Colleen Lanier Christensen

Colleen Lanier Christensen

Colleen Lanier Christensen

Research Interests: History of public health; environmental history; science, technology, and society; science policy; history of biology and biotechnology.



Colleen Lanier Christensen is a PhD candidate in History of Science, where she is completing her dissertation on chemical testing standards developed in the 1970s-80s, first in the U.S. and then internationally at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Colleen’s work examines how these standards have constrained what governments can and cannot know about chemical risks and how policymakers adopted regulations to achieve the dual aims of protecting public health and liberalizing international trade. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Colleen earned a Master of Public Health from the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, with a certificate in Environmental Health Policy. There, her work focused on the evolving role of regulatory institutions and the courts in adjudicating responsibility for health hazards and defining evidentiary burdens of proof.

Papers Presented:
“Standardizing Toxicology: Negotiating ‘Good Practice’ for Chemical Testing,” American Society for Environmental History (Riverside, CA, March 2018).

“Managing a ‘Moon Shot’ for Cancer: Contract Research and Chemical Testing at the National Cancer Institute,” The Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Medicine, (University of Pennsylvania, October 2015).

Previous Degrees:
AB., Sociology, University of Chicago
MPH., Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health