Biotechnology, Education and Life Politics: Debating genetic futures from school to society, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Biotechnology, Education and Life Politics

Debating genetic futures from school to society, 1st Edition

By Pádraig Murphy


190 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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What should individuals and society do when genetic screening becomes widely available and with its impact on current and future generations still uncertain? How can our education systems around the world respond to these developments?

Reproductive and genetic technologies (RGTs) are increasingly controversial and political. We are entering an era where we can design future humans, firstly, by genetic screening of "undesirable" traits or indeed embryos, but perhaps later by more radical genetic engineering. This has a profound effect on what we see as normal, acceptable and responsible.

This book argues that these urgent and biopolitical issues should be central to how biology is taught as a subject. Debate about life itself has always been at the forefront of connected molecular, genetic and social/personal identity levels, and each of these levels requires processes of communication and debate, what Anthony Giddens called in passing life politics. In this book Pádraig Murphy opens the term up, with examples from field research in schools, student responses to educational films exploring the future of RGTs, and science studies of strategic biotechnology and the lab practices of genetic screening. Life political debate is thoroughly examined and is identified as a way of connecting mainstream education of biology with future generations.

Biotechnology, Education and Life Politics will appeal to post-graduates and academics involved with science education, science communication, communication studies and the sociology of education.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Biopolitical Control and the Possibilities for Life Political Education 2. Biopolitics and State in Education 3. Biopinion 4. Future Scripts and Present Bodies 5. The Bíos in Education 6. ‘Political’ Science and Framing: an Education from Media 7. Nine Genetic Futures 8. Life Politics

About the Author

Pádraig Murphy is Lecturer in Communications and Chair of the MSc in Science Communication programme at Dublin City University, Ireland. His teaching and research interests include science communication, science and technology studies, and emerging technologies, biopolitics and media in education.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Please send inquiries or proposals for this series to one of the following:

Will Bateman: [email protected] – Editor, UK and Rest of World

Elsbeth Wright: [email protected] – Editor, North & South America

Vilija Stephens: [email protected] – Editor, Australia & New Zealand

Katie Peace: [email protected] – Publisher, Asia


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Secondary
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology