Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Michael B. McKeown

  • 1990-Jun-20

Oral history interview with Michael B. McKeown

  • 1990-Jun-20

Michael McKeown grew up in a small town near San Francisco, California. McKeown attended Stanford University, where he began in math but switched to biology. He liked the small classes and the opportunity for close interaction with the faculty. He worked in a lab during summers, studying bacteria and publishing one paper on thymidine.McKeown decided to use his Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship at University of California, San Diego. He began working in Dictyostelium in Richard Firtel’s lab, but switched to Drosophila. For his postdoc, McKeown stayed at UCSD and worked in Bruce Baker’s lab. McKeown accepted an offer at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, continuing his work on Drosophila.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 37 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

Arnold Thackray founded the Chemical Heritage Foundation and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received MA and PhD degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0744

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • July 06, 1953
  • Ft. Hood, Texas, United States
  • December 21, 2017


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1975 Stanford University BS Biological Sciences
1981 University of California, San Diego PhD Biology

Professional Experience

University of California, San Diego

  • 1981 to 1985 Post Doctorate

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

  • 1985 to 1991 Assistant Professor


Year(s) Award
1975 to 1978 National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
1978 to 1981 National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Traineeships
1981 to 1982 National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Trainee
1982 to 1991 Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
1986 to 1989 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award

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PDF — 445 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads