Gina Rippon

(S1E51)

  
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Gina Rippon, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Aston Brain Centre in the UK and author of The Gendered Brain: The new neuroscience that shatters the myth of the female brain (2019), discusses the reasons behind the current of “neurotrash,” the populist (mis)use of neuroscience research to (mis)represent our understanding of the brain and to prop up outdated stereotypes. In this episode, Rippon tears through the regressive myths of the “gendered brain” elucidating how women’s biology has persistently been weaponised against them through the persistent recycling of historical tropes within science—from the myth of the inferiority of women’s brains from the 19th century to twentieth century science which focussed upon women’s hormones. Addressing the failure of science to find sex differences in the brains of men and women, Rippon elaborates the need for research in the twenty-first century to take up different questions to include more research into neuroplasticity which examines how circumstances and context affect the brain and how the brain solves problems while underscoring the need for science to address the biological script playing out in a social stage that has a “much more profound impact on how the biological script plays out than we ever realised.”