Emma Kowal is Professor of Anthropology in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University, Convenor of the Deakin Science and Society Network and former Deputy Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics at the Australian National University. Her current appointments include membership of the Steering Committee of the Genomics Health Futures Mission, a major investment of the Australian Government in precision medicine.
She is a cultural and historical anthropologist who previously worked as a medical doctor and public health researcher in Indigenous health before completing her PhD in 2007. Her research interests include Indigenous-state relations and settler colonialism, racism and anti-racism, and science and technology studies. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications including her monograph, Trapped in the Gap: Doing Good in Indigenous Australia. She has received many grants, including three four-year fellowships from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. She has held visiting positions at Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Nanjing University, China and the Universidade Federal de Santa Caterina, Florianopolis, Brazil. She is an editor of the international journal Postcolonial Studies, past convenor of the Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society network, member of the National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science of the Australian Academy of Science, and convenor of the international programming committee for the 2018 Society for Social Studies of Science meeting. She is an award-winning researcher and educator, receiving the 2014 Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research, a 2015 Thomson Reuters Women in Research Citation Award, and a 2013 National Citation for Outstanding Student Learning.