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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Gender as a Category of Knowledge

Dr. Emily Ngubia Kuria

PhD Project:

Gender in Neuroscience: An Empirical and Interdisciplinary Critique of Methods and Theories Linked to the Gender/Science Debate


Description of the Project The primary focus of this doctoral project was to evaluate how neuroscience explains gender difference in cognitive abilities. Following a science studies perspective, I demonstrated that gender/ sex differences result from a process that carefully assigns meaning to laboratory tools and components, and I describe the experimental system as the platform upon which the whole process is enabled. The first part of the project took me into the laboratory ethnography where I examined processes that enable the tangibility of gender/sex, i.e. the making gender/sex ›visible‹ and objectifiable in neuroscience labs. Second I traced the contextualization and origins of the gendermath debate within the wider social context. Finally, I investigated the transfer of social ideas and values about gender/sex difference into actual empirical outcomes. The role of social contexts is demonstrated to have a critical role in shaping the scientists understanding of cognitive gender/sex differences, hence their hypothesis.
Particulars Postgraduate Studies in Brain Research at the Università degli Studi di Trieste and Gender Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. 2009 – 2011 affiliated member of the Research Training Group »Gender as a Category of Knowledge«. Since 2012 academic assistant at the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at HU Berlin.
Selected Publications

Experimenting with Gender: How Science Constructs Difference. In: International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 4/1 (2012). S. 48 – 61.

The challenge of gender research in neuroscience. In: Essays on Neuroscience and Political Theory: Thinking the body politic, hg. v. Frank Vander Valk, Abington 2012. S. 268 – 287.

zus. mit Volker Hess: Rethinking Gender Politics in Laboratories and Neuroscience Research: The Case of Spatial Abilities in Math Performance. Medicine Studies, 3/2 (2011). S. 117 – 123.

Los desafíos de la investigación de género en neurociencia. In: Perspectivas Bioéticas 30 (2011). S. 62 – 84.


https://www.gender.hu-berlin.de/zentrum/ personen/ma/1686418