Hermann J. Muller as a scientist and public intellectual

I aim to present scientific and societal debates of the atomic age concerning genetic effects of radiation through the legacy of Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967), a genetics pioneer, Nobel Prize laureate (1946), and IUB professor (1945-1964). Relationship between his research and the fields of biology and genetics will be explored with the use of bibliometric methods. Investigating Muller’s public role is more challenging – fortunately, IU Lilly Library is endowed with collection of materials from Muller’s professional and personal life. Thus, his correspondence will serve as a primary source for analyzing connections with other intellectuals, using network analysis. Moreover, Muller’s decades-long career spanning Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States will be mapped chronologically and geographically with the use of secondary sources and GIS tools. Ideally, the results will be integrated into an online exhibition of selected digitized materials, encouraging not only broader study of Muller’s collection, but also his scholarship as an example of science in society.