, Oren Harman, forthcoming (Springer, 2017), pp.

42. “Outsiders as Innovators in the Life Sciences”, with Michael Dietrich, in Biology Outside the Box: Disciplinary Crossers and Innovatation in Biology, (University of Chicago Press, 2013), pp. 1-26

43. “On the Importance of the Parvenu: The amazing case of George Price in evolutionary biology”, in Biology Outside the Box: Disciplinary Crossers and Innovatation in Biology, (University of Chicago Press, 2013), pp. 312-330

44. “The Hero Gene”, in Southern Cinema: Contemplation and Criticism, eds. Erez Perry and Efrat Korem, (Hebrew), Resling, 2013, pp. 173-177

45. “War or Peace?: Huxley and Kropotkin’s Battle Over the Design of Virtue”, in Origins of Design in Nature, eds. Liz Swan, Richard Gordon and Joseph Seckbach, (Springer, 2012), pp. 89-110

46. “On Rebels, Icons and the Value of Dissent,” in Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology, eds. Oren Harman and Michael Dietrich, (Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 1-19

47. “In Weismann’s Footsteps: The Cyto-rebellion of C.D. Darlington,” in Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology, eds. Oren Harman and Michael Dietrich, (Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 103-118

48. “Neo-Darwinism and Random Variation, Or Why It’s Important to Read Darwin Carefully,” in Divine Action and Natural Selection: Questions of Science and Faith in Biological Evolution ed. Joseph Seckbach, (World Scientific, 2008), pp. 138-152

49. “Increasing Overlapping Magisteria of Science and Religion: A Discussion with Charles H. Lineweaver”, in Divine Action and Natural Selection: Questions of Science and Faith in Biological Evolution ed. Joseph Seckbach, (World Scientific, 2008), pp. 171-181

50. “What Darwin Would Have Been Happy to Learn From Us, and What We Can Still Learn From Him”, Epilogue to The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (Hebrew), (Resling, 2008), pp. 109-142

51. “Francois Jacob and the Birth of Molecular Biology” in On Flies Mice and Men by Francois Jacob (Hebrew), (Proza Press, Yediot Ahronot, 2004), pp. 11-30

52. “Afterword: White-Coat Experts and Justice Mongers” in The Fatal Eggs by Mikhail Bulgakov (Hebrew), (Proza Press, Yediot Ahronot, 2003), pp. 148-168

Articles in Encyclopedias

53. “History of Classical Genetics,” in Encyclopedia of the Life Sciences (John Wiley and Sons, Ltd: Chichester), January 2006, 18 pages, http://www.els.net/

54. “Population Genetics,” in Oxford Companion for the History of Modern Science, ed. John L. Heilbron, (Oxford, 2003), pp. 668-670

Essay Reviews:

55. “The Life and Times of a Scientific Mistress”, Raritan, in press

56. “The Lure of the Leak”, The European Legacy, 22:6, 2017, pp.

57. “The Altruism Game”, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 13, 2015, pp. 6-9

58. “The Earthquake Following the Tragedy”, Haaretz Magazine (Hebrew), December 5, 2014, pp. 48-53

59. “What We Could Learn From Dr. Dolittle”, Haaretz Magazine (Hebrew), August 8, 2014, pp. 46-52

60. “Chance and Necessity Revisited”, The Los Angeles Review of Books, July 24, 2014

61. “The Philospher and the Scientist”, Haaretz Magazine (Hebrew), July 18, 2014, pp. 48-53

62. “Phase Transitions of Humanity”, Haaretz Magazine (Hebrew), June 20, 2014, pp. 56-61

63. “On Physics, Free Will, and Traffic Jams”, Haaretz Magazine (Hebrew), June 13, 2014, pp. 58-61

64. “Does Biology Make Us Liars?”, The New Republic, October 25, 2013, pp. 56-59

65.  “The Curse of Orpheus”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew), June 28, 2013, pp. 34-40

66. “Protecting the Gene”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew), May 31, 2013, pp. 54-58

67. “President McKinley’s Spider”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew), March 8, 2013, pp. 54-55

68. “On Spinach and Other Tales”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew), February 1, 2013, pp. 54-59

69. “The Un-grownup”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew), January 4, 2013, pp. 54-58

70. “Light from the Devil”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew) December 7, 2012, pp. 54-57

71. “A Bed of Displeasure”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew) November 9, 2012, pp. 56-58

72. “Radioactive Cocktail”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew) October 10, 2012, pp. 60-61

