Accepted paper:

Chemicals in the 21st century: morphing models, blurring boundaries


Annamaria Carusi (University of Sheffield)

Paper short abstract:

Chemical safety testing is currently under intense pressure, both scientifically and politically. As the domain undergoes fundamental change, three shifts are prominent: the status of animals as models; the boundaries between organism and environment; and the scientific publication.

Paper long abstract:

Chemical safety testing is a domain currently under intense pressure, both from the increasingly complex nature of chemical interactions with bodies and the environment, and from socio-political forces. This paper considers the way in which traditional toxicology is shifting from an approach based on organisms to one based on molecular pathways using a wide array of alternative methods. In this paper, I show that efforts at this time are concentrated on prising apart old relationships between various kinds of biological, experimental and social entities, and as this occurs, new co-constitutive inter-relationships between chemical, biological and social entities are being forged. Signs of this occurring in three areas are discussed: the shifting status of animals as models; the blurring of boundaries between the organism and the environment; and the shifting boundaries and forms of scientific publication and the social arrangements around them.

panel A29
Toxicity in the 21st century