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Erica O'Neil

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Community Engagement Lead
Post Doctoral Scholars, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 9320
Biography

Researching health at the level of the population grounds my professional trajectory, from leading teams investigating the dynamics of Hohokam inter-village health variation, to my doctoral research surrounding the federal regulatory history of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and my current postdoctoral position defining and implementing public programming at the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics.

Central to that trajectory is the guiding principle that public communication and outreach are the tools for addressing complex health issues at the nexus of science, policy, and society. I am invested in projects that prioritize science outreach and communication for a public audience, particularly in the area of reproductive health. I train others in best practices for science outreach and communication, develop workflows for such projects that achieve those goals, and manage the products of those outreach efforts to engage public audiences both online and in person.

Research Interests

As a trained anthropologist, historian, biologist, and ethicist my research interests are varied but focus on issues surrounding reproductive health and medicine. 

I manage Reproductive Health Arizona (RHAZ), a collaborative research project between the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and the Center for Biology and Society. The project aims to increase Arizonan’s literacy of reproductive health and medicine (RMH), to record Arizona’s history of that field in a sustainable and open access digital venue, and to promote civil discussion among Arizonans about the past, future, and meaning of reproductive health. I organize and implement workflow for a team of excellent RHAZ contributors to produce products integral to those goals. Products include articles with robust historical context written for the general public, a digital map of individuals currently active in RHM, video recorded oral histories with individuals influential to the history of Arizona's RHM, and public events that encourage civil dialogue.The project is currently in its first year proof of concept and will live online within the Embryo Project Encyclopedia (http://embroy.asu.edu).

 

In my dissertation I examined how actors operating amid different institutional traditions constructed the population-level risks and responsibilities surrounding fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and proposed specific policy interventions. As FAS progressed from the clinic through the US Congress in the 1970s and 1980s, it became imbued with new meaning, making public latent ideals of pregnancy, motherhood, personal freedoms, and reproductive choices. I investigated the context and process by which scientific, social, moral, and political narratives dynamically interact to give rise to public health policy; in that case, how agents constructed the risk of drinking during pregnancy to mandate labels on alcohol.

Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 516Foundations of Bioethics
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
AEP 501Practical, Professional Ethics
BIO 516Foundations of Bioethics
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HON 497Honors Colloquium
HPS 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
HPS 591Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HON 497Honors Colloquium
HPS 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
HPS 591Seminar
BIO 591Seminar