Ms Juliana Broad (2018)
While studying organismal biology, bioethics, and philosophy at McGill University, I became interested in how scientific knowledge informs and challenges philosophical ideas. Who has credibility in claiming scientific knowledge? What type of science can be claimed as legitimate and worthy of funding? I took a year off to work with a community service organization in Pittsburgh, PA, where I helped homeless clients apply for welfare benefits, Medicaid, and public housing lotteries. The question of resource allocation, of what our money should fund, suddenly appeared on a much larger scale than it had in my bioethics textbook, and propelled me to study critical social theory. I finished my undergraduate studies as a transfer student at The New School in New York City, where I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for professors in the history and culture and media departments. At Cambridge, my work will focus on how scientific and medical research priorities are often influenced by financial and market forces; I’m interested in how, over time, those interests have shaped our research on and understanding of two processes in particular: reproduction and cognition. I’m excited to work with the Gates and Cambridge communities in examining the intersection of science, ethics, and economic systems to challenge hegemonic scientific ideas and pursue academic interventions needed for a more rigorous understanding of scientific and medical justice.