January 22 – 23, 2015 _ Final Conference
  When: January 22 – 23, 2015
  Where: Sky Lounge, University of Vienna
  You can find more about the Final Conference >here
P R E V I O U S  E V E N T S
  July 3 - 5, 2013 _ International Conference
  The "Life Science Governance Research Platform" is co-organizer of the IPA 2013. The 8th International Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference takes place from July 3 - 5 in Vienna.
  Keynote event within IPA 2013/Vienna
  Deborah Stone
Department of Government and the Rockefeller Center, Dartmouth College
Emotionally-loaded Controversies: What does interpretive analysis have to offer?
When: July 4, 2013, 11.15-13.00

2.6 Lecture Hall C1
Campus of the University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 2-4 (Court 2)
1090 Vienna

John Law
Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) & Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University
ANT, Multiplicity and Policy
When: July 3, 2013, 11.15-13.00

2.6 Lecture Hall C1
Campus of the University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 2-4 (Court 2)
1090 Vienna


  June 7, 2013 _ Invited Talk
  Michael E. Lynch, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University
Law, Science, and DNA Databases:
Guilt, Innocence, and Illusions of Certainty
June 7, 2013; 13:30
Konferenzraum (A222), Department of Political Science,
Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7,
1010 Vienna, 2nd floor
Forensic DNA databases are well-established features of criminal justice systems worldwide. This talk focuses on two of the oldest and largest criminal databases: the National DNA Database in Great Britain, and the Combined DNA Index System managed by the US FBI. Based on long-term sociological research conducted in England and the USA, starting before both databases were established, the talk reviews the legal and technical rationales for expanding criminal DNA databases and facilitating the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigation. The concept of “biolegality” summarizes the reciprocal relationship between biometric evidence and the legal conditions and consequences of its use. The discussion critically examines the extraordinary degree of certainty ascribed to matching DNA evidence, and raises conceptual questions about the relationship of DNA evidence to guilt and innocence.
Michael Lynch is a professor in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. His research is on discourse, visual representation, and practical action in research laboratories, clinical settings, and legal tribunals. He received the 1995 Robert K. Merton Professional award from the Science, Knowledge and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association for his book Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action. His most recent book, Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting (with Simon Cole, Ruth McNally & Kathleen Jordan) examines the interplay between law and science in criminal cases involving DNA evidence. The book received the 2011 Distinguished Publication Award from the Ethnomethodology/Conversation Analysis section of the American Sociological Association. He was Editor of Social Studies of Science from 2002 until 2012, and he was President of the Society for Social Studies of Science in 2007-2009.
  June 5, 2013 _ Invited Talk
Peter Dabrock, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Religion im öffentlichen Raum. Erkundungen miteinem Ausblick auf die biopolitische Kontroverse um Biopatentierung
June 5, 2013; 17:00
Konferenzraum (A222), Department of Political Science,
Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7,
1010 Vienna, 2nd floor
Der öffentliche Raum leidet unter einem Modernitätsparadox. Einerseits muss angesichts des unwiederbringlichen Verlustes einer einheitlichen Gemeinwohlvision der Streit um das gute Leben in der Öffentlichkeit ausgetragen werden und macht sie daher selbst zur umstrittenen Instanz in der Konkurrenz der Lebensdeutungen. Andererseits droht durch diesen Streit auch noch der kleinste gemeinsame Nenner der verschiedenen Weltsichten zu erodieren. Religionen spielen in dieser paradoxalen Dynamik eine wiedererstarkte Rolle. Der Vortrag untersucht die Mindestbedingungen eines demokratiebasierten Öffentlichkeitsbegriffs und die Risiken, aber auch Chancen, den Raum der Öffentlichkeit aus dezidiert religiöser Perspektive mitzugestalten.
Am Beispiel der Kontroverse um Biopatentierung werden solche Diskursbewegungen ausgelotet.


  March 18, 2013 _ Invited Talk
  Katharina T. Paul, Lise Meitner Fellow at the Life-Science-Governance Research Platform,
University of Vienna
Immunization politicized: The governance of cervical cancer prevention in Austria, England, and the Netherlands
When: March 18, 2013; 18.30
Where: Konferenzraum (A222), Department of Political Science,
Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7,
1010 Vienna, 2nd floor
In the late 1990s, medical research made for global headlines when it concluded that infection with specific strains of the sexually transmitted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was a necessary agent for the development of cervical cancer, the second most common form of cancer in young women worldwide. These findings initiated a major shift in cervical cancer research and treatment: In 2006 and 2007 respectively, two vaccines were approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. These vaccines are intended to immunize women against several strains of HPV, including those that cause cervical cancer, and have fundamentally reshaped the governance of cervical cancer prevention across countries. Specifically, the scenario of immunizing children and young adults against a sexually transmitted, carcinogenic and potentially lethal virus has become a highly controversial topic. This comparative study seeks to identify the factors that contribute to the understanding of this emerging preventive tool either as a promising ‘innovation’ or as a socially undesirable technology. The presentation introduces the two-year research project and proposes three central logics of politicization based on exploratory findings.
Katharina T. Paul holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam and was previously assistant professor in comparative policy analysis at Erasmus University Rotterdam (Institute of Health Policy & Management, iBMG). She joined the LSG platform in March 2013 with a Lise Meitner fellowship awarded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
  January 26, 2012 _ Invited Talk
Prof. Jongyoung Kim, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
Traditional Medicine, Science, and Modernity:
Korean Medicine’s Modernization Process
January 26, 2012, 16.00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
This paper analyzes Korean medicine’s modern transformations – its professionalization, scientization, industrialization, and hybridization. By looking at diverse changes in institutional settings and daily medical practices, I aim to understand how various material, social, and political elements have interacted to generate hybrid medicine. First, I describe the success of Korean medicine and how Oriental medical doctors (OMDs) in Korea are positioned. In the second part, I describe the professionalization process, especially the legal, educational, and knowledge-forming aspects. Third, I show several types of scientific translation of Korean medicine in laboratories, and then explain the making of modern KM clinics and hospitals, paying particular attention to east-west medical collaboration, which has gained momentum recently. After that, I describe the industrialization of KM as it is pursued by OMDs and promoted by the Korean government. Finally, I interpret Korean medicine’s transformation as an example of hybrid modernity emerging among complex and fluid powerscapes.
  December 14, 2011 _ Invited Talk
Sanford Schram, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College
Governing the Poor:
Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race

December 14, 2011, 18.30

Sitzungsraum (C0424),
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie,
Neues Institutsgebäude,
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, 4. Stock
In his talk, Sanford Schram will present the major findings of “Disciplining the Poor”, a new book published by the University of Chicago Press, which he co-authors. Schram will explain the transformation of poverty governance over the past forty years - why it happened, how it works today, and how it affects people. He underlines the central role of race in this transformation and develops a more precise account of how race shapes poverty governance in the post-civil rights era. Connecting welfare reform to other policy developments, Schram explicates the racialized origins, operations, and consequences of a new mode of poverty governance. This form of governance is simultaneously neoliberal (grounded in market principles), and paternalist (focused on telling “the poor” what is best for them). He traces the rolling out of this new regime from the federal level, to the state and county levels, down to the service-providing organizations and frontline case workers who take disciplinary actions in individual cases. The result is a compelling account of how a neoliberal paternalist regime of poverty governance is disciplining “the poor” today.
Sanford Schram teaches social theory and policy in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, and Political Science and Sociology in the undergraduate curriculum at Bryn Mawr and Haverford.
  November 10, 2011_ Invited Lecture
  Steven Griggs, De Montfort University, Leicester
Rhetoric and practices of innovation. Towards a critical examination
November 10, 2011, 16.00 - 18.00
Sitzungsraum (C0424), Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie,
Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, 4. Stock
Innovation and transformation have become increasingly vocal elements of the mantra of public managers and politicians. Both are lauded as necessary components of effective management in these crisis-stricken times. Yet, what constitutes this much sought after innovation and transformation in public services remains elusive and ill-defined. This paper examines the rhetoric and practices of innovation and transformation across local government and public services. Drawing upon political discourse theory, it seeks to explore the politics of claim-making, investigating how particular practices and programmes come be named as innovative or transformative. In combining theoretical critique and empirical re-appraisal, the paper offers an initial critical evaluation of the limitations and potential implications of contemporary discourses of innovation and transformation for the delivery of local public services.
Steven Griggs is joint editor of Critical Policy Studies. His research evaluates the contribution of political discourse theory to our understanding of the policy process. Steven worked empirically on the politics of aviation, environmental activism, and neighborhood governance. He also has a wide experience of engaging with policy-makers and practitioners.
  October 10, 2011_ Invited Lecture
  Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago
Property, Rights, and the constitution of contemporary Indian biomedicine: Notes from the Gleevec case
October 10, 2011, 17.00-19.00 (ct)
Seminarraum des Instituts für Ethik und Recht in der Medizin"
(Alte Kapelle), Campus Uni Wien, Hof 2.8

In this paper, I am interested in tracing how intellectual property regimes drive the re-institutionalization of pharmaceutical development in India today in unsettled and contested ways. I draw upon an exemplary case surrounding a patent on the anti-cancer drug Gleevec. I am interested in how this case resolves, in an apparent purification, into technical and constitutional components; how the technical components are entirely unsettled; and how the constitutional components open up questions regarding the relationship between biocapital and issues of constitutionalism, rights, and corporate social responsibility

