Brad Bolman is a Sosland Family Graduate Fellow in History of Science at Harvard University.

His recent work focuses on the role of animals in contemporary bioscience, particularly how “similarity” between species is constructed and the significance of industrial capitalism and globalization for animal experimentation in the present. Current projects and previous publications can be found via the links below. A CV is available here.

Informal writing and announcements can be found here. Tweets, bad jokes, and politics are here (@bbolman).




Currently studying the history of nuclear research involving beagles across the United States between 1950 and 1980 with a focus on interspecies study of aging and longevity, experimental memory, the ethics of animal experimentation, and human-animal similarity. The first article from this project is currently under review.


In the process of expanding my thesis research, which looked at the role of pigs in American biomedicine in the twenty-first century, to take into account the global movement of porcine bodies and substances, particularly transcontinental genetic trading and increasing usage of hogs for industrial cloning in China. An article about the emergence of scientific pigs is currently under review.


Researching the history of metformin, a diabetes drug called the “aspirin of the 21st century,”  looking both at the ambling history of its transnational development and also at current research that suggests a potential role for metformin to extend longevity. Initial results from this study will be presented at the 2018 History of Medicine in Southeast Asia International Conference.

Endangered Data

Currently studying the ways individuals, collectives, and institutions attempt to save and maintain scientific data, records, or other information at risk of being lost or destroyed. This project is ongoing, please reach out to me (via the contact page) if you are an actor attempting to preserve potentially endangered data.

Heart Surgery

Currently working with David Jones to gather details on the spread of various heart surgery and transplant techniques across the globe during the twentieth century.

Writing & Talking

Most Recent

“How Experiments Age: Gerontology and Beagles at Davis,” Social Studies of Science, forthcoming, 2018.


Some of these can be downloaded here.

“Hot and Smoking Dogs: Toward a New Study of Cigarettes,” presented at History of Medicine Working Group History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Cambridge & Toronto, November 2017.

“Standard Men: Building the Reference Individuals of Radiation Protection (1949-Present),” presented at Phunday, Princeton, NJ, October 21, 2017.

“Carnivorous Anatomies: Art and Being Beasts,” in Reconfiguring the Non-Human, Routledge, forthcoming, 2018.

“Brother Swine: Inventing the Nuclear Model Organism,” presented at Legacies of the Manhattan Project Conference, Hanford, Washington, March 2017.

“The Gerontology of Experiment: Old Dogs and New Medicine,” presented at History of Medicine Working Group, Cambridge, MA, February 13, 2017.

“Dogged Experimentation and Waste: Memory, Science, and Time,” presented at Phunday, Cambridge, October 29, 2016.

“Sounding sacrifice: de-barking, volume, experimentation,” presented at Modern Sciences Working Group, Cambridge, September 28, 2016.

“Narrating the Birth of Narration: The Challenges and Possibilities of Fictional Representation of Language Acquisition,” presented at Cognitive Futures in the Humanities Conference, Helsinki, June 2016.

“Tasting/Testing Hogs: Cooking and Consumption as Science,” presented at 20th Annual CLIFF Conference, Appetites: Discourses of Consumption, University of Michigan, March 2016.

“A Revolution in Agricultural Affairs: Dronoculture, Precision, Capital,” in The Rise of the Good Drone (Routledge, 2017). Available at Amazon.

“Provocation: A Prairie Drone Companion,” Culture Machine, Vol. 16 (2015), here.

“Cutting Ourselves Apart: Learning the Human via the Pig,” presented at Reconfiguring Human and Non-human, University of Jyväskylä, Oct 29, 2015.

“Interview with Étienne Balibar,” The Harvard Advocate, 2015, here.

“The Military-Oenology Complex: Precision Farming and Homo Dronomicus,” presented at As Above, So Below, Lincoln, 2014.

“The Parallax Drone: Capital, Desire, Technology,” presented at Žižek Studies Conference, Cincinnati, 2014.

“Review: The Origins of Deconstruction. Edited by Martin McQuillan and Ika Willis,” The European Legacy 17 (5), 687-688 2012, here.

“Seeking Peace, Finding the Violence of the Real: Traumatic Ecologies and the Post-Political Present,” International Journal of Žižek Studies 6.1 (2012), here.

“Review: The Philosophy of Deception,” Humana Mente 20, 299 (2012).

“Can We (Still) Be Žižekians and Rancièreans?” with Thomas Hodgman, International Journal of Žižek Studies 5.3 (2011), here.