As of July 6th, APS offices are open to staff and invited visitors. The Society will remain closed to the public for at least the rest of the summer. Library & Museum staff now have access to our collections and will respond to reference and photoduplication requests as soon as possible. However, please note that response times may be delayed due to increased demand. The Society will continue a robust slate of virtual programs throughout the summer and fall. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. For further information on the APS reopening and its COVID response, please click here.

APS Program in the History of Science Predoctoral Fellow

Gina Surita (APS Program in the History of Science Predoctoral Fellow) is a Ph.D. candidate in History of Science at Princeton University. She primarily studies the history of modern biology (especially the history of biochemistry and molecular biology), but also maintain interests in the history of medicine and the biomedical sciences. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “The Currency of the Cell: Energy, Metabolism, and Life in Twentieth-Century Biochemistry,” will trace the emergence of the field of bioenergetics (the study of energy transformations in living organisms) by weaving together a series of case studies in the history of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) research. The quest to define life in energetic terms emerged at the nexus of nineteenth-century physics and physiology, and was then taken up by twentieth-century biochemists and cell biologists, who constructed the molecule of ATP as the universal energy “currency” of the cell. The “currency” of ATP circulated within a metaphorical “cellular economy,” in which energy-requiring metabolic reactions were often linked to energy-releasing metabolic reactions. Gina’s dissertation aims to articulate a new interpretation of twentieth-century biology by arguing that the metaphor of the “cellular economy,” as deployed by biochemists and cell biologists interested in metabolism and biological energy exchanges, shaped the development of modern biology in ways distinct from the metaphor of genes as “information,” which has received a great deal of historiographical attention.  

Research Project: “The Currency of the Cell: Energy, Metabolism, and Life in Twentieth-Century Biochemistry”