Quick Links

Jennifer Fishman

Jennifer Fishman


jennifer [dot] fishman [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Tel: (514)398-7403
Fax: (514)398-8349

Academic background

Jennifer Fishman is Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Ethics Unit and the Department of the Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, San Francisco.


Dr. Fishman’s research centers on the empirical investigation of the commercialization and commodification of new biomedical technologies. She is currently conducting an empirical study of the ethical and social dimensions of anti-aging science and medicine through interviews with anti-aging scientists, clinicians, and patients. She is also currently investigating the recent emergence of direct-to-consumer whole genome scans through interviews with “early adopters” of these new technologies. Whole genome scans are often touted as the precursor to “personalized medicine,” another phenomenon Dr. Fishman explores in her research. Previous research includes studying the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, conflicts of interest in academic medical research, and direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs in the United States.


Dr. Fishman is currently the Graduate Program Director for the Master’s Specialization in Bioethics. In Fall 2009 she will be teaching Sociology 390: Gender and Health.

Recent Publications (selected):

Fishman, Jennifer R., Richard A. Settersten and Michael A. Flatt (in press) “In the Vanguard of Biomedicine? The ‘Return’ to the Art of Medicine in the Anti-Aging Movement.” Sociology of Health and Illness.

Clarke, Adele E., Jennifer Ruth Fosket, Laura Mamo, Jennifer R. Fishman and Janet K. Shim, (eds). (in press) Biomedicalization: Theorizing Technoscientific Transformation in the United States. Durham: Duke University Press.

Fishman, Jennifer R., Robert H. Binstock and Marcie A. Lambrix. (2008) “Anti-Aging Science: The Emergence, Maintenance, and Enhancement of a Discipline” Journal of Aging Studies 22: 295-303. abstract

McGowan, Michelle L. and Jennifer R. Fishman. (2008) “Using Lessons Learned from BRCA Testing and Marketing: What Lies Ahead for Whole Genome Scanning Services.” American Journal of Bioethics 8(6): 18-20.

Henry, Michael, Jennifer R. Fishman, Stuart J. Youngner (2007) “Propranolol and the Prevention of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Is It Wrong to Erase the ‘Sting’ of Bad Memories?” American Journal of Bioethics 7(9): 12-20. abstract

Fishman, Jennifer R. (2006) “Making Viagra: From Impotence to Erectile Dysfunction” in Medicating Modern America. Edited by Andrea Tone and Elizabeth Siegel Watkins. New York: New York University Press. Pp. 229-252.

Binstock, Robert H., Jennifer R. Fishman, Eric T. Juengst. (2006) “Banners and Labels: Anti-Aging Medicine and Science.” Rejuvenation Research 9(4): 433-435. abstract

Fishman, Jennifer R. (2004) “Manufacturing Desire: The Commodification of Female Sexual Dysfunction.” Social Studies of Science 34(2): 187-218. Winner of the 2004 Nicholas Mullins Award from the Society for the Social Studies of Science. abstract

Clarke, Adele E., Laura Mamo, Janet K. Shim, Jennifer R. Fosket, and Jennifer R. Fishman (2003) “Biomedicalization: Theorizing Technoscientific Transformations of Health, Illness, and U.S. Biomedicine.” American Sociological Review 68(2): 161-194. abstract

Fishman, Jennifer R. and Laura Mamo (2002) “What’s in a Disorder: A Cultural Analysis of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Constructions of Male and Female Sexual Dysfunction.” Women and Therapy 24(2):179-193. abstract

Mamo, Laura and Jennifer R. Fishman (2001) “Potency in All the Right Places: Viagra as a Technology of the Gendered Body.” Body & Society 7(4):13-35. Winner of the 1999 Hacker-Mullins Student Paper Award from the Science, Knowledge, and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association. abstract