Matching Items (6)

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Knowing the Future: Visions of the Bioeconomy and the Politics of Global Transformation

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This dissertation explores the contemporary politics of global transformation: the ways biological expertise and economic rationalities are positioned as agents of governance in the face of emerging global crisis. It

This dissertation explores the contemporary politics of global transformation: the ways biological expertise and economic rationalities are positioned as agents of governance in the face of emerging global crisis. It examines visions for a new bioeconomy that are offered in response to impending global crisis. Leaders point to calculations of global population growth and resource depletion to predict future crises and call for a new bioeconomy as a pillar of sustainable and “good” governance.

Focusing on visions and practices of bioeconomy-making in the U.S. and Brazil, the dissertation examines bioeconomy discourse as a response to global crisis and a framework of global governance that promises resource abundance and human wellbeing. Bioeconomy discourse makes visible shared notions of how the world is and how it should be that animate the world-making practices of bioeconomy. The dissertation analyzes the bioeconomy as simultaneously a product of existing institutional and nationally situated values and rationalities, and a significant site of performative novelty. It is an effort to reformulate existing projects in the biosciences—from technology regulation to market formation—and establish new rationalities of governance in the name of producing thoroughgoing transformations to both the global economy and to life itself.

Framing existing scientific and economic rationalities as suppressed and misdirected in their power to govern, bioeconomy proponents envision a novel order derivable from the proper conjugation of biological and economic rationalities. Through the lens of bioconstitutionalism, the dissertation elucidates how national, scientific and public rights and responsibilities are coproduced in relation to a sociotechnical imaginary of vital conjuring. Underwritten by the imaginary of vital conjuring, visions of a future transformed promise that abundance and order can be called up from a tangle of crisis and decay. The imaginary of vital conjuring marries a vision of the technological potential of biological life and the forms of economy capable of unlocking that potential. This vision of bioeconomy, the dissertation argues, is a vision of governance: of the right relationships between state, citizen and science.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Assessing corporate bioethics: a qualitative exploration of how bioethics is enacted in biomedicine companies

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Corporations in biomedicine hold significant power and influence, in both political and personal spheres. The decisions these companies make about ethics are critically important, as they help determine what products

Corporations in biomedicine hold significant power and influence, in both political and personal spheres. The decisions these companies make about ethics are critically important, as they help determine what products are developed, how they are developed, how they are promoted, and potentially even how they are regulated. In the last fifteen years, for-profit private companies have been assembling bioethics committees to help resolve dilemmas that require informed deliberation about ethical, legal, scientific, and economic considerations. Private sector bioethics committees represent an important innovation in the governance of emerging technologies, with corporations taking a lead role in deciding what is ethically appropriate or problematic. And yet, we know very little about these committees, including their structures, memberships, mandates, authority, and impact. Drawing on an extensive literature review and qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with executives, scientists and board members, this dissertation provides an in-depth analysis of the Ethics and Public Policy Board at SmithKline Beecham, the Ethics Advisory Board at Advanced Cell Technology, and the Bioethics Committee at Eli Lilly and offers insights about how ideas of bioethics and governance are currently imagined and enacted within corporations. The SmithKline Beecham board was the first private sector bioethics committee; its mandate was to explore, in a comprehensive and balanced analysis, the ethics of macro trends in science and technology. The Advanced Cell Technology board was created to be like a watchdog for the company, to prevent them from making major errors. The Eli Lilly board is different than the others in that it is made up mostly of internal employees and does research ethics consultations within the company. These private sector bioethics committees evaluate and construct new boundaries between their private interests and the public values they claim to promote. Findings from this dissertation show that criticisms of private sector bioethics that focus narrowly on financial conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency obscure analysis of the ideas about governance (about expertise, credibility and authority) that emerge from these structures and hamper serious debate about the possible impacts of moving ethical deliberation from the public to the private sector.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Atrial fibrillation ablation: history, practice, and innovation

Description

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, affecting

nearly 2% of the world’s population at a cost of $26 Billion in the United States annually, and incalculable costs

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, affecting

nearly 2% of the world’s population at a cost of $26 Billion in the United States annually, and incalculable costs worldwide. AF causes no symptoms for some people. However, others with AF experience uncomfortable symptoms including palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness, and fatigue. AF can severely diminish quality of life for both AF sufferers and their loved ones. Beyond uncomfortable symptoms, AF is also linked to congestive heart failure and stroke, both of which can cause premature death. Medications often fail to control AF, leading patients and healthcare providers to seek other cures, including catheter ablation. To date, catheter ablation has yielded uneven results, but garners much attention in research and innovation in pursuit of a cure for AF. This dissertation examines the historical development and contemporary practices of AF ablation to identify opportunities to improve the innovation system for the disease. First, I trace the history of AF and AF ablation knowledge from the 2nd century B.C.E. through the present. This historical look identifies patterns of knowledge co-development between science, technology, and technique, as well as publication patterns impacting knowledge dissemination. Second, I examine the current practices of AF ablation knowledge translation from the perspective of clinical practitioners to characterize the demand-side of knowledge translation in real-world practice. Demand-side knowledge translation occurs in nested patterns, and requires data, experience, and trust in order to incorporate knowledge into a practice paradigm. Third, I use social network mapping and analysis to represent the full AF ablation knowledge-practice system and identify

opportunities to modify research and innovation practice in AF ablation based on i

measures of centrality and power. Finally, I outline six linked recommendations using raw data capture during ablation procedures and open big data analytics, coupled with multi-stakeholder social networking approaches, to maximize innovation potential in AF ablation research and practice.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Contemplating the use of neuroimaging as evidence in criminal sentencing

Description

Neuroimaging has appeared in the courtroom as a type of `evidence' to support claims about whether or not criminals should be held accountable for their crimes. Yet the ability to

Neuroimaging has appeared in the courtroom as a type of `evidence' to support claims about whether or not criminals should be held accountable for their crimes. Yet the ability to abstract notions of culpability and criminal behavior with confidence from these imagines is unclear. As there remains much to be discovered in the relationship between personal responsibility, criminal behavior, and neurological abnormalities, questions have been raised toward neuroimaging as an appropriate means to validate these claims.

