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Sociology Research


Dr Katie Dow is a research associate in the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc). Previously, she was an ESRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Katie was awarded her PhD in social anthropology by the London School of Economics in 2010.

Research Interests

Katie's main research interests are the ethical dilemmas and questions provoked by reproduction and assisted reproductive technologies and the interconnections between concerns about the environment and reproduction. She is particularly concerned with the ways in which ideas of nature and naturalness are implicated in morality and ethics, as well as the importance of gender, class, ethnicity and sexuality in structuring parenting and reproduction.

As a research associate in ReproSoc, she is working on a research project on representations of IVF in the British media, focusing particularly on newspapers and TV documentaries in the key period of the 1970s and 80s, surrounding the birth of Louise Brown and the development of the Warnock Report.

Research Projects

Sarah Franklin Senior Investigator Grant, Wellcome Trust

IVF Histories and Cultures Project

Reproducing the Environment 



SOC10: Gender

MPhil: Sociology of Reproduction pathway

Ethnographies of Biomedicine

Dissertation supervisor for MPhil Multidisciplinary Gender Studies

Graduate supervision availability and interests:

Katie is available as supervisor for undergraduate and MPhil projects and as second supervisor for PhDs. Main interests include reproduction, gender, sexuality, kinship, parenting, ethics, environment, medicine, technology and food.

Key Publications - Books

Dow, K. Making a Good Life: An Ethnography of Nature, Ethics, and Reproduction (Princeton University Press, 2016)

Nature and Ethics Across Geographical, Rhetorical and Human Borders, eds. Katharine Dow and Victoria Boydell (Routledge, 2018) 

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Dow, K., 2016. ‘Seeing with Dolphins: Reflections on the Salience of Cetaceans’. In Thinking about Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in the era of humankind, eds. Morten Tønnessen, Silver Rattasepp and Kristin Armstrong Oma. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Dow, K., 2013. 'Building a Stable Environment in Scotland: Planning Parenthood in a Time of Ecological Crisis', in Parenting in Global Perspective: Comparative Studies in Kinship, Self and Politics, eds. Faircloth, C, Hoffman, D. & L. Layne. Oxford: Routledge.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Forthcoming. '"Now She's Just an Ordinary Baby": The Birth of IVF in the British Press'. Sociology

K. Dow 2017. ‘“The Men who Made the Breakthrough”: How the British press represented Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards in 1978’. Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online 4: 59-67.

2017. 'Conceptive Journeys’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 23(3): 623-625. [Review of Cosmopolitan Conceptions by Marcia Inhorn and Problems of Conception by Marit Melhuus]

K. Dow, 2016. What's Out ThereReproductive Biomedicine and Society Online 3: 24-25.

K. Dow, 2016. ‘What Gets Left Behind for Future Generations? Reproduction and the Environment in Spey Bay, Scotland’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 22(3): 653-669

Dow, K., 2015. 'A Nine-Month Head-Start': The Maternal Bond and Surrogacy. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. 

Dow, K., 2015. Review of Moral Laboratories, Cheryl Mattingly (2014). Medicine Anthropology Theory. 

Grants and Projects

Dow, K., ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh, 2010-2011.

Dow, K., ESRC 1+3 PhD Studentship, Social Anthropology, London School of Economics, 2005-2009.

Research Groups & Affiliations

Job Title:
Senior Research Associate and Deputy Director of ReproSoc