Dr. Happe was honored this semester with the Creative Research Medal in the Humanities and Arts for her work on the implications of race and gender in genomic science.
Her work blends the insights of rhetorical research and feminist science studies to address genomic science. She makes a strong case that it is improbable for any science involved with race, gender, and genomics to avoid re-inscribing problematic historical ideas and social norms. In her groundbreaking 2013 book, The Material Gene: Gender, Race, and Heredity after the Human Genome Project, Happe explores the rhetorical effects of genomics on both medical and lay understandings of disease, gender, race, and heredity.
One of her primary concerns is the legacy of eugenics in today's genomics research. Race, she writes, is being recast in subtle ways as deficiency and abnormality by the HGP and other genomic research efforts.
Carrying this critique further, she argues that genomic research treats susceptibility to disease as something one inherits rather than acquires, and therefore genomic research problematizes black bodies.
Congratulations to Dr. Happe!