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Postdoctoral Fellows & Visiting Scholars

Postdoctoral Fellows


Nicholas Whitfield

PhD 2011 Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Dissertation: 'A Genealogy of the Gift: Blood Donation in London, 1921-1946'

  • Research Interests

History of western medicine; history of blood transfusion and donation in the twentieth century; medical innovations of the Spanish Civil War; history and sociology of altruism.

Christopher Canning

PhD (2010) Queen’s University, Department of Sociology

Dissertation Title: “Synaptic Connections”

  •  Areas of Specialization

Contemporary sociological theory; science studies; sociology and philosophy of science; sociology of health and illness; embodiment and mental health; neuroscience; medical genetics; epigenetics; transdisciplinary public health research.

  • Publications

Canning, C.,Hird, M. and Smith, G. (2010) The Pitfalls of the “Add-and-Stir” Approach to Transdisciplinary Public Health Research. Critical Public Health 20(2):145-155.

Canning, C. (2008) Epigenetics: An Emerging Challenge to Genetic Determinism in Studies of Mental Health and Illness. Social Alternatives 27(4): 14-21.

 Canning, C. (2006) Psychiatric Survivor Testimonials and Embodiment: Emotional Challenges to Medical Knowledge. Radical Psychology 5(1):1-10.


Nicole Nelson

PhD 2011, Cornell University, Department of Science and Technology Studies

Dissertation: "Capturing Complexity: Experimental Systems and Epistemic Scaffolds in Animal Behavior Genetics"

For more details see Nicole Nelson

  • Research Interests

Social studies of contemporary biomedicine, especially animal behavior genetics and cancer genomics; animal models and model organisms; genetics of anxiety and addiction; ethnography and laboratory studies; science and law.

  • Publications

Nelson, N. (Forthcoming) "Shooting Genes, Distributing Credit: Narrating the Development of the Biolistic Gene Gun" Science as Culture.

Nelson, N., Geltzer, A., and Hilgartner, S. (2008). The Anticipatory State: Making Policy-Relevant Knowledge about the Future. Science and Public Policy 35(9),546-550.


Delia Gavrus

PhD 2011, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto

Dissertation: "Men of Strong Opinions:" Identity, Self-Representation, and the Performance of Neurosurgery, 1919-1950

  • Research Interests:

I am interested in the history of 19th and 20th century medicine and science, in Canadian history, and in US history. As a cultural historian, I ask questions about the nature of professionalization and specialist identity, the relationship between the self and medical practice, the patients’ experience, representations of medicine and science in popular culture, and the role of epistemic authority in scientific debates.

  • Publications:

“Men of Dreams and Men of Action: Neurologists, Neurosurgeons and the Performance of Professional Identity, 1925–1950.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 85(1) (2011): 57–92.

“Envisioning Cyclopropane: Scientific Product or Medical Technology?” Scientia Canadensis, Journal of the Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association 33(1) (2010): 3–28.

“Standardization and Specialty Formation in the Early Twentieth Century: The Case of Neurosurgery.” In European Academy for Standardization Proceedings 2007, Jorg Grondahl, Kai Jakobs and Angelos I. Zachariadis, eds. Aachen, Germany: Wissenschafts Verlag Mainz in Aachen (2007): 95–104.

“Mind over Matter: Sherrington, Penfield, Eccles, Walshe and the Dualist Movement in Neuroscience.” In MCIS Briefings, Comparative Program on Health and Society Lupina Foundation Working Papers Series 2005–2006, Jillian Clare Cohen and Lisa Forman, eds. University of Toronto (2006): 51–75.

J. M. Sargeant, B. Ramsingh, A. Wilkins, R. G. Travis, D. Gavrus and J. W. Snelgrove. “Constraints to Microbial Food Safety Policy: Opinions from Stakeholder Groups along the Farm to Fork Continuum,” Zoonoses and Public Health 54 (2007): 177–184. For more information, see  http://individual.utoronto.ca/deliagavrus


Ariel Zimerman, MD. PhD.

BA – 1996, Philosophy, Tel Aviv University

MD – 1999, Sackler Medical School, Tel Aviv University

MA – 2003, Philosophy, Bar-Ilan University

Ob-Gyn Board Certification (Israel) - 2007

PhD – 2012 – Bar Ilan University, Graduate Program in Science, technology and Society

Dissertation – “Evidence Based Medicine – The history of a recent medical revolution”. Director of thesis – Dr. Noah Efron


email – zimermanariel [at] hotmail [dot] com

Research interest:

I am interested in the social and intellectual history of Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence Based Medicine and the introduction of statistical and quantified reasoning to clinical practice. In the current Postdoc I am exploring the relation between medical journals and their editors and circles of clinical epidemiologist, relations that were instrumental in the introduction of the methods of clinical epidemiology to medical publishing and the introduction of the methods of Evidence Based Medicine into clinical practice. I am currently working on a book on the history of Evidence Based Medicine based in my dissertation.

I see my medical practice as integral to my research project. In medicine I am interested in prenatal diagnosis, intrapartum imaging and the epidemiology and prevention of preterm birth.

 Selected Publications:

History of EBM

1 - “The introduction of quantification and biostatistics to the clinical practice – the case of clinical epidemiology and Evidence Based Medicine”, Ariel Zimerman, Historia de la probabilidad y la estadistica [V], A.H.E.P.E. 2011.

 2- “A short History of Evidence-Based Medicine”. Ariel L. Zimerman. Virtual Mentor. 2013 Jan 1;15(1):71-6.

Clinical Research:

1 - “Intrapartum Measurement of Cervical Dilatation Using Translabial 3-Dimensional Ultrasonography Correlation With Digital Examination and Interobserver and Intraobserver Agreement Assessment” Ariel L. Zimerman, MD, Ana Smolin, MD, Ron Maymon, MD, Zvi Weinraub, MD, Arie Herman, MD, Yosef Tobvin, MD. J Ultrasound Med 2009; 28:1289–1296.

 2- A. Zimerman. The Use of Two-Dimensional (2D) and Three-Dimensional (3D) Ultrasound in the First Stage of Labor. In A. Malvasi (ed.), Intrapartum Ultrasonography for Labor Management, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

 3- “First year experience using Arabin cervical pessary with intravaginal micronized progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth”. Ariel L. Zimerman, MD, Ortal Neeman, MD, Ifat Winer, MD, Ron Maymon, MD , Arie Herman, MD. Accepted to publication in Harefua Journal April 30, 2013.

Darren N. Wagner

PhD 2014, Department of History, University of York (UK)

Sex, Spirits, and Sensibility: Human Generation in British Medicine, Anatomy, and Literature, 1660-1780

Research Interests:
History of Reproduction; History of Sexuality; Eighteenth-Century Studies; Cultural History of Medicine; Social History of Technologies; Gender Studies; Literature and Science; Museum Studies; History of Anatomy

Wagner, D. and R. Stephanson, eds. Forthcoming, 2015. The Secrets of Generation: Reproduction in the 18th Century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Wagner, D. 2011. Visualizations of the Womb through Tropes, Dissection, and Illustration, circa 1660-1774. In Book Illustration in the Long Eighteenth Century: Reconfiguring the Visual Periphery of the Text, edited by C. Ionescu, 531-73. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pbk forthcoming.

Wagner, D. 2012. Arousing Applications: Syringes and Anatomical Preparations of Genital Organs in the Long Eighteenth Century. Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society 113: 4-9.