Human Cloning in the Media: From Science Fiction to Science Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Human Cloning in the Media

From Science Fiction to Science Practice, 1st Edition

By Joan Haran, Jenny Kitzinger, Maureen McNeil, Kate O'Riordan


246 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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This book examines the making of human cloning as an imaginary practice and scientific fact. It explores the controversies surrounding both ‘therapeutic cloning’ for stem cell research and ‘reproductive’ cloning. The authors analyse the cultural production of cloning, how practices and representations play out in the global arena, and its transformation from science fiction to science practice. Case studies are used to illustrate key fore grounded issues:

  • the image of the scientist, scientific expertise and institutions
  • the governance of science
  • the representation of women’s bodies as the subjects and objects of biotechnology
  • the constitution of publics, both as objects of media debate, and as their intended audience.

Drawing together the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, with insights from media and cultural studies, this book offers a timely contribution to debates about the public communication of science and the status of scientific truth. This book will be a valuable companion to students on undergraduate courses in media studies, science communication, cultural studies, science and technology studies and sociology.


"This text serves those well versed in technoscience and science technology studies who are interested in the role of the media as well as those well versed in visual and cultural studies interested in the compelling case of genetic science in contemporary culture. The text is based on a wide range of well-documented fieldwork and is a good start to the analysis in this cross-disciplinary area of media and technoscience."

-- Annette Burfoot, Queens University, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2008

If there is any general conclusion one can reach about contemporary genomics,it is that it is composed of many splinters of interest, commitment and belief. It brings together disparate expectations and dreams, in a sometimes fantastic way, in sources ranging from the seemingly sedate transcriptions of committee meeting minutes, to stealth Internet sites, to peer-reviewed papers in Science. Haran, Kitzinger, McNeil and O’Riordan have captured this crazy quilt aesthetic in a book that is now required reading for anyone interested in understanding the public worlds of human cloning. Science as Culture, Susan Lindee

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. What is Cloning? 3. Cloning Futures 4. Mavericks, Madmen and Fallen Heroes 5. Women’s Bodies in Cloning Discourse 6. Truth Claims and Genres 7. The Constitution of Publics and Audiences 8. Conclusion

About the Authors

Joan Haran is a Research Associate in the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen), at Cardiff University.

Jenny Kitzinger is Professor of Media and Communication Research at Cardiff University.

Maureen McNeil is Professor of Women's Studies and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University.

Kate O’Riordan is Lecturer in Media and Film Studies at the University of Sussex.

About the Series

Genetics and Society

The books in this series, all based on original research, explore the social, economic and ethical consequences of the new genetic sciences. The series is based in the Cesagene, one of the centres forming the ESRC’s Genomics Network (EGN), the largest UK investment in social-science research on the implications of these innovations. With a mix of research monographs, edited collections, textbooks and a major new handbook, the series is a valuable contribution to the social analysis of developing and emergent bio-technologies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General