Caption: Exploding the Gene Myth by Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald. Published by Beacon Press, 1999
Exploding the Gene Myth by Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald. Published by Beacon Press, 1999 

Episode 19 - Ruth Hubbard

From: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Series: How to Think About Science
Length: 53:56

HOW TO THINK ABOUT SCIENCE: Part Nineteen of a documentary by David Cayley, a producer with the CBC Radio program IDEAS. Modern societies have tended to take science for granted as a way of knowing, ordering and controlling the world. Clips include: Ruth Hubbard, Harvard's first tenured female professor biology, and one of the first women to raise the question of male bias in science. Read the full description.

Ep-19-hubbard-book_small Ruth Hubbard spent the first almost 20 years of her scientific life at a lab bench investigating the biochemistry of vision. Her late husband, George Wald, who directed the research, won a Nobel Prize for the discoveries their team made about how the eye works. In the 1960’s, during the Vietnam War, her horizons expanded to include the politics of science. She took a leading part in the emerging feminist critique of the situation of women in science. And she became a fierce opponent of the direction biology was taking in developing new genetic and reproductive technologies that amounted, in her view, to an experiment on the human being. Ruth Hubbard is professor emerita of biology at Harvard, and the author of The Politics of Women’s Biology, and Exploding the Gene Myth, written with her son Elijah Wald.

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Piece Description

Ruth Hubbard spent the first almost 20 years of her scientific life at a lab bench investigating the biochemistry of vision. Her late husband, George Wald, who directed the research, won a Nobel Prize for the discoveries their team made about how the eye works. In the 1960’s, during the Vietnam War, her horizons expanded to include the politics of science. She took a leading part in the emerging feminist critique of the situation of women in science. And she became a fierce opponent of the direction biology was taking in developing new genetic and reproductive technologies that amounted, in her view, to an experiment on the human being. Ruth Hubbard is professor emerita of biology at Harvard, and the author of The Politics of Women’s Biology, and Exploding the Gene Myth, written with her son Elijah Wald.

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Sociology of Science

Ruth Hubbard brings to light the importance of the role society and culture play in science. This is a very important aspect of science that most people (including scientists) don't think about very critically. Science does not objectively learn about the world and the way it works. Rather, the things scientists study and the way this information is used depends on the political and economical agenda of those who possess the knowledge.

Broadcast History

This 24 part series first aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
SHELF ELF ALEX HOUGHTON HAPPYBODY. CUSTOM 04:18
BROKEN HEART LESTER QUITZAU LESTER QUITZAU: SO HERE WE ARE. QUITZAU :00
PRELUDE ALEX DE GRASSI ALEX DE GRASSI: THE WATER GARDEN. ACTUAL 05:11

Related Website

http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/science/index.html#