Accepted paper:

QS & Personal Genomics in France, Austria, Finland & US: A Cross-Country Comparative Discussion


Judith Gregory (University of California-Irvine)
Bastian Greshake (openSNP)
Minna Ruckenstein (University of Helsinki)
Eric Dagiral (Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, CERLIS)

Paper short abstract:

We consider QS and Personal Genomics meaning-making and discourses in France, Austria, Finland and US.

Paper long abstract:

We propose a comparative discussion (US, France, Austria, Finland) inviting consideration of the Quantified Self social movement and Personal Genomics testing, uses, meaning-making activities and discourses. We contemplate these emerging individual, collective and scientific practices by and with the lenses of STS in regards to their somewhat original and problematical nature, e.g., when we think of "n=1" (also known as "n of 1"), histories of "self experimentation" and socio-biological practices in medicine and science. Doing and making one's quantified self precisely is or looks like -- at least for some actors -- producing Science & Technology by other means, rendering medicine and science as popular and do-it-for-yourself means and self-efficacy. Moreover, such practices, projects and intentions are sometimes harshly debated, and "an essential tension" has been pointed out within QS, its many practitioners and followers. For example, we recall some strained discussions at QS Congresses when some scientists within the QS movement proposed to create a scientific journal in order to gather together the multiplicity of individual self-tracking experimentations! Many people in the room may radically disagree with such a vision for various reasons. Some aim to elaborate a possible participatory approach, most notably the Personal Genome Project (PGP) and crowd-sourcing science approaches such as Patients Like Me. In that sense, may we find relevance in envisioning the QS and PGP turns as "Science, Medicine and Technology by other means," thus regarding some of their implications, claims -- and resistances of course -- as complex societal recursos beyond socio-biological individuals?

panel T102
Everyday analytics: The politics and practices of self-monitoring