Conference on the politics of the life sciences (biopolitics, biocitizenship, etc.)

The BIOS Centre at the LSE is organizing a conference about the politics of the life sciences in an ‘age of biological control’, 16-18 September next year (i.e., 2009). The organisers are particularly interested in papers that develop the following three themes:

1) Biological citizenship in a global political economy:

  • biosocial identities and solidarities
  • global health inequalities or orphan diseases
  • the sustainable and democratic governance of the life sciences, and the challenges of public policy making in conditions of uncertainty
  • the impact of these policies on the formation (and transformation) of biological citizenships, in particular relating to identity, gender, or ethnicity
  • analyses of the pharmaceutical industry, its management and regulation in a globalized world.

2) Identities and power in a neuro-age:

  • explorations of ways in which recent developments in neuroscience are changing power dynamics between state, industry, expertise and consumers, patients, children, parents, employees and offenders
  • analyses of the role of neuro-expertise, the problems of uncertainty and strategies of risk assessment in the context of regulation and control of the neuro-technologies and the rise of ‘neuro-markets’
  • examinations of the impact of neuroscience on categorization in psychiatric disorders, and on shifting patterns in ‘normalcy’ and ‘pathology’.

3) Biopolitics in an age of regenerative and synthetic technologies:

  • explorations of politics and ethics in relation to synthetic biology and regenerative medicine
  • research on the ways in which developments in these areas are changing conceptions of self, identity and embodiment
  • analyses of the political and ethical frameworks guiding biomedical research and interventions in the ‘age of regeneration’ and in the light of concerns about biosecurity
  • research on the socio-political and ethical aspects related to biosecurity, bioengineering and the markets for DNA, tissues, organs and other synthetic devices.

Send 250-300 word abstracts to v.dyas@lse.ac.uk before 1 December 2008. For further info, see www.lse.ac.uk/collections/BIOS/vital_politicsIII.htm.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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