This project explores the limits and legitimacy of neuroimaging as a means of understanding behavior and culpability in determining appropriate criminal sentencing. It highlights key philosophical issues surrounding the ability to use neuroimaging to support this process, and proposes a method of ensuring their proper use. By engaging case studies and a thought experiment, this project illustrates the circumstances in which neuroimaging may assist in identifying particular characteristics relevant for criminal sentencing.

I argue that it is not a question of whether or not neuroimaging itself holds validity in determining a criminals guilt or motives, but rather a proper application of the issue is to focus on the way in which information regarding these images is communicated from the `expert' scientists to the `non-expert' making decisions about the sentence that are most important. Those who are considering this information's relevance, a judge or jury, are typically not well versed in criminal neuroscience and interpreting the significance of different images. I advocate the way in which this information is communicated from the scientist-informer to the decision-maker parallels in importance to its actual meaning.

As a solution, I engage Roger Pielke's model of honest brokering as a solution to ensure the appropriate use of neuroimaging in determining criminal responsibility and sentencing. A thought experiment follows to highlight the limits of science, engage philosophical repercussions, and illustrate honest brokering as a means of resolution. To achieve this, a hypothetical dialogue reminiscent of Kenneth Schaffner's `tools for talking' with behavioral geneticists and courtroom professionals will exemplify these ideas.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Leo Kanner and the psychobiology of autism

Description

Leo Kanner first described autism in his 1943 article in Nervous Child titled "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact". Throughout, he describes the eleven children with autism in exacting detail. In

Leo Kanner first described autism in his 1943 article in Nervous Child titled "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact". Throughout, he describes the eleven children with autism in exacting detail. In the closing paragraphs, the parents of autistic children are described as emotionally cold. Yet, he concludes that the condition as he described it was innate. Since its publication, his observations about parents have been a source of controversy surrounding the original definition of autism.

Thus far, histories about autism have pointed to descriptions of parents of autistic children with the claim that Kanner abstained from assigning them causal significance. Understanding the theoretical context in which Kanner's practice was embedded is essential to sorting out how he could have held such seemingly contrary views simultaneously.

This thesis illustrates that Kanner held an explicitly descriptive frame of reference toward his eleven child patients, their parents, and autism. Adolf Meyer, his mentor at Johns Hopkins, trained him to make detailed life-charts under a clinical framework called psychobiology. By understanding that Kanner was a psychobiologist by training, I revisit the original definition of autism as a category of mental disorder and restate its terms. This history illuminates the theoretical context of autism's discovery and has important implications for the first definition of autism amidst shifting theories of childhood mental disorders and the place of the natural sciences in defining them.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The Human Genome Project and ELSI: the imperative of technology and the reduction of the public ethics debate

Description

In the past century, a number of technological projects have been undertaken as grand solutions to social problems. In the so called century of biology, this technological world view focuses

In the past century, a number of technological projects have been undertaken as grand solutions to social problems. In the so called century of biology, this technological world view focuses on biomedical advances. The President of the United States, who once called for nuclear weapons and space exploration, now calls for new biotechnologies, such as genomics, individualized medicine, and nanotechnology, which will improve the world by improving our biological lives. Portrayed as the Manhattan Project of the late 20th Century, the Human Genome Project (HGP) not only undertook the science of sequencing the human genome but also the ethics of it. For this thesis I ask how the HGP did this; what was the range of possibilities of goods and evils imagined by the HGP; and what, if anything, was left out. I show that the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) research program of the HGP was inscribed with the competencies of the professional field of bioethics, which had lent itself useful for governing biomedical science and technology earlier in the 20th century. Drawing on a sociological framework for understanding the development of professional bioethics, I describe the development of ELSI, and I note how the given-in-advance boundaries between authorized/unauthorized questions shaped its formation and biased technologically based conceptualizations of social problems and potential solutions. In this sense, the HGP and ELSI served both as the ends of policy and as instruments of self-legitimation, thus re-inscribing and enacting the structures for these powerful sociotechnical imaginaries. I engage the HGP and ELSI through historical, sociological, and political philosophical analysis, by examining their immediate context of the NIH, the meso level of professional/disciplinary bioethics, and the larger context of American democracy and modernity. My argument is simultaneously a claim about how questions are asked and how knowledge and expertise are made, exposing the relationship between the HGP and ELSI as a mutually constitutive and reciprocally related form of coproduction of knowledge and social structures. I finish by arguing that ELSI is in a better position than bioethics to carry out the original project of that field, i.e., to provide a space to elucidate certain institutionally authorized questions about science and technology. Finally, I venture into making a prophecy about the future of ELSI and bioethics: that the former will replace the latter as a locus for only formally rational and thin ethical debates.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012