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Observation and Experiment Paul R. Selectivity and Discord addresses the fundamental question of whether there are grounds for belief in experimental results.

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Specifically, Allan Franklin is concerned with two problems in the use of experimental results in science: selectivity of data or analysis procedures and the resolution of discordant results. By means of detailed case studies of episodes from the history of modern physics, Franklin shows how these problems can be—and are—solved in the normal practice of science and, therefore, that experimental results may be legitimately used as a basis for scientific knowledge.

More to explore Recently published by academic presses. Results by Title. American Progressive History is the first book to relate the story of Progressive history through all its transformations from its emergence in the early s to its demise in the s. Focusing his account on the work of the movement's most important representatives—including Charles Beard, James Harvey Robinson, and Carl Becker—Ernst Breisach demonstrates that Progressive history is distinguished by its unique combination of beliefs in the objective reality of historical facts and its faith in the inevitability of the progress of the human race.

And though he discusses at length Frederick Jackson Turner's contributions to the creation of a modern American historiography, Breisach sets him apart from the scholars who shaped Progressive history. While Progressive history is usually treated in isolation from simultanieous movements in European historiography, Breisach shows how it was formulated in the face of the same cultural pressures confronting European historians. Indeed, it becomes clear that until the s the Progressive historians' confidence in the validity of historical investigation and the progress of civilization shielded American historians from the skepticism and cultural pessimism which characterized many of their European contempories.

Breisach's exceptionally broad and subtle analysis reveals American Progressive history to be an important and innovative experiment in the international quest for a New History, as well as a coherent school of thought in its own right. Architecture for the Poor describes Hassan Fathy's plan for building the village of New Gourna, near Luxor, Egypt, without the use of more modern and expensive materials such as steel and concrete.

Using mud bricks, the native technique that Fathy learned in Nubia, and such traditional Egyptian architectural designs as enclosed courtyards and vaulted roofing, Fathy worked with the villagers to tailor his designs to their needs. He taught them how to work with the bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of such ancient crafts as claustra lattice designs in the mudwork to adorn the buildings. In a provocative reassessment of one of the quintessential figures of early modern science, Rose-Mary Sargent explores Robert Boyle's philosophy of experiment, a central aspect of his life and work that became a model for mid- to late seventeenth-century natural philosophers and for many who followed them.

Sargent examines the philosophical, legal, experimental, and religious traditions—among them English common law, alchemy, medicine, and Christianity—that played a part in shaping Boyle's experimental thought and practice. The roots of his philosophy in his early life and education, in his religious ideals, and in the work of his predecessors—particularly Bacon, Descartes, and Galileo—are fully explored, as are the possible influences of his social and intellectual circle. Drawing on the full range of Boyle's published works, as well as on his unpublished notebooks and manuscripts, Sargent shows how these diverse influences were transformed and incorporated into Boyle's views on and practice of experiment.

Designing Human Practices An Experiment with Synthetic Biology - 9780226703138

In Fungible Life Aihwa Ong explores the dynamic world of cutting-edge bioscience research, offering critical insights into the complex ways Asian bioscientific worlds and cosmopolitan sciences are entangled in a tropical environment brimming with the threat of emergent diseases. At biomedical centers in Singapore and China scientists map genetic variants, disease risks, and biomarkers, mobilizing ethnicized "Asian" bodies and health data for genomic research.

Their differentiation between Chinese, Indian, and Malay DNA makes fungible Singapore's ethnic-stratified databases that come to "represent" majority populations in Asia. By deploying genomic science as a public good, researchers reconfigure the relationships between objects, peoples, and spaces, thus rendering "Asia" itself as a shifting entity. In Ong's analysis, Asia emerges as a richly layered mode of entanglements, where the population's genetic pasts, anxieties and hopes, shared genetic weaknesses, and embattled genetic futures intersect.

