BIOSNews Issue 6 • Summer 2007
In this issue Editorial
Public dialogue and the ScoPE project by Kevin Burchell
Building a research base
Behind the scenes of ‘The GM Nation?’ Debate by Valentina Amorese 3 The new experts of culture by David Reubi 4 BIOS team teaching by Filippa Lentzos
One small STEP(S) for BIOS; one giant leap for TE by Lamprini Kaftantzi 8 Conference presentations, lectures, class teaching, Postgrad pages – The death interviews, library visits, of disciplines? administrative duties, meetings by Ayo Wahlberg 11 – the daily grind in academia. Yet, when you bring together Postcards from BIOS visitors a group of people under the 12 auspices of a collective research Publications and conference centre like BIOS, then presumably presentations 14 there should be some kind of sync to these grinds. BIOS is Upcoming events 16 still a young research centre as we round off our fourth academic year. What started as a base for a few postdocs and PhD students in 2003, has since grown into a home for three externally-funded research projects, 15 PhD students, five Research Fellows and a steady stream of academic visitors. Consequently, over the past year or so, we have begun to see the consolidation of a BIOS research base upon which to build. Research updates
In the last few months, a number of BIOS members have published books on topics ranging from pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to public controversies surrounding genomics and the politics of life in the 21st century. Moreover, with the first externally-funded research project coordinated from BIOS (GENDEP – Genome-based therapeutic drugs for depression) coming to a close, two new projects have just kicked off (ScoPE – Scientists on Public
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Engagement, and BIONET – a China-EU collaboration on the ethical governance of biomedical research). The first two PhD dissertations by BIOS research students have also been successfully defended. This emerging research base has, in turn, fed into the active teaching efforts of BIOS staff and researchers. The BIOS Centre has now for the third year running offered a unique MSc in Biomedicine, Bioscience and Society, convened by Professor Sarah Franklin. Moreover, Dr Ilina Singh has for the second year running convened the LSE’s SO211 Sociology of Health and Medicine course for BSc students. And finally, Dr Filippa Lentzos continues to convene the HPSC New Genetics and Society course for BSc students at UCL’s Science and Technology Studies Department. Each of these courses draws on the research expertise of many BIOS staff and researchers (see Filippa’s article on BIOS team teaching in this issue). It is this research base that staff and students at BIOS will continue to build upon in the coming years.
Horlick-Jones gave a behind the scenes glimpse into the debates that formed the GM Nation? consultation, and Lamprini Kaftantzi gives us a summary of a BIOShosted evening seminar on ‘Tissue Engineering in Europe: Products, Processes and Public Participation’. Also in this issue, David Reubi sent us a report from the eighth Asian Bioethics Conference held in Bangkok in March 2007 in which he discusses how bioethics is being operationalised in a cross-cultural context. And finally, in the postgrad pages, Ayo Wahlberg asks whether or not research centres like BIOS are hollowing out the disciplines; one of the themes to have emerged out of this year’s annual Sociology weekend held at Cumberland Lodge in January. Happy reading and have a great Summer Term and summer break! Valentina Amorese, Lamprini Kaftantzi, David Reubi, Ayo Wahlberg
In this issue of BIOS News, Kevin Burchell introduces his research project, ScoPE, which will in the coming years be looking particularly at the roles of biomedical scientists in deliberative processes. Picking up on this theme, Valentina Amorese reviews a Public Understanding of Science seminar in which Dr Tom
Public dialogue and the ScoPE project by Kevin Burchell
experts, are used to stimulate and inform discussion among all participants (public and expert). Underpinning all of these activities is an institutional commitment, rhetorically at least, to the notion that the inclusion of public views leads to better policy and regulation.
In the Autumn 2006 issue of BIOS News we announced the award to Professor Sarah Franklin of new funding from the Wellcome Trust. The context of the three-year ScoPE project (Scientists on Public Engagement: from communication to deliberation) is the widespread advocacy and use of deliberative processes and dialogue events in the management of relationships between developments in the life sciences, broader society and policy-making. Within this context, the objective of ScoPE is to explore issues specifically relating to the life scientists who participate in such events and processes. In this issue, Kevin Burchell, the ScoPE project manager, provides further background to the project. In recent years, in common with a number of areas of public and science policy, public dialogue or deliberation would appear to have become an increasingly important component in the regulation of developments within the life sciences. Public dialogue on the life sciences is now employed by the Office of Science and Innovation, the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council, the Royal Society, the-BA, the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Authority, and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. The stated purpose of these exercises is to contribute to policy debates and processes with respect to current and future developments in areas as diverse as stem cell research, pharmacogenetics, neuroscience, legal and illegal
drugs, enhancement therapies of various kinds, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, nanobiotechnologies, and a variety of testing and diagnostic technologies. In all of these contexts, public participants are purposively recruited to form a group that is assumed to be representative of wider society or representative of a particular section of society (for instance, by age, ethnicity or socio-economic group). Importantly, in most cases, the relevant public is defined as the public which does not have a specific interest in the topic under discussion (as might be expected, for instance, in the case of a patient, carer or campaigner). Typically, public participants meet at least once. Typically, also, prompt materials and inputs from expert participants of various kinds, including scientific
Of course, the contemporary popularity of public dialogue prompts many interlinked conceptual, practical and political questions that will be played out in interlinked academic, practitioner and policy realms. For instance, social and political thinkers might enquire what public dialogue means for democracy and governance, for â€˜the politics of life itselfâ€™ (to paraphrase Nikolas Rose), for each of the areas of science and technology highlighted above, and for the social worlds that they are in relationships of co-production with. (Of course, some commentator might conceive of public dialogue as a technology in itself, and consider the ways in which society and public dialogue co-produce each other). Policy commentators might question the mechanisms, capacity and willingness of institutions to incorporate the results of public dialogue into policy-making, and thus might ask about the extent to which governmental institutions seek to instrumentally reinforce public trust through the mere act of public dialogue. Economic analysts might turn their attention to the economic actors in the new dialogue industry who attempt to produce public views for policy consumption. Those with practical interests might consider the wide variety of mechanisms that are available to dialogue practitioners, the variety of outcomes that these can produce, and the methods used to evaluate these. The ScoPE project has the objective of contributing to these debates by focussing on issues specifically relating to scientific experts. While the importance of scientific experts to the richness of many dialogue and deliberative processes is not in doubt, relatively little attention has been paid to this issue. With this
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‘There can be little doubt that the increased employment of public dialogue presents new and potentially challenging scenarios for scientific experts. For example, public engagement has traditionally been undertaken by scientific experts within a top down, one-way model of communication and education.’