  September 23, 2011 _ Invited Talk
Jerome Whitington, National University of Singapore, Asia Research Institute, Science and Technology Studies (STS) Cluster
Accounting for Atmosphere: human climate futures
September 23, 2011, 12:00
Hörsaal 3 (D212), Institut für Politikwissenschaft, 2. Stock
Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
Accounting for Atmosphere is a research project led by anthropologist Jerome Whitington which investigates the role of carbon accounting, carbon markets and greenhouse gas management for changing global political orders. Working from a perspective of science studies and anthropology of quantitative practices, Whitington shows how climate policy infrastructures 'map' human interchanges with the atmosphere by creating a new, global metric of human practices, carbon emissions.
Reciprocally, the atmosphere becomes a historically novel object of management and becomes a medium of global interaction. He investigates these processes at three administrative levels, national carbon budgets and the determination of right, carbon markets and the determination of property, and enterprise carbon accounting and the determination of ontology. Carbon accounting practices, taken broadly, constitute imaginative or cognitive media for the emergence of a new nomos of the earth.
  June 30, 2011 _ Invited Talk
Ilona Reischl, AGES PharmMed, Vienna, Austria
Advanced therapy medicinal products – Challenges and Chances
June 30, 2011, 18:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
The Regulation for Advanced Therapies (REG/2007/1394/EC) has come into force in December 2008 and lays down specific rules concerning the authorisation, supervision and pharmacovigilance of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs). It is a lex spezialis, expanding on Directive 2001/83/EC with the intent to provide a framework, guidance and harmonization for the specialized emerging field of biomedicine.
The underlying principles for the regulation of ATMPs, their practical translation from donation to administration to patients will be outlined in the presentation. Special emphasis will be placed on the general understanding of challenges and risks associated with this type of medicinal products, recent developments and an outlook on further progress.
  May 18, 2011 _ Conference
Kick-off Conference of COST Action IS1001: Bio-objects and their Boundaries: Governing Matters at the Intersection of Society, Politics and Science
May 18, 2011, 09:00-18:00
Aula, University Campus, University of Vienna
This Kick-Off Conferences launches the COST Action: Bio-objects and their Boundaries: Governing Matters at the Intersection of Society, Politics, and Science. Funded by COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology), it is co-sponsored by the Life-Science-Governance Research Platform.
Learn more on this Conference, as well as the COST Action, following this link:
  May 17, 2011 _ Discussion
Looking Back Ahead: The 10th Anniversary of the Human Genome and Its Implications for Science and Society
With keynotes by Giulio Superti-Furga and Giuseppe Testa
May 17, 2011, 17:30-19:00
Aula, University Campus, University of Vienna
2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the first drafts of the human genome. Celebrated with as much scientific glamour as political emphasis, these first drafts promised to usher into a future of unprecedented progress in both basic biology and medicine.
In this event, we take the 10th anniversary of the human genome as an opportunity to look back at the past ten years and ahead at the imminent developments. Capitalizing on the past ten years, we want to explore how far we have moved since then. What do the 2001 draft genomes mean to us, today? What has happened since then and what does this imply for science and society? Which promises have been materialized and which unexpected transformations have taken shape? Looking back to the past ten years, then, will also enable us to look ahead to the coming decade: Where is the genomic revolution leading us in the next decade? And what might we learn, from experience with the human genome, about the relationship between the bio-sciences and society at the beginning of the 21st century?
Giulio Superti-Furga, Ph.D., is Scientific Director and CEO of the Research Center of Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and a visiting professor at the Medical University of Vienna. Giulio Superti-Furga is a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
Giuseppe Testa, M.D., Ph.D., M.A., heads the Laboratory of Stem Cell Epigenetics at the European Institute for Oncology (IEO) in Milan and is the cofounder of the interdisciplinary PhD program FOLSATEC (Foundations of the Life Sciences and Their Ethical Consequences) in Milan. With a background in medicine and molecular biology, Giuseppe Testa also trained in Bioethics and Social Studies of Science and Technology. He co-authored with Helga Nowotny, “ Naked Genes. Reinventing the Human in the Molecular Age” (MIT Press 2011).
  May 5, 2011 _ Workshop
Wolfgang van den Daele, Social Science Research Center, Berlin
Coping with Irresolvable Moral Conflict in a Deliberative Setting–
The Example of the National Ethics Council in Germany

