Nicolas Rasmussen

Professor

Nicolas Rasmussen is a Professor in the School of Humanities. He has higher degrees in history and philosophy of science, developmental biology, and public health. 

His research has dealt with the role of instrumentation in shaping scientific knowledge, the history of biotechnology, molecular biology and its cultural and intellectual history, the history of drug abuse and pharmaceuticals in the United States since 1900, and the influence of industry sponsorship on biomedical research.  He has been principle investigator on several NSF (USA) and ARC grants. 

His current major project concerns obesity research and public health policy in the 1950s USA.  His monograph on the history of genetic engineering with Johns Hopkins, entitled _Gene Jockeys: Life Science and the Rise of Biotech Enterprise__, was published in 2014, and another monograph entitled _Fat in the Fifties: America's First Obesity Crisis_ is forthcoming in 2019 from the same press.

See staff webpage for more.
 

Subject areas

Publications

Books
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Rasmussen N, 2019, Fat in the Fifties America's First Obesity Crisis, Johns Hopkins University Press, https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/fat-fifties
2019
Rasmussen N, 2014, Gene Jockeys: Life Science and the Rise of Biotech Enterprise, hardback (1st), Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA, https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/gene-jockeys
2014
Rasmussen N, 2008, On Speed The Many Lives of Amphetamine, Original, New York University Press, New York and London
2008
Rasmussen N, 1997, Picture Control: The Electron Microscope and the Transformation of Biology in America, 1940-1960, Original, Stanford University Press, Stanford
1997
Book Chapters
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Rasmussen N, 2018, 'Biomedicine and Its Historiography: A Systematic Review', in Dietrich M (ed.), Handbook of the Historiography of Biology, Springer Nature, Switzerland, pp. 1 - 21, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74456-8_12-1
2018
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'Biology's Day at the Races INTRODUCTION', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 1 - +, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400001&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'Science, Business, and Medicine in the First Age of Biotech CONCLUSION', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 183 - 191, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400008&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'tPA The End of the Beginning', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 160 - 182, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400007&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'Growing Pains Commercial Strains on a Way of Life', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 72 - 100, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400004&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'Epo The Making of the Biotech Blockbuster', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 131 - 159, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400006&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'Biology, Industry, and the Cold War', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 9 - 39, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400002&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'The Interferon Derby Markets in Credit, Tournaments of Value', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 101 - 130, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400005&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'The Insulin Trophy', in GENE JOCKEYS: LIFE SCIENCE AND THE RISE OF BIOTECH ENTERPRISE, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, pp. 40 - 71, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000362435400003&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2014
Rasmussen N, 2012, 'Goofball Panic: Barbiturates, "Dangerous" and Addictive Drugs, and the Regulation of Medicine in Postwar America', in Greene J; Watkins ES (ed.), Prescribed: Writing, Filling, Using, and Abusing the Prescription in Modern America, edn. Original, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp. 23 - 45
2012
Rasmussen N, 2008, 'Amphetamine Epidemics, International', in Kranzler HR; Korsmeyer P (ed.), Encyclopedia of drugs, alcohol & addictive behavior, edn. third, Gale Cengage, pp. 153 - 162
2008
Rasmussen N, 2003, 'Molecular Biology', in Dictionary of American History Third Edition, edn. Original, Charles Scribner`s Sons, New York
2003
Rasmussen N, 2002, 'Innovation in Chemical Separation and Detection Instruments: Reflections on the Role of Research-technology in the History of Science', in Morris PJ T (ed.), From Classical to Modern Chemistry: The Instrumental Revolution, Royal Society of Chemistry, London, pp. 251 - 258, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000180722100014&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
2002
Rasmussen N; Chalmers A, 2001, 'The role of theory in the use of instruments; or, how much do we need to know about electrons to do science with an election microscope?', in Buchwald JZ; Warwick A (ed.), Histories of the electron: the birth of microphysics, edn. Original, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 467 - 502
2001
Rasmussen N, 2001, 'Biotechnology before the `Biotech revolution`: life scientists, chemists and product development in 1930s-1940s America', in Reinhardt C (ed.), Chemical Sciences in the 20th Century, edn. Original, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, pp. 201 - 227
2001
Journal articles
