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Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


Professor Sarah Franklin

Affiliation: Department of Sociology



Professor Sarah Franklin moved from the London School of Economics to take up the Chair of Sociology at Cambridge in October 2011. In 2012 she received awards from the Wellcome Trust, ESRC, and British Academy to establish the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc) which has since gone on to become one of the leading research centres in the rapidly expanding field of reproductive studies. 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. In addition to assisted conception technologies, Franklin has conducted fieldwork on cloning, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and human embryonic stem cell derivation.

Franklin is a Fellow of Christ's College, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and The Royal Society of Biology as well as a Smith College Alumnae and Medallist (2011). In addition to directing the Reproductive Sociology Research Group, Franklin is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, co-Editor of the journal Reproductive Biomedicine and Society, and Chair of the Anne McLaren Trust


Franklin's current research concerns the early history of UK IVF and she has worked closely with colleagues in the history of science as well as reproductive biology to develop new interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the intersection between reproduction and technology. Through her work on IVF, Franklin has developed new theories of both biology and technology, focussing on the use of biological tools, and the relativization of the category 'biological'. This model, of biological relativity, is the subject of her most recent book and builds on her previous introduction of the terms 'transbiology', 'embodied progress', and 'hope technologies'.