Features

Remaking Local Biologies in an Epigenetic Time

Premise and Summary

This is a very provisional text,[1] part of a broader book-length research (forthcoming from Palgrave in 2015) on ‘political epistemology’, a construct I use to investigate the coproduction of epistemological facts and socio-political values in the history of the life-sciences (e.g.: how certain views of heredity, development, nature/nurture potentially favor certain political values and …

Lectures

Thinking through the ‘Biosocial’: Rhythmic Reflections in Pandemic Times

This article is part of the series:

Much has been written of late on the ‘biosocial’ in the social sciences and humanities — see for example Ingold (2013), Meloni et al (2016), Lloyd and Muller (2018) — including postings in Somatosphere (Béhague 2020Meloni 2014). In part this stems from the limits of ‘representational’ approaches and a need to marry the biological and social …

Lectures

Birth cohorts, biosocial theory, and the politics of developmental disruption

How and with what consequences do young people push up against standardized views of “normal” and “healthy” development? To what extent can young people’s attempts to disrupt developmental norms be understood as political acts? I became intrigued by these questions while conducting long-term ethnographic research with a subset of young participants in the 1982 birth cohort study in Pelotas, Southern …

Lectures

Epistemic and Temporal Disjunctions: (Re)Mapping “Suicide Risk” Epigenetics Through Birth Cohorts

The McGill Group for Suicide Studies (MGSS) has garnered significant attention for its epigenetic models of suicide risk. These models suggest that early life adversity may set people on pathways of neurobiological vulnerability and, ultimately, suicide risk, which are correlated with distinctive epigenetic traits. While the core of this epigenetic and neuroscientific research is carried out on the donated brains …

Lectures

Human Placenta, Birth Cohorts, and the Production of Epigenetic Knowledge

Precious Material

Over the past decade, the Canadian university-based Epigenetics Lab has become increasingly central to the production of knowledge about human health and development.[1] During my first visit there, Daniel, one of three technicians in the lab, is visibly stressed. He apologizes for not being more relaxed. He has been up all night worried about a shipment of …

In the Journals

Special Issue of BioSocieties: Empirical engagements with environmental epigenetics from the lab to the clinic

The December 2018 issue of BioSocieties is a collection on epigenetics. Here are the abstracts. Enjoy!

Situating the biosocial: Empirical engagements with environmental epigenetics from the lab to the clinic (open access)
Stephanie Lloyd, Ruth Müller

[excerpt] Few life science research fields have met with as ambivalent a response in the social sciences as environmental epigenetics, an emerging …