ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Yin, meet yang

As a molecular biologist who holds a PhD in comparative literature, Priya Venkatesan offers a unique perspective on why sciences and humanities often don't get along

Priya Venkatesan
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in a laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School. There is nothing out of the ordinary about that; DMS counts more than 200 postdoctoral fellows among its ranks this year. But my case is unusual. Although I gained some experience as a scientist while obtaining a master of science in genetics, my doctorate is in comparative literature, with an emphasis on French literature and philosophy. So why am I conducting molecular biological research? After finishing up my studies in literature, I entered a molecular biology lab at DMS with the intention of seeking parallels between scientific practice and literature. My interests in graduate school were mainly theoretical, as I textually analyzed certain aspects of scientific communication. However, for me, a question remained: Is there room for literary theory within the framework of the laboratory? While conducting molecular biology research in the lab of Dr. Christopher Lowrey...
literature and sciencescience studiesliterary inquiryheremail@the-scientist.comVenkatesan is a 1990 graduate of Dartmouth College, where she double-majored in biochemistry and comparative literature. She also holds a master's degree in genetics from the University of California at Davis and a doctorate in literature from the University of California at San Diego. Reprinted with permission from the Summer 2007 issue of Dartmouth Medicine magazine.http://www.cancer.dartmouth.edu/doctors/Lowrey.shtmlThe Scientisthttp://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/52985/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_studiesThe Scientisthttp://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/24338/http://dartmed.dartmouth.edu

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT