University of Wisconsin, Madison keynote address by Charis Thompson
Time: 4 PM
Date: Friday, February 24
Title: Human Genome Editing in a Time of Science Elites and Nationalist Populism
Room: 8417 Social Science (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Human Genome Editing in a Time of Science Elites and Nationalist Populism
Abstract: We are living in a time of the increasing ubiquity of science and technology in all spheres of life, whether military or civilian. It is also a time characterized by the rise of nationalist and populist sentiment that gets at least some of its ideological heft from a denial of or disgust for certain kinds of science. I trace the tension this gives rise to through key debates about human genome editing. I argue that this state of affairs requires us to rethink the premise that undergirds many strands of Science and Technology Studies that there is some kind of intrinsic isomorphism (however imperfect) between the norms and practice of science and the norms and practice of democratic polities. What should responsible governance of emerging technologies like genome editing look like, and how is it possible when political life no longer needs to be governed by reason to be saturated by the scientific, technical, and capitalized fruits of reason?