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Alice Dreger Ph.D.


Alice Dreger trained in History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University (aka the Land of Kinsey), but she hasn't let her Ph.D. in those disciplines stop her from wandering far afield. Most of her academic work has centered in history of medicine and medical ethics, particularly as they concern sexual minorities and people with body types that don't fit social norms.

Lately, under the auspices of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she's been writing a walk-about history of scientific controversies in the Internet age. The book includes her own experiences in intersex rights work (she helped lead the Intersex Society of North America for about seven years) and in having done historical research that ticked off a number of transgender activists. Now Professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics in Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Dreger has published two books with Harvard University Press: Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex and One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal. In March 2015, she published her third book, Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, the Search for Justice in Science. Always up for a task beyond her skill set, she also coordinated and edited well-received clinical guidelines and a parents' handbook on disorders of sex development (see

Dr. Dreger publishes in journals in medicine, the social sciences, and the humanities, and also writes for the mainstream press. Her op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune. She has appeared over three dozen times as a talking head (and once as a dancer) on various broadcast programs, including on CNN, BBC, CBC, HBO, Good Morning America, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is a guest advisor to Savage Love, and her essay, "Lavish Dwarf Entertainment," was chosen for Norton's annual Best Creative Non-Fiction volume of 2009. In her free time, Dr. Dreger provides private, pro bono, personalized medical history recovery work for people who have suffered medical trauma. At the moment, she doesn't have a lot of free time because she's leading a push for a federal investigation into a disturbing case where hundreds of pregnant women may have been experimented upon without their knowledge. Dr. Dreger lives with her mate of fifteen years, their ten-year-old son, and two surprisingly charming rats, one hooded and one from a lab.

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