73. “What Asparagus’s Talk About When They Talk About Love”, Haaretz Magazine, September 14, 2012, pp. 74-77

74. “We Are the 12%”, Haaretz Magazine, August 17, 2012, pp. 58-59

75. “Dogs as Pets: How dogs may have helped Homo sapiens triumph over Neanderthals”, Haaretz Magazine, August 2, 2012, pp. 60-62

76. “Islam and the Scientist Pope”, Odyssey (Hebrew), 15, 2012, pp. 60-67

77. “Early Enlightenment”, The New Republic, November 3, 2011, pp. 40-43

78. “Infinite Life”, The New Republic, August 12, 2010, pp. 36-39

79. “Life in the Infinite Expanse”, Odyssey (Hebrew), 7, 2010, pp. 52-62

80. “Time After Time”, The New Republic, December 24, 2008, pp. 44-47

81. “Dynamic Dissent,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8 2008, pp. 7-9

82. “The Quest for the Origins of Kindness,” Odyssey (Hebrew), 1, 2008, pp. 30-37

83. “Nice Genes,” The New Republic, November 5, 2007, pp. 50-55

84. “Sermons in Stone,” The New Republic, February 2, 2007, pp. 27-33

85. “The Evolution of Evolution,” The New Republic, September 4, 2006, pp. 27-33

86. “Particles of Truth,” The New Republic, August 1, 2005, pp. 28-33

87. “The Essential Element,” The New Republic, August 30, 2004, pp. 31-37

Reviews:

88. “The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time – Review”, Common Knowledge, in print

89. “The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for his Mother – Review”, Common Knowledge, 23:3, 2017, p. 356

90. “Chaos Imagined: Literature Art Science - Review”, Common Knowledge, 23:2, 2017, p. 346.

91. “The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science - Review”, Common Knowledge, 22:1, 2016, p. 128

92. “Newton and the Origin of Civilization - Review”, Common Knowledge, 21:1, 2015, p. 124

93. “The Music of Life: Biology Beyong Dreams - Review”, Nature, 499, 2013, p. 151

94. “Gentle Giant of Genetics”, Nature, 495, 2013, p. 313

95. Review of Reforming Science Beyond Belief by Brian Ridley, The European Legacy 17:2, 2012, pp. 258-259

96. Review of Objectivity by Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, The European Legacy, 17:2, 2012, 259-260

97. “How Evolution Explains Altruism”, review of Supercooperators by Martin A. Nowak, The New York Times Book Review, April 10, 2011

98. “Why Scientific Lives?”, review of Remarkable Biologists: From Ray to Hamilton by Ioan James, Bioscience 61, no. 1, 2011, pp. 79-81

99. Review of Revolutionaries of the Cosmos: The Astro-Physicists by I.S. Glass, The European Legacy 16:2, 2011, 260

100. Review of The Harvest of a Century: Discoveries of Modern Physics in a 100 Episodes by Siegmund Brandt, The European Legacy, 15:1, 2010, pp. 98-99

101. Review of Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism eds. Geoffrey Cantor and Marc Swetlitz, Reports of the National Center for Science Education, vol. 27 no. 1-2, 2007, pp. 47-48

102. “A Master Synthesizer: L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza,” American Scientist, vol. 93 no. 5, September-October 2005, pp. 457-459

103. Review of Democracy, Fascism and the New World Order by Ivo Mosley, The European Legacy: The Journal for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI), vol. 10 (4), 2005, pp. 406-407

104. “The Evolution of a Naturalist,” American Scientist, vol. 92 no. 5, September-October 2004, pp. 470-473

105. “A Century of Nature: Twenty-One Discoveries that Changed Science and the World: Review,” Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Vol. 291, No. 24, June 2004, pp. 3014-3015

Miscellaneous Publications:

106.  “To My Unborn Baby”, Oddysey, July 2014, p. 9

107.  “A Worthy Degree”, Haaretz Magazine, (Hebrew), April 4, 2014, p. 61

108. “The Mystery of Altruism”, Science in School, 25, 2012

109. “E.O. Wilson and Critics Argue But Not in the Same Tongue”, Haaretz, October 11, 2011

110. “If I were King for a Day”, The Big Issue, May 24, 2010 p. 46

111.  “Analyzing Altruism”, Forbes.com, June 7, 2010

112. “Ultimate Acts of Sacrifice: On Bees and Men”, The Huffington Post.com, July 15, 2010

113. “The Wonderful World of Molecular Clocks”, Galileo (Hebrew), 117, 2008, pp. 62-70

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