his book took a long time to write. I am forever grateful to all those who
keep me engaged in this project over the course of such a long
journey. I feel blessed to be surrounded by the most brilliant and generous
mentors, teachers, collaborators, students, colleagues, and friends one could
hope for. My deepest gratitude goes to Joseph Dumit, Stefan Helmreich, and
Donna Haraway, whose loving care, inspiration, and guidance made this all
possible. Joe welcomed me into the History | Anthropology | sts graduate pro-
gram at mit when I began my PhD. He worked with me closely and patiently
for hours every week on each essay, thought, and concept I puzzled through
over the course of my graduate degree. Stefan Helmreich, who arrived at mit
a few years later, inspired me with the depth of his insights into all things
anthropological, and with his intellectual acuity and incredible commitment
to mentorship. Stefan and Joe continue to be my most cherished mentors and
collaborators. Partway through my degree, I had the opportunity to work with
Donna Haraway as a visiting student in the History of Consciousness Depart-
ment at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The time I spent in lectures,
in seminars, and in meetings with her was transformative, and I continue to
be buoyed by the sharpness, depth, and power of her teaching and thinking.
This book owes its existence to the generosity of many researchers, gradu-
ate students, postdocs, educators, and laboratory directors, including protein
crystallographers, biological engineers, and many others who welcomed me
into their laboratories and classrooms, sat with me in interviews for countless
hours, and shared their remarkable stories. I wish I could thank them all by
name. Many of the students I worked with requested anonymity, so the names
of all participants have been changed and the location of their laboratories and
institutions has been left unnamed.
As a graduate student I had the privilege of working closely with David
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