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The Postgenomic Condition: Justice, Knowledge, Life After the Genome

Now that we have sequenced the human genome, what does it mean? This talk critically examines the decade after the Human Genome Project, and the fundamental questions about meaning, value and justice this landmark achievement left in its wake. Drawing on more than a decade of research—in molecular biology labs, commercial startups, governmental agencies, and civic spaces—it explores how  efforts to transform genomics from high tech informatics practiced by a few to meaningful knowledge beneficial to all exposed the limits of long-cherished liberal modes of knowing and governing life.  Cases from the American South to the Scottish highlands will illustrate the challenges faced by scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, bioethicists, lawyers, and patient advocates who leveraged liberal democratic practices to endeavor to make genomic data valuable for interpreting and caring for life. It brings into rich empirical focus the resulting hard on-the-ground questions about how to know and live on a depleted but data-rich, interconnected yet fractured planet, where technoscience garners significant resources, but deeper questions of knowledge and justice urgently demand attention.

Dr. Jenny Reardon is a Professor of Sociology and the Founding Director of the Science and Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Her research draws into focus questions about identity, justice and democracy that are often silently embedded in scientific ideas and practices, particularly in modern genomic research. Her training spans molecular biology, the history of biology, science studies, feminist and critical race studies, and the sociology of science, technology and medicine. She is the author of Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics (Princeton University Press, 2005) and The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, Knowledge After the Genome (Chicago University Press, Fall 2017).  She has been the recipient of fellowships and awards from, among others, the National Science Foundation, the Max Planck Institute, the Humboldt Foundation, the London School of Economics, the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, and the United States Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

This event is sponsored by the EpiDaPo Laboratory, a collaboration of UCLA and CNRS,
and the Insitute for Society and Genetics.

Friday, May 18, 2018
1:00 AM - 2:30 AM
Los Angeles, La Kretz Garden Pavillion Room 101

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