Alice Dreger is a former professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. She is the author of Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal, Intersex in the Age of Ethics, and recently the much acclaimed Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science. She has also published numerous peer reviewed articles in academic journals.
Dr. Dreger is a well-known historian and activist with the intersex and transgender movements. She led, for example, the movement to stop the shockingly barbaric practice of sex-assignment (“normalizing”) surgery in infants, which up until a few years ago was standard medical treatment. Dr. Dreger has also led a life in the defense of scientific freedom. In Galileo’s Middle Finger, she reminds us that science often forces us to give up some of our most cherished moral and social beliefs, and respect for authority is useless for doing science. Heretics in science even today are often shunned and ostracized, and the freedom of research is under assault by politicians, funding agencies, politically correct universities, and activists groups.
Dr. Dreger’s work has been discussed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Science, and on CNN. Her op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She has appeared as a guest on Oprah, Savage Love, Good Morning America and NPR. Her TED talk “Is Anatomy Destiny?” has been viewed more than 850,000 times.