***CANCELLED***Egenis Seminar with Dr Ilke Turkmendag, Newcastle University, 'The Miraculous Egg: 'The Construction of Eggs in Reproductive and Regenerative Medicine.'
SpeakersDr Ilke Turkmendag, Newcastle University
VenueEgenisUniversity of ExeterByrne HouseSt German's RoadExeterEX4 4PJ
Room no: GF7
Time: 3:00 - 4:30pm
There is a substantial literature suggesting that reproductive biology has been influenced by cultural assumptions about gender roles, and that scientific accounts of reproductive organs, tissue and cells (sperm and eggs in particular), rely on simplistic generalizations about gender attributes (Scully and Bart 1973; (Beldecos A. 1988); Martin 1991; Metoyer and Rust 2011). It is argued that these assumptions might influence the researchers' interpretation of scientific evidence (Martin 1991) and reinforce a paradigm in reproductive medicine of women viewed as essentially passive recipients of treatment (Metoyer and Rust 2011). In this paper, through discussion of existing literature, and drawing on our analysis of biology textbooks that are included in Newcastle University's reading list, we discuss whether such patriarchal interpretation of gamete behavior and interaction still exists in textbooks. We then turn to recent debates in reproductive biology, stem cell science and regenerative medicine where new research findings challenge traditional understandings of gamete interaction and gamete production. Kuhn argued that paradigms change only in response to crisis; and that a crisis begins with blurring of paradigm and the consequent loosening of the rules for normal research. Here, we argue that although the new research findings may not lead to a paradigm shift in the short term, the use reproductive tissue and cells in stem cell science and regenerative medicine beyond reproductive purposes have triggered a kind of change that blurs the biology paradigm, which can be observed through the changing constructs of gametes in textbooks and research papers in the field.
*THIS EVENT IS NOW CANCELLED*