Post-genomic scientific research practices are shifting conceptualizations of the relationships between bodies & environments over human lifetimes and generations (Lappé & Landecker 2015; Darling et al. 2016). Epigenetics has recently generated a set of frameworks & methods for linking environmental & social exposures to molecular effects. Ruth Müller and Martha Kenney are investigating how the narratives about early life adversity coming out of environmental epigenetics circulate in the life sciences and in wider publics (Kenney & Müller, 2017).
In their recent article “Of Rats and Women: Narratives of Motherhood in Environmental Epigenetics,” they identify troubling trends in how the results of these experiments are narrated, specifically how trauma and early life adversity are often framed as causing potentially-irreversible life-long damage.
In this experimental mixer, they will join SJRC Assistant Director Kate Weatherford Darling and S&J visitor Kim Hendrickx in dialogue about their current research project that investigates how research from epigenetics and neurobiology is currently taken up by restorative justice and trauma-informed care practitioners. They ask: How do their models of trauma differ from those of life scientists? How are biological frameworks enrolled in the context of restorative justice events and trainings? How can narratives emerging from restorative justice and trauma-informed care contribute important perspectives to research in the life sciences?
Ruth Müller is an STS researcher with degrees in Molecular Biology (MSc) and Sociology (PhD). Her research explores the nexus of science, technology & policy with a focus on the sociology and epistemology of the life sciences. She is Assistant Professor of Science & Technology Policy at Technical University of Munich. https://www.mcts.tum.de/en/personen/professuren/ruth-mueller/
Martha Kenney (PhD History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz) is a feminist science studies scholar whose research explores the poetics and politics of biological storytelling. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University. https://wgsdept.sfsu.edu/people/25283/martha-kenney
October 03, 2017 | 10:00-11:30 AM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231