Human Genome Editing in a Time of Science Elites and Nationalist Populism

Date/Time
Friday
24 Feb 2017
4:00 pm

Location
8417 Social Science, Holtz Center

Event Type

Charis Thompson
Chancellor’s Professor, Gender and Women Studies

Please join us for what promises to be an extremely interesting and timely talk by Charis Thompson, Chancellor’s Professor, Gender and Women Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Thompson is one of the most prominent Science and Technology Studies scholars working on biomedical science and technology, including genome editing.

Abstract: We are living in a time of the increasing ubiquity of science and technology in all spheres of life, whether military or civilian. It is also a time characterized by the rise of nationalist and populist sentiment that gets at least some of its ideological heft from a denial of or disgust for certain kinds of science. I trace the tension this gives rise to through key debates about human genome editing. I argue that this state of affairs requires us to rethink the premise that undergirds many strands of Science and Technology Studies that there is some kind of intrinsic isomorphism (however imperfect) between the norms and practice of science and the norms and practice of democratic polities.  What should responsible governance of emerging technologies like genome editing look like, and how is it possible when political life no longer needs to be governed by reason to be saturated by the scientific, technical, and capitalized fruits of reason?

 

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