in mind, the objective of the ScoPE project is to address questions, such as: what are the roles of biomedical scientists in deliberative processes?; what opportunities and challenges do biomedical scientists present and experience when participating in deliberative processes?; what understandings do biomedical scientists have of the public?; and, what understandings do biomedical scientists have of deliberative processes? Although there is insufficient space here to comment in detail on all of the issues that prompt these questions, it might be of value to comment further on the crucial issue of the ways in which scientific experts respond to the notion and experience of public dialogue and deliberation. There can be little doubt that the increased employment of public dialogue presents new and potentially challenging scenarios for scientific experts. For example, as reflected in the full title of the ScoPE project, public engagement has traditionally been undertaken by scientific experts within a top down, one-way model of communication and education (of course, it should be remembered that this approach became rather contentious in the UK due to its employment as a means of addressing public concerns about certain technological developments, under the rubric of the public understanding of science). Within the dialogue or deliberative model, of course, scientific experts are expected to interact on more equal terms with non-experts, and with a broad range of values, knowledges and concerns. Further, according to the institutional advocates of public dialogue, policymaking might be expected to address
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
broader social questions, such as: social aspirations, alternatives and choices for achieving these, the distribution of various types of benefits and risks (particularly with respect to vulnerable groups and developing countries), and institutional and regulatory legitimacy, capability and responsibility. This, of course, is in contrast to late twentieth century expert-oriented approaches to policy-making. Commentators have made bold claims – both positive and negative – regarding the responses of scientific experts to these novel scenarios. For example, it has been claimed that public dialogue will lead to the demoralisation of scientific experts. Some empirical work would seem to lend tangential legitimacy this claim. A number of studies have suggested that some scientists, at least: view the public as irrational, subjective, ignorant and easily influenced by the media and NGOs; view policymaking as a process that should be based primarily or solely on scientific knowledge; and, conceive of public engagement in limited terms of public education. Although these studies have been conducted at a distance from actual processes of public dialogue, they do perhaps suggest that there is sentiment among some scientists, with respect to the public, to policy-making and to the objectives of public engagement that would not necessarily bode well for their successful involvement in public dialogue. On the other hand, institutional advocates and practitioners of public dialogue present a more positive picture. They argue that scientists are increasingly convinced by the rationales for public dialogue,
and respond positively to the idea of an increased role for public views in policy-making surrounding novel technologies. Further, they note that scientific experts are willing and able to engage with public views, concerns and knowledges in a positive manner and that a common or consensual language can emerge during processes of public dialogue and deliberation. The objective of ScoPE is to provide empirically grounded knowledge on this issue and those outlined earlier. This will be achieved by interviewing both scientific expert participants in, and the organisers of, public dialogue and deliberation processes of various kinds. In addition, the research team will observe processes of various kinds. The empirical planning for the project began in January 2007 and the empirical work itself began in March 2007. A research update will feature in a future issue of BIOS News. In the meantime, further information about the issues addressed by the ScoPE project are at www.lse.ac.uk/ collections/BIOS/scope/scope.htm or you can contact Kevin Burchell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Behind the scenes of the
‘GM Nation?’ debate by Valentina Amorese
The ‘Public Understanding of Science’ seminar series, organized by Martin Bauer (LSE), Jane Gregory and Simon Lock (UCL), represents a moment of discussion, information and engagement for those interested in exploring the interface between science and society. Since 1993, they have been hosted in London by the Science Museum, University College of London, Birkbeck College, and more recently by the LSE Institute of Social Psychology/BIOS Centre. This year’s meetings, usually held every three weeks on Wednesday afternoons, have already seen Professor Baudouin Jurdant, Dr Nicole Kronberger (post-doctoral visitor at the LSE), and Dr Tom Horlick-Jones presenting. They have talked on topics including the communication of science as an autobiographical form of writing in science, the challenges that biotechnology raises for classification systems as they turn natural beings into ‘artificial objects’, and the experience of the ‘GM Nation?’ debate. Perhaps because of my personal research interests I found the latter seminar to be particularly stimulating, and attendance considering, it seems I was not the only one. Indeed, the experience of the ‘GM Nation?’ debate has been particularly controversial, as captured in the headlines of several newspapers, such as the Independent or the Daily Mail, which respectively carried pieces titled ‘GM Crops? No thanks: Britain delivers overwhelming verdict after unprecedented public opinion survey’
(The Independent), and ‘Frankenstein Food Revolt: 9 out of 10 vote NO to GM crops’ (The Daily Mail). In this article, I would like to take the chance to revisit briefly this experience, and show why those headlines do not reflect its multifaceted results. The ‘GM Nation?’ debate arose as the result of a recommendation by the British Government to develop ‘public engagement’ between science and society in dealing with contested issues like genetically engineered foods. The main debate took place in the UK in the summer of 2003, it involved participants from all over the country and it was divided into three main phases. The first one consisted of a series of public meetings divided into three ‘tiers’. Typically ‘tier 1’ was made up of meetings organized at a national level by the Central Office of Information and was open to anyone interested in participating. ‘Tier 2’ consisted of around 40 meetings, and ‘tier 3’ around 600 meetings, hosted by local authorities and organizations and open to all members of the public. The second phase was in the form of an interactive website, containing debates, materials and questionnaires. And finally, the third part of the debate was carried out by the so called ‘Narrow but Deep’ group, in which participants, selected through market-research criteria to reflect a cross-section of Britons, met twice to discuss and explore GM issues. Judging from the feedback forms at least 8,340 people attended at least one type of meeting, the website registered 24,000 unique visitors,
77 persons were involved in the ‘Narrow but Deep’ group, and the whole project cost the governments around £650,000 .Without a doubt it represented a challenging and elaborate attempt to achieve ‘citizen engagement’ in the UK, as it probably had never been done before. HorlickJones was at that time leading the independent commission of academics in charge of the evaluation of the ‘GM Nation?’ debate and, for this reason, he had behind the scenes access during the whole event. As he explained to us in the seminar, there were some unquestionable methodological problems, like the self-volunteering approach for choosing the participants that was used for almost the whole project. As a result, those who already had concerns, strong doubts or were even opposed to the consumption of GM Foods were prevalent in the final group of participants in the debate. These characteristics made the sample inconsistent with overall British opinions, and made the results of the debate difficult to interpret. That was probably even more aggravated by the limited number of participants selected for the ‘Narrow but Deep’ group, whose control ‘mechanism’ has never been completely clear. Having said that, as the speaker suggested, the ‘GM Nation?’ was a significant step towards public engagement, and almost every participant enjoyed it. At the end of the seminar, after a fascinating and interesting discussion between the speaker and his audience, Horlick-Jones invited us to look at the weaknesses, problems, failures, and methodological concerns of the debate as parts of a learning process which sometimes requires a fall in order to rise again and carry on. Unfortunately the time was not sufficient for exploring in detail how those problems could be solved in the future, but that is undoubtedly something that still needs to be investigated, and hopefully we will read about that in future publications, starting with the forthcoming book by Horlick-Jones ‘The GM Debate: Risk, Politics and Public Engagement’.
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
‘Ethics understood as a particular logic of governance does not only need a rationale; it also needs a particular subject of government: a human being capable of reflecting and deciding about his or her own existence.’
The new experts of culture – ethics governance, Asia and the idea of culture by David Reubi This March, I attended the Asian Bioethics Association’s 2007 Conference in Bangkok as part of my PhD research on the emergence of a novel logic in governing the use of the human body in medical research in both Britain and Singapore. The four-day convention, entitled Biotechnology, Culture and Human Values in Asia and Beyond, was an excellent illustration of the continuing diffusion throughout Asia of the concerns, principles and other techniques of government that constitute bioethics today. This process of diffusion started in the late 1980s in Japan, which was one of the first Asian countries to import these notions from the West. Darryl Macer, one of the conference’s main organisers and current head of UNESCO’s Regional Unit for Science and Human Science in Asia and the Pacific, has been a central figure of this development since 1990. Born in New-Zealand in the 1960s, he trained in both the life sciences and Christian ethics in his country and, later on, in England. Interested by how other cultures thought about life and scientific progress, he soon moved to Japan where he started lecturing at the University of Tsukuba on one of Asia’s first bio-ethics programs. It is there that he created the Eubios Ethics Institute whose aim was (and still is) to provide countries throughout Asia with free teaching materials relating to bioethics. When, in 2004 he took up the direction of the UNESCO programme to promote bioethics within Asia, the landscape had already changed significantly with many in academia and government having adopted the language of bioethics. Singapore is a good example of these changes. Indeed, from the late 1990s
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onwards, the city-state has been investing substantially in bioethics evidenced by: the creation of a Bioethics Advisory Committee; the introduction of ethics courses at undergraduate level; well-publicized public consultations regarding life sciences issues; the establishment of a Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the National University; and the hiring of Western experts such as British bioethics pioneer Alastair V. Campbell to help in the building of capacities in the field in the region. The Eighth Asian Bioethics Conference was also a good illustration of the concerns, ideas and techniques constituting what can be called a new type of governance – ethics governance. This, according to the free manual handed to all participants – A Cross-Cultural Introduction to Bioethics – can be understood as a ‘system of moral principles or standards governing [human] conduct,’ principally in relation to the biomedical sciences. As with other discourses on human rights, many of these principles were developed in the USA and the UK in the 1960s with the aim of protecting the human being against the excesses of modern science – a rationale which informed most of the presentations given at the conference. But, ethics understood as a particular logic of governance does not only need a rationale; it also needs a particular subject of government. There was widespread agreement in that respect among participants: the subject of government was a human being capable of reflecting and deciding about his or her own existence. ‘Humans,’ as the free manual puts it, ‘possess unique moral wills and want to exercise choice.’
It is this capacity for reflection and choice that ethics governance is concerned with – monitoring it, listening to it, and protecting it. To operationalise this understanding, ethics governance has developed various techniques of government involving special knowledge and ad hoc experts. One of these techniques is informed consent. It stems from the idea that an individual should make an educated decision about what happens to his or her body in relation to medical treatment or research. This, of course, necessitates the creation of a particular ‘non paternalistic’ relationship between doctors and patients where communication, equality and respect are deemed central. To do so, experts have to analyse the existing doctor-patient relationship and offer advice on how it can be improved to make it fit the ideal, as one presentation about informed consent in Malaysia illustrated. One possible way to improve this relationship is the creation of ‘consent specialists’ who are trained to inform and obtain consent from patients, as is done in Singapore. Another, more recent technique is the idea of ‘dialogue with the public,’ which aims to ensure that the development of science and technology is done in accordance with the opinions and values of the individuals composing society. This necessitates experts and knowledge to define who the public is, how to make it speak and how to map its inputs – issues which were discussed and dissected by many papers. What makes the conference in Bangkok as well as other previous conventions organised by the Asian Bioethics Association particular is probably their strong emphasis
The new experts of culture continued… on ‘culture’ or, rather, ‘cultural differences.’ This diversity has been a conundrum for policy makers advocating unified global moral standards ever since Lévi-Strauss’ Race et Histoire, which he wrote for UNESCO in 1952. In this pamphlet, the French philosopher argued against the universality of human rights because these were informed and shaped by Western culture in which they had originated. This, it was thought, constituted a serious bias which robbed them of their impartiality and moral strength. There were only two ways around it: either abandoning setting any universal principles at all or attempting to integrate cultural differences by allowing for cultural variation in principles (within certain limits, of course). With the former solution smacking of nihilism, most chose to pursue the latter. For bioethics, that meant continuing to protect human beings and their capacity to reflect and decide. However, it also meant acknowledging that the protection offered; the definition of what constitutes a human being; as well as the way they think and chose are all subject to variation. Instead of abandoning bioethics altogether, bioethics had to embrace culture and bio-ethicists had to become experts in cultural variation – transforming their system of principles by identifying, translating
and integrating different values and practices. As the free manual puts it: ‘bioethics is not about thinking that we can find one correct solution to ethical problems;’ rather, an ethically ‘mature society is one that has developed some social and behavioural tools [to deal with] new situations raised by technology.’ This will to identify, accept and integrate cultural variation infused the entire Bangkok conference. Indeed, even the conference diner indulged in the ‘cultural diversity’ theme, encouraging each participant ‘to share [his or her] cultural heritage and discover other cultures’. To do so, participants were asked ‘to bring something of their community or country, [be it] a traditional object, a costume, a short play, a dance show or a song [which they would] present in an original way.’ But, while the conference diner might have been meant as a parody, the presentations given during the conference attested to the seriousness of the enterprise of integrating cultural variations. On Tuesday, for example, the entire morning was spent trying to discover the principles which would make up a Buddhist theory of bioethics, while most of the afternoon was used to tease out the differences between European and Asian concepts of privacy as well as to outline a Confucian perspective of ethics. Did Buddhism really have a
concept of the person? What did privacy mean for poor Indians living in overcrowded slums? Should the procedure of informed consent be re-designed to allow for the family to be heard as Chinese traditional values would want it? The methods used by the presenters to answer these questions were almost as numerous as the papers, ranging from analyses of old religious scriptures to indepth interviews and ‘community consultation’ exercises. The most comprehensive of these attempts at expressing and integrating cultural diversity, was certainly Darryl Macer’s ‘Behaviourome Project,’ which proposes to map out all the different ethical principles existing around the world using surveys and in-depth interviews. As this new expert of culture explains in his 2004 Challenges for Bioethics from Asia, the human mental map thus obtained ‘would help develop bioethics for the people by the people’. The development of biotechnology and use of humans in clinical trials in many countries raises fundamental questions about whether the standards used should be universal or local. The development of guidelines should be culturally sensitive … Having a map of human ideas will enable us to reflect more diversity of ideas into policy frameworks.’
