Book Summaries: The First 3^3 Items from My Brain List

Today, I’m posting my first summarizing essay for my “History of the Skull, Mind, and Brain Sciences” list for you. I’m reading the items from this list with John Tresch, who is my main advisor. Be warned: it’s 14 single-spaced pages in Palatino Linotype 11p with 1-inch margins. Continue reading

What Kind of a Sex/Gender Model Do We Need in the Lab?

Do you remember my post about the all-too-easy concept of attending to sex and gender in biomedical research (“What Kind of Sex Do We Need in the Lab?”)? Sarah Richardson and her colleagues just published a very insightful, informative, and important piece that is much more scientifically sophisticated than my short statement. “Focus on Preclinical Sex Differences Will Not Address Women’s and Men’s Health Disparities,” so the title. Check it out!

Thanks are due to Londa Schiebinger who, as so often, drew my attention to the publication through her Gendered Innovations newsletter.

Help Needed for Survey of (Natural/Medical/Social) Scientists

Today I want to ask you to contribute your perspective on sex/gender and other types of classification of human subjects in your research on behalf of my Berlinian colleague Diana Schellenberg (psychologist). Please find her call for participants for her study below. (And PLEASE take the time to support her research, since it’s very important from a meta-science point of view; besides that, she asked me to post this announcement on my weblog, so it’s also about my being able to motivate readers to participate—reimbursement with chocolate and gratitude is guaranteed if you let me know that you completed the survey.) Continue reading

What Kind of Sex Do We Need in the Lab?

The historian of science’s creed to begin with:

I believe in the material existence of beards, breasts and chest hair. I believe in the function of gonads and genitals. I believe in the usefulness of concepts like chromosomes and hormones. I believe in the ideal of meticulously controlled research trials covering a wide variety of test subjects.

However, I do not believe that vaginas are always accompanied by hairless chests and faces, and I am convinced that scrota and breasts sometimes adorn the same organism (pre-plastic surgery!). I believe that integrating sex/gender into scientific research as it is presented in the video below will lead us neither to a more reliable science nor to a better world altogether. Continue reading