336 pages, 16 illustrations
Ten years after the Human Genome Project's completion, the life sciences stand in a moment of uncertainty, transition, and contestation. The "postgenomic era" has seen rapid shifts in research methodology, funding, scientific labor, and disciplinary structures. Postgenomics is transforming our understanding of disease and health, our environment, and the categories of race, class, and gender. At the same time, "the gene" retains its centrality and power in biological and popular discourse. The contributors to Postgenomics: Perspectives on Biology After the Genome analyzes these ruptures and continuities and place them in historical, social, and political context. Postgenomics, they argue, forces a rethinking of the genome itself, and opens new territory for conversations between the social sciences, humanities, and life sciences.
"Some topics are so multi-faceted that it is difficult for any single author to do it justice. 'Postgenomics' is one of those concepts that requires a collection of different perspectives to help nail down what it connotes. In this remarkable volume, each of the six variable meanings of 'post-genomic' is captured, illuminated, and placed in socio-historical context – and the editors provide an excellent overview that gives coherence to the enterprise."
– Troy Duster, author of Backdoor to Eugenics
"Postgenomics is a brilliant collection of lucid and accessible essays, and a go-to volume for anyone who wants to catch up on what has been happening in contemporary biology and science studies. Illuminating changes in the concepts of gene, genetics, genomics, postgenomics, and epigenomics – and covering everything from cancer biology, affect, and big data curation practices to behavior genetics, machine-learning infrastructure, and feminist critique – Postgenomics may change the way you think."
– Michael M. J. Fischer, author of Anthropological Futures
Foreword. Biology's Love Affair with the Genome / Russ Altman vii
1. Beyond the Genome / Hallam Stevens and Sarah S. Richardson 1
2. The Postgenomic Genome / Evelyn Fox Keller 9
3. What Toll Pursuit: Affective Assemblages in Genomics and Postgenomics / Mike Fortun 32
4. The Polygenomic Organism / John Dupré 56
5. Machine Learning and Genomic Dimensionality: From Features to Landscapes / Adrian Mackenzie 73
6. Networks: Representations and Tools in Postgenomics / Hallam Stevens 103
7. Valuing Data in Postgenomic Biology: How Data Donation and Curation Practices Challenge the Scientific Publication System / Rachel A. Ankeny and Sabina Leonelli 126
8. From Behavior Genetics to Postgenomics / Aaron Panofsky 150
9. Defining Health Justice in the Postgenomic Era / Catherine Bliss 174
10. The Missing Piece of the Puzzle? Measuring the Environment in the Postgenomic Moment / Sara Shostak and Margot Moinester 192
11. Maternal Bodies in the Postgenomic Order: Gender and the Explanatory Landscape of Epigenetics / Sarah S. Richardson 210
12. Approaching Postgenomics / Hallam Stevens and Sarah S. Richardson 232
List of Contributors 281
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Sarah S. Richardson is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, jointly appointed in the Department of the History of Science and the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is the author of Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome.
Hallam Stevens is Assistant Professor of History in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). He is the author of Life Out of Sequence: A Data-Driven History of Bioinformatics.
- Russ Altman
- Rachel Ankeny
- Catherine Bliss
- John Dupre
- Mike Fortun
- Evelyn Fox Keller
- Sabina Leonelli
- Adrian Mackenzie
- Margot Moinester
- Aaron Panofsky
- Sarah S. Richardson
- Sara Shostak
- Hallam Stevens