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Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community

Marris, C., Balmert, A., Calvert, J., Molyneux-Hodgson, S., Frow, E., Kearnes, M., Bulpin, K., Schyfter, P., Mackenzie, A. and Martin, P. (2015). Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community. Science and Technology Studies, 28(3),

Abstract

Based on criticism of the “ethical, legal and social implications” (ELSI) paradigm, researchers in science and technology studies (STS) have begun to create and move into “post-ELSI” spaces. In this paper, we pool our experiences of working towards collaborative practices with colleagues in engineering and science disciplines in the f eld of synthetic biology. We identify a number of dif erent roles that we have taken, been assumed to take, or have had foisted upon us as we have sought to develop postELSI practices. We argue that the post-ELSI situation is characterised by the demands placed on STS researchers and other social scientists to f uctuate between roles as contexts shift in terms of power relations, af ective tenor, and across space and over time. This leads us to posit four orientations for post-ELSI collaborative practices that could help establish more fruitful negotiations around these roles.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology > Food Policy
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/14196
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