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Paige Madison

Grad Research Assistant
Graduate Assistant/Associate
TEMPE Campus

Student Information

Graduate Student
History and Philosophy of Science
The College of Lib Arts & Sci


Paige's research interests lie at the intersection of history and the science of human origins. She approaches the history of paleoanthropology from a perspective that focuses on fossils as scientific objects. Her research questions include: How do fossils become objects of scientific interest? How do these objects travel, what tools and methods are applied to understanding them, and why? 

Paige's research takes a global perspective on paleoanthropology, drawing together case studies from Europe, Africa, and Asia. She recently completed a Fulbright fellowship in Indonesia, where she examined the story of the Indonesian "hobbit' (Homo floresiensis) in the context of the development of anthropology in Southeast Asia.

Working with both The Center for Biology and Society and the Institute of Human Origins at ASU, Paige values an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the science of human origins. She also actively practices outreach, using her enthusiasm for fossils to communicate the science of human origins to a broader audience. She has written for National Geographic, Aeon magazine, Sapiens, the Embryo Project Encyclopedia, and her own blog, Fossil History. 

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Paige's dissertation research examines three controversial fossils from paleoanthropology's history: the first Neanderthal (1856), the first Australopithecus (1924), and Homo floresiensis (2003). By comparing these three episodes, separated by vast stretches of space and time, Paige explores the ways fossils occasionally disrupt scientific consensus and instigate new ideas about human evolution.


“All Things Bleak and Bare Beneath a Brazen Sky: Practice and Place in the Analysis of Australopithecus,History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 2019 41, no. 19: 1–25. doi: 10.1007/s40656-019-0258-x

“The Most Brutal of Human Skulls: Measuring and Knowing the First Neanderthal.” The British Journal for the History of Science 2016, 49, no. 3: 411–432 doi: 10.1017/S0007087416000650

“The Forgotten Fossil: The Wild Homo calpicus of Gibraltar.” Endeavour 2016, 40, no. 4: 268–270 doi: 10.1016/j.endeavour.2016.09.005


Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 312 Bioethics


2018-2019 Fulbright Study/Research Award, Indonesia 

2016-2018 John Templeton Foundation Research Grant

2017 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Excellence Award, Arizona State University