May 5, 2011, 09:00 ct-11:00

Seminarraum 1 (Raumnummer A 228, NIG, 2.Stock)
Violation of interests cause frustration, violations of moral values cause outrage. Hence, moral zeal can make dangerous enemies, and moral conflicts can be particularly divisive. Is deliberative democracy suitable to forestall the escalation of moral conflict?
I will discuss how irreconcilable moral dispute over bioethical problems was dealt with in the deliberative setting of the German National Ethics Council (NER) 2001-2007. The dispute in the NER established what may be called “rational dissent”, which means that the members of the NER coukd not, despite good will could resolve the contested issues through arguments that relied on moral reasons which they all accepted. From an observer’s perspective such dissent indicates the existence of moral pluralism in the society. However, the participants of the conflict failed to agree on a common statement that acknowledges such pluralism – and, as a consequences, puts questions of tolerance and respect for the diverging moralities on the public agenda. They did agree that regulatory issues relating to the conflict must be decided by majority vote in parliament, which amounts to a half-way acceptance of the social fact of pluralism and concedes that democracy can trump moral principle.
Whether similar achievements can be expected from deliberations in other institutional settings, is questionable. There may be some hope if it can be clearly conveyed to the minority that through voting (or bargaining, for that matter) the distribution of regulatory power and interest is decided, not the defeat or victory of the competing moral values. In any case, deliberations commit even parties of bitter moral conflict to behavior of tolerance and respect – as long as the deliberations last.
  March 31, 2011 _ Invited Lecture
Linsey McGoey, University of Essex
Pharmaceutical liabilities: on the uses of ignorance in organizational life
March 31, 2011, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
Drawing on interviews with staff at UK and US national drug regulatory agencies, this talk explore the politics of liability in controversies over drug safety. I examine a paradox that has emerged from recent high-profile controversies over drugs such as Ketek, Vioxx and Seroxat. Typically, those who call attention to regulatory errors are penalized more than those who quietly perpetuate them. Within large organizations, individuals often have more to lose than to gain by articulating concerns over dysfunction within organizations which, by necessity, tend to thrive on strategically ignoring their own weaknesses. Drawing on work by the political theorist Jacques Rancière, I then contrast the penalization of individual whistleblowers with the tendency for drug manufacturers to flourish financially even when faced with proof of fraudulent activity, and suggest that work by Rancière can help to theorize the paradoxes of liability within corporate and bureaucratic life.
Linsey McGoey is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex. Her work explores the politics of ignorance and knowledge within corporate and philanthropic organizations, with a focus on global health governance and pharmaceutical regulation. Her work is published in outlets such as Economy and Society, the History of the Human Sciences, and the Lancet.
  March 30, 2011 _ Invited Lecture
Ilpo Helén, University of Helsinki
Molecular politics and the Nordic welfare state:
From the vital nation to bioeconomy
March 30, 2011, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
In the Nordic countries, public policy has actively promoted research and business in molecular medicine, and responses of the public toward high-tech medicine like genetic testing and counselling, biobanks and stem cell research have been more favourable than elsewhere in Europe. On the basis of a historical excursion into biopolitics in Sweden and Finland, I point out characteristics of Nordic welfare societies which have prepared the soil for today’s public trust and ‘educated advocacy’ of molecular medicine. Furthermore, I outline the mode in which high-tech biomedicine has been promoted as an element of national innovation policy and as a future option for public health in Sweden and Finland during the past decades. In this context, I discuss how Nordic ‘biological citizenship’ have begun to be transformed by molecular politics, embedded in transnational bioeconomy.
Ilpo Helén is Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Helsinki. His studies on abortion and prenatal screenings are profound historical analysis of medical biopolitics. At the moment, implementation of medical high-tech, especially genomics and neurosciences, in health care, social services and educational institutions of post-welfare societies is a priority of his research activities. Economy and Society, Critical Public Health and Acta Sociologica are among the journals in which he has published his papers.
  Jan. 27, 2011_LSG Symposium_Biology and Political Science: Towards a New Paradigm?
Robert Klemmensen, University of Southern Denmark
Biology: Political behaviour and Political attitudes. Any Links?
January 27, 2011, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
Historically, biological thought has taken an influence on political thinking and debate in many different forms and situations. Recently, biological arguments and reasoning have re-surfaced in political science, in particular in the United States. In our symposium we will discuss these new developments in political science.
Abstract: Studies in behavioral genetics have suggested that variation in traits which are normally been thought of as ‘socially constructed’ can be partly explained by a heritable component. Results from one of the first twin surveys on political and social attitudes suggest that variation in political traits such as ideology, political participation, political efficacy, trust and interest in politics can be partly accounted for by heritable factors. These findings are important for several reasons. First, it the results prove to be robust then the model of man underlying much of social science needs to change. Man might prove to be a political animal in the sense that politics is not something with we learn but a predisposition we as human beings have been given at our birth. Man is in other word not a ‘tabula rasa’ on which society or the social environment writes. Secondly, these insights might prove valuable to our understanding of the difficult with changing political traits. Finally, this research could help us shed light on the circumstances under which environmental factor are important and when heritable factors are important in explain political attitudes and behaviors.
Commentary: Martin Weiss
Dr. Martin G. Weiss is working on a Habilitation thesis on the bioethical and biopolitical implications of biotechnologies at the University of Klagenfurt, collaborates with the interdisciplinary Research Platform Life-Science-Governance of the University of Vienna, and is co-director of the trilateral ELSA-GEN Project "DNA and Immigration: Exploring the social, political and ethical implications of genetic testing for family reunification" funded by the German and Austrian Ministries of Research and the Finnish Academy of Sciences. He participated in the project "Development ? Sustainability ? Responsibility" funded by the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Trento/Italy) focusing on environmental ethics and biotechnology, 2004-2005. From 2005 to 2008 he was Project Leader of the stand-alone project ?The Dissolution of Human Nature. The Philosophical Discourse on Biotechnology between Essentialism and Emancipation? funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). In 2006 he was Visiting Scholar at the Department of Rhetorics at UC Berkeley.
  January 28, 2011 _ friday lecture day
  In Kooperation mit dem Referat Genderforschung, Universität Wien:
Barrierefrei?! - Perspektiven der Disability und Gender/Queer Studies
auf die Hochschullandschaft“
January 28, 2011, 09:00 bis 20:00
Aula Universitätscampus, Hof 1.11, Universität Wien
Gender und Queer Studies sind anspruchsvolle Forschungsbereiche und international längst etabliert. Ähnliches gilt international mittlerweile auch für die Disability Studies. Gemeinsamkeiten der drei Studies bestehen in der interdisziplinären und kulturwissenschaftlichen Orientierung, der Dekonstruktion von Normen und Normierungen sowie der Analyse der Artikulation von unterschiedlichen sozialen Kategorien der Differenz. Weitere Merkmale sind wechselseitige Inspirationen und auch Spannungen. Es ist unabdingbar, Fragen von Behinderung nicht auf den medizinischen Diskurs zu beschränken, sondern aus der Perspektive der sozialen und kulturellen Konstruktion einer Vielzahl von Barrieren kritisch zu durchleuchten. Ein auffälliges Merkmal in der Diskussion über Behinderung ist die stillschweigende Auslöschung des Geschlechts (Gender) und der Sexualität von Menschen, die mit Behinderung leben. Anliegen des friday lecture day ist es, einen Beitrag zur Sensibilisierung für Perspektiven und Fragestellungen der Disability und Gender/Queer Studies als Querschnittsthematik zu leisten und einen Diskussionsprozess über Möglichkeiten der Integration in die Hochschulentwicklung zu starten.
Weitere Informationen unter
  December 16, 2010 _ Invited Lecture
Ingrid Schneider
University lecturer at the Institute of Political Science, and senior researcher at the Research Centre on Biotechnology, Society, and the Environment (BIOGUM) at the University of Hamburg
The Governance of the European Patent System: Policy Changes through Parliaments and Civil Society
December 16, 2010, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
At one time patent law was a "dry and dusty" field that was of interest only to patent attorneys and other technical experts. Sheltered from outside scrutiny, the European Patent Office (EPO) used its discretionary powers to serve its clientele, the applicants, and to gradually extend the limits of the domain of what could be patented. During the last two decades, however, patents have increasingly drawn critical attention from civil society organizations and other third parties. Especially controversial were patents on genes, cells and transgenic organisms and on software programs. The ensuing controversies have raised questions about the democratic legitimacy of the European patent system.
The examination of patent applications by the EPO involves more than a simple execution of existing laws and regulations, but must be considered a tacit policy-making process. As such, it requires public accountability. In fact, patent law should be reframed as regulatory law and practice for the governance of technology and innovation.
In this lecture policy changes as introduced by the European Parliament and other proposals will be presented and discussed. Those aim at making the EPO more responsive to the interests of societal stakeholders and the public interest. Thus, they may possibly enhance the accountability, transparency and democratic control of the European patent system.
  December 7, 2010 _ Invited Lecture
Arthur L. Caplan
Chair, Department of Medical Ethics; Director, Center for Bioethics,
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Ethics of face transplantation
December 7, 2010, 17:00
Kapelle im Alten AKH, Uni Campus
Face transplantation is likely to become a standard part of the transplant field. But at present, despite much hype and hope, it is still highly experimental.
It is understandable that there are subjects who would select facial transplant even in the face of a serious risk of failure and even death. The willingness or even eagerness of a person to serve as a subject is not, however, a substitute for determining whether the state of the science supports attempting the experiment or for thinking through the ethics of innovative surgery.
Those seeking to undertake face, limb or other composite tissue transplants should be able to state that they have taken every measure to minimize the prospect for harm that the subject could encounter, thought through subject selection so as to maximize both compliance and the tolerance of failure, and have determined which prospective subject seems able to obtain the most support from family and friends in facing the enormous challenge of a face transplant.
Will only those known to have ?lled out a donor card or advance directive be approached as donors? If so, can it be assumed that they intended to include in their gift their face? If surrogates are to be allowed to make donation decisions in lieu of a known intent to donate on the part of the deceased, then on what basis will they be able to decide what a deceased person would have wanted. And who will approach the families of the deceased to make a request for a face? The professionals currently charged with the task of soliciting organs and tissues have little knowledge of face transplantation, work very closely with those seeking to undertake innovative surgery and usually can state that gifts will result in the saving of lives with a high degree of probability.
Which centers and teams should undertake face transplantation? What degree of follow-up care ought to be in place. And how will costs be covered for subjects and their families?
What can be learned from the involvement of bioethics early on in the discussion of face transplantation? Is bioethics best done prophylactically?
  October 28, 2010 _ Invited Talk
Denisa Kera
National University of Singapore
Global Pop Biotech: consumer genomics, citizen science
and DIYbio movements
October 28, 2010, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
Various forms of bottom-up organizations that appear in recent years around emergent biotechnologies, DIY subculture and novel forms of investment in innovation and entrepreneurship provide interesting case studies for studying the relation between politics and design, new technologies and social movements, emergent non-humans and transforming society, but also global networks between USA, EU and ASIA. Novel forms of research, investment and even artistic creativity in the form of open source laser cutters and other open hardware for community labs, synthetic biology recipes, sharing and discussing DNA data, self-organized clinical trials, various types of artistic performances create informal pop biotech network between ASIA, USA and EU that is very different from the official flows of the biotech industry. Communities of people monitoring, sharing and making sense of various “objective” and “scientific” data in their everyday life are exploring new and unexpected global networks around low tech biotechnologies and biomedicine. What is the state of the art in citizen science projects, consumer genomics services and various DIYbio initiatives? What challenges these consumer and publicly oriented services pose to the official biotech industry? How they operate on the global level and what type of exchanges are we witnessing between continents and cultures? Does challenging research happen only in the professional labs or we are starting to witness an emergence of new models of more community based research that will involve the public more intimately in the whole process? What perspectives this offers to the developing world?
Denisa Kera (Singapore & Czech Republic) is Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore where she teaches courses on interactive media design and new media theory. Her current research is on bringing together Science Technology Society (STS) studies and interactive media design. She focuses on DIYbio movements in USA and Asia, consumer genomics services on web 2.0 and various forms of emergent “pop” biotech a citizen science projects. She has extensive experience as a curator of exhibitions and projects related to art, technology and science: ENTER3 http://www.enter3.org, "Artists in Labs" and "TransGenesis: festival of biotechnology and art" http://www.transgenesis.cz in 2006 and 2007.
  October 19, 2010 _ Invited Talk
Robert Olby, Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
Francis Crick and the Founding of Molecular Biology
October 19, 2010, 18:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
What light can a study of the early life and career of Francis Crick throw on his later successes as he became one of the leading scientists of the twentieth century? Why did his move from physics to biophysics, in the immediate post-World War II years prove so productive? To attempt to answer these questions we will examine the state of the relevant sciences in the immediate post-war period, and explore Crick’s role in the emergence from those sciences of what became known as “Molecular Biology”. Particular attention will be given to problems concerning the nature of the gene and protein synthesis, and their resolution inspired by the structure of DNA.
  June 16, 2010 _ Invited Talk
  Klaus Hoeyer, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen
(Ex)changing the body
June 16, 2010, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
  Recent years have seen a prolific literature on what is often tagged as “Markets in Human Body Parts”. With this presentation I am interested in exploring what this framing might do to the way we approach the practices that the literature deals with, and to arrive at an alternative conceptualization. I wish to avoid reifying “markets” and “human body parts” and instead look into the concrete exchanges that movement of entities in and out of bodies involve. Exchange is movement through which change is produced. When and how and with what consequences an exchange becomes a market should be approach as empirical questions, rather than presumed in the vocabulary we use. Likewise, it cannot be taken for granted what makes something into a human body part. We need to explore empirically for how long after having left a ‘body’ an entity part is considered part of it – and part of whom (donor or recipient, e.g.).
   I will use this opportunity to present a new analytical vocabulary that I suggest better addresses questions like: How does exchange of material originating in bodies interact with bodily states and perceptions of desirable aims? How are exchanges structured and why? What might we learn from comparing different types of entities traversing body boundaries, the modes of exchange through which they travel, and the types of change they induce?
  May 26, 2010 _ Invited Talk
Kathrin Braun, University of Hannover
Life, law and the spirit of technicity in Carl Schmitt
May 26, 2010, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
The work of Carl Schmitt has been of enduring interest to critical thought from the Weimar Republic to these days. Recently, Giorgio Agamben’s and Chantal Mouffe’s readings of Schmitt have been particularly inspiring and contested. I contend that Mouffe reiterates an unstable tension in Schmitt between an inherent political relativism and a longing for ontological substance. In this talk, I will use the relation between life and law in Schmitt as a Leitfaden to reconstruct this tension. It will show that there is a more complex and less straight-lined strand of references to life and the body than Agamben suggests. Following it may help to understand why Schmitt so readily adopted a völkisch conception of substance in 1933. The talk, in short, will attempt to set what is missing in Agamben against what is problematic in Mouffe.
  March 25, 2010 _ Invited Talk
Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, University of Alberta, Canada
Selling Hope: The Face of the Stem Cell Tourism Industry
March 25, 2010, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
  Few areas of science have generated as much excitement as stem cell research. It is a field that has huge potential to advance our knowledge of human disease and to lead to the development of novel therapeutic interventions. Nevertheless, most scientists would agree that clinical applications remain years away. Despite this reality, there are currently clinics around the world offering stem cell therapies. Thousands of patients are accessing these treatment at substantial financial cost and, perhaps, personal risk. This growing “stem cell tourism” industry has attracted a great deal of criticism from the scientific community and many fear it could hurt the perceived legitimacy of the entire area of stem cell research. In this presentation I will review our own research on the stem cell tourism phenomenon, including our analysis of: the efficacy of the services offered on websites; popular press coverage of the therapies; the role of health care professionals; and the size and nature of the industry. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of policy options.
   Timothy Caulfield has been Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta, since 1993. In 2001 he received a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy. He is also a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health. Over the past several years, he has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have allowed him to publish over one hundred and fifty articles and book chapters. He is a Senior Health Scholar with the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Principal Investigator for Genome Canada project on the regulation of genomic technologies, the theme leader for the Stem Cell Network (National Centres of Excellence) and has several projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Professor Caulfield is and has been involved with a number of national policy and research ethics committees, including Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee, Genome Canada’s Science Advisory Committee, the Federal Panel on Research Ethics and the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on the Future of Food Biotechnology (2001). He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He teaches biotechnology in the Faculty of Law and is the editor for the Health Law Journal and Health Law Review.
  March 11, 2010 _ Invited Talk
Roberto Esposito - Italian Institute of Human Sciences, Naples
Community and Violence
March 11, 2010, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
  From its beginning western civilization has established a link between community and violence. Therefore, it is important to recognize that violence is an element of every community. Moreover, we need to consider that violent crimes – often committed among brothers – are always constitutive for communities. The relationship between community and violence (which lies at the heart of Hobbes’ philosophy) becomes even stronger in modern times, because the lack of boundaries that separate people from each other, exposes them to an increased mutual risk of death. Modernity has defended itself against this menace with the help of an immune system, which functions as a protective measure for individuals and society as a whole. Despite its inner contradictions this ‘immune system’ demonstrates a remarkable stability. However, the processes of globalization that are producing a ‘community without limits’ force us to reconsider the notions of community and immunity – and together with them, our whole lexicon of western philosophical and political concepts.
  Prof. Roberto Esposito teaches Theoretic Philosophy at the “Italian Institute of Human Sciences” where he is also Assistant Director. His main works, translated into different foreign languages are: “Communitas” (Einaudi 1998), “Immunitas” (Einaudi 2002), “Bios” ( Einaudi, 2004), “Terza Persona” (Einaudi, 2006).
  November 16, 2009 _ Invited Talk
Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli, Haifa University
Policy, Practice and the Naturalisation of Kinship in Israel