Furthermore, her illustration of the contrasting methods and goals of the Biopolis biomedical center in Singapore and BGI Genomics in China raises questions about the future direction of cosmopolitan science in Asia and beyond. In the wake of the various genome sequencing projects of the s, the life sciences are being reconfigured Gibson et al.

Such reorganization is premised on the assumption that new research infrastructures for post-genomic biology are required to facilitate the design and composition of novel biological systems calibrated to deliver solutions for pressing contemporary issues: cheaper therapeutics, biofuels, mechanisms of bio-security, and a cleaner environment.

To date, however, these new infrastructures have frequently lacked and neglected adequate corresponding research infrastructures for the human sciences, including ethics. Jonsen The founders of both American and European bioethics were keenly aware that this calibration of a mode of ethics and problems, in turn, entailed the construction of specific new venues e.

IRBs , distinct modes of collaboration e. Today, it seems not only appropriate—but scientifically and ethically mandatory—to consider in what ways these bioethical practices and venues remain adequate to current conditions, and in what way they require augmentation Schmidt et al.

As such, as changes have taken place at the level of the objects and modes of organization in the biosciences, some practitioners have not shown a strong inclination to animate new, more appropriate and effective modes of production.

Human Practices ‘Thought Experiment’

By the early years of the twenty-first century, whatever work these analogies had originally been designed to do, they had become outmoded and mis-leading. It is now clear that the sequence information is one of the most important foundational elements—necessary but hardly sufficient—for constructing a contemporary biology Rabinow and Dan Cohen What was missing most conspicuously was a credible scientific program for moving from the hope and desire that bio-informatics would provide the technological means to deciphering an ever-increasing quantity of molecular information to a more closely calibrated strategy for laboratory experimentation in the near future.

Correlatively, an honest inspection revealed an even bigger gap between the overflow of information and its promised transformation into ameliorative and lucrative applications. Finally, there was an amorphous but haunting awareness that what was required ultimately was a firmer scientific understanding of the material under consideration, an explanatory frame adequate to biological structure and function beyond suggestive statistical correlations and broad generalizations about life.

This over-abundance of data and under-determination of its significance yielded a surfeit of visions cum manifestos. The manifestos were driven by the need to articulate and defend a new mission for the large bureaucracies and their costly technologies and facilities that had been constructed as part of the sequencing projects, by a drive to attract venture capitalists; by a drive to develop and implement research strategies that would be scientifically and financially rewarding, etc. The hectic activity devoted to defining the framing and analogical correlatives of a convincing post-sequencing orientation goes some way to situating the effervescent and largely evanescent efforts to brand and promote proteomics, systems biology, gene ontology, synthetic biology, and the like, as the crucial next stage in bringing into existence the hoped for wonder and bounty of a biologically based future of knowledge, health, and wealth, that had been so forcefully articulated and promoted by the proponents of the sequencing projects.

Equally significantly, but with less hoopla, by the ethics initiatives which had come into existence as part of the sequencing projects—the ELSI Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications programs—were also beginning to be critically scrutinized Jonsen ; Rabinow ; Evans ; Cook-Deegan These programs were constituted according to the terms of a political agreement among the Human Genome Project funders that ELSI would be supported on condition that it operated downstream of the science and technology, and should concern itself primarily with framing social consequences.

In the U.

An Experiment with Synthetic Biology

Congress and the National Science Foundation. At the E. The E. Hence, a shared challenge now exists in parallel to the challenge of constituting a program for post-sequencing biology: what form should be given to synthetic biology research programs such that they incorporate collaboration with human scientists? Agreeing with Brenner that there is a compelling need for scientists to rethink their understanding of the gene , we argue in a parallel fashion that there is an equally if not more compelling need to rethink the cornerstone concept of ELSI— social consequences.

The need for rethinking what is meant by social consequences is actually more compelling because while it is habitual for the biological sciences that outdated concepts, techniques, and infrastructures will sooner or later be replaced, there is no guarantee whatsoever that a parallel process exists for the human sciences.

