Xan Chacko

xan chacko

Position Title
CST PhD Candidate


Dissertation: Moving, Making, Saving: The Science of Seed Banking

Research Interests: History and philosophy of natural history, production and stabilization of biological knowledge, scientific visualization, epistemic and ontological pluralism.

Fellowships, Grants, and Awards:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Research Grant (2016-2017)
  • Association of American University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship (2016-2017)
  • Kathryn Conway Preyer Fellowship, Wellesley College Extramural Graduate Fellowsips (2016-2017)
  • Bancroft Library Grant, University of California, Berkeley (2016)
  • AUFF Visiting Grant, Aarhus University Faculty of Arts (2016)
  • Collaboratory for Ethnographic Design (CoLED) Summer Grant (2015)
  • History of Science Society Best Poster Prize 2015 for “Protective Pictures: The Role of the Image in Plant Patents”
  • Cultural Studies Research Quarter Fellowship, Fall 2015
  • HArCS Dean’s Summer Fellowship (2013, 2015)
  • Mellon Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship (2014)
  • HArCS Dean’s Summer Fellowship (2013)
  • Mellon Research Initiative in Environments & Societies Summer Fellowship (2012)
  • UC Davis Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies Dean's Recruitment Fellowship (2011)


B.A., Women's Studies and Physics, Wellesley College, 2005
M.Sc., History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Imperial College and University College, London, 2008

Academia.edu Profile



"From Illustraion to Observation: Gendered Change in Botanical Painting (1910-1915), Gender and History Graduate Conference Series," University of Cambridge, February 4, 2016

"Patenting Protection, Openness and Intellectual Property," ISHTIP Annual Workshop 2015, University of Pennsylvania, July 22-24, 2015

Banking Plants for Gaming the Future, Biobanks and the Communication of Risk Knowledge Workshop, Brocher Foundation, Switzerland, November 23-25, 2015.

"Archives of Risk, Art of the Archive Workshop, Innovating Communication in Scholarship," University of California, Davis, May 21, 2015

"Protective Pictures: The Role of the Image in Plant Patents, Cultivating Innovation," John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK, April 13, 2015

"Garden of Defeating: Race and Plant Video Games," American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, December 3-9, 2014

"The Esopus and the Anthracanose, Interruptions: Sciences, Feminisms, Knowledges," Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society, University of California, Berkeley, April 18, 2014

Forboding Fruit: Pomological Illustration as an Agent of Continuity, History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Boston, November 21-24, 2013.

Engendering Biomedical Science: Interdisciplinary Conflict and Collaboration, Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting, San Diego, October 9-12, 2013.

Tracing the Lemon: Material Publications in Botanical Gardens, Cultural Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, May 23-26, 2013.

Material Publishing, Multiple Economies, Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2013, Los Angeles, April 9, 2013.

When life gives you lemons: Frank Meyer’s agro-utilitarian vision of the Far East (1908-1918), History of Science Society 2012 Annual Meeting, San Diego, November 15, 2012.