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Biomedicine in museums

Stephen King and the formation of biocitizenship

By December 22, 2007No Comments

Speaking about the formation of biocitizenship: Non-fiction writers Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg (who have written about the science behind James Bond) have now published The Science of Stephen King (Wiley 2007).

The preview from Amazon doesn’t raise expectations of a particularly scholarly experience, but it could nevertheless be fun reading for King-fans during the upcoming holidays. And maybe there are some nuggets in it for those of us who are interested in the formation of public engagement with medicine? Several of Stephen King‘s books and movies deal with more or less probable social and cultural (and deadly, of course) effects of biomedicine and biotech. For example, The Stand was about a deadly plague that vicious scientists let out of the secret lab, with dire consequences; the movie Golden Years took its point of departure in ageing research and regenerative medicine.

Gresh and Weinberg’s Bond-book was mainly about the physics, of course, because Ian Fleming created the Bond character in the 1950s and 1960s when atom bombs and lasers were the favourite fictional mass killing instruments; in the last 30 years mystery books and action films have moved to bugs, alien life forms, pharmaceuticals and vicious recombinant DNA specialists. The formation of biocitizenship is a diverse and multichanneled practice.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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