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About

I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University where I study science, medicine, and inequality. I am also an affiliate of Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Policy and Aging Research and Rutgers Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. I am the author of the award-winning book Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health (Chicago). I research, teach, and speak about the relationship between health and justice, stigma in medicine, the political suppression of science and resistance movements that fight politically motivated ignorance. Im most interested in giving voice to those who are too often silenced, which means that much of my research focuses on problems that most people rarely think about: problems like migraine and cluster headache; the lack of effective treatments for pain, gender, race and stigma, and the extraordinary lengths that people will go to in order to find relief. I am currently writing a book about the underground research networks responsible for bringing psychedelics back to medicine. I am a proud member of my academic labor union, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, and committed to fighting for broad, public access to education, academic freedom, and to a university employment structure that promotes education over profit. I do not believe that academia and activism are mutually exclusive. Marrying an English professor has taught me to never use adverbs when a good verb will do. I also have two great kids and two toothless cats one marmalade and one who looks remarkably like Ziggy Stardust if you squint. I received my PhD from Penn's Department of Sociology, worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University from 2006-2008, and served as postdoctoral fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at the University of Michigan from 2004-2006. I am also the recipient of Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, one of Rutgers highest honors. Contact CV You can follow me on twitter: @joannakempner