About Chad Valasek

C.J. Valasek is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology & Science Studies at the University of California San Diego. CJ’s research interests include the history of the human sciences, the influence of the behavioral sciences on medical practice and health policy, and digital wellness culture.

C.J. Valasek is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology & Science Studies at the University of California San Diego.

Chad's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Chad:

Oliver Rollins, "Conviction: The Making and Unmaking of the Violent Brain" (Stanford UP, 2021)

November 26, 2021


Oliver Rollins
Hosted by Chad Valasek

Exposing ethical dilemmas of neuroscientific research on violence, this book warns against a dystopian future in which behavior is narrowly defined in…

Lucas Richert, "Break on Through: Radical Psychiatry and the American Counterculture" (MIT Press, 2020)

April 5, 2021

Break on Through

Lucas Richert
Hosted by Chad Valasek

"Antipsychiatry," Esalen, psychedelics, and DSM III: Radical challenges to psychiatry and the conventional treatment of mental health in the 1970s. Th…

Liat Ben-Moshe, "Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

March 12, 2021

Decarcerating Disability

Liat Ben-Moshe
Hosted by Chad Valasek

Prison abolition and decarceration are increasingly debated, but it is often without taking into account the largest exodus of people from carceral fa…

Earl Wright II, "Jim Crow Sociology: The Black and Southern Roots of American Sociology" (U Cincinnati Press, 2020)

February 5, 2021

Jim Crow Sociology

Earl Wright, II
Hosted by Chad Valasek

Jim Crow Sociology: The Black and Southern Roots of American Sociology (U Cincinnati Press, 2020) is an extraordinary new volume that examines the ori…

Jonathan Sadowsky, "The Empire of Depression: A New History" (Polity, 2020)

January 5, 2021

The Empire of Depression

Jonathan Sadowsky
Hosted by Chad Valasek

When is sorrow sickness? That is the question that this book asks, exploring how our understandings of sadness, melancholy, depression, mania and anxi…

Christopher M. Kelty, "The Participant: A Century of Participation in Four Stories" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

December 16, 2020

The Participant

Christopher M. Kelty
Hosted by Chad Valasek

Participation is everywhere today. It has been formalized, measured, standardized, scaled up, network-enabled, and sent around the world. Platforms, a…

Erica Fretwell, "Sensory Experiments: Psychophysics, Race, and the Aesthetics of Feeling" (Duke UP, 2020)

December 11, 2020

Sensory Experiments

Erica Fretwell
Hosted by Chad Valasek

We so often take our senses as natural, but perhaps we should understand them as historically situated. Sensory Experiments: Psychophysics, Race and t…

Nicholas Bauch, "Geography of Digestion: Biotechnology and the Kellogg Enterprise" (U California Press, 2017)

January 11, 2019

Geography of Digestion

Nicholas Bauch
Hosted by Chad Valasek

While most people in the US are familiar with the ubiquitous Kellogg cereal brand, few know how it relates to US geography, science and technology aro…

Shobita Parthasarathy, "Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe" (U Chicago Press, 2017)

November 21, 2018

Patent Politics

Shobita Parthasarathy
Hosted by Chad Valasek

In Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Shobita Parthasa…

Kyla Schuller, "The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century" (Duke UP, 2017)

June 1, 2018

The Biopolitics of Feeling

Kyla Schuller
Hosted by Chad Valasek

Beginning with a discussion about Black Lives Matter may seem like an unlikely place to start a book about nineteenth century science and culture. How…

Sigrid Schmalzer, et. al., "Science for the People: Documents from America’s Movement of Radical Scientists" (U Massachusetts Press, 2018)

April 23, 2018

Science for the People

Sigrid Schmalzer, Daniel Chard, and Alyssa Botelho, eds.
Hosted by Chad Valasek

“What is needed now is not liberal reform or withdrawal, but a radical attack, a strategy of opposition. Scientific workers must develop ways to put t…

Jenny Reardon, "The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Knowledge and Justice after the Genome" (U Chicago Press, 2017)

April 20, 2018

The Postgenomic Condition

Jenny Reardon
Hosted by Chad Valasek

How do we create meaning after the genome? Such a profound question is at the center of the recently published book by Jenny Reardon, The Postgenomic …