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Conceptions provide a unique opportunity for research fellows, post-doctoral research associates and graduate students at the University of Cambridge to run their own creative interdisciplinary project around the theme of reproduction. The scheme began in November 2019, and has supported the following projects:



Exo-moaner's guide to interplanetary pleasures: sex education for space

Dr Eleanor Armstrong (HPS), Jenny Moran (Gender Studies), Alice Oates (Geography) and Akvile Terminaite

Headlines such as The Tribune’s “Mars missions may be all-female to avoid astronauts having sex during 1.5-year journey” continue to conflate sex and reproduction (themselves always already essential to expansions of colonial missions) in the context of interplanetary future; wide-spread and increasingly well documented sexual harassment within space science and space exploration fields make working in the field challenging form those of minoritised genders. This explores what a speculative ‘sex education for astronauts’ programme might look like if it took, as its basis, a queer feminist approach to sex, reproduction, consent, pleasure, intimacy and care.



Generation COVID UK

Dr Staci Weiss (Psychology) and Caroline Walker (Pathology)

Generation COVID UK is a collaboration between new parents, photojournalists, artists and developmental neuroscience and healthcare researchers at the University of Cambridge who study pandemic-related disruption, disparities and diversity..

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Queer Conceptions

Dr Francesca Gaccioli (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) and Dr Geoffrey Maguire (MMLL)

This interdisciplinary project draws together researchers working on reproduction and reproductive rights to create a forum in which a range of contemporary issues - from same-sex adoption to trans pregnancy, and from women’s rights activism to biological advances in the reproductive sciences - can be discussed in a way that nurtures cross-disciplinary and mutually beneficial critical debate.

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Does Blood Run Thicker Than Water?

Kate Shaw (CFR), Dr Naomi Moris (Genetics) and Dr Catherine Aiken (O&G)

This project brings together family researchers and biological scientists into a single discursive environment to explore how commonly-understood notions of relatedness are tied to real biological phenomena. It also allows the wider public to contribute to an informed debate regarding what genes are, what they are not, and why it is becoming increasingly important for us to critically discuss meanings of biological relatedness.

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