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Dr. Nurit Kirsh, Lecturer

Dr. Nurit Kirsh
Contact Info

The Open University The Dorothy De Rothschild Campus One University Road P.O.B. 808 Ra’anana 43107, Israel
Office: 972-9-7781758 Fax:972-9-778-0661 Email:nuritki@openu.ac.il

2008
Post Doctoral Studies at the Jacques Loeb center for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University
2004
Ph.D. in History of Science, the Cohn Institute, Tel-Aviv University. Thesis: “The Teaching and Research of Genetics at the Hebrew University (1935-1961)" Guided by Professor Eva Jablonka and Professor Anita Shapira.
1998
The Course “Science since 1789”, Department of History, UC Berkeley, USA.
1997
B.A. in Social  Sciences (with distinction) from the Open University of Israel.
1992
M.Sc. in Microbiology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan.
Thesis: "Quantitative Study of the Male Specific Protein (MSP) in Normal, Sex Inversed and Gynogenetic Tilapias". Guided by Professor Rami R. Avtalion
1989
B.A. in Biology (with distinction) from the Open University of Israel, Tel-Aviv. I started my Academic Studies on 1983, while I was still in highschool (9th grade) and finished them on my second year of National Service.
2018 - 2022
ISF Grant, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities for: "Health, Science and Nation Building: Chaim Sheba and the Creation of the Israeli Bio-Medical Research and Health System."
2015
Excellent lecturer – Bar Ilan University.
2012
Travel grant from the Jewish Studies Program, Arizona State University, 2006 The Jacques Loeb Post-Doctoral Scholarship, Ben-Gurion University, 2008-2009.
Grant from Yad Chaim Weizmann
2004
Travel grant from the Leo Baeck Institute
2003
Neuberger Scholarship from the Institute for German History, Tel-Aviv University
2001
Grant from the Institute for the History of Medicine and Science, University of Lubeck
1999-2002
VATAT Grant for Doctorat Thesis, the Israeli High Education Council
1997-1999
ISF Grant (with Prof. Eva Jablonka), the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
1996, 1997
Excellence Scholarships of the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel-Aviv University
1989-1990
Scholarship of the Biology Department, Bar- Ilan University
1987, 1989
Dean Prizes for Excellence, The Open University
1984
Tel-Aviv City Council Prize for Best Essays
2015 – to date
Head of the biological thought MA program, the Open University of Israel
2011-2013
Head of an MA program in education for American students (TASP), Bar-Ilan
2010-2012
An advisor for “Twist” - a European Union Project to encourage girls to choose science studies, the Science Museum in Jerusalem
2008-2009
Post-Doctoral at The Jacques Loeb center for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University
2004 - 2015
Adjunct lecturer, Bar-Ilan University

"Quantitative Study of the Male Specific Protein (MSP) in Normal, Sex Inversed and Gynogenetic Tilapias” (84 pp. in Hebrew). M.Sc. thesis in Microbiology, Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University, 1992. 
Guided by Professor Rami R. Avtalion.

“The Teaching and Research of Genetics at the Hebrew University (1935-1961)" (244 pp. in Hebrew). Ph.D. Dissertation in the History of Science, Tel-Aviv University, 2004.
Guided by Professor Eva Jablonka and Professor Anita Shapira.

Gissis S. and N. Kirsh, guest editors (2021) History of Biology: A Special Issue. Zmanim, vol. 145 [Hebrew].

Kirsh, N. (2003) “Population Genetics in Israel in the 1950s: The Unconscious Internalization of Ideology, Isis, 94: 631-655.

Kirsh, N. (2003) “Physicians in the Young State of Israel: “Putting Jewish Migration into its Historic Perspective”, Korot, the Israel Journal of the History of Medicine and Science, 17: 71-96.

Kirsh, N. (2004) “Geneticist Elisabeth Goldschmidt: A Twofold Pioneering Story”, Israel Studies, 9(02): 71-105.

Kirsh, N. (2013) “Tragedy or Success? Elisabeth Goldschmidt (1912-1970) and Genetics in Israel” Endeavour, 37: 112-120.

Kirsh, N. and Green J.L. (2021) “A Feeling for the Patient: Margaret Lasker and the Genetic Puzzle of Pentosuria”, Journal of the history of Biology, vol. 54(2): 247-274. DOI: 10.1007/s10739-021-09642-9. 

Kirsh, N. and Hashiloni-Dolev Y. (2021) "mtDNA Tests as a Vehicle for Jewish Recognition of Former Soviet Union Israeli Citizens: Religious and Political Debate", Biosocieties, DOI:10.1057/s41292-021-00228-6.

Gissis S. and N. Kirsh (2021) “History of Biology – What is it good for?”, Zmanin, 145: 36-38, [Hebrew].

