Accepted paper:

Imagined equities and inequities in the barcoding of life


Claire Waterton (Lancaster University)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

DNA Barcoding has been promoted since 2003 as a new, fast, digital genomics-based means of identifying natural species worldwide. Barcoding therefore overlaps extensively with the work of taxonomists, although the boundaries between taxonomists and barcoders are blurred in interesting ways. The fear that species are becoming extinct before they have ever been known fuels barcoders; and a key goal is to accelerate the pace by which humanity documents planetary biodiversity. In the rush to document species on earth barcoding is propelling qualitative and quantitiative changes in the collecting, organizing, analyzing, and archiving of biological specimens and biodiversity data. This paper will look in detail at some of those changes, paying attention to questions of equity and inequity embedded in the relations spawned by this new genomics-based environmental technoscience.

panel L3
Scientific and imagined narratives on biodiversity: Impossible solidarities?