BIOS team teaching By Filippa Lentzos Following on from our successful team teaching on the Sociology of Health and Medicine course the last couple of years, we have expanded our reach beyond the LSE and have this past term been team teaching on the New Genetics and Society course at UCL. This course considers how the knowledge emerging from the new genetics is being applied, exploited and controlled. It was initiated by Dr Brian Balmer in the mid-90s, at a time when ‘new genetics and society’ was still a fairly underresearched area. Since then, and especially in the last few years, a number of ‘textbooks’ have come out: Alison Pilnick’s (2002) Genetics and Society: An Introduction; Alan Peterson and Robin Bunton’s (2002)
The New Genetics and the Public’s Health; Anne Kerr’s (2004) Genetics and Society: A Sociology of Disease; George Gaskell and Martin Bauer’s (2006) Genomics and Society: Legal, Ethical and Social Dimensions; Gísli Pálsson’s forthcoming Anthropology and the New Genetics; etc. While these textbooks form excellent background reading for the students, we have to a large degree built our own syllabus and teaching material from scratch. In the first week of the course we introduce the principles of reductionism and biological determinism, and draw particularly on a highly controversial study linking intelligence with class and race in the US to illustrate the impact these sorts of arguments can have on public policy. We continue the exploration of biological reductionism
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
‘The course considers how the knowledge emerging from the new genetics is being applied, exploited and controlled.’
by providing an overview of the rise of eugenic ideas in the late 1880s, and its implementation in the early to mid 1900s. The eugenic movement emphasised the right of the state to intervene in reproduction. Today we emphasise the right of the individual to make reproductive decisions. In week 3 we consider to what extent today’s prenatal genetic diagnosis represents a disguised or possibly a new kind of eugenics, and ask whether subtle pressures to make the ‘right’ choice from third parties like insurers, manufacturers and physicians might have similar consequences to coercive pressures from the state, or whether perhaps our increased ability to select the kinds of children we want means that a new eugenics will result from the multitude of voluntary decisions and demands for tests. Our lectures on medicine, race and genomics and on forensic genetics put current debates in a historical light, and ask, among other things, whether race is simply the most recent incarnation of the biogenetic legitimation of social inequity and discrimination and whether we will develop, once again, the understanding that criminals are distinct, biologically identifiable ‘kinds’ of people. The genetic testing and management of lifestyles lecture focuses on the new category of the ‘genetically at risk’ and brought in ideas around ‘mere’ life, ‘quality’ of life, life
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strategies and genetic-driven lifestyle changes. In the seminar we ask the students to come up with four points that would be most important to communicate to Charles, aged 50 who has recently had a genetic test confirming he has an APOE 4 genotype and whose brother suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. Looking at biobanks we ask the students to consider whether they would participate in the UK BioBank project, if they were eligible, and we problematise the natural/unnaturalness of commercially profiting from the sale of body parts and DNA. Gene therapy and pharmacogenomics form case studies on which to hook ideas around the sociology of technological expectations in our commercialising genes lecture, and we raise questions about the implications of hype, whether excessive hype is an ethical concern in itself, and whether scientists, sociologists and ethicists have a responsibility to be moderate in their predictions of the revolutionary implication of genetic technologies. To consider the practical aspects of commercialising the new genetics, we divided the students into groups: 1. Myriad Genetics, holder of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 patens; 2. The UK Cancer Research Campaign, sponsors of the group which successfully identified BRCA2 and which funds research on cancer; and 3. A breast cancer patient support group; and asked
them to come up with the arguments they would use in testifying before a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiring into the future of patenting genes. Intellectual property rights was picked up on again in our lecture on bioprospecting and biopiracy, where the Hoodia gordonia, turmeric, neem and ayahuasca cases formed empirical examples from which to question what count as instances of ‘biopiracy’ and to bring up broader questions like how traditional knowledge fits into the IPR system and whether it should be forced to, and what benefits come from ‘genetic resources’ and for whom. In the final lecture, genetics and the politics of life itself, we put the genetics revolution in the wider context of sanitation, nutrition, affluence, anaesthetics, pharmaceuticals, etc as various strategies for ‘optimising life’. We revisit the themes of hope, hype and fears that both contribute to and limit the possibilities of the new genetics, looking at what sociologists like Brown, Franklin, Hedgecoe, Novas, Nightingale and Martin, Habermas and Fukuyama have said about these themes. It has been a pleasure convening this course, primarily because the teaching team has been a terrific, enthusiastic and highly motivated group to work with. A big THANK YOU to Ayo, Chris, Linsey, Megan and Scott.
‘Reproducibility, aseptic manufacturing, low level of inventory, short shelf-life and definition of release criteria for quality and safety testing are some of the issues/challenges that surround the TE manufacturing process and that impede the scale-up of TE products and their industrial production.’
One small STEP(S) for BIOS; one giant leap for TE By Lamprini Kaftantzi and industrial challenges that TE products are facing compared with pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Reproducibility, aseptic manufacturing, low level of inventory, short shelf-life and definition of release criteria for quality and safety testing are some of the issues/challenges that surround the TE manufacturing process and that impede the scale-up of TE products and their industrial production. Dr Therin noted how the current regulatory gap and lack of harmonisation among EU member states are jeopardising a global TE marketing strategy and are delaying the appearance of a successful business model. L-R: Professor Sarah Franklin, Professor David Williams (speaker)
A special evening event titled ‘Tissue Engineering in Europe: Products, Processes and Public Participation’ was held on the 21st of March at the LSE, co-sponsored by BIOS and STEPS, Europe’s leading Tissue Engineering consortium. The workshop was part of a mutual effort by BIOS and STEPS (Systems Approach to Tissue Engineering Products and Processes) to forge stronger interdisciplinary links between bioscience and social sciences and to give a unique opportunity to those interested to participate in a dialogue about one of the most significant areas of emerging bioscience with some of Europe’s leading experts in the field. Professor Sarah Franklin (director BIOS, LSE) started the event by welcoming the speakers and the audience and Professor Alessandra Pavesio (Fidia Advanced Biosciences, member of the STEPS consortium) introduced the speakers. As the first speaker of the workshop, Professor David Williams, head of the division of Clinical Engineering
Professor Richard J. Lilford (professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Birmingham) talked about the role of health economics in the early assessment of commercial value of both medical devices and TE products.
at the University of Liverpool and director of the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering, explained what Tissue Engineering science is, what products and processes it involves as well as what its aims and limitations at both the EU and international level are. Professor Williams noted how ‘TE has yet to be routinely successful either clinically or commercially’ and how it has been failing to make a significant impact on healthcare because of a lack of connectivity between the different components (material science, engineering, cell sourcing, cell manipulation, etc). The STEPS consortium is successfully addressing this problem by introducing a ‘Systems Approach’ to TE and its associated technologies. In other words STEPS is aiming to provide a totally new infrastructure by systematically linking together all aspects of the TE multidisciplinary process including a determination of the socioeconomic issues related to ethics and healthcare.
The social science of TE was the focus of the last two presentations made by professor Sarah Franklin (Director, BIOS) and Ms Leen Trommelmans (researcher at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven). Ms Trommelman’s talk was about the regulatory and ethical environment for TE science and products and the possible approaches (philosophical, socioeconomic) to study them. Issues such as altruistic donation, informed consent, traceability and ownership of cells and tissues as well as their material and informational value were presented among the most pressing issues surrounding TE science.
Michel Therin (Sofradim, member of the STEPS Consortium) gave a presentation on the regulatory
Professor Sarah Franklin’s talk was about the relationship of TE with stem cells research and the resulting BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
database to provide solid evidence of public confidence in embryo donation for stem cell research. The large number and the multidisciplinary background of the workshop participants is evidence of the great interest that exists around this type of events where life sciences experts are presenting side by side with social scientists. As scientific projects are beginning to recognise the importance of incorporating socioeconomic issues in their work, these multidisciplinary events will become more often. BIOS is certainly looking forward to future similar collaborations.