Kirsh, N. (2022) "Biology, Geology and the Bible: Research Expeditions of the Hebrew University Scientists", Israel Studies, 27(3): 24-45.

Barell A. and Kirsh N. (accepted) "The Hospital as a Laboratory: Biomedical Research at Tel-Hashomer Hospital in Israel (1950s-1960s)", Science in Context.

Cohen-Gil, M., Kirsh N. and Barell A. (accepted) "Chaim Sheba and the Establishment of Tel-Aviv University Medical School”, Korot, the Israel Journal of the History of Medicine and Science.

Kirsh N. (accepted) "The Roots of Israel’s Ongoing Affair with Science", Endeavour.

Kirsh, N. (2004) “Genetic Research on Israel’s Populations: Two Opposite Tendencies”, in: Volker Roelcke, Giovanni Maio (eds.) Twentieth Century Ethics of Human Subjects Research: Historical Perspectives on Values, Practices, and Regulations, Stuttgart: Steiner.

Kirsh, N. (2007) “Genetic Studies of Ethnic Communities in Israel: A Case of Values Motivated Research Work” In: Ulrich Charpa and Ute Deichmann (eds.) Jews and Science in German Contexts, Leo Baeck Institute, pp. 181-194.

Kirsh, N. (2009) "The Beginning of Genetics in the Hebrew University", in: Hagit Lavsky (ed.) The History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2nd vol., Jerusalem: Magnes Press, pp. 161-185 [Hebrew].

Kirsh, N. (2010) “Between Paralysis and Productivity:  Scientific Activity during the War”, in: Mordechai Bar-On and Meir Chazan, (eds.) Citizens at War: Studies on the Civilian Society during the Israeli War of Independence, Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, pp. 260-289 [Hebrew].

Kirsh N. and Katzir S. (2016) “The Second Scientific Career of Chaim Weizmann:  A Continuation or a New Beginning?” in: Uri Cohen and Meir Chazan, (eds.) Chaim Weizmann, Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar, pp. 413-439 [Hebrew].

Kirsh, N. (2020) "Jewishness, Blackness and Genetic Data: Israeli Geneticists and Physicians Tracing the Ancestry of Two African Populations”, in Uri Dorchin and Gabriella Djerrahian (eds.) Blackness in Israel, Routledge, pp 43-57.

Fisher S. and N. Kirsh, (eds.) (2016) Definition of Life – Reader 

Zalinger B. and N. Kirsh, (eds.) (2017) Bioethical Issues: Animal Experimentation – Reader 

Hashiloni-Dolev Y. and N. Kirsh, (eds.) (2017) New Reproductive Technologies: Social and Bioethical Aspects –Reader

Zalinger B. and N. Kirsh, (eds.) (2019) A Critique of Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology – Reader

Kirsh, N. (2019) A Lab of One’s Own: Women in Biological research

Kirsh, N. (2019) A Lab of One’s Own: Women in Biological research – Reader

Fisher M. Inbar S. and N. Kirsh, (eds.) (2022) Genetics and Ethics in Post-Genomic Era – Reader

Kirsh, N. (2006) “Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan”, Jewish Women – A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, Jerusalem: Shalvi.

Kirsh, N. (2006) “Clara Heyn”, Jewish Women – A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, Jerusalem: Shalvi.

Kirsh, N. (2006) “Bracha Ramot”, Jewish Women – A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, Jerusalem: Shalvi.

Kirsh, N. (2021) “Yehudit Birk”, Jewish Women – A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, Jerusalem: Shalvi.

Kirsh, N. (2021) “Bat-Sheva Bonne-Tamir” Jewish Women – A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, Jerusalem: Shalvi.

Kirsh, N. (2007) “Zionism and the Biology of the Jews, by Raphael Falk - Review”, Israel, 12: 211-216 ,[Hebrew].

Kirsh, N. (2011) on: Health and Zionism: The Israeli Health Care System, 1948–1960, by Shifra Shvarts, The Journal of Israeli History 30(2): 237-240.

Kirsh, N. (2013) “The Industry of Genetic History” on: The Genealogical Science by Nadia Abu El-Haj, Journal of the History of Biology 46(3): 543-545.

Kirsh, N. (2018) on: Testing Fate: Tay-Sachs Disease and the Right to be Responsible by Shelley Z. Reuter, Isis, 109(1): 214-215.

Kirsh, N. (2022) on: Genetic Afterlives: Black Jewish Indigeneity in South Africa by Noah Tamarkin. Isis, 113(2): 465-467.

