Faculty Scholars Program

Miranda R. Waggoner, PhD

Class of 2022
  • Associate Professor of Sociology
Rice University
Scholar Project

Miranda Waggoner is Associate Professor of Sociology at Rice University, where she is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Her research explores the social, ethical, and cultural dimensions of biomedical knowledge production. Rooted in the sociology and history of medicine, her work engages pressing ethical concerns in reproductive medicine and health policy. Professor Waggoner has written about pregnancy care, medicalization, and epigenetics, among other topics. She is the author of The Zero Trimester: Pre-Pregnancy Care and the Politics of Reproductive Risk (University of California Press), which was awarded the 2019 Robert K. Merton Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology. She is also co-editor of Advances in Medical Sociology: Reproduction, Health, and Medicine (Emerald). Her current work examines the changing cultural and ethical landscape of biomedical research with pregnant individuals and “vulnerable” populations. In addition to being a Greenwall Faculty Scholar, Professor Waggoner is the recipient of a five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. 

Professor Waggoner earned her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Brandeis University. From 2011 to 2014, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. Prior to joining the faculty at Rice, she earned tenure at Florida State University, where she received a University Teaching Award.

For more information, visit: https://profiles.rice.edu/faculty/miranda-r-waggoner

Tracing the Second Wave of Inclusion: Pregnant Women and Biomedical Research Ethics

Grant Cycle: 2018 - 2019

Professor Waggoner’s project examines recent shifts toward advancing clinical research with pregnant women, specifically new regulations that do not automatically classify pregnant women as vulnerable. It aims to: 1) trace the historical and contemporary trajectory of including pregnant women in clinical research; 2) describe how various actors navigate the risks of clinical research with pregnant women; and, 3) develop a framework for ensuring an adequate knowledge base to inform care of pregnant women. This work will reframe debates about reproductive risk and vulnerability in ethical research.


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