Weighing The Future: Epigenetics, Pregnancy Trials, and Race
A Newhouse at Home Presentation by Natali Valdez
Weighing the Future is the first ethnography of ongoing pregnancy trials and their sociopolitical implications in the United States and United Kingdom. This book addresses a key question: how is scientific creativity inhibited by contemporary social and political environments? Studying pregnancy trials reveals how aspects of capitalism, surveillance, racism, and environmental reproduction can thwart scientific innovation. By examining the maternal environment as more than just pregnant bodies and behaviors, I show that the environments we imagine to shape our genes, bodies, and future health are related to race and gender, as well as structures like healthcare, social welfare, and housing. I make the case that science, and how we translate and imagine it, can reify existing hierarchical power structures. Interrupting such processes requires anthropological and feminist vigilance. The book is timely as it provides insight into why health disparities across race remain an issue despite 30 years of diversity and inclusion efforts in evidence-based medicine.
This open class session is open to all members of the Wellesley College community. Please click here to register.