Back to list

Dr Helen Curry 

Year started



History and Philosophy of Science

Fellow Type

Lecturers, Professors and College Officers,

Helen Anne Curry is University Associate Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. A historian of recent science and technology, she is particularly interested in modern biology and biotechnology, industrial agriculture, and environmental change. Her current research focuses on the history of efforts to understand and use crop diversity as a resource for agricultural development. She leads the five-year project ‘From Collection to Cultivation: Historical Perspectives on Crop Diversity and Food Security’ with support from a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. This project has its origins in her study of the history of genetic conservation, especially the preservation of seeds and other plant materials in seed and gene banks. This history was the focus of a Pro Futura Scientia Fellowship from 2017-20 and the subject of her book, Endangered Maize: Industrial Agriculture and the Crisis of Extinction (University of California Press, forthcoming). Previous books include Evolution Made to Order: Plant Breeding and Technological Innovation in Twentieth-Century America (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and, as co-editor, Worlds of Natural History (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

College Positions

Director of Studies - Natural Sciences (History & Philosophy of Science)

01 October 2012 – Present