Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Twine: A small note on the lab

From: Richard Twine
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 11:28:09 -0000

I don't think this has been mentioned yet but it occurs to me that weshould be a little cautious about valorising the lab as the site ofscientific investigation when talking about art/sci cross-over. Duringmy research into animal geneticists and genomics scientists it becamevery apparent that less and less work, and in some cases no work, iscarried out in the lab as we might traditionally conceptualise. Many ofus will be familiar with the idea of life being converted into code,information (see Canguilhem, Haraway, Rose, Rabinow, Anker and so on).Well I saw this in practice - the majority of work is now done in theoffice in front of a computer screen doing comparative work on variouscross-species databases of sequenced code. Livestock animal scientistsdraw upon the sequenced human and mouse genomes in order to learn -through homology - about quantitative trait loci of economic interest intheir respective species, be that pig or whatever. Obviously lab workstill happens, but there is a degree of stratification, it's more likelyto be the grad students or post-docs doing the lab work. Maybe somethingto think about/of use to someone.


Dr.Richard Twine
Principal Investigator & Postgraduate Director
ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)Lancaster UniversityUK.
Project Web-site http://www.cesagen.lancs.ac.uk/roar/
Homepage http://www.richardtwine.com/

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