we, new utopians… genome editing and echoes of future life

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

We are living in multiple bio-political potentialities, futures resonating ideas of life-as-it-could-be. Life and bodies seem to have become the materialization of various biotechnological utopias. For fifty years, assorted technologies for human genome editing and DNA repair/ recombination have been used. Particular techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9, TALENs, and zinc finger nucleases have been employed significantly in human genome editing and DNA repair in recent years. The current applications of genome editing and DNA repair technology have provoked significant attention and raised a number of ethical and legal questions. We analyze various economies of hope, hype, expectations, politics, and poetics of promises and better or worse predictions or moral panic from the point of view of sociology, anthropology, and science and technology (STS) studies. Miscellaneous futurities, as material-semiotic reconfigurations, are present in the topics of the current genome editing technologies. We will discuss concrete research cases, fieldwork, projects, and analyses. Based on encounters with anthropology, sociology, STS, bioethics, and biotech sciences, we meet to bring together various views on questions like:

– What kinds of biotechnological utopias, spaces of hope and hype, visions, and social innovations do we face today in the context of human genome editing technologies?

– What kind of objects, un/real, bio-objects, bio-digital, bioinformatics life these emerging technologies represent and constitute? How can we analyze, explore this situation? What methodological dilemma are we facing in this context?

– What modes of de/politicization are involved in the context of editing genome technologies? Which medicalized social problems are mirrored and created by contemporary editing genome technologies? How personalized medicine does stratify groups of potential patients?

– And what political and ethical implications and ramifications do these “problem settings” have?



Goethe University, Research group Biotechnologies, Nature and Society

ARTENGINE project (MCSA H2020)

LaSST_ the Lab for Studies in Science and Technology

Where: Goethe University, SH 5.106

Contact: slesingerova@soz.uni-frankfurt.de

For the agenda, follow the link:WE_NEW_UTOPIANS_workshop_2019_agenda

For the workshop announcement, follow this link: WE_NEW_UTOPIANS_workshop_2019