Associate 2023-24

Kathryn Clancy



Tissue from five weeks of pregnancy to nine weeks. Photo credit: MYA Network 

Scientists who study uteruses have an obligation to share accurate information about pregnancy loss, push back against willful disinformation, and provide accurate technical knowledge for advocacy work and policy development. Challenges to conceive and stay pregnant are common, and abortion is both ethically and medically important to healthcare. An understanding of human evolutionary history reveals the many ways the uterus can hinder reproduction, not only to limit allocating resources but also to avoid a process that can be deadly. The uterus cannot create ideal reproductive conditions on its own: its autonomy is dependent on the autonomy of the person with that uterus, and this is true across species.

Unfortunately, the deficit model of science communication is ineffective: you cannot fill a void with science and hope to change minds. Instead, what is important is making connections, building in context, and tracing the history of an idea to make clear how even supposedly objective knowledge is shaped by politics, culture, and who holds power. Professor Clancy has spent over a decade working to make science accessible and equitable, both in terms of its climate and how it communicates its findings. During her CAS appointment, Professor Clancy will conduct interviews and literature reviews, and translate work from her own lab for the general public for Pregnancy, Interrupted, which will contextualize the latest scientific advances on infertility, pregnancy, miscarriage, and abortion in our past and current political climate.