Above: “Nägeli-an” micellar diagram of cellulose, from William Seifriz, “The Contractility of Protoplasm,” The American Naturalist 63, no. 688 (September 1929): 410–34.

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(last updated June 2022)

Below is a summary:

Positions held


Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter beim Lehrstuhl für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Historisches Seminar der Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München; eigene Stelle beim DFG-Projekt “Lebende Substanz unter dem Mikroskop”


  • Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Department III (Schäfer), Berlin, Germany. March–Dec 2021
  • Digital Humanities Consultant, “Oral Histories of Biology, Medicine, and Pandemic Response,” Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library & Archives, New York July–Dec 2020.
  • Fellow, ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, 2018–2020
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Biohumanities, 2016–2018. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. Samantha Frost, supervisor.
  • MBL McDonnell Scholar, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Nov 2017
  • Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, MPIWG, Department II (Daston) May–July 2017.
  • 2014–2015 Charles C. Price Dissertation Fellow, Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia.


  • PhD, 2016: History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lynn Nyhart, advisor.
    • Dissertation: “Visions of Life and Matter: Protoplasm, Scientific Microscopy, and the Origins of Molecular Biology, 1839–1941”
    • Examination fields in history of biology, history of the physical sciences, and history and philosophy of technology.
    • Ph.D. minor in History.
  • MA, 2011: History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, UW-Madison.
  • BA, 2008: History, Reed College.

Grants and Prizes

  • 2021–2024 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) third-party funding grant for principal investigators, 36 months, project number 463389772.
  • 2020 Everett Mendelsohn Prize, for the best article published in the Journal of the History of Biology in the preceding three years, for “The Cell and Protoplasm as Container, Object, and Substance, 1835–1861.” (Karen Rader and Marsha Richmond, “2020 Everett Mendelsohn Prize,” Journal of the History of Biology 53, no. 1 (March 2020): 1–3, doi:10.1007/s10739-020-09593-7.)
  • Chancellor’s Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015–16.
  • Mellon-Wisconsin Summer Fellowship, 2015, UW-Madison.
  • John Neu Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, granted by UW-Madison Dept. of History of Science, 2009–10.

Professional activities

  • Member of editorial board, Journal of the History of Biology, 2022–current.
  • Co-organizer with Robert Meunier (Uni-Kassel), workshop “Lab Environments: Spaces of Possibility and Certainty in Scientific Practice,” ICI Berlin, October 18, 2019.
  • Co-organizer with Rosine Kelz, symposium “Beyond Therapy and Enhancement: Restructuring Ethical Debates on Biotechnological Innovation,” March 30, 2018, hosted by the Biohumanities Research Group, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.
  • Member of organizing committee, American Institute of Physics History Center Early Career Conference, April 6–10, 2016.
  • Membership Secretary, Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA), UW-Madison graduate assistants’ union (AFT Local 3220, AFL-CIO), 2013–15.

Daniel Liu, PhD

Historian of the modern life and physical sciences.

Principal Investigator, DFG Project 463389772.

Research Associate at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar, Abteilung für Wissenschaftsgeschichte.

ORCID: 0000-0003-1119-1589