Jenny Reardon, Science & Justice Research Center Co-Director and Associate Professor of Sociology
Sociology Department Colloquium
Monday, November 26, 2012
301 College 8
Today ideals of participatory democracy that have long grounded Euro-American imaginaries of truth and freedom play important structuring roles in the natural sciences. This represents a dramatic change for a domain of human activity that in the 20th century built its credibility largely through circumscribing itself as apolitical. While some celebrate these developments as part of the new spring for democracy, might this “unnatural” spread suggest a different reading? This talk takes up this question through an analysis of a decade-long effort to render genomics democratic. It explores what the rise of the “democratic genome” reveals about the limits of dominant narratives of “science and politics,” and what it might tell us about contemporary practices and conditions of democracy, justice and knowledge.