Joan Fujimura

Joan Fujimura


Soc 301 Biotechnology and Society
Soc 611 Gender, Science and Technology
Soc 901 Sociological Analysis of Research on Race and Genetics
Soc 901 Grounded Theory Method
STS 901 Science, Technology and Medicine in Society

Professor of Sociology
7101 Sewell Social Sciences
(608) 265-2724
Office Hours: TR 3:45-4:45 (F'13)

Selected Publications:
Medicine and Society: Will Personalized Medicine Challenge or Reify Categories of Race and Ethnicity? AMA Virtual Mentor 14(8): 657-664 (August 2012).

"Technobiological Imaginaries: How Do Systems Biologists Know Nature?" In Knowing Nature: Conversations at the Intersection of Political Ecology and Science Studies, Edited by M.J. Goldman, P. Nadasdy, and M.D. Turner. Duke University Press (April 2011).

"Calculating life? Duelling discourses in interdisciplinary systems biology." Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42: 115-163. (2011) (Joint with Jane Calvert)

"Different differences: The use of 'genetic ancestry' versus race in biomedical human genetic research." Social Studies of Science 41(1):5-30 (2011) (Joint with Ramya Rajagopalan)
  • Winner, 2013 David Edge Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) for best article of the year in the area of science and technology studies

"Race and Ancestry: Operationalizing Populations in Human Genetic Variation Studies" in I. Whitmarsh and D. S. Jones (eds.), What's the Use of Race? Modern Governance and the Biology of Difference. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010 (Joint with Ramya Rajagopalan, Pilar Ossorio and Kjell Doksum)

Calculating life? A sociological perspective on systems biology. EMBO reports 10:S46-S49. (2009) (Joint with Jane Calvert)

Special Issue on Race, Genomics, and Biomedicine. Social Studies of Science 38/5 (October 2008). (Joint with Troy Duster.)

Race, Genetics, and Disease: Questions of Evidence, Matters of Consequence." Introduction to the special issue on "Race, Human Genomics, and Biomedicine." Social Studies of Science 38/5 (October 2008) 643–656. (Joint with Troy Duster and Ramya Rajagopalan.)

The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing. Science 318 (19 October 2007): 399-400. (Joint with Deborah A. Bolnick, Duana Fullwiley, Troy Duster, Richard S. Cooper, Jonathan Kahn, Jay S. Kaufman, Jonathan Marks, Ann Morning, Alondra Nelson, Pilar Ossorio, Jenny Reardon, Susan M. Reverby, and Kimberly TallBear)

"'Sex Genes': A Critical Socio-Material Approach to the Politics and Molecular Genetics of Sex Determination." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2006, vol. 32, no. 1.

Postgenomic futures: translations across the machine-nature border in systems biology. New Genetics and Society 24(2): 195-225 (2005).

"Future Imaginaries: Genome Scientists as Socio-Cultural Entrepreneurs." In A. Goodman, D. Heath, S. Lindee (eds.), Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science Beyond the Two Culture Divide. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003, pp. 176-199.

"The Practices and Politics of Producing Meaning in the Human Genome Project," Sociology of Science Yearbook, Vol. 21, no. 1 (1999): 49-87.

Authorizing Knowledge in Science and Anthropology. American Anthropologist, New Series 100(2): 347-360 (1998).

Crafting Science: A Sociohistory of the Quest for the Genetics of Cancer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.

"Dissent in Science: Styles of Scientific Practice and the Controversy Over the Cause of AIDS." Social Science & Medicine 38(8): 1017-1036 (1994) (Joint with Danny Y. Chou)

The Right Tools for the Job: At Work in Twentieth Century Life Sciences. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992. (Co-edited with Adele E. Clarke)

"The Molecular Biological Bandwagon in Cancer Research: Where Social Worlds Meet." Social Problems 35(3):261-283 (1988)

Constructing 'Do-Able' Problems in Cancer Research: Articulating Alignment. Social Studies of Science 17(2): 257-293 (1987).

Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley, 1986

Departmental Areas of Interest:
Science and Technology
Race and Ethnic Studies
Medical Sociology
Qualitative Methods
Organizational and Occupational Analysis
General Social Theory
Political Sociology

Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies
Asian American Studies
Center for Demography and Ecology
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
Gender & Women's Studies Department

Research Interest Statement:
Over the past five years, Fujimura has led an interdisciplinary team based at UW-Madison in the collection and analysis of data from five research sites that use or develop human genetic variation categories. The goal of the project is to examine where, when, and how group categories are used in genomics. We explore whether, and if so how, these group categories overlap with social race categories. These sites recruit human subjects for DNA studies, genotype DNA samples, and analyze the samples for disease risk, for response to medication, or for studies of genetic variation. Recent findings arising from this study – on human genetics and the use of concepts of race and ancestry, on the impact of genomics on personalized medicine and the transfer of genomics knowledge “from bench to bedside”, on work organization in large genomic interdisciplinary studies, and on other impacts of new genetic technologies– have been presented at numerous conferences and published in leading journals and anthologies on the topic of socio-historical studies of race and genomics. We are also writing two books on this topic, one oriented to policy formation, the other oriented to the socio-historical studies of science, technology, and medicine.

Over the past three years, Fujimura has led a second interdisciplinary team based at UW-Madison in the collection and analysis of data on interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in the conduct of life sciences research and its impact on the development of knowledge in biology and medicine. The research on interdisciplinarity is not limited to the life sciences but incorporates fields such as engineering, computation, education, and also the social sciences, arts and humanities. The project is still in its data collection phase, but the project staff is beginning to write articles on the data collected thus far.

Research Methods:
Qualitative methods: Ethnography and Grounded theory analysis