Darcy Metcalfe, Ph.D. student, Religious Studies
Proposes new bioethics
• Hometown: Peru, Indiana
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Diana Fritz Cates, Professor, Religious Studies
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Ph.D. in Religious Studies, May 2021
• Please describe your research: My research turns to the neglected writings of Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray to develop new ideas in ethics for why bioethicists ought to call for a moratorium on the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technologies for effecting inheritable genetic modifications (IGM) in human organisms. I study the ways in which scientific and medical advancements in human genetics often serve people who wield the most social power and keep women and other people of color in subordinate positions. I offer a New Materialist, Murray-inspired ethic of love as a foundational approach to the development and use of these technologies in a U.S. context.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? My research analyzes the many ways that the normatively of whiteness and racialized injustices are intentionally/unintentionally rooted in inherent systems of oppression in the U.S. Unless racism is uprooted completely from our social and institutional life, the use and productions of IGM technologies will be greatly affected by this rootedness.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I began research my first semester at the University of Iowa.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? This research has exposed me to scholars, interdisciplinary fields, and ideas that I would have otherwise never encountered. This experience has drastically reshaped my perspectives of life and the world and fed my passion for learning.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I hope to continue in my service as a minister with the PC(USA) and also teach undergraduate students in the field of Religious Studies/Bioethics.
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