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Rasmussen N, 2019, 'Downsizing obesity: On Ancel Keys, the origins of BMI, and the neglect of excess weight as a health hazard in the United States from the 1950s to 1970s', Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, vol. 55, pp. 299 - 318, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jhbs.21991
2019
Rasmussen N; Proctor RN, 2019, 'From maverick to mole: John C. Burnham, Tobacco consultant', ISIS, vol. 110, pp. 779 - 783, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/706611
2019
Rasmussen N, 2018, 'Group Weight Loss and Multiple Screening: A Tale of Two Heart Disease Programs in Postwar American Public Health', Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 92, pp. 474 - 505, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/bhm.2018.0056
2018
Rasmussen N, 2017, 'Controlling" America’s Opium": Barbiturate Abuse, Pharmaceutical Regulation, and the Politics of Public Health in the Early Postwar United States', Journal of Policy History, vol. 29, pp. 543 - 568, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0898030617000264
2017
Rasmussen N, 2016, 'The Genealogy of a Gene: Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race.', ISIS, vol. 107, pp. 903 - 905, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/689785
2016
Rasmussen N; Keizers P, 2015, '"History Full Circle: ‘Novel’ Sympathomimetics in Supplements"', Drug Testing and Analysis, vol. 8, pp. 283 - 286, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.1852
2015
Rasmussen N, 2015, 'Amphetamine-type stimulants: The early history of their medical and non-medical uses', International Review of Neurobiology, vol. 120, pp. 9 - 25, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.irn.2015.02.001
2015
Rasmussen N, 2015, 'Stigma and the addiction paradigm for obesity: Lessons from 1950s America', Addiction, vol. 110, pp. 217 - 225, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.12774
2015
Rasmussen N, 2015, 'Amphetamine-Type Stimulants: The Early History of Their Medical and Nonmedical Uses', International Review of Neurobiology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.irn.2015.02.001
2015
Rasmussen N, 2014, 'Psychostimulanzien steigern nicht die kognitive Leistung. Lehren aus der Geschichte.', WestEnd, vol. 2014, pp. 69 - 80, http://www.ifs.uni-frankfurt.de/veroeffentlichungen/westend/
2014
Rasmussen N, 2012, 'Weight stigma, addiction, science, and the medication of fatness in mid-twentieth century America', Sociology of Health and Illness, vol. 34, pp. 880 - 895, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01444.x
2012
Parr J; Rasmussen N, 2012, 'Making Addicts of the Fat: Obesity, Psychiatry and the ‘Fatties Anonymous’ Model of Self-Help Weight Loss in the Post-War United States', Advances in Medical Sociology, vol. 14, pp. 181 - 200, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S1057-6290(2012)0000014012
2012
Rasmussen N, 2011, 'Medical Science and the Military: The Allies’ Use of Amphetamine during World War II', Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol. 42, pp. 205 - 233, http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/JINH_a_00212
2011
Rasmussen N, 2010, 'Maurice Seevers, the stimulants and the political economy of addiction in American biomedicine', Biosocieties: An interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Studies of Life Science, vol. 5, pp. 105 - 123, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/biosoc.2009.7
2010
Rasmussen N; Lee K; Bero LA, 2009, 'Association of trial registration with the results and conclusions of published trials of new oncology drugs', Trials, vol. 10, pp. 116, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1745-6215-10-116
2009
Rasmussen N, 2008, 'America`s first amphetamine epidemic 1929-1971 - A quantitative and qualitative retrospective with implications for the present', American Journal of Public Health, vol. 98, pp. 974 - 985, http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2007.110593
2008
Rasmussen N, 2006, 'Lives of a blockbuster drug', Minerva, vol. 44, pp. 229 - 234, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11024-006-0008-6
2006
Rasmussen N, 2006, 'Making the first anti-depressant: Amphetamine in American medicine, 1929-1950', Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, vol. 61, pp. 288 - 323, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhmas/jrj039
2006
Rasmussen N, 2005, 'The drug industry and clinical research in interwar America: Three types of physician collaborator', Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 79, pp. 50 - 80, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/bhm.2005.0036
2005
Rasmussen N, 2004, 'The moral economy of the drug company-medical scientist collaboration in interwar America', Social Studies of Science, vol. 34, pp. 161 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312704042623
2004
Rasmussen N, 2003, 'The life of a virus: Tobacco mosaic virus as an experimental model, 1930-1965.', BULLETIN OF THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE, vol. 77, pp. 221 - 223, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/bhm.2003.0032
2003
Rasmussen N, 2003, 'The creation of psychopharmacology', SOCIAL STUDIES OF SCIENCE, vol. 33, pp. 453 - 458, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/03063127030333008
2003
Rasmussen N, 2002, 'Steroids in Arms: Science, Government, Industry, and the Hormones of the Adrenal Cortex in the United States, 1930-1950', Medical History, vol. 46, pp. 299 - 324
2002
Rasmussen N, 2002, 'Designs for life - Molecular biolog after world war', SCIENCE, vol. 297, pp. 2000 - 2001, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1076048
2002
Rasmussen N, 2002, 'Of `Small Men`, Big Science and Bigger Business: The Second World War and Biomedical Research in the United States', Minerva: A Review of Science Learning and Policy, vol. 40, pp. 115 - 146, http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1015760920428
2002
