Descartes Centre Colloquium with Neeraja Sankaran

This Colloquium will start with a discussion: Diversity and the Descartes Centre.

After a short break Neeraja Sankaran, visiting scholar Freudenthal Institute and Descartes Centre, will give a talk:


Fashioning A Tale of Two Viruses, ?-2021



In this talk, I present the backstory to my forthcoming book, A Tale of Two Viruses, scheduled to be published in March by the University of Pittsburgh Press. It is a comparative history of the strangely parallel research trajectories of two viruses or groups of viruses--those that induce tumours in chickens and the bacteriophages (viruses that infect or live at the expense of bacteria)--from the time of their discoveries in the early 20th century through 1970. Although the book itself was proposed to and approved by the Press in 2014, the story of its making--how the idea was born, the various research endeavours that fed it, etc--does back much farther, to a time before I even became a bonafide historian. I discuss the various investigative pathways that I carved out followed in order to bring this project to completion and also consider what's next.


Short bio

Neeraja Sankaran is a visiting scholar at the Freudenthal Centre and the Descartes Centre of Utrecht University. She is a historian of science and medicine (Ph.D., Yale University, 2006) interested in the recent and near-contemporary history of biomedical sciences, and within this broad has worked on  the history of virus research, molecular biology, immunology, origins of life research. In addition to the forthcoming A Tale of Two Viruses, she is a co-author of a book on the history of Dutch medical virology--Leeuwenhoek's Legatees and Beijerinck's Beneficiaries (Amsterdam Univ. Press, 2020) and has also published general reference books in science.


More information on the book can be found here.

Start date and time
End date and time
Entrance fee
Online, attendance is free

Please find the link to participate via Microsoft Teams here