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Sarah Franklin on Reproductive Technologies and Feminist Research Ethics

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

In this episode we talk to Sarah Franklin, a leading figure in feminist science studies and the sociology of reproduction. In this tour de force of IVF ethics and feminism through the ages, Sarah discusses ethical issues in reproductive technologies, how they compare to AI ethics, how feminism through the ages can help us, Shulamith Firestone’s techno-feminist revolution, and the violence of anti-trans movements across the world.


Professor Sarah Franklin moved from the London School of Economics to take up the Chair of Sociology at Cambridge in October 2011. Franklin was among the first researchers to begin to analyse the forms of social change associated with the introduction of new reproductive technologies in the 1980s. Since completing her PhD research on IVF at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) in 1989, she has published extensively on the social aspects of new reproductive technologies. In addition to assisted conception technologies, Franklin has conducted fieldwork on cloning, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and human embryonic stem cell derivation.


READING LIST:


Franklin, S. 2013. Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells and the Future of Kinship. Duke University Press.


Franklin, S., 2006. Born and Made: an ethnography of preimplantation genetic diagnosis Princeton University Press, with Celia Roberts.


Franklin, S., 2006. Off-Centre: feminism and cultural studies, Second Edition, Routledge, with J. Stacey and C. Lury.


Franklin, S. 2003. Remaking Life and Death: toward an anthropology of the biosciences SAR Press, ed. with Margaret Lock.


Franklin, S., 2001. Relative Values: reconfiguring kinship study Duke University Press, ed. With Susan McKinnon.


Franklin, S., 2000. Global Nature, Global Culture Sage, with C. Lury and J. Stacey.


Franklin, S. (2016) Special Issue of Reproductive Medicine and Society Online: 'IVF- Global Histories', Elsevier/Open Access


Franklin, S. (ed.). 2016. Before and After Gender: sexual mythologies in everyday life, 311 pages, ISBN: 978-0-9861325-3-7


TRANSCRIPT:


KERRY MACKERETH:

Hi! We're Eleanor and Kerry. We're the hosts of The Good Robot podcast, and join us as we ask the experts: what is good technology? Is it even possible? And what does feminism have to bring to this conversation? If you wanna learn more about today's topic, head over to our website, where we've got a full transcript of the episode and a specially curated reading list with work by, or picked by, our experts. But until then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the episode.


ELEANOR DRAGE:

In this tour de force of IVF ethics and feminism through the ages, Sarah discusses ethical issues in reproductive technologies, how they compare to AI ethics, how feminism through the ages can help us, Shulamith Firestone’s revolution, and the Culture Wars.


KERRY MACKERETH:

So Sarah, thank you so much for being here with us. It really is such an honour to have you on the podcast. So just to kick us off for our listeners, can you tell us a bit about who you are, what you do? And what's brought you to thinking about gender, feminism and technology?


SARAH FRANKLIN:

Thanks very much Kerry and Eleanor, it's great to be part of your brilliant podcast. And I'm the Chair of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, where I've worked since 2011. Before that, I worked at the BIOS Centre at the LSE. I'm a social scientist, and most of my work has been on new reproductive and genetic technologies. But I would say, really, another way to describe what I do would be the anthropology of biology, and the anthropology of changing understandings of the biological and in particular, the anthropology of the intersection between biology and technology. So I've looked a lot at assisted conception technologies. But I've tried to use them as a kind of lens, you know, or an analytic perspective on wider social and cultural changes related to gender, sexuality, kinship, fertility, health, identity, and so forth. And so, yeah, that's who I am. And that's how I came to this general area.


ELEANOR DRAGE:

So I'm really excited to ask you our 3 billion dollar questions, which is what is good technology? Is it even possible? And how does feminism help us work towards it? Because I mean, usually when people come on, they break down good into, you know, they say what is good? Who defines what is good? And in the context of reproductive technologies that's really tricky. And I'm sure that there's an answer that kind of makes that more difficult, makes the idea of good, more difficult or even necessitates a different questions. So feel free to make up your own question in relation to those three things too.

