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Designing Human Practices: An Experiment with Synthetic Biology
In 2006 anthropologists Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett set out to rethink the role that human sciences play in biological research, creating the Human Practices division of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center—a facility established to create design standards for the engineering of new enzymes, genetic circuits, cells, and other biological entities—to ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by University of Chicago Press
(first published January 1st 2012)
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Sordid but fascinating tale of the effort of several Berkeley anthropologists to participate as equals in the laboratory research of the burgeoning field of synthetic biologists. At first they were indulged as a curiosity with possibly interesting insights about ethics, danger, and social engagement around the new biosciences, but as it became clear that the anthropologists were not only explicitly designing their participation in counter-instrumentalist terms (that is, unlike the bio ...more