Dr Michael Therin
socioethical issues. Stem cells are a major area of research for BIOS and they are numerous collaborations between BIOS and life scientists working in the field of stem cell and tissue-based therapies. Professor Franklin also introduced the audience to hESCCO (Human Embryonic Stem
Cell Coordinators), a group of life scientists and social scientists which are working to standardise donor information and consent forms in accordance with the HFEA guidelines, produce standardised national protocols for GMP and other aspects of derivation and establish a secure
Research updates Dr Filippa Lentzos Research Fellow ‘Balancing National Security and Scientific Autonomy’ Nikolas and I have been awarded a 12-month grant from the Wellcome Trust for a pilot study to look at biomedical research, national security concerns and scientific autonomy in Post-9/11 policies. The misuse of biomedical research has become a prominent policy concern in many countries following the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing anthrax letters in the US and alarms about biothreats in the UK and elsewhere. There are, however, different understandings and interpretations of what the risks of misuse actually are. Different conceptions of the risks may lead to divergent policy approaches to the best way of dealing with misuse concerns. Even when there is a shared understanding of what the risks of misuse are, different
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evaluations of appropriate responses and oversight mechanisms may occur. The oversight mechanisms suggested in the misuse debate range from self-governance in the form of peer review and codes of conduct at one end of the spectrum through to more formal regulatory mechanisms like guidelines, licenses, and statutory regulation at the other. Embedded within the different policy approaches are value judgements, in particular about scientific autonomy and national security. To explore these value judgements, this preliminary study will investigate how the risks of misuse and appropriate responses to those risks have been constructed by different actors in the policy debates in Britain and the United States, asking: How do post-9/11 AngloAmerican policies on managing the potential misuse of biomedical research balance national security concerns and scientific autonomy?
Kerstin Klein PhD Candidate ‘Biopower, Stem cells and Embryos in China and the European Union’ Hard to believe where time has gone, as I have now arrived in my third year of the MPhil/PhD Programme in Sociology and the Bios Centre at LSE. For thanks to very generous, if belated, funding from the school this year, I have gladly been able to cut down on work for money and change into full-time study this spring term. I would like to take the occasion to thank LSE and the Department of Sociology for this. From my perspective, my PhD at LSE, in Bios and the UK could not be more challenging, and it is by far more so than I was able to anticipate. Apart from the goal of gaining the necessary language skills to communicate with international scientific communities instead of only German-speaking, which as
Research updates continued… a research assistant in Australia I came to see as literally a needle in an English-speaking haystack, my world was shaken during the past two years now, when previous job commitments in Germany finally allowed me to move to London. In most aspects, every given of my life was put upside down. Not a wholehearteded, but nevertheless trained Luhmannian system theorist with a cybernetic chaos and complexity inspired mind (who enjoyed a total of one introductory lecture on Foucault and his panopticon - given by a chaos theory physicist turned social scientist), I came into the most poststructuralist of environments. It began in the SO500 research seminar where every communicated aspect was downright incomprehensive to me. Different paradigm, different mentality, different scientific language - and yet these were not the only aspects that I found my old Alltagswelt inadaptable to... I also found myself as a somewhat accidental sociological participant observer of Anglo-Saxon (or more precisely one needs to say British) regulatory culture in the field of new genetic technologies. In the frequently interest group integrating and Green Party ‘infiltrated’ political system in Germany versus a seemingly entrusted relationship in the UK between industry/science with regulators on the one side and the public and state on the other, both systems of bio-policymaking could hardly be more different. Whereas UK regulators are currently investigating into the enquiry of scientists to allow the creation of hybrid (human-animal) embryos with enucleated rabbit or cow eggs which, if permitted, would well top the ‘Ethical Guidelines on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research’ issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Beijing only a few years earlier in January 2004, in Germany the procurement of human embryonic stem cells is still prohibited under the German Embryo Protection Act. The Bios Centre added to the many differences I encountered since I began my PhD studies at LSE, as here social science and our biotechnological object in science & technology studies (STS) are transformed into a whole new paradigm of inter-disciplinary interchange and co-operation. As a result, my study of embryonic stem cell research regulation is re-located in the global bioeconomy, and with the conceptual tools of governmentality, biopower and biopolitics the comparison of Chinese and EU stem cell policymaking
has come into a new light. Not in favour of following any particular school, I see myself turned into a poststructural system theorist or systemic poststructuralist perhaps. Not everyone may agree with this, but I see some telling similarities in the two larger theoretical strands which both draw largely on Nietzsche (idea of ‘contingencies’ for instance) and both born into a time with a need to end old meta-narratives (Foucault) and enlightened Old Europe (Luhmann). Against Foucault’s use of the idea of the Panopticon, of total observation and control of the prisoner (or member of society) through the jailer (or social institutions), Niklas Luhmann’s theory of observation offers one of points of entry for comparison. In Bielefeld, where Luhmann also wrote his all other work encompassing masterpiece ‘The Society of Society’, his thought has surprisingly self-reflexively inspired an artist monument of the Central Police Station, where 26 rectangles of stone stand next to each other in a circle, with one block after the other saying: ‘A observes B’, then ‘B observes C’, then ‘C observes… and so on in an endless process with a further block saying ‘Z observes A’. Where both seem to differ is that for Luhmann there is no powerful centre, say the state for instance. But instead, is the Luhmannian police artpiece not actually a metaphor for Foucault’s more postmodern idea of dispersed power, where no social system has absolute power over others, but is interwoven in actor networks and loosely coupled in feedback-loops with other social systems? From the manifold close inspections of scientific and political cultures, by the time that I finish I imagine I have gained some of the skills required for inter-cultural and – national mediation. Nonetheless, what is sure is I gained study material to draw on for years to come!
Dr Ayo Wahlberg Research fellow ‘Changing forms of vitality – life optimisation and the concept of ‘quality’ ’ The past few months have been some kind of a cross between a whirlwind and a roller coaster ride for me, to say the least! After submitting my PhD dissertation (Modernisation and its side effects) last October, I entered that weird limbo time between submission and viva which I spent working on some publications as well as attending a few conferences
(4S in Vancouver and a workshop in Bremen). In mid-November, on the very same day, I received two e-mails containing decisions on two post-doc applications I had submitted in the months before – both negative. Not one of my favourite days on memory. I had, at the same time, put in an application for a position as Research Fellow on the EC sixth frameworkfunded project BIONET which is an EU-China collaboration on the ethical governance of biomedical research. Having just submitted a dissertation which was a comparative analysis of the recent laboratory and clinic-based modernisation of herbal medicine in Vietnam and UK, I thought my profile was perfect for the position. And to my great joy I was successful in my application! Next up was my viva in January this year which turned out to be a fantastic experience – 2 and a half hours of engaged discussion with my examiners who passed me without revisions. Now, that is one of my favourite days on memory. And so here I am, having just begun my duties as research fellow on the BIONET project (see BIOS News issue 5), not to mention having just become a father for the second time. Working as a research fellow in the context of the BIONET project will provide me with a fantastic opportunity to learn from almost 20 partners throughout China and Europe and to develop some of the ideas that have emerged from my doctoral research. In particular, I have become fascinated with the concept of ‘quality’ in contemporary efforts to optimise life, not only as it relates to the late 20th century emergence of ‘quality of life’ but also in terms of how the concept comes to be operationalised in biomedical research, for example in the securing of ‘good quality’ biological samples (gametes, embryos, embryonic stem cell lines, tissues, etc.). And so in the coming years I will be working to map out how changing forms of vitality emerge and come to inform not only biomedical research but also day to day efforts to improve the lives of populations and individuals in both a Chinese and a European context. My aim is to bring some Canguilhemianinspired curiosity to the concept of ‘quality’, both as concerns ‘good life’ and ‘the good life’.
