Heidi Y. Lawrence is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at George Mason University. She has a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Tech, an MA in English from George Mason, and a BA in English from Mary Washington College.
Heidi’s work examines how the tools of rhetoric can be used to better understand and respond to controversial topics about science and medicine in the public sphere. Her monograph, Vaccine Rhetorics, explores what she calls the four primary material exigencies that facilitate and sustain discord about vaccines. Her other published work across a range of scholarly outlets in rhetoric, medicine, and public health further examines how language functions as both a space for understanding controversies as well as an ameliorative path to changing controversial issues in the public sphere.
In this episode of Room 42, we have a candid conversation about the realities of authoring and publishing her book. Heidi shares her personal struggles and disapp