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From Collection to Cultivation



Helen Anne Curry is the Melvin Kranzberg Professor in History of Technology in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech and an honorary senior research fellow in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She leads the five-year project From Collection to Cultivation: Historical Perspectives on Crop Diversity and Food Security, which is funded through a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award.

Curry’s research explores how science and technology have shaped the crops we grow and foods we eat. Her first book, Evolution Made to Order (Chicago, 2016), tells the little-known story of early plant biotechnologies, and her recent Endangered Maize (California, 2022) recovers the efforts of scientists, activists, and farmers to preserve crop diversity across more than 100 years of agricultural industrialization. You can learn more about this research from archived presentations by Curry on the history of seed banking and seed saving or her open access publications on seed vaults, vegetable sanctuaries, and international crop conservation programs.

As part of From Collection to Cultivation, Helen is developing a new account of how some of our most common fruits, grains, and vegetables have come to be—and why this history matters.

For a full list of publications, visit