Rader, Karen A. 1967- (Karen Ann Rader)

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Rader, Karen A. 1967- (Karen Ann Rader)


Born July 14, 1967. Education: Indiana University, M.A., Ph.D.


Office—Department of History, Virginia Commonwealth University, 912 W. Franklin St., Box 842001, Richmond, VA 23284-2001. E-mail—[email protected].


Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, faculty member, beginning 1998, Marilyn Simpson Chair of Science and Society, 1998-2006; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, associate professor and director of the Science, Technology, and Society Initiative.


CAREER grant, National Science Foundation, 2002-07; outstanding academic title, Choice, 2005, for Making Mice.


Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2004.


The British Broadcasting Corp. is planning to film a documentary based on Making Mice.


Karen A. Rader is a scholar and university educator whose primary areas of research and academic interest include the history of life sciences at U.S. national laboratories, with a particular focus on the relationship between work done in the laboratory and issues of a political, ethical, and/or social nature. She is also interested in women in science and the history of science museums.

Rader's first book, Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955, was published by Princeton University Press in 2004. Rader takes a look at the system used to breed mice for research purposes, tracing back the history of the process to the early twentieth century and a scientist named C.C. Little. Little was the founder of the Jackson Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, Maine, the original specialized laboratory that provided quantities of mice to researchers for their experiments. The lab started out doing other research, but economic hardships and various failures led Little to expand his production of mice in an effort to balance out the less lucrative and less productive portions of the business. He began breeding separate strains of mice, depending on what his customers were looking for, and the laboratory eventually focused exclusively on mice breeding. Rader discusses how the different strains of mice were developed, and how Little was able to standardize his process. Rachel A. Ankeny commented in the American Scientist that "most of the book is extremely well written and enjoyable to read—unusually so for a scholarly book." She went on to add that "this is not just a history of inbred mice; rather, as the title implies, it is an account of the ‘making’ of mice far outside the boundaries of the laboratory."



American Scientist, January 1, 2005, Rachel A. Ankeny, "The Mouse House," review of Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955, p. 85.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October, 2004, I. Richman, review of Making Mice, p. 320.

Chronicle of Higher Education, April 23, 2004, Nina C. Ayoub, review of Making Mice.

Isis, March, 2005, Robert E. Kohler, review of Making Mice, p. 151.

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, September 22, 2004, Michael A. Osborne, review of Making Mice, p. 1497.

Nature, September 2, 2004, Michael Festing, review of Making Mice, p. 22.

New England Journal of Medicine, July 1, 2004, Kenneth Paigen, review of Making Mice, p. 108.

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, June, 2006, "Of Mice and Men and Low Unit Cost," p. 363.


Sarah Lawrence College Web site,http://www.slc.edu/ (May 5, 2005), "Sarah Lawrence Faculty Member's First Book Honored."

Technical Work Web site,http://tremont.typepad.com/technical_work/ (August 13, 2006), E.M. Gerson, review of Making Mice.

Virginia Commonwealth University Department of History Web site,http://www.has.vcu.edu/ (February 26, 2008), faculty profile on Karen A. Rader.

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Rader, Karen A. 1967- (Karen Ann Rader)

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