Kirsh, N. (May 2008) "Conducting research in Hebrew, dreaming dreams in German", Galileo 117: 48-54. [Hebrew]

Kirsh, N. (August 2008) "Test tubes and tests: The obstacle course of women pioneers at the Hebrew University", Galileo 120: 68-73. [Hebrew]

Kirsh, N. (March 2009) "Genes with values: The study of the genetics of Jewish communities in Israel", Galileo 127: 54-58. [Hebrew]

Kirsh, N. (March 2013) "Women in science: The reasons for the gap" Galileo 175: 23-29. [Hebrew]

“Manifestation of the Zionist Ideology in Genetic Studies on Ethnic Groups in Israel" in: History of Science in the Forming Israel – The Founding Conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Van-Leer Institution, Jerusalem, 15-16 March 2000.

“Common  Biological Origin and Jewish Collective Memory” in: Language, Image and Propaganda. The Historical Society of Israel, Shoresh, 5-6 July 2000

"The Genetic Research of Ethnic Groups in Israel as an Instrument for Shaping and Reinforcing the Jewish Identity" in: Jewish Identity on the Threshold of the Millennium, Shazar Center and Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, 25-28 December 2000.

“’The Wandering Jew Returns to his Homeland: How the Zionist Narrative is Reflected in Genetic Research about Communities in Israel” in: History of Human Experimentation during the 20th Century. University of Lubeck, Germany, 18-20 May 2001.

“Historical Lessons from Genetic Studies” a panel discussion in: the 6th international conference on Ancient DNA & Associated Biomolecules. Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Rehovot, 21-25 July 2002.

“From Central Europe to Jerusalem: Immigrant Biologists in an All-Immigrant University” in: Migrant Scientists in the 20th Century. Istituto di Fisica Generale Applicata, Milan, Italy, 20-22 June 2003.

“Women Scientists in Israel – A Historical Outlook” in: The 20th annual conference of the Association for  Israel Studies Israel: The Prospects for Reinvigoration. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 13-16 June 2004.

“Human Population Genetics in the Young State of Israel: Values, Themes and Biases” in the workshop: Research Practices of Jewish Scientists and Scholars, 19th and 20th Centuries. University of Sussex, UK, 4-5 October 2004.

“Test-tubes and other Tests: The Obstacles and Successes of Three Prominent Female Scientists in Israel” in: The 5th annual conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Van-Leer Institution, Jerusalem, 16-17 March 2005, (in Hebrew).

“Baruch Padeh and Chaim Sheba: Between Genetics and Ethics” in the workshop: Jewish Scientists in German and Israeli Academia in the 20th century: Integrity of research, Sidney M. Edelstein Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 26 January 2006.

“Geneticist Elisabeth Goldschmidt in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: A Path Strewn with Obstacles” in: ‘Whose Science?’: Women, Gender and the Politics of Science, The 14th Annual Conference on Women and Gender Studies and Feminist Theories, Tel -Aviv University, 1-2 February 2006.

“Nationalism and Science: Israeli Geneticists and Archeologists (Re)shape the Jewish Nation’s Past with an Eye to the Future” in: ImagiNATION: The Cultural Praxis of Zionism, Arizona State University, Tempe, 5-7 February 2006.

“German-Jewish Pioneers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem” The 6th annual conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Science Museum, Jerusalem, 26 March 2006, (in Hebrew).

“Chaim Sheba, Elisabeth Goldschmidt and Genetic Diseases in Israel during the 1950s" in: Medical genetics and eugenics in international context, ca. 1910-1960, University of Giessen, Germany, 28-30 June 2007.

“Between the Ivory Tower and the Battlefield: Scientists and Research Institutes in Israel, 1948” in: The 8th annual conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Science Museum, Jerusalem, 16 March 2008, (in Hebrew).

“A Lab of Her Own: Elisheva Goldschmidt – Pioneer of Genetic Research in Israel” in: The Cohn Institute at 25 – Celebration Colloquium, Tel-Aviv University, 11-13 May 2008.

“Israeli geneticists in the 1950s: The Construction of a collective national identity” in: The 7th Meeting of Science and technology in the European Periphery - Galway, Ireland 17- 20 June 2010.

“Elisabeth Goldschmidt – A Tragedy or Success Story?” in: The International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology Conference,  University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 10-14 July 2011.

“Women Scientists in Israel – An Historical Outlook” in: The International Symposium - Women and Gender Studies, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 14-17 September 2011.

“Human Population genetics in Israel in the Post-War Era” in: Minerva Gentner Symposium - The Study of Jewish Biological Difference After 1945, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, 15-16 October 2012.

“The Second Scientific Career of Chaim Weizmann: a continuation or a new beginning?” In: the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, 21-28 July 2013.

“Between National policy and Scientific Activity - Chaim Weizmann  in the 1930s and 1940s” The 14th annual conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Science Museum, Jerusalem, 22 December 2013, (with Shaul Katzir, in Hebrew).

“Scientific Evaluations of Jewish Identity: Past and Present“ in: Jews and Race: Genetics, History, and Culture, Tel Aviv University, 13 January 2014, (in Hebrew).

