Current Faculty

Karen Rader
Director

Rader, Karen - edited

Karen Rader studies the intellectual, cultural, and social history of the modern life sciences in the United States. She holds degrees in Biology (B.S.) from Loyola College (now Loyola University) in Maryland, and History & Philosophy of Science (M.A. and Ph.D.) from Indiana University.  She has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships -- from the Mellon Foundation (1995-96), the Davis Center for Historical Studies (“Animals and Society”) at Princeton (1996-1997), and the National Science Foundation.  Formerly the Marilyn Simpson Chair of Science and Society (1998-2006) at Sarah Lawrence College, she also held visiting professorships at the University of Oslo and the Institute for Advanced Study, Lancaster University, UK.

Her most recent book, co-authored with Victoria E.M. Cain, is Life on Display: Revolutionizing U.S. Museums of Science and Natural History in the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2015) which was awarded the 2015 American Educational Research (AERA) History of Education New Scholar’s Award.  She co-edited (with Liv Emma Thorsen and Adam Dodd) Animals on Display: The Creaturely in Museums, Zoos, and Natural History (Penn State University Press, 2014).  Her first book, Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955 (Princeton University Press, 2004) won a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book award.  In 2013 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Section L (History and Philosophy of Science), cited for “for distinguished contributions to the history of the modern life sciences and for exceptional service to the discipline of the history of science."

John C. Powers
Assistant Director

John Powers photo

John Powers studies the history of the chemical arts and sciences in the 17th and 18th centuries, specifically the teaching of chemistry at universities and the relationship between artisanal and academic chemistry. He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and a Ph.D in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University. He has been the recipient of a National Science Foundation Scholar's Award. He is an associate professor in VCU's Department of History, and has formerly taught at Cornell University and the New School University in New York.

His book Inventing Chemistry: Herman Boerhaave and the Reform of the Chemical Arts (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2012) examines the role of pedagogy in transforming chemistry into an academic medical subject at the University of Leiden during the tenure of Herman Boerhaave. His current project focuses on the introduction of thermometry into chemistry and looks at the ways in which the new instrument changed and challenged chemists' traditional knowledge and modes of practice in the 18th century. His first publication from the new project is "Measuring Fire: Herman Boerhaave and the introduction of Thermometry into Chemistry." Osiris, 29 (2014): 158-77. His other notable publications include: "Ars sine arte.' Nicholas Lemery and the End of Alchemy in Eighteenth-Century France," Ambix, 45 (1998): 163-89; "Chemistry Without Principles: Herman Boerhaave on Instruments and Elements" in New Narratives in Eighteenth-Century Chemistry, Lawrence M. Principe, ed (Dordrecht: Springer, 2007), 45-61; and "Leiden Chemistry in Edinburgh: Herman Boerhaave, James Crawford, and Andrew Plummer" in Cradle of Chemistry: The Early Years of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, Robert G. W. Anderson, ed. (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2015), 25-58.

Wanda P. Clary
‚ÄĆAdministrative Assistant

Wanda Clary

Wanda Clary is Administrative Assistant for the Office of the Dean in the College of Humanities and Sciences and STS(Science, Technology, and Society Program). Ms. Clary holds an Associate degree in Arts and Sciences in Secretarial Science from Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta, Virginia. She came to VCU in September, 1978 and worked in the Department of History for thirty-two years. She was the recipient of the 2012 Dorris Douglas Budd Award and she served as President, 2005-2006 and Vice-President, the terms 2001-2002, 2003-2004 and 2004-2005, and 2006-2007 for the Staff Council in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Ms. Clary has played softball for the Henrico League for fifteen years and served as a Board member for the league. She was nominated to be the Women's Commissioner for the Central Virginia ASA Softball Association (Richmond district) and served from 2003-2007.

Former Faculty

Marian Moser Jones

Ass't. Professor, 2008-11, VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Currently at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health

Marian Moser Jones holds degrees in Public Health (M.P.H.) and Sociomedical Sciences-History, Ethics & Policy (Ph.D.) from Columbia University; and Visual and Envionmental Studies (A.B.) from Harvard College. Jones was awarded a Dolores J. Quinn Fellowship at Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and won the New York Academy of Medicine Student Essay Prize in the History of Medicine and Public Health in 2007.

Dr. Jones came to VCU in the fall of 2008. She has created and teaches courses on bioethics; American health policy; the science and social context of disasters; and science policy and communication. Jones has co-authored several journal articles on public health ethics and policy, and is the author of Protecting Public Health in New York City: 200 Years of Leadership, a booklet on the history of public health in New York City. Her doctoral dissertation, Confronting Calamity: The American Red Cross and the Politics of Disaster Relief, 1881-1939, traces the emergence of this institution as a central player in emergency health care and humanitarian response. Jones is currently continuing this research, and working on an NIMH-funded project addressing the intertwined histories of homelessness and mental illness policy in New York and Los Angeles.

Before beginning her graduate studies, Jones worked as a journalist. Most recently she served as Editorial Director for Genome Web(www.genomeweb.com), a life sciences news organization; and previously held positions as a health and medical reporter at FoxNews.com(1998-2000); an associate editor for Psychology Today Magazine (1997-1998); and a reporter for Lawyers Weekly USA (1992-1995).

Elizabeth (Liz) E. Apple Blue, JD, MA

Adjunct Faculty, 2010-11, VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Currently teaching in VCU's Health Administration Graduate Program

Liz Blue is an adjunct faculty member in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs for the 2010-11 school year. Ms. Blue holds degrees in law (JD) from Yale Law School, in bioethics (MA) from the University of Virginia, and in Philosophy (BA) from Yale College, where she graduated summa cum laude with distinction in philosophyAfter graduating from law school, Ms. Blue clerked for two federal judges and practiced law in the litigation department of the Washington, DC office of Jenner & Block. She has taught appellate advocacy at the University of Richmond’s School of Law. Her academic interests and research include the law’s treatment of the human body. She is the author of Redefining Stewardship Over Body Parts, Journal of Law and Health, 21: 75-121 (2007-08).

She served on the Board of the Science Museum of Virginia as a Trustee appointed by Governor Mark Warner where she chaired the Science Education Committee. She also served on the Board of Children’s Health Involving Parents of Richmond and on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Pandemic Flu Commission. 

Her current research and writing is focused on genetic testing and biobanks, and she is writing a science-fiction mystery novel with bioethics themes.