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
Postgrad pages The death of disciplines? By Ayo Wahlberg Are research centres like BIOS hollowing out the disciplines? What does it mean to do sociology in the 21st Century? Are doctoral studies becoming extended Masters’ degrees? These were some of the challenging questions that participants at the annual Sociology retreat at Cumberland Lodge were asked in January. The weekend brought together research students, Masters’ students as well as a few staff members with the idea of interrogating our discipline and asking ‘What it means to do sociology in the 21st Century?’. BIOS research students were once again well represented, both as participants and presenters. The weekend was kicked off by Nigel Dodd who started out by asking those participants who would describe themselves first and foremost as a sociologist to raise their hands. About half of the room did. He then proceeded to raise a number of provocative questions including whether or not research centres like BIOS, the Gender Institute and the Cities programme (all affiliated with Sociology) were in fact contributing to the hollowing out of sociology as a discipline. Funding was increasingly going to such specialised centres, he argued, at the cost of a solid core of classic social theory. If ‘society’ and the ‘social’ were dead as so many have claimed, then was there a reason for the continued persistence of a discipline which in name at least was a study of the social? He also pointed out that, if some of the key journals were to be believed, sociology in the 21st century was about mapping flows and movements and about accounting for an ongoing societal fragmentation and dissolution.
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
This diagnosis of disarray would set the context for two days of presentations by students. Panels were held on the practice of sociology, methodology, ethics, social theory as well as on the question of ‘What is sociology?’. BIOS PhD student, Shahanah Schmid was part of an engaging panel of first year sociology PhD students who introspectively asked themselves what discipline it was they were about to become specialists in. The panel suggested that engagement with the age-old questions of agency and structure (or ideas as they put it) as well as the unintended consequences that interaction between the two had on social relations was key, whatever the ‘fragmented’ area we as sociologists were studying – biomedicine, urban planning, gender, etc. As part of a panel on methodology, Eva Neitzert made a strong case for the place of history in sociology. All too often, the heralding of new ages or pronouncements on profound transformations in society were not backed up with historical empirical scrutiny. In her own field of study, Eva showed how the creative industries in New Zealand have long played a role in economic development planning even if many commentators suggest that this convergence was unique at the dawn of a new millennium. On the same panel, Lena PellandiniSimanyi discussed the importance of validity and reliability when carrying out qualitative interview research. When interviewing informants about moralities of consumption in Hungary, Lena showed how ‘getting to the bottom it’ was complicated by cultural conventions, social situations as well as the role and place of the researcher. And no matter how many ‘tricks’ (triangulation, control interviews, etc.) were employed, these would never get rid of
contradictions which in turn did not detract from qualitative research. On the second day, Linsey McGoey and myself (from BIOS) presented on a social theory panel. Drawing on Nietzche, Taylor and Foucault, Linsey discussed the apparent contradictions between post-structuralist theory and social activism, arguing that a commitment to denaturalising and historicising social phenomena was not disarming but rather provided grounds for action. In my own talk entitled ‘A modernity that wouldn’t go away’, I argued that however fragmented or ‘hollowed out’ it was suggested sociology had become, there were certainly some common themes to be found throughout the past few hundred years worth of social theory. In particular, I suggested that the negative effects of history on our interiorities, our subjectivities, has been a consistent field of investigation for sociologists – from the negative effects of priestly tyrannies and superstitions (keeping people ‘immature’) that Enlightenment writers accounted for, the negative effects of modernisation that the ‘fathers’ of sociology wrote of and more recently the disorienting effects of globalisation that contemporary social theorists write about. The final panel was on the topic of ethics, with BIOS PhD student Btihaj Ajana giving a paper on ‘The Ethics of De-Coding Ethics in Sociological Praxis’. Btihaj argued that the formalisation of ethics into various ethical codes and committees ran the risk of giving a false sense of comfort and argued instead, following Campbell and Shapiro, for an ethics of encounter without any commitment to closure. Btihaj was joined on the panel by first-year sociology PhD student Elia Evanoff, who gave a thought-provoking
The death of disciplines continued… presentation on the continued Western dominance in sociology. Why was it, Elia asked, that in Japan the best way to establish yourself as a sociologist was to translate a Western contemporary classic into Japanese?
All in all, the weekend at Cumberland Lodge was once again inspiring, as students were given a forum in which to share and explore ideas. If research centres like BIOS or the Cities programme are killing off disciplines like sociology, it
was certainly interesting to note that research students from these centres were among the most active and keen participants at the Department of Sociology’s annual Cumberland Lodge weekend.
Postcards from BIOS visitors Andreas Roepstorff University of Aarhus Farewell Why is leaving BIOS after 7 months so sad? A good place to start missing is Wednesdays: Days of discussion group, reading group, study group, and finally coffee and cake group: be it home made versions from any continent, or exquisitely bought from one of the exclusive Central London shops. This focused diversity of people and places, of ideas and food is so much what BIOS has been about for me. You may begin the day by discussing the comparative symbolic efficacies of herbal medicine and psychopharnaca, have predictive coding models of mind for lunch, take biopiracy in comtemporary scientific expeditions for dinner, and conclude with a smorgasbord of chinese sweets for desserts. All that, within view of the spires of St. Clemens on one side, and London Eye on the other. But there are also the concentrated Mondays to remember. Coming in early, the floor still empty, and silently the room just fills up with concentrated energy. People typing, reading, browsing through books. Days that may be spent almost without talking to anyone, and yet not in isolation. Because there are other people around, familiar faces, known projects, caught up in the same annoying process of trying to make sense of stuff, of churning out those wretched words that just don’t seem to get on the screen. And knowing that one is not alone in the process, that there are people to smile at, chat with, makes such a difference, even on days where one doesn’t get around to do it. It may be that research work at times is solitary, focused on good days, scattered on most, but at BIOS it appears to be so without that loneliness of writing, that only appears attractive in glorified versions of how good it is when life is hard. So BIOSians, I will miss you all, for your ideas, your projects, your idiosyncrasies and most of all for your friendliness and receptiveness. That combination of London efficacy and poshness with a touch of global society, an amalgam of villages turned into a something which is not only productive but also habitable, hospitable and a generally a great place to be.
