My research centres on intersections between concerns about the environment, reproduction and kinship, from a multispecies perspective. I am particularly concerned with the ways in which ideas of nature and naturalness are implicated in politics and ethics, as well as the ways in which intersecting inequalities structure parenting and reproduction. I am an anthropologist by training and draw on both anthropological and sociological concepts and theories in my work, including scholarship in medical anthropology, feminist science studies, intersectional feminism, queer theory, food studies, political ecology and kinship studies.
I currently coordinate the (In)Fertile Environments work package of the Wellcome Trust project, Changing (In)Fertilities. As part of this, I am conducting ethnographic research in London on seed-saving and activism around plant seeds. I am also working on a collaborative project with climate activists who are using public discussions about reproductive decision-making to ‘sound the alarm’ about the existential threats of climate change.
My first monograph, Making a Good Life, was published in 2016 by Princeton University Press. It looks at how middle-class people living in Scotland make ethical judgements about reproduction and assisted reproductive technologies. In the book, I trace the connections between how people think about the ethics of reproduction and ethics in their everyday lives, in a context of anxieties about environmental crisis and destruction of the natural world, intense public scrutiny of parenting and reproduction and the rise of biotechnology.
As well as my particular focus on intersections between reproductive and environmental concerns, I have retained an interest in reproductive technologies throughout my career. When I first joined ReproSoc, I carried out archival research on representations of IVF in the British media, focusing particularly on newspapers and TV documentaries covering the birth of the first 'test-tube baby', Louise Brown. I am currently helping lead a project that argues for a more integrated approach to studies of reproductive technologies. Influenced by the reproductive justice framework, this project calls for a critical consideration of the field of reproductive studies. It reminds us of the imperative of taking account of the historical, social, political, economic and ethical contexts in which these technologies are used, as well as the histories of and interactions between different technologies across users’ life courses. This work will be presented in an edited collection called Technologies of Reproduction Across the Lifecourse by Emerald Books in September 2022.
ews. I am also a member of CEP (Consortium of Environmental Philosophers), a global group of interdisciplinary scholars working on environmental issues, who seek to make environmental philosophy more accessible to the broader public.