biotechnician n.

a person, esp. a laboratory technician, involved in biotechnics or biotechnology

In use since the 1940s as a term in science.


  • 1940 N. L. Knight Crisis in Utopia in Astounding Science-Fiction July 22/2 page image Norman L. Knight bibliography

    The process can be applied to human material—due care being taken not to tamper with the brain, which continues to be too uncertain an undertaking for the biotechnicians.

  • 1941 R. Heinlein Methuselah’s Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Sept. 161 page image Robert A. Heinlein bibliography

    ‘What ones? And what isotopes?’…‘Will you let me finish?…I’m no biotechnician; I can’t give you details.’

  • 1951 P. Anderson Inside Earth in Galaxy Science Fiction Apr. 17/1 Poul Anderson bibliography

    The biotechnicians had been very thorough. I was already a little undersized, which meant that my height and build were suitable—I could pass for a big Earthling. And of course my face and hands and so on were all right, the Earthlings being a remarkably humanoid race. But the technicians had had to remodel my ears, blunting the tips and grafting on lobes and cutting the muscles that move them. My crest had to go and a scalp covered with revolting hair was now on the top of my skull.

  • 1963 P. Anderson Territory in Analog Science Fact–Science Fiction June 53/1 Poul Anderson bibliography

    ‘How long you been here, anyways?’ ‘Myself, about a year, as a biotechnician.’

  • 1970 P. Anderson Tau Zero (1973) 28 Poul Anderson bibliography

    She was a Canadian, a bio-technician in the organocycle department.

  • 1994 I. McDonald Necroville (1995) 128 Ian McDonald

    The biotechnician’s natural predilection for the small and perfectly organized led them to invest in the emerging nanotech corporadas.

  • 2013 N. Asher Other Gun in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 39 page image Neal Asher bibliography

    The Client is a hive creature and a hive all in one, perpetually conjoined, being born and dying all in one and able to meddle at genetic levels with its parts. It is a natural bio-technician, geneticist, and makes forms like this to interact with environments outside its preferred one.

Research requirements

antedating 1940

Earliest cite

Norman L. Knight, "Crisis in Utopia"

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1963 cite from a reprint of Poul Anderson's 1961 "Territory".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1952 reprint of Poul Anderson's "Inside Earth": Mike Christie verified this in its first publication (Galaxy, April 1951).
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1940 cite from Norman L. Knight, and a 1941 cite from Robert Heinlein.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2013 cite from Neal Asher.

Last modified 2021-02-01 23:53:12
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.