Gross, Author of Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, will be part of 2023-2024 programming focused on gender bias in health 

Rachel E. Gross

The Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College has named Rachel E. Gross as its 2023-2024 affiliate scholar. 

Gross is an award-winning science journalist and the author of Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2022. The book debunks myths about the female body and explores new research that is leading to a better understanding of all bodies. 

In 2022, Gross spoke about Vagina Obscura at events on Russell Sage’s Troy and Albany campuses. She will return throughout the 2023-2024 academic year to lead programming focused on gender bias in medicine. 

Gross is a former digital science editor for Smithsonian Magazine, where she created a series to uncover stories of women scientists who were written out of history. She currently writes a column for The New York Times called Body Language, on how medical terminology affects doctors, patients, and society.

She has received fellowships from MacDowell, MIT, and the FASPE program for the study of professional ethics at Auschwitz. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Geographic, WIRED, New Scientist, Slate, Undark, and NPR.

The Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College Affiliate Scholars are influential figures whose accomplishments evidence a commitment to the advancement of women and social equity.

For more information on The Women’s Institute’s initiatives and events, visit

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