November 16, 2009, 15:30


Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
Extensive state funding of fertility treatments is one of the policy measures that confer on Israel its widely accepted pronatalist image. In my presentation, I will probe state policies, experts' practices and consumers' preferences regarding reproductive technologies to show how nature is being construed in Israel as a technology of domination in the production and reproduction of politicized identities. More specifically, I show how the technologies of donor insemination and in vitro fertilization are being applied so as to upgrade the 'natural family' as superior to non-genetic forms of kinning. This significance surfaces in its full scope when we take a comparative look at Israel's adoption law that presents substantial obstacles to applicants. I suggest that taken together, these policies and practices nurture a 'tribal' notion of the local Jewish collectivity, which can then be invoked to advance political territorial claims on the basis of extended historical bio-relatedness.
  November 5, 2009 _ Invited Talk
Prof. Frank Fischer, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University
Citizens and Experts in Risk Assessment: The Case of Biotechnology
November 5, 2009, 16:30
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
This presentation examines the tensions between citizens and experts in the assessment of environmental and biotechnological risks from an epistemological perspective. Much of the discussion of this topic has focused on the “irrationality” of the citizen, particular the citizen’s inability to understand or accept scientific findings and its implications for rational policymaking. Through a comparison of the formal logic of science and the informal ordinary language logic of argumentation, this analysis turns the issue around and questions the rationality of the scientist in decisions pertaining to public policy. In the process, the presentation will show that ordinary citizens rationally focus on important questions that scientific experts ignore or neglect. Epistemologically demonstrating the scientist’s need to integrate the citizen’s perspective, the paper concludes with an approach for bringing them together.
  October 22, 2009 _ Invited Talk
Adam Hedgecoe, Professor at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, UK
Associate Director of Cesagen
A social autopsy of the TGN1412 clinical trial: Northwick park, Research
Ethics Committees and the normalisation of deviance.
October 22, 2009, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 1010 Wien, 2. Stock
This presentation draws on a detailed historical and ethnographic study of the UK research ethics committee (REC) system, as well as interviews with people involved in assessing and running the TGN1412 trial at Northwick Park in March 2006 which resulted in serious harm to 6 healthy volunteers. While there has been a formal investigation into the events at Northwick Park - the so-called 'Duff’ report - there has been no public examination of the role of the Brent Medical Ethics Committee, the REC which gave ethics approval to the trial. This presentation sets the Brent committee's decision within the culture and system of UK RECs, and shows how a number of features - the undermining of scientific expertise on RECs, the changing nature of pharmaceutical companies, the attendance of applicants at REC meetings and the working relationships that develop between researchers and RECs - lead to a context that encouraged the ethical approval of a risky, and ultimately harmful, clinical trial.
  October 15, 2009 _ Invited Talk
Tom Boellstorff, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
Editor-in-Chief, American Anthropologist
Virtual Worlds and the Human
October 15, 2009, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, 2. Stock
Millions of people around the world today spend portions of their lives in online virtual worlds. Second Life is one of the largest of these virtual worlds. The residents of Second Life create communities, buy property and build homes, go to concerts, meet in bars, attend weddings and religious services, buy and sell virtual goods and services, find friendship, fall in love—the possibilities are endless, and all encountered through a computer screen. Tom Boellstorff conducted more than two years of fieldwork in Second Life, living among and observing its residents in exactly the same way anthropologists traditionally have done to learn about cultures.
In this talk, Professor Boellstorff draws from his research on this new frontier of human life to discuss how virtual worlds present profound challenges to our understanding of the human. There are indeed ways that virtual worlds represent radically new possibilities for human being. However, just as challenging (and possibly more surprising) is the discovery that virtual worlds show how in some ways humans have always been virtual. As a result, virtual worlds in all their rich complexity build upon a human capacity for culture that is as old as humanity itself.
  September 15, 2009 _ Invited Talk
Bronislaw Szerszynski, Dept. of Sociology, Lancaster University, CSEC Director
The New Topologies of the Public


September 15, 2009, 16:00
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, 2. Stock
Drawing on work I am carrying out with Linda Soneryd (SCORE, Stockholm), I will explore the different way that publics are constructed in contrasting genres of public engagement exercises in relation to science and technology policy. After discussing existing literature on the nature of political subjectivity, I will look at three common mechanisms for generating qualitative deliberations on science and technology - the focus group, the citizens' jury and the scenario workshop. I will suggest that such processes need to be understood not as ways of tapping into a pre-existing 'public opinion', but as machines for generating different kinds of publics in controlled ways. I will go on to explore the differences in how these processes construct publics in terms of the specific way in which they draw a division between those characteristics and capacities which participants are encouraged to contribute to the deliberation, and those that must be left out. With reference to the work of Hannah Arendt and Giorgio Agamben, I will argue that the emergence of 'the political' crucially depends on the drawing of this caesura through the human individual, and that these deliberative mechanisms can therefore be understood as operating to control the conditions of emergence of the political.
  June 23, 2009 _ Invited Talk
Barbara Prainsack, King´s College London
  Allelische Allianzen:
(Selbst)regierung im Zeitalter der Personalisierten Genomik.


23. Juni 2009, 17.00 (s.t.!) bis 18.30 Uhr
Konferenzraum am Institut für Politikwissenschaft, NIG, 2. Stock
Seit November 2007 können Kundinnen direkt übers Internet ihr persönliches genetisches Krankheits-Risikoprofil erwerben. Der Test, der ab $400 zu haben ist, untersucht ca. 1 Million Punkte verteilt über das gesamte Genom nach Gen-Varianten, die mit Krankheiten oder andern so genannten Phänotypen wie Augenfarbe, dem „Sprinter-Gen“, etc, korrelieren. Die Kundin kann ihre individuell berechneten genetischen Risiko-Daten online abfragen.
  Der personalisierte Genom-Test sah sich von Beginn an vehementer Kritik von Ärztinnen, Ethikerinnen, und Mitgliedern der scientific community ausgesetzt. Diese Kritik konzentrierte sich auf die fragwürdige wissenschaftliche Basis der Tests, die Datensicherheit im Internet, und die Tatsache, dass Kundinnen hier Informationen über Krankheitsdispositionen erhalten, für die es zum Teil keine Therapieangebote gibt. Wie ich in meinem Vortrag zeigen möchte, besteht die hauptsächliche Bedeutung des Phänomens des personalisierten Genom-Tests jedoch darin, zweierlei zu illustrieren: erstens, wie weit die Trennlinien zwischen Patientin, Konsumentin, DNA-Spenderin, und Gesundheitsaktivistin bereits verschwommen sind (Prainsack et al 2008); und zweitens, in welch großem Ausmaß die Sorge um die Gesundheit in der Sphäre individueller Verantwortlichkeit situiert ist (Bröckling et al 2000). Wird der Genom-Test im Internet zu einem Instrument zur Selbstregierung für die Massen?
Dr. Barbara Prainsack ist Senior Lecturer am Centre for Biomedicine & Society (CBAS), King´s College London. Ihre Forschung beschäftigt sich mit Aspekten von Governance und Identität im Zusammenhang mit genetischer und genomischer Forschung. Barbara ist Absolventin der Life Science Governance Research Platform am Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Universität Wien.
  June 18, 2009 _ Invited Talk
Annemiek Nelis, Centre for Society and Genomics, Radboud University, The Netherlands
“Our Common Future? The life sciences 2020”
June 18, 2009, 18.00-19.30
Konferenzraum, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, 2. Stock
Dutch research funding agents have been asked by a number of ministries to produce a vision for the life-sciences 2020. Background of this request is the current funding structure, which is rather ad-hoc and finishes around 2013, and the question how investments in the life sciences should be organized after this period. The process to come to this vision brings together the main players from both academia and industry in the field of health, agro, food, chemistry and ELSA genomics. As part of the vision, also a chapter on the societal aspects of the life sciences 2020 will be produced. For this chapter, a committee has been installed, chaired by Prof. Wiebe Bijker.
In this talk, I would like to take the opportunity to discuss the preliminary ideas and finding of our committee and to discuss both the strategy of our approach and the content of our vision so far.
Questions that I would like to tackle/address/discuss:
• What is or should be the mission, ambition and goal of social sciences/humanities with regard to the life-sciences in 2020?
• What are relevant questions, issues and approaches?
   o Experts versus non-experts
   o Public and professional engagement
   o Democratic decision making
   o Technology assessment/ anticipatory governance
• What are exemplary cases to be addressed in this chapter in a convincing way?
ANNEMIEK NELIS is general director of the Centre for Society and Genomics (Nijmegen, The Netherlands). Her research interests concern the relation between society and (genetic) technology. Her current research focuses on the role of patient organisations in the development of new genetic technologies and on the methodologies and epistemologies of ELSA genomics research
  June 16 – 17, 2009 _ International Workshop
  'Nanotechnology Governance Compared'
  University of Vienna, Aula Universitätscampus AAKH
We are happy to announce the international workshop "Nanotechnology Governance Compared” at the University of Vienna. The workshop will be organized by the Life Science Governance (LSG) Research Platform of the University of Vienna in cooperation with the Department of Social Studies of Science (Prof. Ulrike Felt and Guest Professor Sheila Jasanoff). It aims at casting diverse perspectives at the phenomenon of "nanotechnology": which emerging forms of nanotechnology governance can we observe today? How do these new modes of nanotechnology governance compare with the governance of other technologies such as genetic engineering or nuclear power? How does nanotechnology governance differ between regions? In our workshop, we will approach these questions in an interdisciplinary discourse
The first major theme of the workshop will be the comparison of nanotechnology governance with the governance of other technologies connected with risk. Current approaches towards nanotechnology are embedded in the history of risk technology governance in fields such as genetic engineering and nuclear power. The workshop will explore to which extent parallels can drawn between nanotechnology and other technologies, and what is peculiar to nanotechnology governance? Among other things, this part of the workshop focuses on questions of delimitation and demarcation in technology governance, and the phenomenon of governing under conditions of uncertainty.
The second major theme of the workshop is devoted to the interplay between global and local levels of nanotechnology governance. We will explore how nanotechnology governance differs between regions. We are especially interested in the relationship between trends towards governance uniformity and variation caused by factors such as culture, institutions and historical experience. We will ask which impact such differences might take on emerging form of nanotechnology governance.
The workshop will bring together scholars and students working on political, social, philosophical and cultural aspect of science and technologies as well as researchers from nanotechnology and the life sciences.
Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Robert Doubleday, Ulrike Felt, Herbert Gottweis, Heidrun Huber, Sheila Jasanoff, Matthew Kearnes, Monika Kurath, Volkmar Lauber, Franz Seifert, Guenter Schmid, Matthias Wienroth, Joscha Wullweber, Brian Wynne
  Conference venue: Aula University campus AAKH, Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna
  » How to get there


