chapter  10
12 Pages

Gender and the language of science

The case of CRISPR
WithJordynn Jack

This chapter outlines how gendered discourses function in science by using the example of CRISPR/Cas9. Scholars have considered how discussions of CRISPR/Cas9 draw on metaphors that depict it as an editor or scalpel as well as related metaphors that depict DNA as a map, blueprint, or code. Less attention has focused on how language about CRISPR/Cas9 relies upon gendered patterns. Accordingly, this chapter uses the example of CRISPR/Cas9 to illuminate four ways gender affects how we communicate about scientific discoveries. These include (1) sexed and gendered discourses used to describe scientific processes; (2) relationships between gender and genre; (3) gendered scientific ethos; and (4) gendered factors in bioethics communication.