SARAH FRANKLIN:

Well, thank you. Those are great questions, and very difficult questions. And of course, they are classic questions. And of course, the disciplines approach those questions very differently. So a philosophical answer to that question would be quite different from say, a political science or policy answer to that question. And as a social scientist, as a anthropologist, as a feminist anthropologist with an interest in gender and sexuality, my approach to that question, we'll start with technology, what is a technology? You know, I think Raymond Williams was quite right, in his book on television, when he said that one of the hardest aspects of studying technology is that we already think we know what it is and what it does, indeed, we often think we know what it is because of what it does. So we think we know that the effects of television on us are that it influences our attitudes and views, influences our behaviour and so forth. But of course, you know, it's logically obvious that people created television, you know, it didn't create itself. So in many ways, television is, is Raymond Williams would say, you know, the reverse of what it appears, it looks like something that's influencing us, but obviously, it is itself the product of the very things it's supposed to be influencing our attitudes and behaviours and desires and so forth. And, and this brings us to the question of what a technology is in a more social infrastructural way. And famously, in the study of gender, you know, gender is considered a technology, a kind of technics, a kind of apparatus, a structural element in how society organises itself. So if you put together the question about technology in the sense of a device, you know, like a television, with technology in the social sense of the tactical ways that we organise everything, because because we do things in an organised fashion, it doesn't happen randomly. You know, reproduction, for example. It doesn't happen randomly. It doesn't happen automatically. It happens through social structure, that would be technology from, you might say an anthropological point of view. So if you then come to the question, well, what is a good technology? What you're saying, if you were going to translate that into a more sociological axiom, you would be saying technologies are moral things. Technologies are things that have value. And technologies are inseparable from how we organise value. And I think for a sociologist, or an anthropologist, that is, what it sounds like in the sense that it's a relatively neutral statement. It's not saying this technology is good or bad, or that technology is good or bad. It's saying we can't talk about technology without having that conversation embedded in the social values through which we organise our world, which you could call moral technologies, if you wanted to. And so if we take like, it's just if we take, let's say, in vitro fertilisation, which is something I've done a lot of work on, you know, what we'll see historically is pretty simple, which is, you know, there wasn't any, you know, IVF technology, in the sense of children being born through IVF until 1978. In 1978, when IVF began, there was no regulation. The UK was the first country and it's still really the only country to deliver extensive regulation of IVF. And that was done on the basis that having children with technological assistance raises moral questions. And that's what Mary Warnock said, when she was the chair of the Warnock committee, you know, this is a moral issue. And, interestingly, she said, it doesn't really matter so much if people think that allowing IVF is the right thing to do. What matters is if enough people think it's alright to have it, because having some kind of moral regulatory framework for something like, you know, a new technology, like IVF, is significantly preferable to not having any regulation. And she said, That was because, and this is like a direct quote, she said, that's because the regulation, she says, stands for the idea of society itself, which again, would be a very familiar sociological axiom that society is a moral entity, that it is about moral connection. So that's just a very long way to say that there's no way from a sociological point of view you could ever separate the question of values, morals, etc, from the use of technology. But that doesn't mean that technology and technological questions can be answered in terms of like, what's simply good or bad, or what is simply right or wrong.


KERRY MACKERETH:

That's absolutely fascinating. And it really resonates, I think, with both Eleanor and I, for our new listeners, Eleanor and I specifically work on AI ethics, and how that's operationalized on the ground, and big tech companies. And I think these questions around, you know, how can you ever try to separate out, you know, the way that the products are made the news from the values of a company from the values of the society in which the company is embedded to us, as feminist scholars, you know, seems impossible. And yet this, I think, is a conversation, we get to have day to day with people, which is a real privilege. And of course, we're gonna jump on to the topic of AI ethics later. But first, because our special interest is AI, we would love to hear a little bit more about how AI is shaping the field of reproductive technologies and particular innovations in that field. So something we see quite a lot that I work with companies is that there's a huge amount of hype around AI, because AI right now has immense commercial power. It can be used to sell all kinds of processes and technologies that actually maybe pre-existed. There's hype around AI, but suddenly getting labelled or branded as artificial intelligence, and that's giving them new resonance and your interest. And so I guess we want to know two things. So the first is thinking broadly, how is AI shaping the field of repro-tech? But then secondly, you know, do you see this kind of commercial power of AI, the hype around AI, also, taking hold in the field of reproductive technology, some very big questions, but we'd love to hear your thoughts.


