Call for Abstracts: “Next Generation Sequencing: Challenges for Science and Society”

TATuP special topic in issue 2/2021. Deadline for submitting your abstract: 09 October 2020

Today, DNA sequencing has become part of the common knowledge of biological and medical research. Next generation sequencing (NGS), which was established in the mid-2000s, was the most important catalyst for this development. Knowledge production in molecular based biosciences increased significantly.

This TATuP special issue 2/2021 seeks to reflect on these developments. It is about chances and limits of the new method as well as its entanglement with social, cultural, economic and political challenges in the present. Focusing on ‘genetization’ and ‘molecularization’ on both an individual and collective level, actors and their practices, interests and motives as well as structures and knowledge orders need to be considered. As yet, science and technology studies focused particularly on medical, pharmacological and forensic fields of application because sequencing DNA is usually linked with these fields. This proposed special issue, however, aims to go much further. We ask for contributions on fields of application which defy disciplinary classification because they do not belong to clearly delineated disciplines, but often cross-cutting fields, e.g. archaeogenetics, genealogy, research on biodiversity and molecular (palaeo-)epidemiology. Despite the growing significance of NGS in general, its importance is often ignored in fields such as human remains and repatriation studies and genetic history. Particularly, with the establishment of new fields such as archaeogenetics or paleogenetics traditional and long-established historical disciplines are being challenged.

Expected contributions

Since sequencing DNA pervades numerous social fields there is a broad range of possible perspectives. We are looking both for contributions from all fields related to technology assessment/TA (e.g. history of science, history of technology, science studies, science and technology studies), and, particularly, from disciplines and research fields which explore aspects of NGS (e.g. cultural anthropology, sociology, history, archaeology, politics) and address the below mentioned aspects either theoretically and/or empirically or extend with regard to case studies. We also welcome interdisciplinary contributions.

Please read the complete CfA (PDF)

Guest editors of this TATuP special topic: Elsbeth Bösl (Bundeswehr University München); Stefanie Samida (University of Heidelberg/University of Zurich)