Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community

Andrew S. Balmer, Jane Calvert, Claire Marris, Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Emma Frow, Matthew Kearnes, Kate Bulpin, Pablo Schyfter, Adrian MacKenzie, Paul Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on criticism of the "ethical, legal and social implications" (ELSI) paradigm, researchers in science and technology studies (STS) have begun to create and move into "post-ELSI" spaces. In this paper, we pool our experiences of working towards collaborative practices with colleagues in engineering and science disciplines in the field of synthetic biology. We identify a number of different roles that we have taken, been assumed to take, or have had foisted upon us as we have sought to develop post- ELSI practices. We argue that the post-ELSI situation is characterised by the demands placed on STS researchers and other social scientists to fluctuate between roles as contexts shift in terms of power relations, affective tenor, and across space and over time. This leads us to posit four orientations for post-ELSI collaborative practices that could help establish more fruitful negotiations around these roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalScience and Technology Studies
Volume28
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Collaborative turn
  • ELSI
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Post-ELSI
  • Synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Balmer, A. S., Calvert, J., Marris, C., Molyneux-Hodgson, S., Frow, E., Kearnes, M., Bulpin, K., Schyfter, P., MacKenzie, A., & Martin, P. (2015). Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community. Science and Technology Studies, 28(3), 3-25.