Katherine Darling

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Maine at Augusta
Chapter Member: Maine SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Katherine

Darling focuses on community-based participatory research and translational health policy. Darling has further experience researching the effects of air pollution on mothers and children leading her to pursue questions about how the environment is conceptualized in biomedicine. Darling collaborates with graduate and undergraduate students on research. Darling's current collaborative research includes projects on the social and ethical implications of genetic sequencing in cancer treatment, the history of public, corporate and philanthropic investment in biomedical research in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the long-term effects of “gig work” on workers and their communities.

In the News

"COVID-19 Demands Ethical, As Well as Scientific, Decisions," Katherine Darling (with Jessica Miller and Erika Ziller), Research Shows, August 25, 2020.
"Finding New Ways to Talk About Vaccination May Be Our Best Protection," Katherine Darling (with Anny Fenton), Research Shows, September 10, 2019.


"Enacting the Molecular Imperative: How Gene-Environment Interaction Research Links Bodies and Environments in the Post-genomic Age" (with Sara L. Ackerman, Robert H. Hiatt, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, and Janet K. Shim). Social Science & Medicine 155 (2016): 51-60.

Draws on interviews with gene-environment interaction researchers to show how scientists' expansive conceptualizations of the environment ultimately yield to the imperative to molecularize and personalize the environment.

"Race and Ancestry in the Age of Inclusion: Technique and Meaning in Post-genomic Science" (with Janet K. Shim , Sara L. Ackerman, Robert A. Hiatt , and Sandra Soo-Jin Lee). Journal of Health and Social Behavior 55, no. 4 (2014): 504–518.

Argues based on interviews with gene-environment interaction researchers that post-genomic scientists seeking to understand the interactions of genetic and environmental disease determinants actually undermine their ability to do so, by valorizing precise characterizations of individuals’ genetic ancestry over measurement of the social processes and relations that differentiate social groups.