Jennifer Fishman

Image by Owen Egan.

Associate Professor, Biomedical Ethics Unit, Social Studies of Medicine

jennifer.fishman [at] mcgill.ca514-998-4611 | 3647 Peel, room 307

Dr. Fishman is a sociologist of gender, science, technology, and medicine. She uses empirical qualitative methods to describe and analyze the emergence of new medical knowledge and technologies, from the early stages of development to their integration into clinical practice and dissemination to clinicians and patients. Often referred to as “empirical ethics,” she analyzes the oft unexamined and presumptive ethics and (gendered) values within new scientific enterprises and how these impact research trajectories, technological diffusion and commercialization, and ultimately patients/consumers. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, San Francisco.



Research Interests:

Dr. Fishman has studied the social and ethical implications of pharmaceutical drug development and advertising, anti-aging science and medicine, direct-to-consumer genetic risk susceptibility testing, end-of-life medical assistance in dying, and the promise of personalized genomic medicine. Her most recent work explores the development and diffusion of reproductive technologies, including preconception genetic carrier testing panels, paternal preconception epigenetic risk assessment techniques, and innovations in medical abortion delivery.

Selected Publications:

Meagher, Karen, Michelle L. McGowan, Richard A. Settersten Jr., Jennifer R. Fishman, and Eric T. Juengst. (2017) “Precisely Where Are We Going? Charting the New Terrain of Precision Prevention.” Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics. 18.

McGowan, Michelle L., Suparna Choudhury, Richard A. Settersten, Jr, Eric T. Juengst, and Jennifer R. Fishman. (2017) “’Let’s pull these technologies out of the ivory tower’: The politics, morals, and ironies of participant-driven genomic research.” Biosocieties. doi:10.1057/s41292-017-0043-6

Karkazis, Katrina and Jennifer R. Fishman. (2017) “Tracking Professional Athletes: The Ethics of Biometric Technologies.” American Journal of Bioethics. 17(1):45-60.

Juengst, Eric T., Michelle L. McGowan, Jennifer R. Fishman and Richard A. Settersten, Jr. (2016) “From ‘Personalized’ to ‘Precision’ Medicine: The Ethical and Social Implications of Rhetorical Reform in Genomic Medicine.” Hastings Center Report. 46(5): 21-33.

Fishman, Jennifer R., Richard A. Settersten, Jr. and Michael A. Flatt. (2010) “In the Vanguard of Biomedicine? The Curious Case of Anti-Ageing Medicine.” Sociology of Health and Illness. 32(2):197-210.

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.

Courses Given:

SOCI 390 Gender and Health

NSCI 300 Neuroethics

SOCI 530 Sex and Gender

PIAT Gender and Medicine Elective

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