SARAH FRANKLIN:

Thank you. Um, yeah, well, I'm in the field of fertility assistance, which of course, is now a huge worldwide industry, there is a very particular role for AI. And it's pretty much the same role that it is in a lot of other industries, which is to improve or enhance existing procedures, methodologies, and so forth at the level of what you could call the basic technological infrastructure. So the thing about in vitro fertilisation, that's quite confusing, I think, is that, um, you know, it's premised on the idea of replicating in vitro, something that would happen normally, inside the body. It's the idea that you're directly imitating a biological process - fertilisation, you know, that would have occurred, as it were naturally, but is instead being reconstructed, made artificially, technologically, synthetically, whatever you want to call it. And so the idea of in vitro fertilisation, of course, is that it's just like what would have happened otherwise, it's not like it would have been, you know, this kind of fertilisation, but instead, it's that kind of fertilisation, the whole idea is that fertilisation is so similar, that an IVF baby is indistinguishable from any other kind of baby. But of course, there's a slight deceit in that analogy, that IVF is just like what would have happened anyway, because of course, it isn't. It's completely different. It's based around completely reconstructed hormonal infrastructure, obviously, it's happening outside the body in glass, obviously, the material is, you know, exposed to light, and to culture, and media. Um, you know, it's at almost every level really quite different from what would have happened, if it wasn't in vitro fertilisation, if it was fertilisation in vivo. So I think that deceit that kind of, you know, it is the same, but actually it's not the same, is quite important. It's important for one very basic reason in IVF, which is that IVF doesn't work very well, you know, still fails about 50% of the time. So for a lot of people who are doing IVF, it's really, really important to try and improve that success rate, whether they're clinicians or entrepreneurs, or people who are having IVF, you know, in order to have a baby. They want that success rate to be improved. So they're going to try and get any route that will improve it. But it's a little bit unclear what actually offers an improvement or not, because another paradox of IVF is that taking it out of the body and replicating it in vitro, hasn't made it clear how fertilisation actually works, if anything, it's exposed all of the even bigger unknowns, about why it doesn't, and not just fertilisation either, because of course, as soon as you have fertilisation you also have the very early developing embryo and those very, very, very early stages of development are what are known as critical, but poorly characterised. So AI has been brought in through something called an Embryoscope, you know, which is a chamber and just like a Petri dish linked to a camera and linked to an algorithm that basically does a recording of the developing fertilised egg at various points in the process of the formation of the blastocyst, which is like the first five days, and these are sold - these Time Lapse embryo assessments - as what are called IVF add ons, to increase the chance that the embryo could still be several embryos. If you have say, you know, 10 eggs and then seven of them fertilised, you have seven embryos. What you want to know is which one has the best chance and it used to be done just visually. Like they would look at the embryo and they would say, Well, this looks really even. And it looks really healthy. And it looks really good and an experienced embryologist would grade them. But it was pretty clear that just looking at it wasn't really going to give you accurate information, because obviously what's going on inside is mine. And so then they started to look at the embryo's metabolism and to measure its metabolism. And so this whole process of how do you assess?


So probably, the embryo scope gives you a little bit of advantage, it's hard to say, I'm not an expert in the field. So I couldn't say at all. But you can imagine how difficult it is to assess that. You can't really do clinical trials on that kind of thing. The algorithms that are being used are proprietary, so no one really knows what they are. The data is all held privately, so it's not available. So it's a little bit of a difficult picture to assess, exactly, it's highly likely that all that data about developing embryos will indeed yield better information about which ones sort of statistically in the aggregate. But it might work better. But it might be that it's the combination of the embryo and the individual. I mean, it might be a lot more complicated biologically. So it's really a lot of second guessing going on with the sort of expectation that there'll be greater accuracy. But it's very, very hard to know whether that - it's very hard to assess that.

KERRY MACKERETH:

And that's really interesting. I can imagine as well, you know, that this must bring up certain kinds of ethical and moral questions as well around the use of AI tech, in this particular space. And so something we actually want to ask you a little bit more about is this kind of burgeoning field of AI ethics, right, which has become a huge industry of the last five years. And I loved your comments, actually, the response toThe Good Robot key questions, referring to Raymond Williams and television, because I think there's very much this idea that AI is like this almost omnipotent being that's been like dropped from the sky as we need a whole new set of ethical codes and bodies in order to be able to deal with it. And so we actually want to ask you, you know, what does ethics actually mean in the field of AI? And do you think it makes sense to have ethics of AI which is distinct from other kinds of scientific ethics, such as, you know, the ethics of the human genome, and so on and so forth?


