Michelle Murphy awarded 2019 Fleck Prize

April 1, 2019 by Department of History Staff

Congratulations to Professor Michelle Murphy, who was awarded the 2019 Ludwik Fleck Prize for The Economization of Life (Duke University Press 2017). This prestigious prize recognizes an outstanding book in the area of Science and Technology Studies (STS). Her award this year is particularly noteworthy, as Professor Murphy is the only recipient to have received the Fleck Award twice.

According to the adjudication committee, the monograph “makes major contributions across many fields of STS, combining gender studies, laboratory studies, history of science, economic history, and post-colonial studies, keenly demonstrating that core STS insight that the metaphors we think with matter.”

They continue, “The Economization of Life is a riveting read and a perception changing journey that illustrates how the stories we tell about the world create and constrain the worlds we build. The book opens with Raymond Pearl’s fruit fly experiments whose bottled living and collective dying demonstrated that populations crash when they outstripped their resources. The flies’ charismatic deaths captured western policy and scientific imaginations by fueling Malthusian and eugenic fears that, under conditions of earth’s limited resources, humanity is destined to the same catastrophic fate.”


Fleck Prize 2019: Michelle Murphy (scroll down for full details and Professor Murphy's Acceptance Statement)

U of T technoscience researcher wins Fleck Prize, the first academic to win it twice