Knowing New Biotechnologies
Social Aspects of Technological Convergence
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The areas of personal genomics and citizen science draw on – and bring together – different cultures of producing and managing knowledge and meaning. They also cross local and global boundaries, are subjects and objects of transformation and mobility of research practices, evaluation and multi-stakeholder groups. Thirdly, they draw on logics of ‘convergence’: new links between, and new kinds of, stakeholders, spaces, knowledge, practices, challenges and opportunities.
This themed collection of essays from nationally and internationally leading scholars and commentators advances and widens current debates in Science and Technology Studies and in Science Policy concerning ‘converging technologies’ by complementing the customary focus on technical aspirations for convergence with the analysis of the practices and logics of scientific, social and cultural knowledge production that constitute contemporary technoscience. In case studies from across the globe, contributors discuss the ways in which science and social order are linked in areas such as direct-to consumer genetic testing and do-it-yourself biotechnologies.
Organised into thematic sections, ‘Knowing New Biotechnologies’ explores:
• ways of understanding the dynamics and logics of convergences in emergent biotechnologies
• governance and regulatory issues around technoscientific convergences
• democratic aspects of converging technologies – lay involvement in scientific research and the co-production of biotechnology and social and cultural knowledge.
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction 1. An Introduction to Social Convergences, Matthias Wienroth and Eugénia Rodrigues 2. Distinguishing the Umbrella Promise of Converging Technology from the Dynamics of Technology Convergence, Douglas K. R. Robinson Part II: Dynamics and Logics 3. Why so Many Promises? The Economy of Scientific Promises and its Ambivalences, Marc Audetat 4. Logics of Convergence in NBIC and Personal Genomics, Christopher Groves 5. The Convergence of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Companies and Biobanking Activities. The Case of 23andme, Heidi Carmen Howard, Sigrid Sterckx, Julian Cockbain, Anne Cambon-Thomsen, Pascal Borry Part III: Governance 6. The Messiness of Convergence: Remarks on the roles of two visions of the future, Christopher Coenen 7. Analysing Convergence in the Governance of the Genome. The Case of the United Kingdom one Decade into the Twenty-First Century, Isabel Fletcher, Steve Yearley, Catherine Lyall 8. Diagonal Convergences: Genetic testing, governance, and globalisation, Christine Hauskeller Part IV: Amateurs and Citizens 9. Do-It-Yourself Biology, Garage Biology, and Kitchen Science. A Feminist Analysis of Bio-Making Narratives, Clare Jen 10. Amateurization and Re-Materialization in Biology. Opening up Scientific Equipment, Morgan Meyer 11. Converging Technologies and Critical Social Movements. An Exploration, Franz Seifert 12. Rhetorics and Practices Of Democratization In Synthetic Biology, Emma Frow Commentary 13. Considering Convergences In Technology And Society, Steve Yearley
Matthias Wienroth is Research Fellow at the Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science and Associate Researcher at the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences research centre, Newcastle University. He studies science-society relationships and the opportunities of cross-disciplinary knowledge production for socially responsible technology development.
Eugénia Rodrigues is Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Trained in sociology at the Universities of Coimbra (Portugal) and York (UK), her research interests lie at the intersection of environmental sociology and STS with a particular interest in contemporary expert-lay relations and their implications for knowledge democratisation.