Katherine (Kate) Weatherford Darling, PhD is a sociologist working across the boundaries of medical sociology, feminist science studies, healthy policy and bioethics. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Social Sciences Department at University of Maine at Augusta.
Before arriving at UMA, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Program. Between 2015 and 2017, Kate worked at the Science & Justice Research Center at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she coordinated the Science & Justice Graduate Training Program and taught in the Sociology Department. In May 2016, she co-hosted the NSF-funded workshop Just Data? Justice, Knowledge and Care in the Age of Precision Medicine. She was in residence at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland in Winter 2017 to disseminate the findings of her dissertation research.
Kate began her training at UC Berkeley in the College of Natural Resources, where she was recognized with Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship. She studied Molecular Environmental Biology and volunteered at a feminist health clinic in Oakland. She studied abroad in Santiago, Chile and participated in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. After college, she investigated the health effects of air pollution in New York City at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. She installed air pollution monitors in the homes of women and children participating in a large epidemiological study of the health effects of air pollution and other environmental stressers.
Her experience in environmental health research led her to pursue questions about how the environment is conceptualized in biomedicine in her graduate training at the in the Sociology Program at the University of California, San Francisco. While a graduate student, she collaborated on NIH ELSI-funded research projects at UCSF and the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.
She completed her doctorate in Sociology at University of California, San Francisco (2016) and was awarded the Department of Social Behavioral Sciences Dissertation Award. Adele E. Clarke, Janet K. Shim, Howard Pinderhughes and Jenny Reardon served on her dissertation committee. Her dissertation research traced the transformation of HIV into a manageable yet expensive chronic illness.