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Out now! An elusive evidence base
Special issue of the journal BioSocieties examines the problems of medical trials A collection of articles which examine ‘the elusive nature of evidence bases in medicine’ from a range of different perspectives can be found in issue 1 of BioSocieties Volume 2, published by the Cambridge University Press on behalf of the London School of Economics and Political Science. The collection explores critical questions in contemporary evidence based medicine and the role of randomised control trials, from problems of outsourcing trials to developing countries, through factors affecting the publication and interpretation of their results, to philosophical questions of evidence and proof. Ayo Wahlberg and Linsey McGoey, guest editors: ‘Together, the collection highlights two key problem areas concerning the contested role of clinical trials in building up evidence bases for the efficacy of medical treatments. The first concerns the integrity of such evidence bases – spanning judgements of whether it is the drug that produces observed effects rather than other confounding factors, issues of publication bias, selective trial data interpretation and disclosure, and industry influence in regulatory affairs. The second concerns the adequacy of the RCT methodology; is it the ‘best we’ve got’ when evaluating which treatments work and which do not. These difficulties have profound implications where randomised controlled trials are treated as ‘the gold standard’ in evidence based medicine.’ The articles, from leading sociologists, anthropologists and philosophers of science, including Nancy Cartwright, Adriana Petryna, Andrew Lakoff, David Armstrong, Uffe Juul Jensen and John Abraham, together with interviews and commentary from other leading participants in the community, create a framework for a timely and empirically grounded debate on clinical trials and the role played in modern medical research by regulatory bodies such as the FDA in the US and NICE in the UK.
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
Publications, lectures and conference presentations by BIOS staff, associates and students Publications Ajana, B (2007) ‘Rethinking Community through Literature’, Journal for Cultural Research, 11: forthcoming Bauer, MW (2007) ‘The public career of ‘genes’ – trends in public sentiment from 1946 to 2002’, New Genetics and Society, 26(1): 1-17 Bauer, MW, Allum, N, and Miller, S (2007) ‘What have we learnt from 25 years of PUS research – liberating and widening the agenda’, Public Understanding of Science, 15(1): 1-17 Burchell, K (2007) ‘Boundary work, associative argumentation and switching in the advocacy of agricultural biotechnology’, Science as Culture, 16(1): 49-70 Burchell, K (2007) ‘Empiricist selves and contingent ‘others’: the performative function of the discourse of scientists working in conditions of controversy’, Public Understanding of Science, 16(2): 145-62 Franklin, S (2007) Dolly Mixtures: the remaking of genealogy, Durham: Duke University Press Franklin, S (2007) ‘Dolly’s Body: gender, genetics, and the new genetic capital’ in Kalof, L and A Fitzgerald (eds.) The Animals Reader: the essential classic and contemporary writings, Oxford and New York: Berg, 349-361 Franklin, S (2006) ‘Origin Stories Revisited: IVF as an anthropological project’, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 30(4):547-555
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
Gibbon, S and Novas, C (2007) ‘Introduction: Biosocialities, Genetics and the Social Sciences’ in Gibbon, S and Novas, C (eds) Genetics, biosociality and the social sciences: making biologies and identities, London: Routledge McGoey, L (2007) ‘[Book review of] ‘The Politics of Personalised Medicine – A. Hedgecoe’’, British Journal of Sociology, 58(1): 146 McGoey, L (2007) ‘On the will to ignorance in bureaucracy’, Economy and Society, 36(2): in press Kendall, T and McGoey, L (2007) ‘Truth, disclosure and the influence of industry on the development of NICE guidelines: An interview with Tim Kendall’, BioSocieties, 2(1): in press Novas, C (2007) ‘Patients, Profits and Values: Myozyme as an Exemplar of Biosociality’ in Gibbon, S and C Novas (eds) Genetics, biosociality and the social sciences: making biologies and identities, London: Routledge Novas, C (2006), ‘The Political Economy of Hope: Patients’ Organizations, Science and Biovalue’, BioSocieties 1(3): 289-305 Novas, C (2006), ‘Genetic advocacy groups, science and biovalue: creating political economies of hope’, in Atkinson, P, P Glasner and H Greenslade, H. (eds.), New Genetics, New identities, London: Routledge
Rose, N (2007) ‘Molecular Biopolitics, Somatic Ethics and the Spirit of Biocapital’, Social Theory and Health, 5 (1): 3-29. Rose, N (2006) ‘Pharmacogenomics in psychiatry: social and ethical aspects’, Psychiatry, 6(2): 80-82. Rose, N (2007) ‘Beyond medicalisation’, The Lancet, 369: 700-01 Rose, N (2007) ‘PsychoPharmaceuticals In Europe’ Knapp, M, D McDaid, E Mossialos and G Thornicroft (eds), Mental Health Policy and Practice across Europe, Milton Keynes: Open University Press Vrecko, S (2006) ‘Folk neurology and the remaking of identity’, Molecular Interventions, 6: 300-3 Wahlberg, A (2007), ‘Measuring progress – calculating the life of nations’, Distinktion - Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 14: 65-82 Wahlberg, A and McGoey, L (2007) ‘An elusive evidence base? The construction and governance of randomized controlled trials’, BioSocieties 2(1): 1-10 Wallentin, M, Roepstorff, A, Glover, R, Burgess, B (2006) ‘Parallel memory systems for talking about location and age in precuneus, caudate and Broca’s region’, Neuroimage, 1(32):1850-64
Roepstorff, A (2007) ‘Introduktion’, in Hvad er Biologi? [What is Biology], Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag Roepstorff, A (2007) ‘Navigating the Brainscape: When Knowing becomes Seeing’ in Grasseni, C. (ed) Skilled Visions. Between Apprenticeship and Standards, Oxford: Berghahn Books
Publications, lectures and conference presentations continued…
Presentations Ajana, B (2007) ‘Homo Carded: Exception and ID Cards’, paper presented at ‘Always look on the dark side?’ The biopolitics of life and death, Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 17-21 April 2007 Ajana, B (2007) ‘Porous Security’, paper presented at Biometric Identification Technology Ethics (BITE) Project, European Commission, Brussels, 22-23 February 2007 Ajana, B (2007) ‘The Ethics of De-‘Coding’ – Ethics in Sociological Praxis’, paper presented at What does it mean to do Sociology in the 21st century?, Cumberland Lodge, 26-28 January 2007 Bauer, M (2007) ‘Resistance to innovation – the pain in the process’, Key note speech at Table Ronde ‘Science, Technology and Society’ INNOVACTION 2007, University of Udine, Italy, 15-18 February 2007 Burchell, K (2007) ‘Expert rationalities of GM: non-GM equivalents, similar risks and different capabilities’, paper presented at Risk and Rationalities conference, Cambridge, 29-31 March 2007 Burchell, K (2007) ‘Public dialogue on science and technology as a new social space for democracy: two UK case studies’, paper presented at British Sociological Association conference, London, 12-14 April 2007 (with Sarah Davies) Franklin, S (2007) ‘Embryo Donation: motivations, hesitations and concerns among PGD patients’, paper presented at Feminism and the Body conference, Goodenough College, London, 25 January 2007
Franklin, S (2007) ‘Crook Pipettes: the IVF-Stem Cell Interface’, paper presented at Times of Cloning conference, Max Planck Institute, Berlin, 1-4 March 2007 Franklin, S (2007) ‘Human Embryonic Stem Cell Coordination: determining best practice for embryo donation to stem cell research’, paper presented at IHGH, University College London, 5 May 2007 Franklin, S (2007) ‘TE Translation and its Publics in the UK’, paper presented to the STEPS/BIOS Workshop, LSE, 21 March 2007 Kabatoff, M (2007) ‘Biometrics, Ethics and Identity’, paper presented at the BITE Project Concluding Meeting, Directorate General Research, European Commission, Brussels, 22 February 2007 Klein, K (2007) ‘Poststructuralism and Ethics of Representation: Encounter with Chinese authoritarian biopolitics beyond ‘Western Imperialism’ critique’, paper presented at What does it mean to do Sociology in the 21st century?, Cumberland Lodge, 26-28 January 2007 McGoey, L (2007) ‘Strategic ignorance: The regulatory usefulness of conflicting facts’, Invited presentation, How well do ‘facts’ travel’?, LSE Department of Economic History public seminar series, 14 February 2007 McGoey, L (2007) ‘Adverse evidence: RCTs and the political value of uncertainty’, paper presented at Making medicine count – evidencebased medicine in practice, Cambridge University, 27 March 2007 Roepstorff, A (2007) ‘Seeing me, Seeing You, Seeing Brains’, paper presented at Goodenough College, London, 21 March 2007
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
‘BIOS is still a young research centre as we round off our fourth academic year. What started as a base for a few postdocs and PhD students in 2003, has since grown into a home for three externally-funded research projects, 15 PhD students, five Research Fellows and a steady stream of academic visitors.’
