Ponent: Lynda Birke
In this seminar, I will explore the implications of doing biology as a feminist. In other disciplines, there has been considerable debate about doing research, and what counts as feminist questions and research methods. But it is less easy to extend those arguments to the natural sciences, where 'objectivity'; allegedly prevails. So what does it mean when I say that I am a feminist biologist? I will explore the approaches and methodologies that feminists have advocated in relation to the practices of biology, focusing on my own work in biology and in feminist science studies. There is, however, an uneasy balance between critiques of biology – its practices and theories – and the assumptions we have to make when we work within it. I will illustrate this with reference to my recent work on human-animal relationships. The uneasy balance is why, I argue, I continue to find myself sitting uncomfortably on the fence.