Tag Archives: science studies

Technological & Genetic Determinism: If It’s Feasible, Is It Inevitable?

Since MiT7 I’ve been musing about the confluence of two powerful streams of thought that I will call technological determinism and genetic determinism. While these ideas are not necessarily the same thing, they are mutually reinforcing. One is used to corroborate the other. Both express a futurist perception, a kind of faith, that if something can be done, sooner or later it will be done, and it’s futile to try to stop it. Continue reading

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Mapping Controversies in Citizen Bioscience

“Narrative” – who owns it, who controls it, who disrupts it – was the holy grail of almost every argument at Media in Transition 7. After Marina Levina’s talk on Citizen Bioscience in the Age of New Media, I plunged passionately into a debate that seemed to be a reduction of individual vs. institutional narratives. I was alarmed by the notion that “citizen bioscientists” could conduct genetic research without the human protections oversight of the informed consent and institutional review board (IRB) process. To my surprise, I was defending Institutional Science, at least as far as it embraces the protection of human subjects in research. Even as I took on this role, I remembered something I wrote in the role of a disability rights activist in “Not This Pig.” Continue reading

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Cultural Bioethics: Seeking Narrative Contexts for Human Subjects Research

While navigating the jargon of academic cultural studies for a review in the Charlotte Observer, Brent Winter does a good job of conveying the key concept in a new book that argues for a “cultural bioethics” [Karla FC Holloway “Private Bodies, Public Texts: Race, Gender, and a Cultural Bioethics” by Karla F.C. Holloway]. Continue reading

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