Sarah Richardson (Boundaries: Seminar)
Department of the History of Science, Harvard University
Richardson is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences. She earned Ph.D. from Stanford in Modern Thought and Literature, and her B.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University. Richardson is a historian and philosopher of science who studies race and gender in the life sciences and 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 maternal effects research. The term “maternal effects” refers to the influences of a mother’s behavior, exposures, and physiology on her offspring’s future health and development. The book will explore the intersection between the rise of maternal effects research in the life sciences and changing conceptions of motherhood, health citizenship, and genetic determinism in the twentieth century.