Jane Maienschein

Dr. Jane Maienscheine
Dr. Jane Maienschein

Dr. Jane Maienschein (born September 23, 1950 in Tennessee) is an American professor and director of the Center for Biology and Society, at Arizona State University.


She was admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as a freshman, then later transferred to Yale University in 1969 where she was a member of Manuscript Society. In 1972, she graduated with honors in History, the Arts, and Letters. She then attended Indiana University to conduct her Ph.D work. Her mentor, Dr. Frederick Churchill, was interested in historical embryological research. Maienschein was awarded a Fellowship at the Smithsonian, to study the history of microscopy. The National Science Foundation provided funding for her dissertation. Maienschein became involved with the Marine Biological Laboratory, in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to research historical embryology, morphogenesis and cellular differentiation. Maienschein researched the history and philosophy of developmental biology as well as issues surrounding stem cell research and regenerative medicine.[1]


Maienschein focuses on the social, political, and legal contexts of scientific research and is currently the director of the Center for Biology and Society, at Arizona State University, which states the goal of "promoting exploration of conceptual foundations and historical development of the biosciences and their diverse interactions with society."[2] To quote the CBS, "We engage in activities across multiple disciplines that allow opportunities for intellectual ferment and increased impact by creating research and educational collaborations and communication." [5] Maienschein and colleague Manfred Laubichler are particularly interested in evolutionary developmental biology. The School of Life Sciences has received millions of dollars from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop the School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research (SOLUR) program, a research program. [4] Maienschein served as the first president for the International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology in 1989–1991 and served as president of the History of Science Society. She is Director of The Embryo Project Encyclopedia, along with Dr. Manfred Laubichler.[1]


Maienschein has received many awards, including the ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year, Regents’ Professorship, and President’s Professorship. In 1998, she received the History of Science Society's Hazen Education Award. Maienschein accompanies her students yearly, to the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science Meetings. Maienschein’s charismatic leadership has not only attracted gifted students nationally, but has helped to create quality programs in higher education, including Biology and Society; Bioethics, Policy, and Law; The History and Philosophy of Science; Ecology, Economics, Ethics and Environment; The Embryo Project Encyclopedia, ASU's Bioethics in Films Series, Responsible Conduct in Research and the History of Biology course, held at the Marine Biological Laboratory.[3]

Maienschein is a Fellow of the Association for Women in Science and AAAS, has served two terms as a board member for national AWIS in Washington, D.C. Maienshein has published over 20 articles and several books. She was published in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on "Epigenesis and Preformation". Maienschein wrote "Whose View of Life?: Embryos, Cloning, and Stem Cells". Maienschein and Manfred Laubichler collaborated to co-write: “From Embryology to Evo-Devo: A History of Developmental Evolution” and Form and Function in Developmental Evolution.

In 2009, Maienschein presented, with Tedx Talks on "Stem Cells, Regenerative Medicine and Us". In November 2010, Maienschein was named the 2010 Arizona Professor of the Year, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.[3]


  1. 1 2 Embryo Project Encyclopedia Editorial Team, "Jane Maienschein", 2008, "", December 22, 2010
  2. ASU Center for Biology and Society, “Programs in Biology and Society”, 2010, "", December 22, 2010
  3. 1 2 School of Life Sciences, “Professor named Top in Arizona, recognized Nationally.”, 2010, "", December 22, 2010

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