Science, Technology, and Society Seminar: STS Circle at Harvard


Monday, April 10, 2017, 12:15pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S050

"Can a Cell Have a Sex?"


Sarah Richardson, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University.

Co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University.


Shana Ashar


Sheila Jasanoff, Faculty Associate. Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School.

Lunch is provided if you RSVP via our online form by Thursday of the week before the event.


In January, the US National Institutes of Health implemented a new policy requiring researchers to include plans to analyze “male” and “female” cells, tissues, and animals in all funding applications. Advocates of policies mandating the study of male and female materials in preclinical research use the discourse of gender equality to frame their aims.  But, as this talk will argue, the relationship between “sex” in preclinical materials such as cells and addressing health disparities between human men and women is far from straightforward.


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 uses the tools of history, philosophy, and social studies of science to analyze how scientists, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, understand sex and gender. She is the author of Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome (2013) and is currently completing a second book, The Maternal Imprint, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press.