Center for Humanities & History of Modern Biology

The Center for Humanities & History of Modern Biology was created in 2018 to establish a permanent home for the humanities at CSHL, one of the world’s premier private, nonprofit scientific research institutions. The Center is located in CSHL’s historic Carnegie Building alongside the library and archives, which preserve an internationally significant collection of primary material on the life sciences and medical research since 1890. In addition to institutional records from CSHL and a variety of precursor institutions and philanthropic organizations, the archives hold personal collections of nearly three dozen notable scientists from around the world.

The Center promotes humanistic understandings of modern biology and medicine by organizing public events, hosting virtual and physical exhibitions, and awarding a range of visiting fellowships.

Since its inception the Center has also taken over CSHL’s oral-history initiative and the lab’s series of annual History of Science meetings, both of which are aimed at creating and preserving historical records to complement the material in our archives. Our history meetings are distinctive in bringing participants who shaped a significant field of scientific research together with current practitioners, educators, and historians of that field.


Ludmila (Mila) Pollock, Executive Director

Alistair Sponsel, Ph.D., Historian of the Life Sciences