Sarah Richardson: Gender and Science at the Interface of Mother and Fetus

Thursday, April 9, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Naveen Jindal School of Management Building, Davidson Auditorium
Admission: Free
Season: 2009-10

Abstract of the Lecture 

Does a growing fetus inherit more from its mother than just DNA? Drawing from Professor Richardson’s research on a century’s worth of scientists’ answers to this bedeviling question, this talk explores how studying the effects of the mother on the fetus reveals the interaction between gender and scientific ways of knowing in the molecular age. 

Speaker’s Bio 

Sarah S. Richardson is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University. She is jointly appointed in the Department of the History of Science and the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Richardson’s research focuses on race and gender in the biosciences and on the social dimensions of scientific knowledge. She is the author of Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome (Chicago, 2013) and co-editor of Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age (Rutgers, 2008) and Postgenomics (Duke, forthcoming). Richardson’s current book project, with the working title The Maternal Mystique, is a history of research on so called maternal effects—the influences of a mother’s behavior, exposures, and physiology on her offspring’s future health and development.

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology lecture series is co-sponsored by and in partnership with the Galerstein Women’s Center, the Gender Studies Program, Rainbow Guard and Pro-choice Feminist Alliance. For details, visit 


For more information contact:
Magdalena Grohman
[email protected]

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