in Cooperation with   
  Preliminary Programme
  Tuesday, 16 June 2009
09.00 -09.15 
 Registration & Coffee
09.15 -09.45 
   Opening speech by Herbert Gottweis, LSG, University of Vienna:
   Framing the debate –Comparative Perspectives in Technology Governance
     Welcome by Ulrike Felt, Department of Social Studies of Science
09.45 -10.45 
 Keynote Speech Sheila Jasanoff
10.45 -11.00 
 Coffee Break
11.00 – 12:30 
 Panel: Emerging Governance of Nanotechnology
     Chair: Ulrike Felt
 Matthew Kearnes, Department of Geography, University of Durham:
 Performing European Science Policy – Debates About the Governance and  Regulation of Nanotechnology
 Monika Kurath, University of Basel:
 Nanotechnology Governance: Accountability and Democracy in a New  Mode of Regulation
12.30 -14.00 
14.00 -16.00 
 Panel: Nanotechnology Compared I
   Nanotechnology compared to other technologies
   Chair: Monika Kurath
 Franz Seifert
 The history of the debate on modern biotechnology. Lessons for  nanotechnology?
 Volkmar Lauber, Political Sciences, University of Salzburg:
 The politics of nuclear power: A story of promise and appeal – and of  manipulating them for the sake of redirecting/misguiding efforts,  resources and expectations
 Heidrun Huber, LSG, University of Vienna
 Rhetorical Shifts, Strategies and Institutionalised Systems of Meaning in  the Emergence of the UK Regulatory Regime on Nanotechnologies
16:00 – 16.30 
 Coffee Break
16.20 -17:20 
 Key Note:
     Guenter Schmid, Anorganic Chemistry, University of Duisburg:
 Nanotechnology: Assessment and Perspectives
17:20 – 17:45
     Joscha Wullweber, Department of Social Sciences, Globalisation & Politics,  University of Kassel:
 Nanotechnology as empty signifier: discursive strategies and
  socio-economic interests in Nanotech-R&D politics
17:45 -19:15 
 Roundtable: What is Nanotechnology, anyhow?
     Chair: Herbert Gottweis
     Podium: Guenter Schmid, Sheila Jasanoff, Brian Wynne, Erwin  Heberle-Bors (Dep. Of Microbiology, University of Vienna), Michael  Nentwich (Austrian Academy of Science, NanoTrust Project)


 Conference dinner
  Wednesday, 17 June 2009
09:15 – 09:30 
 Wrap-Up Day before
09.30 - 10.30 
 Keynote Speech Ulrike Felt
 Imaginaries and Discourses of Promises in biotechnology and  nanotechnology
10.30 – 10:45 
 Coffee Break
10.45 - 12.45 
 Panel: Nanotechnology Compared II
 Different Regions
 Chair: Heidrun Huber
     Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, History and Philosophy of Science at  the  Université Paris-X Nanterre:
 Who is concerned with Nanotechnology Governance in France?
     Robert Doubleday, Geography Department, University of Cambridge:
 Fixing the Social: STS in action at two nano centres in the USA and UK
     Matthias Wienroth, Department of Geography, University of Durham:
 Research Policy in Nanotechnology and Synthetic biology in the UK
 Governance Rationales and Institutionalisations in UK Science Policy  Activities: The Case of Nanoscale Science and Technology and Synthetic  Biology
12.45 – 14:00 
14:00 – 15.00 
 Keynote Speech Brian Wynne
15:00 – 16:00 
 Summary Herbert Gottweis, Final Discussion
  June 4, 2009 _ Invited Talk
  Eibhlin Mulroe, Chief Executive, IPPOSI
  Patient-led group, IPPOSI lead consensus building approach on issues regarding access to new therapies and treatments for unmet medical needs


