Jessica Riskin

Professor of History

Jessica Riskin received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.  She taught at MIT for several years before coming to Stanford, and has also taught at Sciences Po, Paris.  Her research interests include early modern science, politics and culture and the history of scientific explanation.

Riskin is the author of Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2002), which won the American Historical Association's J. Russell Major Prize for best book in English on any aspect of French history, and the editor of Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and, with Mario Biagioli, of Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (Palgrave, 2012). Her new book, The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Debate about What Makes Living Things Tick, was published by the University of Chicago Press in fall 2015.