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Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science

University of Virginia. School of Medicine
Online; Online Video; Video
Filmed Lectures
Alice Dreger’s newest book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, had its origins in social and scientific controversies having to do with the politics of sex, especially social and medical treatment of so-called intersex individuals. Ms. Dreger’s investigations into this aspect of human identity and intersex rights engaged her with both sides of a heated debate and also with issues of freedom and justice in science. As she says, “Science and social justice require each other to be healthy, and both are critically important to human freedom. . . . [P]ursuit of evidence is probably the most pressing moral imperative of our time. All of our work as scholars, activities, and citizens of democracy depends on it. Yet it seems that, especially when questions of human identity are concerned, we’ve built up a system in which scientists and social justice advocates are fighting in ways that poison the soil on which both depend. It’s high time we think about this mess we’ve created, about what we’re doing to each other and to democracy itself.” In this Medical Center Hour, Ms. Dreger addresses these concerns—for science, justice, and academic freedom—at a time when pursuit of knowledge can clash with established interests, worldviews, and ideas about social progress. Co-presented with the History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series
University of Virginia. School of Medicine
Childress, Marcia Day
Dreger, Alice Domurat
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Medical Center Hour
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The speakers in this presentation have given the University of Virginia permission to make it freely accessible online for all audiences to view. To request permission to reproduce, republish, and/or repost this presentation please contact the Historical Collections and Services Department of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia.
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