Dr Jenny Bangham

Subject: History of science

Department/institution: History and philosophy of science

Contact details: jb252@cam.ac.uk

Research interests:

Jenny Bangham is a historian of science, interested in the practices, politics and representations of genetics. Her Wellcome Trust-funded project asks how scientific communities come together to produce community resources, such as repositories, newsletters and databases. It traces the early history of FlyBase, an online genetic database that orders and communicates genetic information about the fruit fly Drosophila. Dr Bangham is using the 30-year history of FlyBase to examine the politics and practices of database genomics, and the differences these have made to biology and biomedicine.

She is also completing a book, Blood Relations, about genetics, blood transfusion and the politics of the human body. Between 2012 and 2016, Dr Bangham was a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. Before turning to the history of science, she worked as a biologist at University College London and the University of Edinburgh, and as a journal editor at the Company of Biologists and Nature Publishing Group.

Select publications and awards


  • Jenny Bangham, ‘Blood, Paper and Total Human Genetic Diversity’, Limn, 6 (2016)
  • Jenny Bangham, ‘What is Race?: UNESCO, Mass Communication and Human Genetics in the Early 1950s’, History of the Human Sciences, 28 (2015), 80–107
  • Jenny Bangham, ‘Blood Groups and Human Groups: Collecting and Calibrating Genetic Data After World War Two’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 47 (2014), 74–86
  • Jenny Bangham, ‘Writing, Printing, Speaking: Rhesus Blood-group Genetics and Nomenclatures in the Mid-twentieth Century.’ British Journal of the History of Science, 47 (2014), 335–361


  • Marc-Auguste Pictet Prize (2014) – CHF 10,000 (£6,800) award from the Société de Physique et d’Histoire Naturelle for a book or dissertation in the history of science from an early-career scholar