Roepstorff, A (2007) ‘Imaging Brains - interacting Minds: from brain research to biopower’, paper presented at BIOS Research Seminar, London, 15 March 2007 Roepstorff, A (2007) ‘Symbols, a ‘missing link’ in social cognition?’, paper presented at Social Cognition, Emotion and Self Consciousness, Delmenhorst, Germany, 8 March 2007 Roepstorff, A (2007) ‘The neuroturn: challenging anthropology or anthropological challenge?’, paper presented at Cognition and Culture research seminar series, LSE Department of Social Anthropology, 17 January 2007 Roepstorff, A (2006) ‘Mind the Hype’, paper presented at Brainplotting,Rathenau Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 10 December 2006 Roepstorff, A (2006) ‘The brain in context and communication’, paper presented at The brain and consciousness in context, Department of Philosophy, UC Berkley, 2 December 2006 Rose, N (2007) ‘On the borders of normality’, invited presentation at Contested Categories – 2nd Annual Symposium of the Postgraduate Life Sciences and Society Network, Medical Museion, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14-17 January 2007 Rose, N (2007) ‘Governmentality, ethics and techniques of the self’, University of Zurich, January 2007 Rose, N (2007) ‘Neuropolitics, Part 1: Governing the self in a neurochemical age’, Stanford University, February 2007 Rose, N (2007) ‘Neuropolitics, Part 2: To define true madness’, University of California, Berkeley, February 2007
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
Rose, N (2007) ‘Neuropolitics, Part 3: The politics of susceptibility’, University of California, Santa Cruz, March 2007 Rose, N (2007) ‘Neuropolitics, Part 4: Personhood in a neurochemical age’, UCLA, March 2007 Rose, N (2007) ‘Citizenship and Biopolitics: becoming biological citizens in the twenty first century’, T. H. Marshal Lecture, Southampton University, 15 May 2007
Grants Franklin, S (2006) ‘The IVF-Stem Cell Interface: a sociology of embryo transfer’, ESRC Senior Research Fellowship, 265,000 (01/04/06 - 31/03/09) Zhang, J (2006) ‘China’s stem cell research policy and related ethical issues’, Wellcome Trust, Biomedical ethics PhD Studentship
Schmid, S, Hinterberger, A and Payne, C (2007) ‘What is Sociology? And why it matters’, paper presented at What does it mean to do Sociology in the 21st century?, Cumberland Lodge, 26-28 January 2007 Vrecko, S (2007) ‘The neuropolitics of cognitive enhancement’, invited presentation to Oxford ENHANCE Workshop, Stockholm, 27-28 March 2007 Vrecko, S (2007) ‘Risk anatomopolitics’, paper presented at Risk and Rationalities conference, Cambridge, 29-31 March 2007 Wahlberg, A (2007) ‘The neovitalisation of life’, paper presented at Contested Categories – 2nd Annual Symposium of the Postgraduate Life Sciences and Society Network, Medical Museion, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14-17 January 2007 Wahlberg, A (2007) ‘Above and beyond superstition – herbal medicine and the decriminalisation of placebo in Vietnam and Britain’, PhD lecture at Roskilde University, Denmark, 17 January 2007 Wahlberg, A (2007) ‘A modernity that wouldn’t go away’, paper presented at What does it mean to do Sociology in the 21st century?, Cumberland Lodge, 26-28 January 2007
Upcoming BIOS events During term time, the BIOS research seminar series and BIOS reading group sessions are held regularly on Thursdays and Wednesdays respectively. The Thursday seminar series feature invited speakers to discuss their research on various social and ethical aspects of the life sciences and biomedicine, while the reading group facilitates discussion around a series of topics that are of interest to persons associated with BIOS or who have an interest in the life sciences throughout the LSE and beyond.
Dates for your calendar May-June 2007 Thursday 3 May 2007, 5-7pm Graham Wallas Room A550 (5th floor Old Building) Research Seminar: Bio Science: Genetic Genealogy Testing and the Pursuit of African Ancestry Dr Alondra Nelson Departments of African American Studies & Sociology, Yale University Monday 11 June 2007, 6.30pm, Old Theatre BIOS Annual Lecture: How concepts behave: the potential of the life sciences and their impact on society
BIOS Reading Group The reading group will meet 1-3pm on 9 May, 30 May and 20 June. Check the BIOS website for an updated Summer Term programme and reading list.
BIOS Roundtables BIOS roundtables will continue in the Summer Term aiming at exploring shared interests in the BIOS community, and to address problems, issues, and concerns encountered. The roundtables will be held at the BIOS Centre 12 – 1.30pm on the following dates: 2 May, 23 May and 13 June.
Professor Helga Nowotny Vice-President, European Research Council.
BIOS • The London School of Economics and Political Science • Houghton Street London WC2A 2AE Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6998 Fax: +44 (0)20 7955 6565 www.lse.ac.uk/collections/ BIOS/
BIOS News Issue 6 • Summer 2007
BIOS team teaching by Filippa Lentzos 6 Postgrad pages – The death of disciplines? by Ayo Wahlberg 11 The new experts of culture by David Re...