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What Makes a Panther a Panther?

Genetics, Human Perceptions, and the Complexity of Species Categorization

Catherine Macdonald and Julia Wester

Species categorizations can involve both scientific input and conservation questions about what should be preserved and how. We present a case study exploring the social construction of species categories using a real-life example of a cougar subspecies (Puma concolor stanleyana) purposefully introduced into Florida to prevent the functional extinction of a related subspecies of panther (P. c. coryi). Participants in an online sample (n = 500) were asked to make categorization decisions and then reflect on those decisions in an open format. Analysis of coded responses suggest people may experience “species” as both a social and biological construct, and that the question of what species people think an animal belongs to cannot be answered in isolation from questions about how that animal fits into larger social and biological systems.

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Heritage (Erfgoed) in the Dutch Press

A History of Changing Meanings in an International Context

Hanneke Ronnes and Tamara Van Kessel

intangible matters, such as religion, homeyness, freedom, and liberalism. 69 However, a striking new use emerges in this period: erfgoed in combination with genetics. As we have seen, as far back as the seventeenth century the word erfgoed was applied to

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Elena Khlinovskaya Rockhill

The six UK Genetics Knowledge Parks (GKPs) were shaped and governed by two frameworks: a 'need' to harness 'new genetics' and the relations of accountability as seen in the context of entrepreneurial government. The remit of the Cambridge GKP (CGKP) was to develop public health genetics by building on the concepts of partnership and interdisciplinarity. In the course of its work, the CGKP emphasized the virtues of 'change management', seen as distinct from, and opposed to, an academic model of knowledge production. However, the model that the CGKP actually created was a research/management hybrid that resisted quality assurance checks developed for each model (research and management), presenting a formidable challenge for the evaluation and assessment of the CGKP's work.

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Clones as Epistemic Objects

Conceptual Processes of the Configuration of Knowledge

Stefan Halft

The creation of life has always spurred literary and cinematic productivity. Due to scientific progress in the fields of microbiology and genetics, countless novels and films today reflect the idea of human cloning more than other ideas. While the clone is often seen as the epitome of the posthuman, contemporary texts and films tend to modify the concept and (re)humanize the clone. It can be said that fictional literature and films play a pivotal role in the construction, modification, and circulation of concepts. Based on a cognitive linguistic concept of concept, the clone will be analyzed as an epistemic object. Focusing on conceptual processes of the configuration of knowledge, this article will show how the process of conceptualization works in literary texts and films and describe the techniques by which categories and concepts are constantly modified. Thus, it will be argued that literature and film play an active part in shaping a society's stock of knowledge.

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Gabriele Mueller

This article examines two German films which, in different ways, engage with ethical questions raised by scientific advances in biotechnology and the specter of eugenics: Blueprint (Rolf Schübel, 2003), an adaptation of Charlotte Kerner's Blaupause, and The Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen, Oskar Roehler, 2006), a cinematic interpretation of Michel Houellebecq's novel with the same title. Assuming different positions, the films contribute to the divisive public debate surrounding human cloning. Their visions vacillate between dystopian warnings of a commodification of human existence and euphoric promises of the potential to genetically erase human flaws forever. The films' main concern, however, is a critique of ideological positions associated with the generation of 1968, and the directors use the debate on genetics to infuse this discussion with an element of radicalism. This article explores the ways in which the films engage with the memory discourse in Germany through the lens of discourses on ethics and biotechnology.

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Sachiko Hosoya

‘the science of human biological variation as it is related to health and disease’ ( Epstein 2006: 434 ), and could be defined as a field of clinical medicine, which has been expanding its application of knowledge and technologies of human genetics. Its

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A.D. Harvey

continues to make astonishing advances on different fronts – the last two decades have seen a revolution, social as well as scientific, both in computers and in genetics – yet the simple truth is that the broad-front advance of technology which

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Pierre Du Plessis and Sanal Mohan

Biodiversity is a rich multi-sited ethnography that explores divergent yet related ways of engaging with plant life-forms in genetics labs in Mexico and botanical gardens in Spain. Greatly informed by Hartigan’s earlier science and technologies studies (STS

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Temperamental Differences

The Shifting Political Implications of Cousin Marriage in Nineteenth-Century America

Susan McKinnon

inheritance and thereby rendered cousin marriage no longer the most effective means of capital accumulation and expansion. In her book Negotiating Risk: British Pakistani Experiences of Genetics , Alison Shaw (2009) explores the contemporary debate about

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Victoria Churikova, Alexey Druzyaka and Alina Galimova

ecology, physiology, and genetics. The author does not use any kind of multivariate analysis and does not present any complete model of seasonal biodemographic trends; this encourages readers to make their own interpretation of the facts. However, the