June 4, 2009, 16:00
Konferenzraum am Institut für Politikwissenschaft, NIG, 2. Stock
Ms Eibhlin Mulroe MBA was appointed as the first CEO of the Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science and Industry (IPPOSI) in July 2007. The organisation was set up by Mr Michael Griffith who was then the Chairperson of the European Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science and Industry (EPPOSI). He felt that there was a gap in Ireland in terms of the knowledge transfer between Brussels and Ireland in the context of rare diseases and clinical research. A number of Regulations and Directives had taken place during the early 2000s, including the Orphan Drug Regulation and the Clinical Trials Directive and Ireland needed a forum for all stakeholders to debate the key issues.
In her presentation, Ms Mulroe will outline the set up of the organisation and the uniqueness of the organisation in the context of Europe. There are no other groups like IPPOSI bringing together key patient organisations, members of the scientific community within academic institutions, clinicians within hospitals in Ireland and members of industry.
The Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science and Industry is always chaired by a representative from a patient organisation and this is a key and important aspect of the model of the group. Scientists, Pharmaceutical Companies and Medical Device Companies are also members. Patient organisations and scientists do not pay to join IPPOSI. Instead, The Irish Health Ministry contribute a relatively small financial sum towards IPPOSI, as do industry. There are 13 industry members at present who pay to join the organisation every year.
To date the group has worked on policy around rare diseases and one of the most recent reports launched by IPPOSI highlights the need for Ireland to develop a plan for rare diseases in the context of research, services and access to treatment. The other issue which IPPOSI has focused a lot of time on, and one of the reasons Ms Mulroe is speaking , is around the issue of clinical research in Ireland and clinical research infrastructure. While there are many groups in Ireland working on developing our infrastructure, in the context of clinical research centres and developing our Ethics Committees; IPPOSI are more focused on understanding the public’s role in the development of clinical research infrastructure
IPPOSI are keen to measure public perceptions of clinical research. There is a view that the public are in support of clinical research in our hospitals and institutions but need more information. It is the view of IPPOSI that if the public become educated on the value of clinical research that will assist in developing a positive research environment. IPPOSI has commissioned a market research company to conduct qualitative and quantitative research around public perceptions of clinical research, clinical trials, use of their information on a register, etc.
  Ms Mulroe will discuss the stakeholders involved and what these findings will do to promote Clinical Research in Ireland and beyond...
Ms Eibhlin Mulroe has a BSSC Hons in Politics from Queens University Belfast and is an MBA graduate from the Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin. She spent the first half of her career to date working in Irish Politics and then the NGO sector where she worked as CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland. Ms Mulroe moved to the private sector for a time and served as an Account Manager for MedMedia on the campaign side of the business, managing campaigns for major pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in Ireland. In 2007, she became the first CEO of the Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science and Industry (IPPOSI).
  March 27, 2009 _ Invited Talk
  Nik Brown, University of York
  'Beasting the body: The metrics of humanness in the UK embryology debate'
Nik Brown is Deputy Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) and a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of York. His current research interests focus on culturally intriguing developments in the biosciences like cloning, transpecies transplantation, hybrids, chimeras, stem cells, and biobanking. He is interested in the social management of the boundaries between life and death, the human and the animal, the biologically mundane and the exotic, the public and the private. He is particularly interested in the politics, regulation and governance of novel biological developments and reproduction. He has also written extensively on the sociology of hope, expectations and futurity.
  January 29, 2009 _ Invited Talk
PD Dr.med. Detlef Niese, Novartis Pharma A.G.
Expanding Drug Development to Emerging Economies: Ethical and Scientific Challenges
Until more recently, internationally operating pharmaceutical companies conducted most of their development of new medicines in Western countries, in Japan and Australia. These areas still represent the most attractive markets, and also have the strongest experience in planning and executing complex projects like early and late phase clinical trials. While the economic and societal situation in emerging economies like Brazil, China, India is changing at rapid pace there is growing interest by local academic researchers and by international drug companies in expanding drug development activities to these countries. While researchers want to become recognized as part of the international scientific community, the pharma companies want to benefit from a large, treatment naïve patient pool. They are also attracted by the prospect of a rapidly growing market and attractive labor cost.
The potential benefits are obvious. However, the expansion of drug development and clinical research to economically still developing and politically often unstable countries gives also rise to ethical concerns: Participants in such trials may be less protected than in the traditional countries and pharmaceutical companies may exploit the weaknesses of the regulatory and societal system.
The presentation will therefore address three specific areas of concern:
• Governance and Compliance in Clinical Research in emerging economies (Example: China)
• How does compliance with Ethical standards influence quality of research?
• Developing medicines for diseases of poor countries: When the Market fails to drive innovation
Detlef.Niese is head of External Affairs in Global Development at Novartis Pharma A.G: responsible for public, governmental, societal and ethical issues concerning drug development.
He is a licensed pharmacist (1971) and physician (1977) with board certification in internal medicine (1988) and specialisation in Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology.
He received a doctoral degree in immunogenetics from the faculty of Medicine in Bonn, Germany 1980. Since 1988 he held the positions as Head of the departments of Clinicial Immunology and Clinical Pathology responsible for the in- and outpatient care for patients with immunological diseases including autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiencies as HIV as well as for the Clinical Immunology and Clinical Pathology laboratories. Since 1990, Dr.Niese is a member of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Bonn.
In 1992 Dr.Niese joined Clinical Research and Development of Sandoz AG which later became Novartis AG working on the development of immunosuppressants, anti-infectives, cell therapy and xenotransplantation.
In 1992 Dr.Niese joined Clinical Research and Development of Sandoz AG which later became Novartis AG working on the development of immunosuppressants, anti-infectives, cell therapy and xenotransplantation.
  October 9-10, 2008 _ LSG International Workshop
  B i o p o l i t i c s   i n   A s i a
Thursday, October 9, 2008
12:30 - 12:45
Herbert Gottweis [Life Science Governance Research Platform, Dept. of Political Science, University of Vienna]
Biopolitics in Asia. Introduction to the Workshop
12:45 - 13:45
Nikolas Rose [BIOS Centre/Department of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science]
The Politics of Life Itself in China Today
13:45 - 15:15
Jing-Bao Nie [Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand]
Bioscience under the Spell of Nationalism:
Three East-Asian Cases against a Confucian Ideal
Herbert Gottweis & Byoungso-Kim [Department of Science Studies, Korea University]
Hwang Woo-Suk and the Politics of Bio-Nationalism
15:35 - 17:00
Amanda Dickins [Centre for Biomedicine & Society – CBAS, King´s College London]
The (inter)national politics behind China's bioeconomy
Robert Triendl [Translation Research Inc., Tokyo]
The Political Economy of Biotechnology in Japan
17:00 - 18:00
Susan Greenhalgh [Department of Anthropology, University of California at Irvine]
The Chinese Biopolitical
Friday, October 10, 2008
09:00 - 10:00
William R. LaFleur [Dept. of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Pennsylvania]
The Axis of Prudence: Bioethics in Japan and Germany
10:00 - 11:00
Ole Döring [German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg]
Bioethical Governance in China
11:15 - 13:00
Brian Salter [Centre for Biomedicine & Society – CBAS, King´s College London]
State strategies and the geopolitics of the global knowledge economy:
China, India and the case of regenerative medicine.
Thomas Streitfellner [LSG Research Platform, Dept. of Political Science, University of Vienna]
A Tale of Two Labs: Comparing Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in China and
the United Kingdom
14:15 - 15:15
Peter Glasner [CESAGEN, Cardiff University Cellular Division]
Social and Political Complexity in Indian Stem Cell Research
15:15 - 16:00
Ayo Wahlberg [Research Fellow, BIOS Centre, London School of Economics]
A mystical West and a rational East – biopolitics and the optimisation of life
in Vietnam
16:00 - 17:00
Concluding Discussion:
Biopolitics in Asia: Developments and Tendencies
  June 2, 2008 _ LSG Interdisciplinary Workshop
  Life-Sciences Today: beyond the dichotomy of medical & social models
  Susan Squier, Director of the Science, Medicine, and Technology in Culture Program
Brill Professor of Women's Studies, English, and STS, The Pennsylvania State University
Nowadays, the research aims and topics of the Life-Sciences have gained a new visibility, as these aims and topics are increasingly proliferating in ‘public’ spaces. Yet scholars and activists have pointed out that the medical model (based on the Life-Sciences) is but “one way of knowing” phenomena such as bodies, health and illness, indeed life itself. For the last half century or so, the social model has provided an alternative perspective. While the medical model considers “illness”, “deformity” or “disorder” as a personal misfortune requiring medical intervention (prevention, cure and/or treatment), the social model views illness and impairment as a public issue, acquiring meaning and requiring attention and accommodation in the public realm. Within the last decade, both of these models have been critiqued for their restrictively dualistic formulation by scholars and activists who argue for an alternative model more suited to our ‘somatic’ society. The workshop seeks to anatomize this tension and to articulate the emerging alternative model via several cultural productions.
Against the background of the keynote speech of Susan Squier, who investigates this tension within Disability Studies, we invite students from various disciplines to enlarge this discussion by presenting their projects that deal with this tension in cases of biomedical research, veterinary and agricultural biotechnologies, stem cell research, end-of-life issues or drug policies, etc..
  May 9, 2008 _ LSG Lecture
  Opportunities and threats in Disability Studies
  Tom Shakespeare, PEALS, University of Newcastle, UK
December 3-5, 2007 _ International Conference _ Vienna
In the context of worldwide demographic changes and a rapidly growing “greying” population, dementia emerged as an increasingly acute medical and socio-political problem during the last decades. Nowadays, dementia is recognised in public health domains as a political problem due to the considerable social, economic and financial impacts and costs that come along with it. Within this setting, new focal points concerning dementia research such as genomics research have a significant effect on health care strategies and policies in the respective field. Because dementia is not conceived as a normal part of the ageing process, great scientific efforts are made to develop and enhance diagnosis, cure, treatment and care to be able to cope with future demographic developments. With regard to the question of efficiency and efficacy, these endeavours entail a repercussion on the management of dementia. At the same time and as a result of different and changing understandings of dementia and the conditions that may cause it, new ways of governing dementia occurred during the last years. In trying to meet these socio-political challenges, the conference will address several important aspects of governing dementia in the genomic and global era.
The conference will not only facilitate a debate and provide a discussion forum between researchers and practitioners, working in the medical scientific and socio-political area with regard to dementia. Most notably, the conference will present an innovative way of dealing with dementia as a medical and at the same time socio-political problem. Instead of looking at the medical scientific point of view on the one hand and on a political and social point of view on the other hand, the conference aims at simultaneously focussing on and exploring interrelated practices in the relevant fields. At the same time, the conference intends to investigate the mutual impact of involved actor groups on shaping the understanding of dementia, ranging from scientists in genome research and clinicians to affected groups and relevant political actors, embedded within regional practices, national boundaries and global knowledge.
  November 1-3, 2007_Mendel Museum,, Brno, Czech Republic_International Conference
Testing genes, profiling DNA: The global governance of genomics: hopes, duties, and security
In times of transnational collaboration of scientists and researchers, of genetic tests offered on the internet, and of “genetic tourism” having become a common phenomenon, the governance of genetics and genomics is no longer an exclusive realm of national regulation. It is impossible to govern society from a single centre or by means of a single privileged governance mechanism.
Along two main topical lines (DNA databanks and genetic testing), this conference will address the question of what different shapes global genomic governance takes, which actors are involved, and how individuals and populations are governed through genomic science and technologies. Practices and sorts of knowledge in the global field of genomics create new infrastructures, foster the emergence of large networks. It is arguable that they alter the identities of people. Special attention will be devoted to ethical, legal, and social implications of new patterns of governing genomics in a global context. The conference will bring together experts from the social and the life science, as well as practitioners and policy makers.
  » More information & Program
October 30, 2007 _ Invited Lecture
How forensic science helps fighting crime and terrorism
Elazar Zadok, Head of Division of Identification, National Police Headquarters, Israel
“This topic is related to our daily work, and it shades light on the deadly period of the second Palestinians uprising (2000-2004), where we, the DIFS [Division of Identification & Forensic Science], played a very crucial role.” [Dr.Zadok]
October 25, 2007_ Invited Talk
A Post-Genomic Surprise:
The Molecular Reinscription of Race in Clinical Medicine and Forensic Science
With some unanticipated social consequences for Identity and Identification
Troy Duster, Professor of Sociology, New York University
At the March, 2000 news conference at the White House, President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair jointly hosted and celebrated the completion of the "first draft" of the full map and sequence of the human genome. Francis Collins and Craig Venter, fierce competitors in the race to complete the map, stepped forward to agree on one thing -- that the Human Genome Project provided definitive evidence that racial categories have no meaning at the level of the DNA. The oft-quoted figure of "we are all 99.9 per cent alike" (in our DNA) became a mantra for the next few years. However, at the same time, there was a "turn to difference" in the new fields of pharmacogenomics and pharmacotoxicology, aided by supercomputers and the capacity to do profiles of the more than
3 million points of difference (DNA markers) between any two individuals. It would soon follow that the technology would be used to find patterned markers of differences between groups of individuals, socially marked. This generated a huge debate, culminating in the approval by the FDA in June, 2005 of the first race-based drug, BiDil, about the role of race in clinical medicine. In addition, the whole arena of "ancestral informative markers" has burgeoned, both as "recreational" knowledge about ancestral origins, but as well in forensics, as a means of predicting the race of a crime suspect based upon tissue samples left at a crime scene. These converging developments are ushering in a new era of the reinscription of race as a category in biology, clinical medicine, and forensics, and the implications for social science and public policy are profound. This lecture will examine some of the social and political implications of these developments.
