Chancellor's Professor and Chair of Gender & Women's Studies; Director, Chau Hoi Shuen Program in Gender & Science
Office: 620 Barrows Hall (Fall 2016 Office Hours: Th 12-2pm)

Charis Thompson is Chancellor's Professor and Chair of Gender & Women's Studies, and a former founding director of the Science, Technology, and Society Center at UC Berkeley. She read Philosophy, Psychology, and Physiology at Oxford University, and got her Ph.D. from the Science Studies program at UC San Diego. Before coming to Berkeley, she taught in the Science and Technology Studies Department at Cornell University, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in the History of Science Department at Harvard University. She is the author of Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies (MIT Press, 2005), which won the 2007 Rachel Carson Award from the Society for the Social Study of Science, and of Good Science: The Ethical Choreography of Stem Cell Research (MIT Press, 2013).  She is a recipient of the Social Science Division Distinguished Teaching Award.

  • Three lessons in gender and sexuality in this election
    Nov 1 2016 - 10:41am

    Professor Charis Thompson on the Berkeley Blog: "Three lessons in gender and sexuality in this election".

  • Recent publications by Charis Thompson
    Oct 24 2016 - 11:32am

    Genome Editing platform report; part of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics

    Science FARE's letter to the editor of Nature: "Include social equity in California Biohub"

  • Charis Thompson presents the Stephen Straker Memorial Lecture
    Mar 17 2016 - 5:07pm

  • BYU Radio Interview with Professor Charis Thompson
    Feb 11 2016 - 1:52pm

    BYU Interview on Gene Editing with Professor Charis Thompson.

  • From IVF to Designer Babies, Technology Is Not Colorblind
    Feb 11 2016 - 1:50pm

    Professor Charis Thompson in:

    From IVF to Designer Babies, Technology Is Not Colorblind: How Afrofuturism can help create a more equal world for black bodies of the future

  • The Human Germline Genome Editing Debate
    Dec 9 2015 - 4:31pm

    Professor Charis Thompson summarizes the recent debate on human germline gene editing and calls for a broader and more inclusive public discussion.

  • Charis Thompson in Nature - CRISPR: Move beyond differences
    Jun 24 2015 - 1:39pm

    Charis Thompson in the journal Nature - Researchers and ethicists need to see past what can seem to be gendered debates when it comes to the governance of biotechnology. See full article.

  • Podcast with Charis Thompson
    Jun 9 2015 - 3:15pm

    Professor Charis Thompson talks about her book "Good Science: The Ethical Choreography of Stem Cell Research" with New Books in Science, Technology, and Society.

  • Innovation and equity in an age of gene editing by Charis Thompson
    May 21 2015 - 2:33pm

    An article in The Guardian by Professor Charis Thompson, Ruha Benjamin, Jessica Cussins and Marcy Darnovsky.

  • Now Online - The Distinct Notion of Science Capital by Professor Charis Thompson
    Oct 14 2014 - 2:57pm

    Professor Charis Thompson's presentation, The Distinct Notion of Science Capital from the Science Capital Seminar is available to watch online on Kings College London's Youtube channel: <>.

  • Talking Biopolitics with Charis Thompson - Live Web Interview on October 2nd
    Sep 9 2014 - 9:31am
    Charis Thompson interviewed by David Winickoff
    Thursday, October 2, 11am PT / 2pm ET

    Please join Professor Charis Thompson and the Center for Genetics and Society for Talking Biopolitics 2014. In this live web-based interview and conversation, Charis will talk with David Winickoff – and with you – about her latest book, Good Science: The Ethical Choreography of Stem Cell Research.


Good Science
The Ethical Choreography of Stem Cell Research
Charis Thompson
The MIT Press, 2013

There may be no consensus on the status of the embryo-only a tacit agreement to disagree-but the debate now takes place in a context in which human stem cell research and related technologies already exist. In this book, Charis Thompson investigates the evolution of the controversy over human pluripotent stem cell research in the US and proposes a new ethical approach for "good science".

Making Parents
The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies
Charis Thompson
MIT Press, 2005

Drawing on science and technology studies, feminist theory, and historical and ethnographic analyses of ART clinics, Thompson explores the intertwining of biological reproduction with the personal, political, and technological meanings of reproduction.

  • Feminist theory
  • Science and technology studies
  • Reproductive and genetic technologies
  • Transnational comparative studies of reproduction, population, biodiversity and environment