Nathaniel Comfort

Nathaniel Comfort is a professor in the Department of the History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, where he has been on the faculty since 2003. From 1997 to 2003, he was on the history faculty at The George Washington University, where he also served as Deputy Director of the Center for History of Recent Science. The Center’s director and founder was Horace Freeland Judson (The Eighth Day of Creation), who, along with John McPhee and Monty Python, Comfort considers among his biggest writing influences.

Comfort’s interests include the history of genetics, genomics, eugenics, and individuality in medicine. Comfort’s books include The Science of Human Perfection: How Genes Became the Heart of American Medicine (Yale, 2012), The Tangled Field: Barbara McClintock’s Search for the Patterns of Genetic Control (Harvard, 2001), and the edited volume, The Panda’s Black Box: Opening Up the Intelligent Design Debate (Johns Hopkins, 2007). In addition to scholarly articles, he has written for Natural History, the New York Times Book Review, National Public Radio, Nature, Science, New Scientist, The Believer, and other publications. His next book will be a biography of DNA.