Colleen Lanier Christensen is a historian of science and medicine in the 20th century. Her research traces the history of regulatory standards for chemical testing from the 1970s to the present. Using archival sources and oral history interviews she examines how chemical regulations have constrained what governments could and could not know about chemical risks. Her work shows how the United States and member governments of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development adopted testing standards for the dual aims of protecting public health and liberalizing international trade.

During her stay at the Institute, Colleen was a PhD candidate in the history of science department at Harvard University. She earned an AB in sociology from the University of Chicago and a master of public health in sociomedical sciences, with a certificate in environmental health policy, at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation.