Professor Michitake Aso Wins Prize for Outstanding Dissertation

Professor Michtake Aso, Department of History, won the 2013 Young Scholars Prize from the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science (IUPHS) Division of History and Science Technology (DHST), based on his dissertation titled  Forests without Birds: Science, Environment, and Health in French Colonial Vietnam. The prize is awarded once every four years to up to five historians of science and technology who have authored outstanding doctoral dissertations. Professor Aso's dissertation is on the social and environmental transformations caused by industrial agricultural in southern Vietnam during French colonial rule. His dissertation explores the relationships among environmental changes, human health, and knowledge production on rubber plantations, one of the most extensive forms of industrial agriculture in southern Vietnam. It argued that plantations were experimental sites where planters, scientists, government officials, and laborers all worked to define the meanings of environment and health. Dr. Aso is currently turning his dissertation into a book manuscript.

According to its website, "The IUHPS is one of 26 scientific unions belonging to the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). As the world's leading non-governmental organization in the field of science, ICSU promotes congresses, publications, and other initiatives designed to facilitate international exchanges and understanding. The IUHPS joined the ICSU family in 1947, and the history of science congresses that have taken place since that date have been held under the ICSU umbrella."

Professor Aso joined the faculty in fall 2012 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the National University of Singapore. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of History of Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering Science from the University of California-Berkeley.