Ruha Benjamin
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  • "Dr. Benjamin was one of the most dynamic and engaging speakers we’ve had since the series began. Some people just have a natural way of "connecting" with an audience and she is clearly one of them."
    -Dr. Susan Johnson, Assistant Dean, College of Letters and Sciences at University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

  • " Her clear and engaging speaking style made her obvious intelligence and erudition approachable to our students and invigorated our scholars in attendance as well. In short, Ruha Benjamin is a star in every sense of the word."
    -Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University

Ruha Benjamin

Ruha Benjamin is an interdisciplinary scholar who examines the relationship between science, technology, medicine, and society. She is a professor of African American studies at Princeton University and is the author of People's Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier. Ruha's work is at the forefront of debates over the relationships between innovation and equity, science and citizenship, and health and justice.

In her book, People's Science, Ruha takes the reader inside California's 2004 stem cell initiative— the first of many state referenda on scientific research—and examines the lives it has affected. Benjamin reveals the promise and peril of public participation in science, illuminating issues of race, disability, gender, and socio-economic class that serve to define certain groups as more or less deserving in their political aims and biomedical hopes.

Ruha is currently working on an international comparative project, Provincializing Science, which examines how the uptake of genomic science in different countries reflects, reinforces, and sometimes challenges racial and caste hierarchies.

Ruha received a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California Berkeley in 2008, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA's Institute for Society and Genetics. She was an American Council of Learned Societies fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Science, Technology, and Society Program and has received numerous fellowships and grants for research and has been invited to dozens of international talks and panels.

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