03.07.2017 Londa Schiebinger (The John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science, Stanford University): Gendered Innovations in Medicine and Natural Science
Londa Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science, Department of History, at Stanford University. Her work discusses the ways in which modern science has been influenced by specific power structures and guided by specifically Western views on sex and gender. Her particular focus has been on the participation of women in the natural sciences (e.g. in The Mind Has No Sex?: Women in the Origins of Modern Sciences, 1989) and the biases and practices of colonial natural sciences (e.g., Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science, 1993). She has also traced how 17th-century botany selectively acknowledged or ignored the medical knowledge of indigenous societies (e.g., Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World, 2004) and participated in the transatlantic slave trade (e.g., Secret Cures of Slaves: People, Plants, and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, 2017). Schiebinger’s history of science thus negotiates between the biological and socially constructed and demonstrates how scientific practices as well as preconceived notions within specific cultures shape research. As the director of Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment Project (a joint project of the EU and the USA), Schiebinger’s current work supports and facilitates scientific research that incorporates the dimension of sex and gender. In her Gender Lecture in Marburg, she will discuss the impact that a sensibility for sexual and gendered difference has on medicine and the natural sciences. Based on stem cell research, big data analysis, and animal research, she will show that “gendered innovations” are instrumental in decreasing medical risks and help achieve social justice.