‘Messiness of convergence’ Challenges to Researching, Engaging, Governing
Organised byDr Matthias Wienroth, Northumbria University
ESRC Genomics Policy and Research ForumThe University of EdinburghCollege of Humanities and Social ScienceSt John's LandHolyrood RoadEdinburgh EH8 8AQ
What do fields such as pharmacogenomics, nanomedicine, DNA profiling, and synthetic biology have in common? For one, they draw on – and bring together – different cultures of producing and managing knowledge and meaning. They also cross local and global boundaries, are subjects and objects of transformation and mobility of research practices, evaluation and multiCstakeholder groups. Thirdly, they draw on diverse logics of what has been termed ‘convergence,’ that is new links between – and new kinds of – stakeholders, spaces, knowledge, practices, challenges and opportunities.
This workshop aims to advance and widen current debates in Science and Technology Studies and in Science Policy concerning ‘converging technologies’ by complementing the customary focus on technical aspirations for convergence with the analysis of the practices and logics of scientific, social and cultural knowledge production that constitute contemporary technoscience. In case studies from across the globe, contributors discuss the ways in which science and social order are linked in areas such as DirectCToCConsumer genetic testing and DoCItCYourself biotechnologies.
The workshop is organised into four thematic sessions: 1) The first session suggests ways of understanding the dynamics and logics of convergences in emergent biotechnologies. 2) Session 2 looks at the study of convergence with a focus on the social scientific methods and practices. 3) The subsequent session provides space for the discussion of governance and regulatory issues around technoscientific convergences. 4) The last session problematizes lay involvement and the coC production of biotechnology and social and cultural knowledge as democratic forms of convergence.