Professor Emerita of Medical Science and Professor Emerita of Africana Studies


Lundy Braun is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Africana Studies and a member of the STS Program. Her research analyzes the historical role of science, medicine, and public health in the production of racial hierarchies.  Specifically, her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to study the structures of inequality, including the epistemological dimensions of racist, sexist, and class divisions in society that work to naturalize human difference in clinical medicine and public health theory and practice. Projects include 1) the history of race and racism embedded in theories and mathematic formulas assessing lung function; kidney function; and race-norming of concussions (with Lucia Trimbur).  2) the social, political, and scientific production of invisibility about work-related diseases due to asbestos and silica exposure in the mines of South Africa; and 3) the contemporary debate over race, genomics, genetic ancestry, and health inequality, as it impacts explanatory frameworks and especially medical pedagogy. She has participated in national and international workshops on race, imperialism, genetics, and health and is the recipient of a Professional Development Award from the NSF; a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Public Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; and a Scholar Award from the NSF.  She has also founded a Working Group on Race, Medicine, and Social Justice at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, which she now co-directs with Dr. Taneisha Wilson.

She is the author of Breathing Race into the Machine:  The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), for which she received the 2018 Ludwig Fleck Award from the 4S (and Honorable Mention for the 2017 Rachel Carson Award.)

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

On the Web