Epigenetics, the study of heritable changes in gene expression, has been heralded as one of the most promising new fields of scientific inquiry. Current large-scale studies selectively draw on epigenetics to connect behavioral choices made by pregnant people, such as diet and exercise, to health risks for future generations. As the first ethnography of its kind, Weighing the Future examines the sociopolitical implications of ongoing pregnancy trials in the United States and the United Kingdom, illuminating how processes of scientific knowledge production are linked to capitalism, surveillance, and environmental reproduction. Natali Valdez argues that a focus on individual behavior rather than social environments ignores the vital impacts of systemic racism. The environments we imagine to shape our genes, bodies, and future health are intimately tied to race, gender, and structures of inequality. This groundbreaking book makes the case that science, and how we translate it, is a reproductive project that requires feminist vigilance. Instead of fixating on a future at risk, this book brings attention to the present at stake.
Q&A with Natali Valdez, author of Weighing the Future
A new release in our Critical Environments: Nature, Science, and Politics Series, Weighing the Future is an ethnographic exploration of how epigenetic thinking is changing the way pregnant women are seen as …Read More >