Professor Michel Serres was born in 1930 in Agen, France. In 1949, he went to naval college and subsequently, in 1952, to the Ecole Normale Supérieure (rue d'Ulm). In 1955, he obtained an agrégation in philosophy, and from 1956 to 1958 he served on a variety of ships as a marine officer for the French national maritime service. His vocation of voyaging is therefore of more than academic import. In 1968, Serres gained a doctorate for a thesis on Leibniz's philosophy. During the 1960s he taught with Michel Foucault at the Universities of Clermont-Ferrand and Vincennes and was later appointed to a chair in the history of science at the Sorbonne, where he still teaches. Serres has also been a full professor at Stanford University since 1984, and he was elected to the French Academy in 1990. Through his explorations of the parallel developments of scientific, philosophical, and literary trends, Michel Serres has built a reputation as one of modern France's most gifted and original thinkers. Every year Michel Serres teaches two different courses in intellectual history in Stanford's French and Italian Department. At various times the course has treated topics such as iconography and humanism.