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Thu Nov 09 // 7:30 pm

Convergence: Artificial Wombs

Presented by Caveat

Q: What do a new artificial womb and women's health and reproductive rights have in common?
A: The Future.

Hosted by Meehan Crist, writer-in-residence in Biological Sciences at Columbia University, Convergence is a live show and podcast that brings together two people from vastly different fields to explore how emerging science and tech will affect culture, society, and politics in the near future. Together with a curious and often passionate audience, Meehan and her guests grapple with the questions we need to ask today to help shape the future we want tomorrow. Each event brings out themes and ideas missing when conversations stay siloed.

This month: How will a new artificial womb affect women's heath and reproductive rights?

A team of researchers recently announced that they successfully brought seven baby goats to term in a new artificial womb. So what is this new technology and how does it work? How might an artificial womb be used with human babies in neonatal units, and how might it impact early life-and-death decisions? How might an artificial womb affect a woman's legal right to an abortion? This month's Convergence brings a legal scholar and a neonatologist into conversation around the ethical, legal and policy questions raised by this new technology and its implications for our future.

Guests: legal scholar Kimberly Mutcherson and medical writer Randi Hutter Epstein

Doors 7:00, show at 7:30. 21+

Kimberly Mutcherson is Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School (Camden). Her scholarly work encompasses family and health law and uses health law topics to study the relationship between families and the state. She writes on issues related to reproductive justice, with a particular focus on assisted reproduction and its relationship to how the law understands family.


Randi Hutter Epstein, MD, MPH is a medical writer and the author of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank. Her second book, due out in early 2018, is Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything. She is also a lecturer at Yale University and an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Parents, and More, among other newspapers and magazines.

Meehan Crist is writer in residence in biological sciences at Columbia University. Previously, she was editor at large at Nautilus and reviews editor at The Believer. Her writing explores the intersection of science, culture, and politics: from sensory deprivation tanks and the KUBARK manual to cephalopod consciousness and climate change. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, the New Republic, Tin House, Lapham’s Quarterly, London Review of Books, Scientific American, and Science. You can find her online at meehancrist.com or on Twitter @meehancrist.