Sophia Roosth

Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor in the History of Science @ Harvard University

About Sophia

Sophia Roosth is the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the twentieth and twenty-first century life sciences, examining how biology is changing at a moment when researchers build new biological systems in order to investigate how biology works.

Roosth was the 2016 Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin and in 2013-2014 she was the Joy Foundation Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University and a predoctoral fellow of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She earned her PhD in 2010 in the Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The Harvard Crimson has called her teaching more interesting than organic chemistry.

CV available here.



"The little things in life," BioSocieties, Vol. 12.2 (2017)

"Life, Not Itself: Inanimacy and the Limits of Biology," Grey Room, Vol. 57 (2014)

"Of Foams and Formalisms: Scientific Expertise and Craft Practice in Molecular Gastronomy," American Anthropologist, Vol. 115.1 (2013)

"Biobricks and Crocheted Coral: Dispatches from the Life Sciences in the Age of Fabrication," Science in Context, Vol. 26.1 (2013)

"Evolutionary Yarns in Seahorse Valley: Living Tissues, Wooly Textiles, Theoretical Biologies," differences, Vol. 23.3 (2012), featured in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture

"Feminist Theory Out of Science: Introduction," with Astrid Schrader, differences, Vol. 23.2 (2012)

"Life Forms: A Keyword Entry," with Stefan Helmreich, Representations, Vol. 112.1 (2010), republished in Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond

"Screaming Yeast: Sonocytology, Cytoplasmic Milieus, and Cellular Subjectivities," Critical Inquiry, Vol. 35 (2009)


"Analysis: Synthesis," e-flux (2017)

"Virus, Coal, and Seed: Subcutaneous Life in the Polar North," Los Angeles Review of Books (December 21, 2016)

"Ruin," Lexicon for an Anthropocene Yet Unseen, Cultural Anthropology (2016)

"The Godfather, Part II," Science, Vol. 342.6156 (2013)


Her new book, Synthetic: How Life Got Made, was published in 2017 from University of Chicago Press.

Purchase "Synthetic"

It has been reviewed in Nature and Science.



Reach out via email or find Sophia on Twitter.