SARAH FRANKLIN:

Yeah, I mean, well, I think it obviously makes sense to have a distinct field of ethics of AI, because as with any ethical field, you know, you need a really detailed understanding of the technology to really ask the appropriate ethical questions. You know, one approach to ethical questions is what you might call principle driven, which would be like, here's the list of things that we should and shouldn't have, and does this AI have them or not? Or this is the list of things that are good and bad. And you know, is the situation going to be better or worse? There's a different way to approach ethical questions. Which is to assume you don't know what the ethical question is. And this might seem quite counterintuitive, but in my research, which is a very particular kind of research, it's ethnographic research. So it involves, you know, being in the lab and talking to scientists about what they're doing, talking to patients about what they're doing, talking to regulators about what they're doing, talking to people about what they’re doing, having conversations and also being present in their workplaces. And getting a sense of the languages, the value systems, the world really of, say, you know, an IVF clinic. And I've spent a fair amount of time in IVF clinics. So if I were looking for an ethical issue in an IVF clinic, I could say, where's your code of ethics? You know, what are the ethical criteria for your, you know, licence? You know, what do you think the ethical issues are, but interestingly, what people will often say is a bunch of things that are kind of maybe in the documentation or in the literature and so forth. And then there'll be another category of things that I call the more subterranean ethical questions which are very easy to find because they're the things that make people uncomfortable. So when I'm in a clinic, it's always kind of interesting because I don't really have a role, like, I'm not a medical person, I'm not a patient, I'm an anthropologist. Like, what does that mean? Most people don't have a clue. So you're kind of hanging around, and you're sort of there. And they sort of vaguely know, you're kind of like a social scientist, and they sort of think maybe you are interested in things like ethical questions. So they often talk to you. Like, you know, there's something that I am not really sure about, or like, oh, yeah, there's somebody that's kind of been bothering me a little bit. And they'll often come up with some issue that's completely different from anything in the ethical code of conduct, like I encountered this, for example, in relation to which embryos get frozen. Right? So like, there's all sorts of ethical things about freezing embryos, how long you can freeze them for whether you can charge people to freeze them, you know, this, that and the other. But there isn't really anything in the ethical stuff about like, what percentage of the embryos do you freeze? And how do you decide how many not to freeze? So sometimes, for someone working in a tech situation, there's going to be an ethical issue that is maybe even something that seems quite mundane or minor. But to them, it seems very consequential. We all know what this is like in our own jobs. And this is why for me, the ethical question is always a research culture question. It's not just a question of like, what does it say on your ethics form? In fact, people who think ethics is what it says on an ethics form, are using the most impoverished definition of ethics, it's fine to have ethics forms, we should have ethics forms. But they're really, almost like the crudest measure of an ethical issue. The fine, the delicate, the sensitive, the apprehensive relationship to ethics is much more emotional. In my opinion. It's much more about what do people feel slightly uncomfortable about? Why do they feel slightly uncomfortable about it? You know, and we need to listen to those. And we don't generally have workspaces, where you're really encouraged to come up and say, by the way, something that makes me really uncomfortable in the lab. In fact, often the things people would tell me, were things that made them uncomfortable, and also made them uncomfortable to talk about because they made other people uncomfortable, and therefore nobody would talk about it. Right? We all know that story right. Mm hmm. So if that's going to be the story, if that's gonna be the story, about, you know, how do we make ethical technology, we have to talk about how do we make ethical environments for people to work together, like as teams where, and of course, this takes us right back to some of the really, really basic questions, basic feminist questions, you know, basic questions about inclusivity. About, you know, who feels entitled to speak, who feels entitled to give their point of view, who feels included, who feels that they can communicate about the things that matter to them? So yeah, so for me, that would be the kind of key thing here. What is being done to create spaces where people can raise issues that might not be called ethical issues, but issues that are concerning them about the conduct and behaviour of the science as it's being made?

ELEANOR DRAGE:

That's just so lovely. I love this idea of looking at the environment and what it takes to create an ethical environment that allows for some of these fine-tuned, delicate, nuanced, sensitive questions to be raised, rather than this impoverished framework tickbox that is the kind of baseline of what we're looking for. I think that's just so nice and resonates with people from all different kinds of companies trying to do ethical work. I wanted to ask you about how feminism travels over time, and how that's affected these reproductive technologies, because it's something that we think a lot about - Kerry and I are based in the Gender Studies Department at Cambridge and behind me on the wall, I have this massive library, this big gender studies library, and a lot of it is quite shocking, you know, I’ll pick up a book and think, God, is that what they thought then, you know, and it's difficult to look back and reach your arm out and say, well, actually, that was what was needed at that particular moment and in that particular context. And now, in my context here, in 2022, how can I kind of bring that forward, even now we're seeing this with the culture wars, these horrible conversations we're having, not only across generations, but across different kinds of demographic fault lines as well. So reproduction over time has changed so dramatically, and kind of the wants of reproduction have changed so much. And when we were interviewing Rosi Braidotti, who's a philosopher, she was saying how shocked Shulamith Firestone would have been had she known that this reproductive revolution that she was imagining was brought to us by capitalism, by Google offering egg freezing services. So can you tell us a bit about how feminist work has evolved over time in your area?


