Something old, something new, something borrowed: genome editing as a disruptive technology
Ilke Turkmendag (Newcastle University)
Paul Martin (University of Sheffield)
Michael Morrison (University of Oxford)
Paper short abstract:
In this paper we focus on the extent to which genome editing is usefully conceived of as a 'disruptive' technology and suggest a future research agenda for social sciences in terms of science, clinical development, commercialisation and governance of genome editing.
Paper long abstract:
Genome editing is a powerful new technology which builds on the prior development of a range of other biotechnologies, most notably gene therapy. The debates around genome editing revisits and echoes many previous debates about biotechnology over the last 50 years. It therefore provides a valuable lens through which to explore key issues for critical studies of science and technology and learn lessons from antecedent technologies and debates. In this paper we focus on the extent to which genome editing is usefully conceived of as a 'disruptive' technology. We argue that although genome editing is growing within an existing sociotechnical regime and its development and applications are being powerfully shaped by what has gone before, the scope and scale of these technologies have the potential to destabilise ethical assumptions and challenge regulatory norms established around the other biotechnologies. In this paper, we suggest some ideas for how these might be understood and outline a future research agenda for social sciences in terms of science, clinical development, commercialisation and governance.
Recombining life: sociotechnical intersections in the making of genome editing