Cordelia Fine (University of Melbourne): "Fairly Criticized, or Politicized? Conflicts in the Neuroscience of Sex Differences in the Human Brain"

Wed, Jan 26, 2022, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Free And Open To The Public

James A. Moffett '29 Lectures in Ethics

Virtual Event


ABSTRACT: Investigations of sex differences in the human brain take place on politically sensitive terrain. While some scholars express concern that gendered biases and stereotypes remain embedded in scientific research, others are alarmed about the politicization of science. This talk sets out three kinds of conflicts that can arise in the neuroscience of sex differences: academic freedom versus gender equality; frameworks, background assumptions, and dominant methodologies; and inductive risk and social values. The boundaries between fair criticism and politicization are explored for each kind of conflict, pointing to ways in which the academic community can facilitate fair criticism while protecting against politicization.

Cordelia Fine is a Professor in the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Delusions of Gender (a Guardian and London Evening Standard Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year pick) and Testosterone Rex (winner of the Royal Society Science Book prize). Cordelia was also the recipient of the 2018 Edinburgh Medal, for her work in challenging gender bias in science and for her contributions to public debates about gender equality. Cordelia writes regularly for the popular media on the topic of gender, including for the New York Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Scientific American, and Wall Street Journal

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