SARAH FRANKLIN:

Well, um, yeah. I mean, I think that everyone's relationship to feminism is quite a personal one. I think it's not surprising, you know that feminism has a lot of sort of passionate disagreements within it. Another sign of ethical complacency is the idea that you've, you know, identified the key ethical issues. You know, it's always a mistake to think you identify the key ethical issues, because it’s a little bit overconfident to say that you know what they are. I mean, I think feminism is about a path from a situation where there's self evidently some very, very severe, you know, very disappointing, very destructive patterns of gender related behaviour, activity, thought, etcetera, to place, you know, where that would be less true. And so, of course, it's a complicated journey. If we just want to talk for a minute about Shulamith Firestone who was just such an extraordinary writer.


I mean, she wrote that book when she was like, 21, The Dialectic of Sex. It's an astonishing intellectual achievement. And at the very beginning, the very beginning of the book, she basically says, you know, it's a bit like Raymond Williams in some ways, you know, it would be a mistake to, to underestimate the power of gender binary ism as an organising technology of social thought. Because to think anything else is considered lunacy. Right? Right at the beginning of the book, she's like, we are in a prison of binary classification that is linked to our perception of the world that limits our ability to do things, you know, it's a very limiting way to think about humans. And he goes on to say, it's not just a limiting way to think about men and women, it's a limiting way to think about children. It's a limiting way to think about the economy. It's a limiting way to think about art. It's a limiting way to think about everything like that book is just so comprehensive. Yeah, and she's very inspired by Simone de Beauvoir, obviously. But you know, she's also very inspired by Frederick Engels, he has this hugely dialectic in the middle, it has like six different diagrams of the dialectic, you know that and she even has her own definition of what a dialectical process is, of course, because she was really thinking a lot. So she didn't say that, you know, reproductive technology would liberate everyone. It's actually a common misunderstanding of what she said. She said that no technology that came about in the existing sort of male dominated society would liberate anyone. What she said was that we would need to have a very different understanding of ourselves in our world before we could have a technology that would enable a different kinds of reproduction. And so she did refer to the early work on IVF. In fact, she refers to the work of Robert Edwards in The Dialectic of Sex but she's very, very sceptical about what it would bring about because she says the revolution has to happen between your ears. She says the revolution has to happen in your consciousness. And this is the radical argument that's made by many, many people who are writing about the future of liberation, the future of politics, the future of social change, the future of social justice. This is what Angela Davis says, you know, this is what a lot of the people writing, you know about racial injustice are saying, This is what the abolition movement is saying. You know, you have to unimagine why a prison is the technology you want to bring about fairness, equity and solidarity, you need to unthink the cause and effect of the prison and justice in order to have a very different understanding of the world. In fact, you have to understand why the prison is the cause of injustice, not the solution to injustice, you, you have to realise why the prison is the source of violence, not the answer to violence, you need a completely different understanding of your world, you need a different understanding of cause and effect in your world. And that's what Shulamith Firestone said you need a different understanding of cause and effect. And that's what a lot of people who study gender say. That's what Judith Butler famously said. She said, you know, sex is, gender is not the result of sex. She said, sex is the result of gender, the cause and effect is backwards. A lot of radical thought is basically asking you to develop a different consciousness of causality. And a lot of political change is motivated by a change of consciousness about causality. And that is one definition of what feminism is a change of consciousness about causality.


And you know, I had great, great good fortune, being the old lady that I am to graduate from high school in 1978 and to go to university, you know, in the autumn of 1978, and to be present for this massive, like, download of incredible feminist scholarship that completely rocked my world, you know, and did absolutely give me a different understanding of cause and effect in the world. And, you know, a lot of that literature has basically just disappeared, you know, it's not taught, you know, it's not published, you know, it's not in libraries it’s like forgotten. I mean, I don't know how many people you know, who have actually read The Dialectic of Sex. It's a pretty short book, actually considering how much is in it. And it is a cracking read. I often give it to students who are writing their essays and things like, oh, have you read this book? It's hilarious. They come back, they'll be like 1000s sticky notes in it. They're like, Oh my god. This is such an amazing book.


