Gifford Lecture and Masterclass: Professor Sheila Jasanoff, ‘Social Orders in Scientific Biomedicine’, Edinburgh

Regulation in Action: Social Orders in Scientific Biomedicine

Insights from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) have profoundly altered our understanding of the relation between technoscience and politics. Rather than viewing them as separate spheres, STS scholars have demonstrated that epistemic and social orders are coproduced. Further, by moving attention to the effects of politics on research practice this framing stresses the role that national cultures play in the manufacture, dissemination, and uptake of knowledge claims. This master class with Professor Sheila Jasanoff, a pioneer in STS, builds on these insights to explore the effects of law and policy on quotidian biomedical research. It is open to PhD students and Early Career Researchers whose work speaks to the following questions: How do regulatory regimes and bureaucratic infrastructures mediate laboratory and clinical research? In what ways are sociotechnical imaginaries enacted in legal and investigative spaces? Why do governments look to law and policy to manage emergent research domains and what forms of civic engagement should they adopt? What modes of regulation are most suited to todays research climate, where the likes of big data, emerging tissue economies, and public health genomics continue to grow and intersect? Attendees will be asked to provide a brief presentation of their research for feedback and discussion.

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies, with particular attention to the nature of public reason.

The master class will be held on 4th March 2016 in the Torridon Room, Charles Stewart House, 16 Chambers St., Edinburgh. This event is being run under the auspices of the Wellcome Trust funded project ‘Confronting the Liminal Spaces of Health Research Regulation’ (PI: Graeme Laurie) and the Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh.

As spaces are limited, please email a brief abstract summarising you research to Dr Samuel Taylor-Alexander at samuel.taylor-alexander@ed.ac.uk by 29th  January 2016. Preference will be given to individuals whose work dovetails most closely with the questions raised in the abstract.

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