Laura Stark, Ph.D.

Laura StarkLaura Stark works on medicine, morality, and the modern state. She is the author of Behind Closed Doors: IRBs and the Making of Ethical Research (Chicago, 2012) as well as several articles and book chapters on the history of ethics and on bureaucracy in everyday practice. Her current book project, The Life of the Clinic,uses archival documents and oral histories to explore the lives of “normal control” research subjects who enabled and sustained the first clinical trials at the US National Institutes of Health between 1953 and 1983.  Stark received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2006; was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Science in Human Culture at Northwestern University from 2006 to 2008; and held a Stetten Fellowship at the Office of NIH History at the National Institutes of Health from 2008 to 2009. Stark is joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 2012. She was Assistant Professor of Science in Society and of Sociology at Wesleyan University from 2009 to 2012. In addition, she is Assistant Editor of the journal History & Theory.

Stark’s Stetten Fellowship with the NIH Clinical Center has allowed her to continue work on this manuscript, which is currently under advanced contract with the University of Chicago Press.
Selected Publications:

Behind Closed Doors: IRBs and the Making of Ethical Research (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012).

“IRB Meetings by the Minute(s): How Documents Create Decisions.” In Charles Camic, Neil Gross, and Michèle Lamont, eds., Knowledge Making, Use and Evaluation in the Social Sciences: The Underground of Practice (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011).

“The Science of Ethics: Deception, the Resilient Self, and the APA Code of Ethics, 1966-1973,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 2010, 46(4): 337-370. (Winner of the History of Science Society’s Forum for the History of the Human Sciences Burnham Early Career Prize.).

with Adam Hedgecoe, “A Practical Guide to Research Ethics,” in Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, Raymond DeVries, and Robert Dingwall, eds. Handbook on Qualitative Health Research (New York: Sage Publications, 2010).

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Last updated: 25 April 2012
First published: 2 February 2005
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