Draper Student to Become Fulbright Scholar

Draperite Charles Kollmer has been granted a Fulbright award. He’ll be traveling to Germany to continue studies he began here at Draper. In Charles’ words:

My project centers on the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana, a small weed used by researchers to understand plant biology. It gained massive popularity in the 90s as a tool for exploring molecular genetics and is currently the most studied plant in the world. I’ll be working at the Technical University of Braunschweig with professors Bettina Wahrig and Nicole Karafyllis, attempting to reconstruct the experimental practices involved in the early phases of Arabidopsis research, which started in 1943 in Germany. I’d like to see how this humble plant, at once a living thing and a technical instrument, became embroiled in the international communications networks of scientists. I hope that this case study will help me reflect on broader, philosophical questions that I have about the evolving relationship between authorship and technology.
Charles will graduate this May with a thesis entitled “From Protocol Sentences To Open Biomedical Ontologies:A Secret History of Knowledge Representation,” advised by Theresa MacPhail. Both his thesis and his Fulbright project explore the overlap of concerns between biotechnology and philosophy of language.
Congratulations, Charles, and all the best for your future studies!

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