Human Applications of Synthetic Biology (Resource List) - SynBioWatch

None of the programs or Centers for synthetic biology are being funded by the U. As with the Human Genome Project they were established to keep sectors of the economy and its scientific and technological base at the forefront of an ever more competitive global playing field. Scholarship has demonstrated for decades that science and technology are formed by, and ramifies across broader and more tightly connected communities than the downstream positioning entailed in the notion of social consequences accommodates Daston and Galison ; Galison ; Latour and Woolgar This unmooring from previous determinations produces unexpected effects that may complicate a situation or make the desired result more difficult to achieve.

One advantage of this term is that, unlike social consequences, it does not imply a downstream positioning of ethics and the human sciences, that would impose an arbitrary hierarchy in which research somehow takes place outside of the conditions and constraints of the larger community. This positioning, it is argued, is more adequate to the challenge of establishing human scientists as equal and collaborative stakeholders. Moreover, such positioning supports the critical work of documenting and analyzing the actual ethical and social as well as technical and organizational ramifications of research as they unfold.

Of course many other things will follow from scientific developments: discoveries, blockages, power struggles, patents, career moves, etc. Some of these will be planned others not, some predictable others not, some desirable others less so. All of this will depend in large part on the degree of success or failure to achieve results, to meet milestones, to raise money, etc. It is more rigorous to analyze this situation not simply as the cause-and-effect consequences of the production of truth claims in engineering disciplines, but as ramifications to be analyzed and refashioned.

Upon reflection, it is obvious that the very same scientific or technological results could be taken up and mobilized in many different directions. Thus, the object of Human Practices research is ramifications not consequences; its method is observational and analytic; its mode is collaborative. There is a well-established body of scholarship in Europe and the U. Interdisciplinary science and Human Practices must be brought into a more productive adjacency if we are to inflect post-genomic biology in a more democratic and ethical fashion Jasanoff ; Hayden ; Guston ; Lash et al.

But how to make this task collaborative and synergistic, given enduring power inequalities and entrenched dispositions, remains a challenge.

Art From Synthetic Biology - Howard Boland - TEDxUniversityofBolton

The problem is to conceive of new venues in which such collaboration might take place, and to invent the techniques of research and remediation that the demands of the day require. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and source are credited.

Like Keasling, Venter wants to use organisms to produce specific molecules of interest. It is a step beyond redesigning pathways—redesigning genomes is an attempt to control all of the coding and reproduction operation. Paul Rabinow, Email: ude.

Designing Human Practices: An Experiment with Synthetic Biology

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Syst Synth Biol v. Syst Synth Biol. Published online Oct Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

Corresponding author. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract During and synthetic biology moved from the manifesto stage to research programs. In search of synthetic biology: four research programs From its inception up to the present, it has been proposed that synthetic biology is one area of post-genomics ripe for designing and inventing distinctive forms for Human Practices Andrianantoandro et al.

Parts The first and most widely publicized research strategy has been formulated by researchers at MIT, and is exemplified by the BioBricks Foundation. Human practices: regulated commons The BioBricks vision and its manifestos has been the most comprehensive and inclusive of Human Practices considerations. Human practices: cooperative specialists Currently, the Human Practices dimension of the pathways approach recognizes the need to engage specialists for managing financial and regulatory matters as well as the work of developing deliverables.

Systems The fourth type of approach in synthetic biology takes as its targeted object neither parts, pathways, nor genomes. Human practices: moral contract Although there are often no explicit statements in the manifestos, personal communications and closer examinations of scientific articles reveal an underlying ethical substrate in which developments in science and significant medical issues are combined in commitment to the common good. Open in a separate window. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and source are credited.

Contributor Information Paul Rabinow, Email: ude. In: Hackett EJ ed The handbook of science, technology studies, 3rd edn.

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