Charis Thompson

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Charis Thompson is a Professor of Gender and Women's Studies[1] in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. She is also Associate Director, and the founding Director, of the Science, Technology, and Society Center at UC Berkeley.[2]

Her research interests are in the social, ethical, and political study of environmental and life sciences, and biomedicine. She is the author of Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies (MIT Press 2005) [3] which won the 2007 Rachel Carson Prize from the Society for the Social Study of Science. From that book, she is known for the concept of “ontological choreography”,[4] which describes how different orders of things such as emotions, politics, technologies, and clinical measurements work together in medicine, and for her concept of “promissory capital” and a “biomedical mode of reproduction”. Thompson has also written on stem cell research, biodiversity conservation, and population. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UC Berkeley Social Science Division.

Charis Thompson has degrees from the Science Studies program University of California, San Diego (Ph.D.) and Oxford University (BA Hons). She was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University’s Science, Technology, & Society Department , and Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Harvard University. She has been a visitor at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan and at the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, École Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

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