Citizenship and the Personal Genomics

Saturday, February 16, 2013
Room 203 (Hynes Convention Center)
Sheila Jasanoff , Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Personal genomics is not merely a hugely promising frontier in biomedicine.  It is also a revolution in the sense that it helps to redefine and resituate the individual in new scientific and technological terms, thereby transforming fundamental relations that people have with their own bodies, with family members and kinship groups, with communities, and with health care institutions and the state.  Put differently, the set of developments grouped under the label personal genomics can be seen as rewriting the constitutional status of the human individual and thus is part of what can be termed a “bioconstitutional moment.”  This talk teases out some of the implications of this analytic framework for reevaluating the relationships between humans and biological products derived from their bodies.  Trends, puzzles, and emerging understandings will be discussed.