The Handbook of Genetics & Society: Mapping the New Genomic Era (Hardback) book cover

The Handbook of Genetics & Society

Mapping the New Genomic Era

Edited by Paul Atkinson, Peter Glasner, Margaret Lock

© 2010 – Routledge

566 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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An authoritative Handbook which offers a discussion of the social, political, ethical and economic consequences and implications of the new bio-sciences. The Handbook takes an interdisciplinary approach providing a synoptic overview of contemporary international social science research on genetics, genomics and the new life sciences. It brings together leading scholars with expertise across a wide-ranging spectrum of research fields related to the production, use, commercialisation and regulation of genetics knowledge. The Handbook is structured into seven cross-cutting themes in contemporary social science research on genetics with introductions written by internationally renowned section editors who take an interdisciplinary approach to offer fresh insights on recent developments and issues in often controversial fields of study. The Handbook explores local and global issues and critically approaches a wide range of public and policy questions, providing an invaluable reference source to a wide variety of researchers, academics and policy makers.


''The Handbook is far more than the sum of its parts. It brings together a formidable international team of scholars, who provide both a comprehensive map of the field and an array of provocative arguments about the best ways to grasp its socio-technical complexities. The authors avoid the breathless, impressionable analysis that often characterises accounts of new technologies. Rather they give both the novice reader and the seasoned scholar a rigorous and exhaustive account of the multiple social contexts and ramifications of genetic innovation.'' – Catherine Waldby, Kings College London, UK

''The Handbook of Genetics and Society provides an excellent map of this fast-moving research area. Established scholars, as well as newcomers to the field, will find this collection offers an invaluable guide to studies of genetics, genomics, and society.'' – Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University, USA

"The editors of this comprehensive Handbook have done a great job in providing a synthetic and critical overview on the co-construction of contemporary genetics and society. The book aims at re-thinking the new bio-economies and the innovations that go into them in an era of genomics. The Handbook represents social science at its best. Its contents are well-informed and display an awareness of how the social sciences are themselves implicated in this rapidly developing field." – Hans-Joerg Rheinberger, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

"Francis Collins , former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, described the coming century as the "Genome Era" in science and medicine, acknowledging the volume and intensity of genomic research in both the public and private sectors. The Genome era promises fundamental changes in research, medicine, biotechnology and in turn, in social relations. This handbook provides an invaluable collection of essays not only on the transformational effect of genomics in medicine and commerce but also on the out-dated representations of genomics in the media and community, which still rely heavily on a mono-genetic view of the science. The assays on the regulatory response in the Genome era are equally impressive." Don Chalmers, Professor and Dean of the Law School and, University of Tasmania. Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics. Also Chair of the Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee, Deputy Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

"A comprehensive approach from a stellar set of international experts. From well-known debates on genetic testing to the new frontiers of personalized medicine and nutrigenomics, this handbook resists the hype and offers clarity, substance, and critical engagement." Steven Epstein, author of Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, USA

"This handbook offers a comprehensive collection of essays addressing bioethical issues related to genetics and biotechnology…This would be a useful resource for biotechnology training programs and courses in biomedical ethics. Recommended."Choice, April 2010

"…this book makes an important contribution to contemporary work on genomics and society. …The editors bring together a collection that is useful for both the newcomer to genomics and society as well as those more established in the field." —Jennie Haw, York University, Canadian Journal of Sociology

Table of Contents

Genetics and Society: Perspectives from the Twenty-first Century, Paul Atkinson, Peter Glasner and Margaret Lock Part 1: Biomedical Applications of New Genetic Technologies 1. Introduction, Susan Kelly 2. Biomedicalising Genetic Health, Diseases and Identities, Adele E. Clarke, Janet Shim, Sara Shostak, and Alondra Nelson 3. Stem Cells, Translational Research and the Sociology of Science, Steve Wainwright, Clare Williams, Mike Michael and Alan Cribb 4. Reproductive Genetics: From Choice to Ambivalence and Back Again, AnneKerr 5. Localizing Genetic Testing and Screening in Cyprus and Germany: Contingencies, Continuities, Ordering Effects and Bio-cultural Intimacy, Stefan Beck and Jörg Niewöhner 6. Nutrigenomics, Ruth Chadwick Part 2: Commercialisation Genomes and Markets 7. Introduction, Paul Atkinson 8. Making Europe Unsafe for Agbiotech, Les Levidow 9. Genetic Information and Insurance Underwriting: Contemporary Issues and Approaches in the Global Economy, Mark A. Rothstein J.D.and Yann Joly 10. On a Critical Path: Genomics, the Crisis of Pharmaceutical Productivity and the Search for Sustainability, Paul Martin, Michael Hopkins, Paul Nightingale and Alison Kraft 11. States, Markets and Networks in Bioeconomy Knowledge Value Chains, Phil Cooke Part 3: Representations of Genomics 12. Introduction, Maureen McNeil 13. Stakeholder Representations in Genomics, Edna Einsiedel 14. Human Genetics and Cloning in the Media: Mapping the Research Field, Joan Haran and Jenny Kitzinger 15. Cultural Imaginaries and Laboratories of the Real: Representing the Genetic Sciences, Suzanne Anker 16. Genes In Our kNot, Mike Fortun Part 4: Regulation: Expressing the Gene 17. Introduction, Andrew Webster 18. Law and Regulation, Sheila McLean 19. Forensic DNA Databases and Biolegality: The Co-Production of Law, Surveillance Technology and Suspect Bodies, Mike Lynch, and Ruth McNally 20. Bio-Banks and the Challenges of Governance, Legitimacy and Benefit, Oonagh Corrigan, and Richard Tutton Part 5: Bioethics and Genetics 21. Introduction, Ruth Chadwick 22. Rethinking Privacy in the Genetics Age, David Wiesbrot 23. Bioethics and Human Genetic Engineering, John Evans and Cynthia Schairer 24. Towards a Bioethics of Disability and Impairment, Jackie Leach Scully 25. Ethical Perspectives on Animal Biotechnology, Mickey Gjerris, Anna Olsson, Jesper Lassen, Peter Sandøe Part 6: Diversity and Justice 26. Introduction, Barbara Katz Rothman 27. Religion and Nationhood: Collective Identities and the New Genetics, Barbara Prainsack and Yael Hashiloni-Dolev 28. Extravagance or the Good and the Bad of Genetic Diversity, Amade M’charek 29. Eugenics, Lene Koch 30. Human Dignity and Biotechnology Policy, Timothy Caulfield and Ubaka Ogbogu Part7: New Forms of Knowledge Production 31. Introduction, Alberto Cambrosio 32. Centralising Labels to Distribute Data: The Regulatory Role of Genomic Consortia, Sabina Leonelli 33. Innovative Genetic Technologies, Governance and Social Accountability, Andrew Webster 34. Genomic Platforms and Hybrid Formations, Alberto Cambrosio, Peter Keating, Pascalle Bourret, Phillipe Mustar, Susan Rogers

About the Editors

Paul Atkinson is Distinguished Research Professor in Sociology at Cardiff University. He has published extensively on the sociology of medical knowledge and qualitative research methods. He is co-editor of Qualitative Research, and is an Academician of Academy of the Social Sciences.

Peter Glasner is Professorial Fellow in the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen) at Cardiff University. His is co-editor of the journals New Genetics and Society, and 21st Century Society. He has a longstanding research interest in genetics, innovation and science policy. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Margaret Lock is Marjorie Bronfman Professor Emerita at McGill University, Montreal. She is the author and editor of 14 books including the award winning Twice Dead:Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death. Her current research project is on molecular genetics and the social ramifications of testing for susceptibility genes. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

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