Cesagen Workshop - Promises, Promises! The Promissory Cultures and Economies of the Biosciences.
Organised byDr. Larry Reynolds, Cesagen Senior Research Associate
VenueLancaster University Institute for Advanced Studies
This workshop is intended address the role of promise (and related future colonising tropes of expectation, hope, fear, vision, and foresight) in the development of the biosciences. Both science and finance inhabit a future oriented and uncertain promissory world. This invites an exploration how these speculative realms may shape each other. Questions that arise include: - How are such promises made and between whom? - How do these shape the research agenda? - How do such imagined futures help remake the present? Papers might explore a number of themes, including: - Political economies of promise – how promise may become capitalised to finance the biosciences or generate speculative value; - Substantive promises of health benefits and environmental sustainability and their enrolment and mobilisation; - The interaction of the binary twins of hope and fear; - A history of the techno-scientific promissory - comparing past regimes of promise with current manifestations; - The conditions of complexity and uncertainty in future colonising practices; - The management of unfulfilled promise, or the perpetual maintenance of the promissory horizon. This is not necessarily an exhaustive list, and these initial concepts, assumptions and questions are open to critique and development. Papers may approach such questions from empirical case studies, start from theoretical positions, or combine both. The workshop is intended for members of Cesagen and others from the wider ESRC Genomics Network and will include guest presenters from outside the network, including Nik Brown of SATSU (York) who has been a key figure in developing a ‘sociology of expectations’.