Scientific Innovation in the Biosociety: Current Responsibilities, Future Promises
Postgraduate Forum on Genetics and Society (PFGS) Colloquium 13 University of Leeds; 24th-25th June 2013


Keynote speakers: Prof. Anne Kerr (University of Leeds) Prof. Bronwyn Parry (King’s College, London) Others TBC.

The Postgraduate Forum on Genetics and Society is pleased to invite abstracts for papers from all postgraduates and post-docs doing research on the broad theme of scientific innovation and its implications. An interdisciplinary forum, we welcome approaches from science and technology studies, legal theory, disability studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history of technology, development, and politics, as well as the natural sciences. The colloquia combine postgraduate presentations with keynote speakers and capacity building workshops, allowing scholars to develop their ideas by presenting work-in-progress in a friendly, supportive and constructive environment.

This year’s colloquium examines the ways in which scientific innovations are projected as reshaping possibilities, redrawing boundaries, and creating a global ‘biosociety’, as well as generating new forms of democratic scientific governance, new processes of risk assessment and management, and new configurations of ‘responsible innovation’ beyond safety and sustainability. While innovation is central to contemporary science policies, how are the responsibilities and associated promises that accompany it being configured? What are the regulatory and political challenges, the dangers as well as the benefits? Papers may address (but are not limited to) any of the four subthemes of:

1) Biomedical innovation: (Identity and perfection; preventive and diagnostic technologies; reconceptualising age: intervention and extension; normality, stigma and ‘cure’)

2) Biocapital and economic growth: (human raw materials; patents and ownership disputes; national and international innovation policy; value chains in biotechnology; medical tourism)

3) War, law and crime: (Legal aspects and applications of genetics; privacy and databases; ‘genes for’ criminality and other attributes; security implications; biowarfare)

4) Responsibility and ‘Frontier’ technologies: (synthetic biology, nanotech, cloning, reviving genomes, enhancement, etc; public engagement and governance of risk)

We particularly welcome papers at any stage of research which cross the borders of social science, humanities, and the life sciences to consider the implications of living in a society increasingly dependent upon biotechnological control. The colloquium is open to postgraduate students and post docs in any discipline. Registration is free, including refreshments, and accommodation and travel bursaries are available. Abstracts of 250 words should be emailed to [email protected] by 15th April, 2013, and authors will be notified by 22nd April. Please include author’s name, paper title, affiliation, and whether travel and/or accommodation are required. Please note that in case of oversubscription, these will be allocated to presenters first, and will be confirmed at acceptance.

Funded by the ESRC through the Genomics Forum, the PFGS is now in its 15th year, continuing to explore the new with a critical perspective, and to support networking amongst upcoming scholars from any discipline based on convergent interest in science and technology in society. For more information see or email us at [email protected].