I am grateful to the physicians and others who let me tag along in the worlds of
heart disease research and race, welcoming me to their conferences, sharing
insights in countless conversations, and giving comments on written work in
progress. Among the many to recognize and thank are Drs. Michelle Albert,
Charles Curry, Janice Douglas, Keith Ferdinand, John Flack, Clarence Grim,
Kenneth Jamerson, Shawna Nesbitt, Elijah Saunders, Neil Shulman, Herman
Taylor, Sean Wharton, Richard Allen Williams, and Jackson Wright. Drs. Paul
Sorlie at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Frances Henderson at
the Jackson Heart Study, and Daniel Levy at the Framingham Heart Study were
gracious hosts to my questions there.
This project began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the
guidance of Joe Dumit, David Jones, and Sherry Turkle, and I owe them a debt
of gratitude. Joe Dumit has been a diligent mentor, kindred intellectual spirit,
and academic inspiration. His scholarship has been deeply influential, and his
generosity with his time both while at mit and beyond has been extraordinary.
David Jones’s arrival at mit was fortuitous for me both intellectually and logis-
tically: he was a generous and exacting reader, and he organized crucial finan-
cial support and intellectual community through the mit Center for the Study
of Diversity in Science, Technology and Medicine, which was founded by Eve-
lynn Hammonds with funding from the Mellon Foundation. Sherry Turkle has
provided invaluable support for my scholarship by fostering intellectual com-
munity through her Initiative on Technology and Self, by engaging me in for-
mative conversations about social theory, and by having faith in the importance
of my story and point of view. She has both provided a superlative example of
an incisively relevant intellectual voice and encouraged me to develop my own.
Many other mit faculty also provided crucial early guidance. Elazer Edel-
man gave remarkably insightful lectures on cardiovascular pathophysiology;
Evelynn Hammonds introduced me to the topics of race and medicine at the
beginning of my graduate career; Kenneth Manning challenged me to write
complicated stories that remain human stories; and Susan Silbey pushed me to
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