Visiting researcher profile: Maiko Mori Watanabe


Maiko Mori Watanabe is a visiting researcher at the Centre for Gender Research with an interest in gender and technology. She is originally from Japan where she is working an an Assistant Professor at the Department of General Education, Jichi Medical University, and as a Visiting Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Tokyo. During her time in Sweden she is also a visiting researcher at Karolinska Institutet. 

Maiko Mori Watanabe is a scholar of Science and Technology Studies, originally from Kyoto, Japan. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Warwick University, UK and worked as a postdoc, mainly in the field of social studies of medical genetics, before being appointed as a fixed-term lecturer at the University of Tokyo in 2014. She spent two years as a visiting scholar in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University, 2015-2017. Maiko has been a lecturer at the Department of General Education, Jichi Medical University, since 2019, and is a visiting associate professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Tokyo since 2023. She now lives in Stockholm with her husband and two daughters and is a visiting researcher at the Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, and Karolinska Institutet. 

Maiko Watanabe
Photo: Joelin Quigley Berg

What is your research about?
My research is about the social construction of “relational intentionality”, famously discussed by Verbeek and Ihde in the field of philosophy of technology, which I explore in three different projects looking at the “visualization of fetus”, “FemTech” and “citizens’ science”. In my research project on the “visualization of fetus”, I am examining the way in which the technique to observe the fetus was synthesized through the development of both visualizing technology and expertise in the field of obstetrics. In my project on FemTech, or technologies for the needs of the female body, I am analyzing the recent emergence of public interest in FemTech in a Japanese context. Lastly, my collaborative project on citizens’ science, I am currently conducting field work on what I defines as a traditional citizens’ science. In all these three different topics, I am focusing on the formation process of “collective interest” in a community, which is the key for the concept of “synthetic intentionality”. All three of the above projects are funded by Japan Society for Promotion of Science.

Research interests: gendered innovation; visualization technologies; community of interests; intentionality

Selection of publications:

  • Watanabe, M. (2023) FemTech as the Target of Governmental Interest and its Ethical Issues, 現代思想 GendaiShiso, Seidosha, pp. 22-30. [ISBN: 4791714466]
  • Watanabe, M. (2022) What is FemTech?  Its Possibilities and Dilemma. In Kazuma Takesaki and Atsuhisa Yamamoto (ed.) Invitation to the Post Human Studies: 11 viewpoints on Body and Feminism. Horinouchi Publishing, 54-63. [ISBN: 9784909237712]
  • Watanabe, M. (2021) Feminization of Medicine in the UK. 科学技術社会論研究Journal of Science and Technology Studies (19) , pp. 96-108. [ISBN: 4472183196]
  • Watanabe, M. (2020) Gender Critical Analysis of the Other Issue of HPV Vaccine - Why are "girls" only target of vaccination? 現代思想 GendaiShiso, Seidosha, pp. 38-45. [ISBN: 4791714067]
  • Watanabe, M. (2015) Expertise and Human Life: What Should We Discuss about Prenatal Test Now? 科学技術社会論研究 Science and Technology Studies, pp. 109-122. [ISBN: 9784472183119]
Last modified: 2021-09-10