June 28, 2007_ Invited Lecture
Civic Tensions: The Green Biopolitics of Gentically Modified Organisms in Australia
Richard Hindmarsh, Senior Lecturer Biopolitics and Environmental Policy, Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia
In recent years, considerable resistance to genetically modified food and crops has emerged globally. This has witnessed the mandatory labelling of GM foods in over thirty countries, and moratoriums on GM crops in the European Union and Australia especially. In examining this situation in Australia, I advance and apply a new category of theoretical/analytical inquiry called 'green biopolitics', which reflects the intersection of two main understandings of 'biopolitics': the new public policy area of biotechnology policy and the historical tradition of Foucauldian inquiry. My presentation approaches the topic through two interrelated parts involving theory to practice, where the latter focuses on the biopolitical struggle about GMOs and their environmental release in Australia. The analysis reveals key political technologies to normalize expert regulation and order civic concerns in the interests of creating an Australian bioeconomy, but which has yielded increasing civic tensions due to deepening cracks in the foundational discourses and practices of genetic engineering
June 22, 2007_ Invited Lecture
Designs on Nature. Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States
Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies,
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
June 11-12, 2007 _ PAGANINI Final Conference
  The New Governance of Life: Challenges, Transformations, Innovations
The International Conference "The New Governance of Life: Challenges, Transformations, Innovations" concludes our three year EU sponsored research project about life science governance. In the PAGANINI (Participatory Governance and Institutional Innovation) project, we have looked at a number of different topics ranging from stem cell research and genetic testing over nuclear power dilemmas and nature conservatism to genetically modified food and food policy to identify how these areas are governed, and will be governed in the future and what role there is for participatory practices in all of this. Many things have gone wrong in these fields of governance, and we were asking: why? What are the lessons from these experiences for future governance?
How "regional" is life science governance today? Or are we moving towards a more global style of life science governance? Which countries seem to be better "equipped" for life science governance than others? And why? What is the role of the European Union in life science governance?
In asking these questions, the conference brings together academics working in these fields, policy makers, scientists, and representatives of the mass media in a hopefully fruitful dialogue and conversation.
  Further information please visit paganini-project.net
June 5, 2007 _ Invited Lecture
  Shifting Paradigms? Towards a Bourdieusian Geography of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Steven Wainwright, King’s College London
In this seminar I develop the notion of Bourdiusian Geographies as a framework to examine the social, scientific and medical dimensions of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. I begin with an outline of David Livingstone’s approach to ‘geographies of science’, and I emphasise the spatial shaping of science and the scientific shaping of space. I then argue that the conceptual schema of Pierre Bourdieu - and in particular his notions of field, habitus, capital, and illusio - is a novel, fruitful and synergistic approach to science studies and to understanding ‘the evolution of a revolution’ in the emerging field of hESC research. I draw upon my ongoing research on the problems and prospects of stem cell science, and especially the interactions between the lab and the clinic in the field of Type-1 diabetes. I explore the views of scientists in some of the leading stem cell and beta cell labs in the UK and the USA and I contend that initial expectations of a translational research revolution in regenerative medicine have been dampened by the difficulties of making insulin producing pancreatic beta cells from embryonic stem cells. I explore the influence of seminal papers on laboratory and clinical practices, and I describe the subsequent transformation of the spaces of science at several spatial scales. I also investigate the laboratory production of scientific knowledge, and in particular how scientists’ choose which research to pursue in scientific-landscapes-in-the-making. In conclusion, I argue that a Bourdieusian Geographies perspective offers a productive approach to both science studies and to understanding the shaping of contested biomedical landscapes.
Contact details
Professor Steven Wainwright
Professor of Sociology of Medicine, Science & the Arts
Co-Director Centre for Biomedicine & Society (CBAS)
School of Social Science & Public Policy
King’s College London
University of London
United Kingdom
Tel: 020-7848-3214
  During the last years, a number of prominent cases of scientific misconduct and fraud have caused great public attention. In the wake of major fraud incidents such as the case of the South Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk, more general questions have been raised about the limits of the peer-review system, innovation-competition between the major science journals, the increasing „publish-or-perish pressure“ on scientists, and the impact of internet generated knowledge on scientific integrity.
  The impression that research inegrity, fraud, and misconduct are becoming major problems in contemtorrary science governance has also triggered high-level policy responses and initiatives. On September 16-19, 2007, for example, the Portuguese European Union Presidency together with the European Commission, the European Science Foundation & the US Office of Research Integrity organize a major world conference on research integrity in Lisboa.
  At the same time, the phenomena of scientific misconduct, research integrity, and scientific fraud are a surprisingly under-researched topics. With a few exceptions, the famous scientific fraud cases have not stimulated scholars in the humanities and social sciences to study closely incidences of scientific fraud and misconduct. Much of the literature on peer-review seems to be more driven by negative personal experiences by its authors than detached scientific interest in the matter.
  At the same time, the phenomena of scientific misconduct, research integrity, and scientific fraud are a surprisingly under-researched topics. With a few exceptions, the famous scientific fraud cases have not stimulated scholars in the humanities and social sciences to study closely incidences of scientific fraud and misconduct. Much of the literature on peer-review seems to be more driven by negative personal experiences by its authors than detached scientific interest in the matter.
What do actual or alleged cases of scientific misconduct and fraud tell us about scientific practice? Is the system of peer-review in a state of crisis? Will journals have to reconsider their review practices? Is there a need for new approaches in science policy making concerning research integrity?
09:00 Herbert Gottweis: Introduction to Workshop
09:30 - 10:30 Prof. Bruce Lewenstein
Cornell University, Dept. of Communication and Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  When 'Everyone Knows' and 'No One Knows':
Cold Fusion, Fraud, and Science Studies
Today, "everyone knows" that the 1989 claims of a new type of "cold fusion" cannot be correct, just as various perpetual motion machines and other claims cannot be correct. At the time of any specific claim, however, no one knows whether that claim is correct. A science studies approach to this problem insists on "symmetry," on understanding how the scientific community comes to communal judgment about which claims to believe without pre-knowledge of what the "correct" answer is. In hindsight, it seems likely that some fraud was associated with some cold fusion claims. Yet it is also true that today, nearly 20 years later, some researchers with reasonable claims to membership in the mainstream scientific community continue to claim positive results for cold fusion experiments -- indeed, in early 2007, one such researcher was explicitly cleared of charges of scientific misconduct. So, how should science studies approach questions of fraud -- as normative statements about proper scientific work, or as contextual explorations of the conditions under which charges of fraud appear? Using the (still!) ongoing cold fusion saga, this paper will argue that fraud is particularly relevant when examining cases in which simultaneously "everyone knows" and "no one knows."
10:45 - 11:45 Prof. Ulrike Felt
Dept. of Science Studies, University of Vienna
  On the economy of technoscientific promise:
Reflecting fraud from a systemic perspective
(the case of Jan H. Schön)
After having finished his PhD at the University of Konstanz a young researcher in the field of material sciences does what everybody would do for his/her career: he leaves for a post-doc in a renowned US research lab, Lucent Technologies. Here begins a scientific career which seems like a fairy-tale. In the period between 1988 and 2001 the young man manages to “discover” or to finally “realise” a whole series of phenomena which the whole community of material researchers, but also science policy makers and media had been expecting eagerly. Summarized under the buzz word nanotechnologies, they seem to open promising doors for new industrial applications which could revolutionize whole areas.
His colleagues feel that they can’t follow such an outburst of productivity; journals hype the field, media speak of a genius or wizard. He manages to publish with about 20 renowned co-authors in the top science journals such as Science and Nature: over 90 publications in not even 3 years. His papers go into the review system and pass the test. But nobody manages to reproduce his experiments. In 2001 he is awarded with the Otto-Klung-Weberbank Preis, which is meant to honour outstanding young researchers in the field of physics and chemistry. The Max Planck Institute for Material Sciences in Stuttgart is negotiating with him over the position of director.
Suddenly the story comes to an end. Having used one and the same curve in different publications (Science and Nature) - however with different scaling - raises first doubts. A commission is put in place by his lab: the young researcher cannot present any data, none of his co-authors has ever seen any data nor experiments. The conclusion of the commission is clear: they are confronted with one of the largest cases of fraud and this time in a field – material sciences - which felt protected so far.
The talk will analyse the more systemic perspectives of this case and focus on the current technoscientific knowledge production as it become visible through this case. It will investigate the role technoscientific promises play in this context and how they constitute a quasi parallel economy in which scientific results are negotiated and get value attributed. This comprises issues of the intertwinedness of science, media and policy, the politics of excellence, the functioning of peer review systems and many more.
12:00 - 13:00 Prof. Herbert Gottweis
Dept. of Political Science, Life Science Governance Research Platform, University of Vienna
  Explaining Hwanggate:
Biotechnology Governance in South Korea
The paper will analyse the scientific fraud case of Hwang Woo-suk and his group at Seoul National University in South Korea. The fraud was not the work of one man or one laboratory, but involved a considerable number of collaborators at different universities and medical establishments. Furthermore, from the late 1990s on, Hwang had build a growing network of supporters and collaborators, composed of key policy-makers, politicians including the president of South Korea, industrialists, journalists and leading scholars in stem cell and cloning research from a variety of countries. We will discuss the rise of the Hwang-system against the context of biotechnology governance in South Korea, and explain its operation and politics of persuasion. The research is based on interviews with key actors from Korea (including Hwang Woo-suk and the “whistle blower”) conducted between November 2005 and February 2006.
14:30 - 15:30 Prof. Hub Zwart
Department of Philosophy & Science Studies, Centre for Society & Genomics, Radboud University Nijmegen
  Pious Fraud? The Case of Mendel
The story of Mendel’s research is regarded as one of the highlights in the history of the life sciences. It has become a scientific legend. Yet, Mendel’s 1866 paper has raised (and will no doubt continue to raise) a host of questions of various kinds, not in the least about the methodological details of his work. Mendel himself published very little about his findings and his notebooks were posthumously destroyed. In a famous article the statistician Fischer (1936) tried to reconstruct the experiments and came to the conclusion that Mendel cannot possibly have performed them as they were reported. His published data on inheritance in pea plants were too good to be true. DiTrocchi (1991) even concluded that most of the experiments described in the paper are fictitious in the sense that they were performed on paper, in retrospect as it were, by disaggregating the data from various trials. Mendel’s case of “data massage” is duly discussed in various treatises on fraud in science (Cf. The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science, Judson 2004). How are we to assess his case? An important element is no doubt that Mendel represents the genesis of a new science, whose methodologies (for conducting and reporting trials) were still in statu nascendi.
15:45 - 17:00 Round Table Discussion (Chair: Herbert Gottweis)
Policy Implications
Prof. Hans Tuppy
Department of Medical Chemistry, and formerly Minister of Science, Republic of Austria,
and formerly Rektor of the University of Vienna
Prof. Marianne Popp, Department of Chemical Ecology
Prof. Bruce Lewenstein
Prof. Hub Zwart
Prof. Ulrike Felt
Prof. Erwin Heberle-Bors, Max F. Perutz Laboratories Vienna
  November 27 & 28, 2006   _    International Workshop
Over the last decades, developments in the life sciences and bio-medicine have profoundly challenged our traditional understanding of what ‘life’ means. In particular, the margins of life, its beginning and its end, have been transformed from naturally given boundaries to hybrid zones of negotiation. The contested identity of the embodiment of this life at the margins, the early human embryo and the comatose patient, vividly demonstrate that ‘life at the margins’ has moved into the center of political debates.
National and regional differences in public discussions and regulations of cloning, embryo research, transplantation, or the end of life, show that these negotiations are heavily influenced by social, cultural, religious and political factors. Both the technological/material feasibility and related societal expectations provide the context for the new government of life.
Today, we are faced with a set of novel political questions: who is allowed to speak truth on the margins of life topics? Why do some construct an embryo as ‘a living person’, others as a ‘clump of cells’? What are the arguments to put an end to the life of a person in coma? How are such decisions made and by whom? How should they be made and by whom? While such questions have been broadly discussed in philosophy or in the STS field, the workshop will systematically focus on the implications of these new questions for our understanding of what constitutes government of life today. We are especially interested in discussing comparatively the relationship between the various sites where the margins of life are negotiated, and the implications of these cross-site negotiations for emerging modes in the government of life.
» Workshop Program
"Fools Tower" - Workshop location
Photo: Chris Dematté
Workshop location
Photo: Thomas Streitfellner
Christoph Rehmann-Sutter (left)
Herbert Gottweis
. . Photo: Thomas Streitfellner
Christoph Rehmann-Sutter
Photo: Thomas Streitfellner
Ingrid Metzler, Ursula Wagner,
Bernd Kräftner
Georg Weitzer (left), Martin G. Weiß
Photo: Thomas Streitfellner
. Photo: Herbert Gottweis .
Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Antonella Corradini
Photo: Herbert Gottweis
Anna Durnová, Thomas Streitfellner, Paul Just, Dominique Memmi, Anton
Wutz Photo: Herbert Gottweis
Dominique Memmi, Anton Wutz
Photo: Herbert Gottweis
Anna Durnová
Photo: Chris Dematté
Dominique Memmi
Photo: Chris Dematté
Ingrid Metzler, Thomas Streitfellner
Photo: Chris Dematté

