• Benjamin_AM2013

    Watch ACLS Fellow Ruha Benjamin present her research at the 2013 annual meeting.

  • AM2013 Public Fellows

    ACLS Public Fellows with members of the ACLS Office of Fellowships and Grants.

  • Bookcase_new

    Browse recent titles by ACLS fellows on Pinterest.

Sarah S. Richardson F'12

Sarah S. Richardson

Assistant Professor
History of Science and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Harvard University
last updated: 07/20/14

ACLS Fellowship Program 2012
Assistant Professor
Department: History of Science and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Harvard University
The Maternal Imprint: Situating the Science of Maternal Effects, 1900-Present

This study theorizes and historically situates the emergence of the science of maternal effects during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Collectively, maternal effects research argues that a mother’s experiences, behaviors, and physiology can have life-altering effects on the developing fetus. Scientists once asserted that the fetus is walled off from the mother’s body by the placenta. Over the last 50 years, this consensus was dismantled, and today research on the intrauterine environment is a robust program of study in medicine, public health, psychology, evolutionary biology, and genomics. Employing methods from history, philosophy, and gender studies of science, this study analyzes the relationship between maternal effects research and its intellectual and social contexts.