Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014 Host Kathleen Marshall is Joined by Sarah Richardson Author of ‘Sex Itself: The Search for Male & Female in The Human Genome

Sarah Richardson     Sarah Richardson is an Associate Professor of the History of Science, and of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University.  She received her Ph.D. from the  Program in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University.  She is an historian and philosopher of  science.  Her research focuses on race and gender in the biosciences and on the  social dimensions of scientific knowledge.  She has broad interests and expertise in the history of  molecular biology, biomedicine and genetics, the philosophy of science,  science and technology studies, and feminist science studies.

Her new book, ‘Sex Itself:  The Search for Male & Female in The Human Genome’ chronicles the history of gender bias in science.   It is an examination of how gender bias affects not only scientific inquiry itself, how hypotheses are formulated and how research studies are designed, but also the gender biased outcomes of that research.  Written for historians, scientists and philosophers alike, Sarah suggests that in the modern age of the genome it is misleading to look at the female and male genomes as separate.  Rather than focusing on sex and gender differences in research, she says, perhaps it is time to acknowledge that genomic sex difference is complex and sex identification should be seen on a continuum of dynamism rather than as the simple binary assumption of the past.

Sarah hopes to stimulate a conversation about gender bias in genomic research within the scientific community so that, at the least, with the acknowledgment of gender bias studies can be designed to provide more reliable and duplicable outcomes to more accurately gain insight into the sex and gender continuum.  In this discussion she opens the conversation to the lay community as well.

Sex Itself Cover

To learn more about ‘Sex Itself:  The Search for the Male & Female in The Human Genome visit

To listen to or download Kathleen’s conversation with Sarah Richardson click the following link:     1-13-2014 Kathleen Sarah Richardson Sex Itself

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