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GMOs in the laboratory

Objects without everyday controversy

Christina Holmes

This article explores the lack of controversy over genetically modified objects (GMOs) in the daily life of a research laboratory in Canada. Scientific perceptions of GMOs and the types of knowledge valued in scientific research contribute toward an absence of discussion on the wider social implications of GMOs. Technical and epistemic knowledge are crucial for the success of a scientific project, whereas discussion of the social values involved may be allocated to particular settings, people, or research stages. GMOs, within scientific circles, are seen as many individual projects with different goals, rather than as a single object. Therefore, according to this view, it is inappropriate to be opposed to or to support GMOs in general, without first ascertaining the specifics of a particular project. How then are scientists engaged in seemingly local, distinct projects seen as globally defending this technology? Scientific expertise unevenly translates into political voice, transforming into silences as well as debates.

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The Chronopolitical Order of Things

Technologies of the Quantified Self in Andrew Niccol's In Time and Michael Anderson's Logan's Run

Sidneyeve Matrix

As a film about a science fictional future in which genetic engineering is used to guard against the threat of overpopulation, Andrew Niccol's In Time (2011) bears a remarkable resemblance to Michael Anderson's environmental dystopia Logan's Run (1976). This article traces the narrative similarities of these two dystopian ecocinematic Hollywood productions, while demonstrating how they succeed as social critiques of technoscientific social regimes that wreak havoc on the Earth and its inhabitants. Borrowing from Michel Foucault's theories of a biopolitics of the population, this article argues that both film-makers' works contribute to our understanding of the potentially culturally and environmentally devastating implications of genetic engineering. Seen through the lens of Foucault's ideas about the disciplinary technologies of the self-regulated subject, the article suggests that Niccol's In Time is particularly noteworthy for its creative problematizing of the increasing normalization of high-tech bodily modification, enhancement, and digital quantification.

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On Being 'Natural' in the Rainforest Marketplace

Science, Capitalism and the Commodification of Biodiversity

Sandra Bamford

A recent article in the popular journal Scientific American begins with the claim that scientists have succeeded in “cracking the code of life.” Two decades ago, such an announcement would have been met with wonder and amazement. Today, it is likely to elicit a far more subdued response. Over the past few years, we have grown accustomed to reading about the “miracles” of modern science. The expanding use of new reproductive technologies, genetic engineering, prosthetics, and cloning to name but a few of the most astonishing advances, have allowed us to become habituated to the dizzying pace of scientific discoveries. The ability of science to impress us with its seemingly impossible feats has become “extraordinarily ordinary” over the past five years (Hayden 1998).

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Kosher Biotech

Between Religion, Regulation, and Globalization

Johan Fischer

) and their implications for biotechnology and genetic engineering. Another type of study deals with how diverse groups of Jews in the global diaspora negotiate kosher principles and practices ( Buckser 1999 ; Diamond 2000 , 2002 ; Klein 2012 ). These