Gabriela Soto Laveaga is Professor of History of Science at Harvard University. Her current research interests interrogate knowledge production and circulation between Mexico and India; medical professionals and social movements; and science and development projects in the twentieth century.

Her first book, Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects and the Making of the Pill, won the Robert K. Merton Best Book prize in Science, Knowledge, and Technology Studies from the American Sociological Association. Her second monograph, Sanitizing Rebellion: Physician Strikes, Public Health and Repression in Twentieth Century Mexico, examines the role of healthcare providers as both critical actors in the formation of modern states and as social agitators. Her latest book project seeks to re-narrate histories of twentieth century agriculture development aid from the point of view of India and Mexico.

She has held numerous grants, including those from the Ford, Mellon, Fulbright, DAAD, and Gerda Henkel Foundations.

Her latest CV is available here.


Current Projects

Sanitizing Rebellion: Physicians, Social Unrest, and Repression in Twentieth Century Mexico — book project

Seeds of Agriculture Innovation: Hybrid Wheat and Knowledge Transfer in Mexico and India — book project

Selected Publications

“Technocrats by any other Name: An Indian Agronomist, Diego Rivera, and the Power of non-Capitalist Ideas,” chapter for edited volume on Technocrats in Latin America. Submitted, forthcoming 2018, Duke University Press.

“Una enfermedad monstruo: Indígenas derribando el cerco de la discriminación en salud,” Review. Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 96, no. 4 (November 2016).

“Medicalizing the Borders of an Expanding State: Physicians Reporting from the Frontier of Mexican Progress, 1930-1950,” in W. I. Lee, John W.I. and Michael North, Globalizing Borderlands Studies in Europe and North America. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.

“Building the Nation of the Future, One Waiting Room at a Time: Hospitals in the Making of Modern Mexico,” History and Technology, edited by John Krige and Jessica Wang, Volume 31, Issue 3, July 2015, pages 275-294.

“Mexico’s Historical Solutions to Rural Health,” in Health for All the Journey to Universal Health Coverage. York: Center for Global Health Histories, 2015.

“Shadowing the Professional Class: Reporting Fictions in Doctors’ Strikes” Special issue on secret service archives. Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, Summer 2013, 19:1, 30-40.

“Introduction: Continuity and Change in the History of Mexican Public Health” as guest co-editor with Ben Smith for Endeavour‘s special issue on History of Public Health in Mexico. Endeavour, vol. 37, Issue 1, 2013: 1-3.

“Science and Public Health in the Century of Revolution,” in Beezley, William. A Companion to Mexican History and Culture. John Wiley & Sons, 2011: 561-574.

“Médicos, Hospitales y Servicios de Inteligencia” in Salud Colectiva. Buenos Aires: Instituto de Salud Colectiva, 7(1), Enero-Abril, 2011: 87-97.

“Searching for Molecules, Finding Rebellion: Echeverría’s ‘Arriba y Adelante’ Populism in Southeastern Mexico” in Populism in twentieth century Mexico: the presidencies of Lázaro Cárdenas and Luis Echeverría, edited by Amelia Kiddle and Maria Muñoz. Tucson: University of Arizona Press: 2010: pp. 87-105.

Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of The Pill (Duke University Press, 2009). Winner of the 2010 Robert K. Merton Best Book Award in Science, Knowledge and Technology from the American Sociological Association

“Let’s Become Fewer”: Soap Operas, The Pill and Population Campaigns, 1976-1986, Sexuality Research and Social Policy Journal. September 2007, vol. 4, no. 3., 19-33.

“Uncommon Trajectories: Steroid Hormones, Mexican Peasants and the Search for a Wild Yam Studies” in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Science, Vol. 36, no. 4, December, pp. 743-760. Winner of 2007 Best Article Prize for Science, Health and Society Section of Latin American Studies Association.


Previous Courses Taught

Race, Disease, and Nation Formation

Foundations in History of Medicine, Science and Technology: From Galileo to AIDS

Migration, Public Health and the State

Hunger, Food Science, and Development

Science, Empire and Exploration in Latin America

Public Health at the Border

Awards and Honors

Honors and Professional Activities

2010 Robert K. Merton Best Book Award given each year by the Science, Knowledge, and Technology (SKAT) section of the American Sociological Association for the best recent book published in science and technology studies

LASA Health, Science and Society Section Best Article Prize, 2007 for Uncommon Trajectories: Steroid Hormones, Mexican Peasants, and the Search for a Wild Yam

Select Fellowships and Awards

Gerda Henkel Fellowship for Research Scholars, 2016

Visiting Scholar – Max Planck Institute for History of Science, 2016

LAIS Outstanding Faculty Advisor, 2014

Internationalization at Home, Bremen University – Invited to give five lectures over the course of a week on campus, 2012

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation small grant, 2010

Fellow at Center for U.S.-Mexican-Studies, 2008-2009

UC-Mexus Faculty Grant, 2008

Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007 at the Department of History of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2001-2003 at the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at UC, San Francisco

Fulbright- Garcia Robles