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Sociology Research


Noémie's research is concerned with bioscientific practices in research facilities and hospitals related to human reproduction and health. In India and France, she looks at the intertwining of local contexts and global dynamics. Trained as a social anthropologist, Noémie is also inspired by feminist science and technology studies. Although she primarily works ethnographically, Noémie continues to develop interdisciplinary collaborations between the social and life sciences.

Noémie's Ph.D. dissertation, entitled “In Vitro Human Cultures”, is a study of laboratory activities in assisted conception and research contexts. In India and in France, she worked with biologists and studied their practices of culturing cells. The resulting multi-sited and comparative ethnography examines the interfaces of in vitro fertilization and stem cell science. She is also finishing her first book called "Alive. Culturing embryonic cells in India and France". After completing her doctoral research in Paris, at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Noémie was a postdoctoral fellow at the Anthropology department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). Funded by Fondation Fyssen, she investigated ongoing scientific research on a human embryonic cell line.

As a Research Associate in ReproSoc, Noémie is building, collaboratively, a project called Life in Translation, which explores from social scientific and ethnographic perspectives a contemporary emphasis in the biosciences on biomedical translation, and examines the varied interdisciplinary techniques and practices with which biology is brought into conversation with, directed at and converted into applications. In that project, she studies in vitro gametogenesis, a technology in the making that aims at differentiating stem cells into gametes. With the help of the embassy of France in London, she also initiated a collaboration between ReproSoc and the European biology network SenHeart, which studies cell senescence and cardiac pathologies using developmental models.

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Giulia Zanini and Noémie Merleau-Ponty. Under review. “Latéralité. Essai pour caractériser des relations complémentaires à la création de parenté par l’usage des biotechnologies de la reproduction”. Enric Porqueres i Gené et Séverine Mathieu (eds.).

Merleau-Ponty Noémie. 2018. “Les Catégories Du Vivant. Ethnographie Des Affects Dans Des Laboratoires de Biologie.” In “(D)écrire Les Affects: Perspectives et Enjeux Anthropologiques”, edited by Carine Plancke et Léo Mariani, éditions Pétra, pp.243-268

Merleau-Ponty Noémie. 2017. « Potentiels embryonnaires. La sélection des embryons, une source d’intranquillité ? », in, Muriel Flis-Trèves et René Frydman, L’intranquillité, déni ou réalité, GyPsy XVI, Paris, PUF, pp.63-82 ; ISBN 2130786472/ EAN 9782130786474

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Merleau-Ponty, Noémie. In press. "Corps embryoïdes : biologie moléculaire et cellules vivantes". Ateliers d'anthropologie

Merleau-Ponty, Noémie., Vertommen Sigrid and Pucéat Michel. 2018. "I6 Passages: On the Reproduction of a Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line from Israel to France". New Genetics and Society.

Milanovic Fabien, Merleau-Ponty Noémie & Pitrou Perig. 2017. “Biobanques: quelles reconfigurations pour le vivant? Approches interdisciplinaires”. Natures Sciences et Sociétés. Recherches et Débats interdisciplinaires 25 (3), pp. 268-275. Rubrique « Vie de la Recherche ». 

Merleau-Ponty Noémie. 2017. “Féconder in Vitro Dans Des Laboratoires En Inde et En France : Une Somatotechnique ?” Ethnologie française, n°3, pp.511-520

Merleau-Ponty Noémie. 2016. “Sexualité et conception assistée en Inde et en France”, Le Journal des Anthropologues, n°144-145

Key Publications - Other

Fabien Milanovic, Noémie Merleau-Ponty, Perig Pitrou. 2018. Editorial "Biobanks and the reconfiguration of the living". Special issue of New Genetics and Society.

Merleau-Ponty Noémie. 2018. Book-Review of Procréation médicale et mondialisation - Expériences africaines. Doris Bonnet et Véronique Duchesne (eds.) 2016, Paris, L'Harmattan. Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online.

Special issue of New Genetics and Society, 'Ontological Variations of the Living in Biobanking', co-edited with Fabien Milanovic and Perig Pitrou

Merleau-Ponty Noémie.  2017. Book review of 'Transnational Reproduction' by Daisy Deomampo, invited by New Genetics and Society.

Merleau-Ponty Noémie. 2015. Book Review of DasGupta, Sayantani & Dasgupta, Shamita Das (eds.), “Globalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life”, South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal [Online]

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations

Job Title:
Research Associate