FeaturesLectures

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

Ludwik Fleck where are you now that we need you? Covid-19 and the genesis of epidemiological facts

This article is part of the series:

 Tests for Covid-19 and the politics of big numbers

We are incessantly flooded with data on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. WHO and the Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource provide information on the daily number of Covid-19 cases and deaths worldwide, while national media supply details on the dynamics of the pandemic in each state, region and city. These data …

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 …

Lectures

Confronting constructs with cataclysms in neuroepigenetics

I went to a Science and Technology Studies (STS) conference in Melbourne recently and listened to a panel of social scientists share their work about psychological disorders. There was no doubt I had stakes in being there; I study embodiment and trauma and so I knew what I was hoping to hear. I sat, in anticipation, waiting to hear about …

Books

After and Beyond the Genome: Taking Postgenomics Seriously

The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge after the Genome

Jenny Reardon

University of Chicago Press, 2017, 304 pages.

 

Genetics: A Situated View      

How enduring is the love affair between our societies and genetics (today genomics)? And what is the role of critical social science in undermining or, rather, mirroring the power of this romance? And what do we