Lucas Mueller

Lucas Mueller

Postdoctoral Researcher


PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2019)

Research interests

Lucas Mueller’s work examines the interplay of science, politics, and commerce in transforming the environment, wealth distribution, and human and animal health in the period of decolonization. He analyzes how scientists, businesspersons, politicians, civil servants, and publics shaped the epistemic possibilities, material practices, and political conditions of science after empire. During this period, scientific experts became influential actors in institutions of international governance. They shed light on the global distribution of disease and environmental pollution and developed interventions to mitigate disease and control pollution. In this process, they often ignored and even obscured global economic inequalities, transforming political conflicts about resources into technical questions that only experts were supposed to answer.

Lucas investigates these scientific, political, and economic developments through archival and oral history research in different European countries, India, Kenya, and the United States as well as at international organizations. His research engages with science and technology studies, the history of science and medicine, environmental history, and international history. Lucas is currently completing a book on the global history of food contaminants since 1960. The book, tentatively titled Toxic Relationships: Health, Trade, and Science in a Decolonizing World, is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press.

Lucas received a PhD in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds degrees in chemistry from ETH Zurich and in history of science, medicine, and technology from Imperial College London and University College London. His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, the US National Science Foundation, the Science History Institute (Philadelphia), and the Social Science Research Council. In 2020, he was elected to the Swiss Young Academy.


Recent publications

Mueller, L. M. (accepted). Medicating Anaesthesiology: Specialisation, Pharmaceutical Change, and Health Care Reform in Postwar Britain. Social History of Medicine.

Mueller, L. M. (2021). Risk on the Negotiation Table: Malnutrition, Toxicity, and Postcolonial Development. In A. N. H. Creager & J.-P. Gaudillière (Eds.), Risk on the Table: Food Production, Health, and the Environment. New York: Berghahn.

Mueller, L. M. (2020). Globales Bewusstsein. Cache, 01(Gegen | Wissen).

Mueller, L. M. (2019). “Cancer in the Tropics: Geographical Pathology and the Formation of Cancer Epidemiology.” BioSocieties, May 14, 2019, 1–17. ([PDF])

Caduff, C., Skelton, M., Banerjee, D., Djordjevic, D., Mika, M., Mueller, L., Sivaramakrishnan, K., & Van Hollen, C. (2018). “Analysis of Social Science Research Into Cancer Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Improving Global Cancer Control Through Greater Interdisciplinary Research.” Journal of Global Oncology, no. 4 (June 15, 2018): 1–9.

Works in Progress

Mueller, Lucas M. Toxic Relationships: Health, Trade, and Science in a Decolonizing World. Under contract with the University of North Carolina Press.