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Department of Sociology


Dr Noémie Merleau-Ponty has been awarded a Ph.D. prize by a French medical anthropology association : AMADES.

AMADES We are delighted to announce that Dr Noémie Merleau-Ponty has been awarded a PhD prize by AMADES (Anthropologie Médicale Appliquée au Développement et à la Santé), for her dissertation, entitled "In vitro Human Cultures. A comparative ethnography of laboratories (India/France)".

Her dissertation was defended with the highest distinction in November 2015 at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, and directed by Prof Enric Porqueres i Gené and Prof René Frydman. The thesis looks at the interfaces between in-vitro fertilization and stem cell research using embryos donated from fertility clinics. This double comparison asks how potential children are transformed into materials of research when global science interacts with local contextualization of human lives.

AMADES quote that Dr Merleau-Ponty's dissertation was:

"Sustained by a stimulating style and a strong reflexivity, the preciseness of Noémie Merleau-Ponty’s analysis appears on multiple levels: space and technical gestures descriptions, focus on actions, actors’ portraits, consideration for historical, anthropological, legal and political contexts, and so forth.This results in a remarkable, rich and conceptually innovative work.

I wish to underline the depths and great maturity of the theoretical reflection and conceptual elaboration (cf chapter two on “somatotechnics” and “operational relation”). This work mobilizes and relates in a fertile perspective anthropology of kinship, medical anthropology, anthropology of science and techniques and anthropology of nature, going from the most classical literature to the most contemporaneous. A work that, in fine, suggests no less than the building of a space for interdisciplinary interrogation through an anthropology of life and the living.”