I am an Assistant Professor in the History of Science department at University of Wisconsin–Madison. My research investigates the social dimensions of biomedical knowledge production, especially genetic knowledge. There are many characteristics or diseases that we think of today as having a genetic component, and my work investigates how these genetic explanations are produced, circulated, and change over time. I employ mainly ethnographic and qualitative methods, and I’m especially interested in how the practice of doing genetic research shapes scientists’ understandings of the phenomena that they study—for example, how seeing a mouse’s behavior altered by a noisy fire drill in the laboratory impacts a researcher’s understanding of the genetic and environmental contributions to behavior, or how the day-to-day running of a clinical trial alters researchers’ predictions about how molecular information might be used in the clinic.
Spring 2016: Biology and Society, 1950–Today