Rasmussen N, 2001, 'Evolving scientific epistemologies and the artifacts of empirical philosophy of science: a reply concerning mesosomes', Biology and Philosophy, vol. 16, pp. 629 - 654, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000171658000003&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
2001
Rasmussen N, 2001, 'Plant hormones in war and peace:science, industry and government in the development of herbicides in 1940s America', Isis, vol. 92, pp. 291 - 316, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/385183
2001
Rasmussen N, 1999, 'The forgotten promise of thiamin: Merck, Caltech biologists, and plant hormones in a 1930s biotechnology project', Journal of the History of Biology, vol. 32, pp. 245 - 261, http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1004635500408
1999
Rasmussen N, 1999, 'What moves when technologies migrate? `Software` and hardware in the transfer of biological electron microscopy to postwar Australia', Technology and Culture, vol. 40, pp. 47 - 73, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/tech.1999.0050
1999
Rasmussen N, 1999, 'Mapping the cell: advent of the thin section and characterization of the Endoplasmic Reticulum', Nature Cell Biology, vol. 1, pp. E99 - E101
1999
Rasmussen N, 1999, 'Mapping the cell: Advent of the thin section and characterization of the ER', Nature Cell Biology, vol. 1, pp. E99 - E101, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/12100
1999
Rasmussen N, 1997, '`The Midcentury Biophysics Bubble: Hiroshima and the Biological Revolution in America`', History of Science, vol. 35, pp. 245 - 293, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/007327539703500301
1997
Rasmussen N, 1997, 'The mid-century biophysics bubble: Hiroshima and the biological revolution in America, revisited', HISTORY OF SCIENCE, vol. 35, pp. 245 - 293, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/007327539703500301
1997
Rasmussen N, 1997, 'The early history of the electron microscope - German - Qing,L', ISIS, vol. 88, pp. 167 - 167, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/383677
1997
Rasmussen N, 1996, 'Cell fractionation biochemistry and the origins of 'cell biology'', TRENDS IN BIOCHEMICAL SCIENCES, vol. 21, pp. 319 - 321, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0968-0004(96)10041-4
1996
Rasmussen N, 1996, 'Making a machine instrumental: RCA and the wartime origins of biological electron microscopy in America, 1940-1945', STUDIES IN HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, vol. 27, pp. 311 - 349, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0039-3681(95)00042-9
1996
Rasmussen N, 1995, 'Mitochondrial structure and the practice of cell biology in the 1950s', JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF BIOLOGY, vol. 28, pp. 381 - 429, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01059387
1995
RASMUSSEN N, 1993, 'FREUND ADJUVANT AND THE REALIZATION OF QUESTIONS IN POSTWAR IMMUNOLOGY', HISTORICAL STUDIES IN THE PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, vol. 23, pp. 337 - 366, http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/27757702
1993
RASMUSSEN N; GREEN PB, 1993, 'ORGANOGENESIS IN FLOWERS OF THE HOMEOTIC GREEN PISTILLATE MUTANT OF TOMATO (LYCOPERSICON-ESCULENTUM)', AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY, vol. 80, pp. 805 - 813, http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2445600
1993
RASMUSSEN N, 1993, 'FACTS, ARTIFACTS, AND MESOSOMES - PRACTICING EPISTEMOLOGY WITH THE ELECTRON-MICROSCOPE', STUDIES IN HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, vol. 24, pp. 227 - 265, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0039-3681(93)90047-N
1993
RASMUSSEN N, 1991, 'THE DECLINE OF RECAPITULATIONISM IN EARLY 20TH-CENTURY BIOLOGY - DISCIPLINARY CONFLICT AND CONSENSUS ON THE BATTLEGROUND OF THEORY', JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF BIOLOGY, vol. 24, pp. 51 - 89, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:A1991FG31400003&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
1991
RASMUSSEN N, 1987, 'A NEW MODEL OF DEVELOPMENTAL CONSTRAINTS AS APPLIED TO THE DROSOPHILA SYSTEM', JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, vol. 127, pp. 271 - 299, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5193(87)80107-8
1987
ZETTER BR; RASMUSSEN N; BROWN L, 1985, 'METHODS IN LABORATORY INVESTIGATION - AN INVIVO ASSAY FOR CHEMOATTRACTANT ACTIVITY', LABORATORY INVESTIGATION, vol. 53, pp. 362 - 368, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:A1985AQP6200013&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
1985
Other
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Rasmussen N, 2017, Life's Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00033790.2017.1292428
2017
Rasmussen N, 2015, Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhmas/jru039
2015
Rasmussen N, 2014, Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America., ORGANIZATION AMER HISTORIANS, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jau647
2014
Rasmussen N, 2013, Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond, ORGANIZATION AMER HISTORIANS, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jat107
2013
Rasmussen N, 2012, Hormones of Life: Endocrinology, the Pharmaceutical Industry, and the Dream of a Remedy for Sterility, 1930-1970, UNIV CHICAGO PRESS, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/666437
2012
Rasmussen N, 2012, Pills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War America and Its Consequences, UNIV CHICAGO PRESS, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/670119
2012
Rasmussen N, 2011, Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA., JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/bhm.2011.0004
2011
Rasmussen N, 2008, The Medium Is The Message, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11016-008-9194-1
2008
Rasmussen N, 2008, The medium is the message, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11016-008-9194-1
2008