Jessica Riskin (email, website) is an associate professor of History at Stanford University. Her research interests include Enlightenment science, politics and culture and the history of scientific explanation. She is the author of Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (2002), and the editor of Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life (2007). She is currently writing a book about how people began to understand living creatures as machines, beginning with Descartes and continuing through Darwin. The book is under contract with Basic Books; its working title is Mind Out of Matter.