ELEANOR DRAGE:

That's wonderful. Thank you so much. Is that going to be our new definition then of good technology? Does good technology happen between the ears, is that the point?


SARAH FRANKLIN:

I mean? Obviously, people, you know, don't all have the same perception of causality, but the people don't have the same perception of social causality. You know, and people have passionate disagreements about that. Understandably, I mean, that's what the struggle for freedom is, I think, it's, um, in many ways, a struggle that's about, you know, trying to convince people, you know, have a different way of understanding their world, you know, and a lot of people don't want to be convinced, and a lot of people have, you know, understandings that are, you know, I would say, totally wrong. You know, I would say JK Rowling is totally wrong to think that trans people are a danger to women. I would say that's completely wrong. I would say that is a classic example of a utterly misconceived causal equation that, in fact, itself causes violence. I would say, unmistakably. And I think the reasons, you know, that we have so much dispute about things like trans is because the logics of cause and effect in relation to gender and reproduction are very consequential for people. Putin didn't mention JK Rowling, because he cares about, you know, what happens to women - I don't think. He mentioned it, because it's a code for an intolerance. And it's a code for an affrontary, it's a code for an attitude. And it's a code for him for being strong. You know, that's what being strong is, being able to stand up, you know, to the cancel culture of the West, you know, by defending real women, and, of course, real men. So, yeah, so we're often talking here, in, in, in language that needs to be translated, as it were, you know, which is another way to describe gender studies. The study of how gender - the classification based on differential status is translated into almost everything.


ELEANOR DRAGE:

Yeah, that's completely it. Kerry has a great phrase. I'm trying to remember when responding to people that take that perspective, because to me it’s a matter of priorities, and whether your desire to speak your truth trumps their desire to make sure people have access to the good life in the good life in the sense of being protected and not subject to abuse and not subject to violence. So that's always like my rebuff to that perspective. I can't remember what Kerry usually says…


SARAH FRANKLIN:

So often you hear in the Culture Wars that people are becoming more sensitive. And I always want to say what's wrong with that? So people want to be more sensitive. Why is that bad? Why is it bad to be more sensitive about mental health? I mean, isn't that what mental health is? Yeah, more sensitive? Because that was good. Mental health is being more sensitive. Why is it bad to be sensitive? Why is it bad, to feel that something might be hurtful to someone? Why is that bad? Why is that you know, cancelling someone? Which hardly ever happens anyway.


ELEANOR DRAGE:

Yes exactly. My aunt who's a barrister - I was telling her the other day that I'm trying to get the memorial for Tobias Rustat out of the Jesus College chapel. He is someone who was high up in an organisation that contributed to the slave trade. And she had a really hard time as a female barrister, and she's very, you know, pro-inclusion, and extremely pro-women. But she said, Oh, the master of Cambridge must be very emotional, why are they so emotional? But as a barrister, my aunt always had the experience of having to suck it up, if the judges are nasty, you just suck it up. And so people expect that future generations have to undertake the same cycle of abuse. I find that very confusing, and always did when my mother said to me growing up, no, but that's what the real world is like. And it's only over time you realise that actually, we create the real world in the process of nurturing these violent practices.


SARAH FRANKLIN:

Yeah.


ELEANOR DRAGE:

Thank you so much for coming on. I realise we have done a kind of tour de force of reproductive technology and feminism over time, very grateful to your very expansive knowledge.


SARAH FRANKLIN:

Well, these are really important questions, and it's really important to talk about them. And it's really important to create spaces where we can do that. And it's really, you know, important to get better at kind of using these media to widen up the space. Yeah, I mean, I think ethics benefits from a lot of discussion, basically, ethics should always be a matter that is under review, there is not a point where you finish ethics questions. And having to feel uncomfortable about things is definitely part of the way that you know that you are in ethical territory. Yeah, and I think that feminism has a huge amount to offer to this process.


ELEANOR DRAGE:

This episode was made possible thanks to our generous funder, Christina Gaw. It was written and produced by Dr Eleanor Drage and Dr Kerry Mackereth, and edited by Laura Samulionyte.


Image created on NightCafe by Kerry Mackereth.







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