"Pentosuria: One “Illness”, Two Female Researchers” in: Gendering Science: Women and Men Producing Knowledge, the Commission on Women and Gender Studies in History of Science, Technology and Medicine (DHST/IUHPST). Praha Karolinum, Prague, 4-6 June 2015.

“Study Tours of the Hebrew University Researchers - 1967-1925” in: The 2nd annual conference of the Israeli Association for the Environmental history, Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, Jerusalem, 8 October 2015.

Genetics, Ethics and Biopolitics, Bar-Ilan University - The motivation to study a clinically benign mutation -  29 May 2016

From Bench to Bedside: Historical and Sociological Aspects, the Open University of Israel, Ra'anana - G6PD Deficiency and the Question of Genetic Link between Jews of Iraq, Kurdistan, Ashkenaz and Ethiopia - 30 June 2016

EAIS 5th Annual Conference on Israel Studies, SOAS, University of London - Creating National Identity for all Jewish Ethnic Communities during the 1950s - 4-6 September 2016

The 7th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic - Science, Politics and Military Effort: Chaim Weizmann’s Chemical Research during the First and Second World Wars - 21-24 September 2016

The Forum for the  Study of Israel Annual Conference, Tel-Hai College - The Genetics of Pentosuria and Jewish Identity - 3-4 July 2017

The 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Pioneering Female Scientists at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - 6-10 August 2017

Decolonizing Geographical Knowledges, The Royal Geographical Society, London  - Mediterranean Landscapes in the Scientific Eye of German Jews - 29 August - 1 September 2017

The Private Life of Science - Conference in the memory of Sam Schweber, Tel-Aviv University - Margaret Lasker - from Blood Sugars Biochemistry to Human Genetics - 10 April 2018

1948: The Long year, the Open University of Israel, Ra'anana - Scientific Activity during the first year of the State of Israel - 30 April 2018

The 17th Annual Conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Van-Leer Institute - Elisabeth Goldschmidt and Naomi Feinbrun: Between the sticky Floor and Glass Ceiling - 10 June 2018

EAIS 7th Annual Conference on Israel Studies, SOAS, University of London - Scientists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem study the Promised Land - 2-4 September 2018

Science, Race, Ethnicity and Identity - Testing National and Racial Identities in Ethiopia: The 1959 Genetic Survey - 22 October 2018

Jewish Genes: The Study of Population ‘Isolates’ between Eugenics and Human Population Genetics - Human Population Genetics in Israel: Controlling the Past, Controlling the Future - 12 November 2018 

International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology, Oslo University - Carrier Screening in Israel: Tay Sachs and Other Genetic Disorder - 7-12 June 2019

The social tie and the gaze of the other, Ben-Gurion University - Jewish Identity and Genetic Testing: A Study of the Current Rabbinic Discourse and Political Struggle in Israel - 11-12 December 2019 

The 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Israel Studies Israel. Hosted Virtually by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Jewishness, Blackness and Genetic Data - 7-9 June 2021

The 20th Annual Conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Van-Leer Institute - Tel Hashomer Hospital as a research field, 1971-1948 [Hebrew] - 20 June 2021

 4S Annual Meeting - mitochondrial DNA Tests as a Vehicle for Jewish Recognition - 6-9 October 2021

The 21th Annual Conference of the Israeli Association for the History and Philosophy of Science, Tel-Aviv University - When Sheba Learned from Bowlby: Knowledge Transfer from England to Israel in the 1950s [Hebrew] - 19 June 2022

The 10th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science, Brussels - Between the Home Kitchen and the Hospital Laboratory: Margaret Lasker’s Path to Scientific Authority - 7-10 September 2022

EXPERIENCE IN TEACHING
1989-1990: Assistant, Genetics and Immunology courses, Bar-Ilan University.
1991-1997: Teaching courses for gifted children at the Erica Landau’s Institute for the Promotion of Creativity & Excellence, Tel-Aviv.
1991-1992: Teaching at the Institute for Jewish and Zionist Education (Melitz)
1992-2007: Biology teacher, high school (“Haroe” Ramat-Gan, “zeitlin” Tel-Aviv).
2004-2015: Teaching BA and MA courses at Bar–Ilan University:
Undergraduate Courses Taught
Philosophy of Science
Didactics course for biology teachers
Graduate Courses Taught
Introduction to the History of Science and Technology
Zionism and Science
Introduction to Biology
A Lab of One’s Own – Female Scientists
2019-Present: Teaching MA courses at the Open Universty of Israel:
A Lab of One’s Own: Women in Biological research https://www.openu.ac.il/courses/22014.htm 
Feminism and Gender Research Seminar https://www.openu.ac.il/courses/12437.htm