from left to right:
Peter Kampits, Erwin Heberle-Bors, Margrit Shildrik,
Ursula Naue (Moderation), Martin G. Weiß, Bernd Kräftner,
Georg Weitzer, Dominique Memmi

Plenary Discussion
Photo: Chris Dematté
November 13, 2006 _ Invited Lecture
“Cultural and Religious Views on Early Life: Genetic Counseling in Israel”
Yael Hashiloni-Dolev (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
Studies have shown that many Israeli women and the Israeli legal, religious and medical systems are exceptionally supportive of genetic testing prior to or during pregnancy, as well as of its potential outcomes (selective abortions to prevent the birth of children with disability). While reproductive genetics and selective abortions have been intensely criticized throughout the western world, criticism has been more or less absent from Israeli-Jewish society. Indeed, Israeli women often face pressure to engage in the selection of their embryos, or, in the so-called “ultra”-Orthodox community, to marry according to "genetic compatibility". In this lecture I will ask why this is so, or why criticism of such practices is virtually absent in Israel. In order to answer this question I will draw on culturally-specific Israeli-Jewish understandings of different issues, such as: the bio-cultural concept of "life" and of a "life worthy of living" versus "wrongful life"; the moral standing of the fetus and its relationship with its mother; and Jewish-Zionist attitudes towards science, medicine, and “eugenics”.

Reflections offered in this lecture draw upon the manuscript of Yael Hashiloni-Dolev's forthcoming book on this topic (published by Springer/Kluwer, 2007).
Discussant: Robert Gmeiner (Austrian Bioethics Commission)
This Invited lecture was organized by The Dialogue Forum for Israel, The Austrian-Israeli Society,
and the Life.Science.Governance Research Platform at the University of Vienna
  October 4, 2006 _ Invited Lecture
“Genetic Testing and Screening between Biopolitics and Technology of the Self”
Dr. Michela Betta, Swinburne University of Technology (Faculty of Business and Enterprise)
"One friend says, “well, you aren’t well”, and I think, “well I’m not ill”.
So, if I’m not well, but I’m not ill, what am I?"
This quotation unveils the complex nature of genetic testing and screening as a technology that traverses different social fields and subjects, in so far as it sheds light on the intricate relationships between the idea that we can be classified as ill o at risk even when we are perfectly well, that we can perceive ourselves as being well even when we are ill (according to a new taxonomy that reinvents the register of illness and wellbeing), and finally between public registers and personal politics. For the purpose of this discussion, I will argue here that genetic testing and screening touches four fundamental fields, namely: (1) Genetic enhancement, (2) Genetic commerce and law, (3) Genetic policies and privacy and (4) Genetic Knowledge and ethics. These four fields are activated by practices related to four bio-domains: manipulation, diagnosis, control, and selfcare/self-knowledge. For the purpose of this paper, I will first briefly describe how the technology of genetic testing and screening emanates from those practices, and second position them in a discursive formation that involves science, politics and the individual. How is genetic testing and screening positioned and embedded in the biopolitical ‘discourses’ of our time? Interestingly, genetic testing and screening is one of those technologies which enjoys general consensus, because of the promises attached to it, and because of the opportunities that it gives to individuals to know more about themselves. It is therefore position between the governing minds of biopolitics and a politics of the self that might strengthen ethical agents and question a certain biopolitical rationality currently driven by science and great expectations.


September 20, 2006 _ Invited lecture
"Rethinking Interpretative Policy Analysis"
Dr. Nick Turnbull, Department of Politics, University of Manchester

Interpretative policy analysis is now a well-established perspective in policy studies. Many efforts are now underway to consolidate this perspective, both theoretically and institutionally within departments, journals and research groups. I add to this work by considering this reconstructive task in terms of contemporary theoretical perspectives on policy analysis and the place of policy analysis in academia. To ground the advances made thus far and to move contemporary interpretative theory beyond traditional perspectives, we must consider these tasks together. That is, together with rhetorical theory, I propose that sociological reflexivity upon our own location within the social sciences is also necessary to ground interpretative policy analysis. I will make some initial discussions towards establishing the grounds for these twin tasks by exploring two main themes of contemporary interpretative policy theory; rhetoric and practice. Rhetoric has much to offer beyond what deliberative policy analysis has offered until now. I consider some of the limitations of the ‘deliberative’ perspective in terms of its treatment of rhetoric and argumentation and also consider how sociological reflexivity contributes to the understanding of these limitations. I also relate these themes to the question of policy practice, contrasted with the idea of intentional action, and consider this question within the larger question of structure and agency, a fundamental concern of all the social sciences. I draw on the ideas of Herbert Gottweis on rhetorical policy analysis, the philosopher Michel Meyer, and the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.

  Monday, June 19, 2006 _ International Conference
Biobank Governance in Comparative Perspective:  Strategies-Ethics-Resistance
This interdisciplinary conference focuses on the governance of biobanks. Biobanks constitute a new challenge for governance, and can themselves be understood as new forms of governing bodies and populations. Biobanks are an important element in the new biopolitical order in which self-guidance through active citizens is as significant as state-led strategies of population politics, body monitoring, the rise of the new bio-economy, and the redefinition of citizenship. Biobanks, thus, cannot be disconnected from considerations of power, resistance, ethics, politics, and the reshaping of current practices in biomedical governance. The various presentations at the conference will address these topics based on empirical case studies. Our main objective will be to identify emerging patterns of biobank governance, and their implications for science, society, politics, and culture.
An important feature of the conference is its strong comparative dimension. We will discuss biobank cases from Japan, Estonia, Iceland, the UK, France, Germany, the US, Australia, Austria, and Israel and also look at transnationally organized biobanks projects, such as the p3g consortium. Speakers will include researchers who are actively engaged in the organization and administration of biobank projects in order to stimulate a vivid exchange between social and political theory, ethical reflection, empirical analysis, and the practice of biobank organization and operation.
University of Vienna, Universitätscampus, Aula, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 1, 1090 Vienna
» Conference Program [pdf]
  Thursday, April 6, 2006 _ Guest Lecture
  Tee Rogers-Hayden, University of California Santa Barbara (National Center for Nanotechnology in Society)
  ‘Upstream’ Public Engagement on Nanotechnologies
- a new turn in Technology Governance in the UK.
Numerous UK media headlines ask if nanotechnology will be the next ‘GM’.. One of the implications is often that a lack of intervention will lead nanotechnology to be the next publicly contested technology as a matter of course. UK attention to nanotechnology comes during the ‘deliberative turn’ in UK politics and significantly in the wake of ‘GM Nation?—the national debate on the potential commercialisation of GM Agriculture. From the GM debate it was concluded that the majority of the British publics are critical of GMa finding difficult for a government attempting to move ahead with GM commercialisation. Current attention on nanotechnology focuses on public engagement and this is often described in terms of ‘upstream’ debate—occurring early in the R&D cycle, before many consumer products are on the market, and while consumer awareness of the technologies is low. Drawing on insights from studies analysing the impacts of the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering’s inquiry into Nanotechnologies and an evaluation/reflection on Nano Jury UK I‘ll discuss the uniqueness of public participation on nanotechnology—specifically the challenges and promises this entails.
Tee Rogers-Hayden is a University of California Santa Barbara (National Center for Nanotechnology in Society) affiliated Research Fellow based in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. Her work on public engagement on nanotechnologies started while working at the Centre for Environmental Risk in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia—her recent post. Her interest in technology governance previously focused on GM. She was involved in furthering research from the official evaluation of the UK’s GM Nation? and before this she completed a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Waikato analysing New Zealand’s Royal Commission into Genetic Modification.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Belagerte Wissenschaft? Forschung zwischen Kritik und Instrumentalisierung.
Eine Podiumsdiskussion mit
Prof. Renée Schroeder [Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Universität Wien]
Prof. Erwin Heberle-Bors [Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Universität Wien]
Dr. Werner Müller [Global 2000]
Dr. Klaus Taschwer [Falter/Heureka]
Prof. Jennifer Reardon [Science Studies, Duke University]
Prof. Herbert Gottweis [Politikwissenschaft/Life Science Governance Forschungsplattform, Universität Wien]
Dr. Barbara Prainsack [Politikwissenschaft/Life Science Governance Forschungsplattform, Universität Wien]
Das Podium Prof. Gottweis Prof.Schroeder  
Prof. Jennifer Reardon Dr. Klaus Taschwer Prof. Heberle-Bors  
Bericht auf "dieUniversität"