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Human Practices

Human Practices

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Human Practices

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  1. Human Practices From Social Implications to Human Practices SynBERC Human Practices Thrust 4 examines synthetic biology within a frame of human practices, with reciprocal emphasis on ways that economic, political, and cultural forces may condition the development of synthetic biology and on ways that synthetic biology may significantly inform human security, health, and welfare. These developments are an opportunity to invent new forms of collaborative practice. Standard approaches have sought to anticipate how new scientific developments will impact “society,” positioning themselves external to, and “downstream” of, the scientific work per se. By contrast, we are committed to an approach that fosters a co-production among disciplines and perspectives from the outset. The value of collaboration is that its goal is to build a synergistic and recursive structure within which significant challenges, problems, and achievements are more likely to be clearly formulated and successfully evaluated…It is a principle goal of the Human Practices unit to invent and sustain this form of collaboration. --SynBERC Official Strategic Plan

  2. Human Practices From Social Implications to Human Practices Inauguration: August 2007 General Problem Space: Human Practices “The richness and versatility of biological systems make them ideally suited to solve some of the world’s most significant challenges, such as converting cheap, renewable resources into energy-rich molecules; producing high-quality, inexpensive drugs to fight disease; detecting and destroying chemical or biological agents; and remediating polluted sites.” --SynBERC Official Strategic Plan • Problematizes critical domains of human life: energy, health, security, environment • Raises the question of the good life (eudaemonia) in contemporary forms • Call forCollaboration: Recognition of shared problems, stakes, challenges, and evolving norms

  3. Human Practices From Social Implications to Human Practices SynBERC: Beyond “Social Implications” Equipment “a highly innovative assemblage of multiple scientific sub-disciplines, diverse forms of funding, complex institutional collaborations, serious forward-looking reflection, intensive work with governmental and non-governmental agencies, focused legal innovation, imaginative use of media and the like” --SynBERC Official Strategic Plan SynBERC: Beyond the ELSI model (EM) of equipment (Ethical, Legal & Social Implications) • EM designed for specific ends: to limit scientific excess through audit and regulation • Outside of and “downstream” from scientific practices • Insensitive to: mutually formative relations; real time identification of emergent problems

  4. Human Practices From Social Implications to Human Practices Defining the Human Practices Approach New problems require new practices • Post-genomic innovations demands new forms; so too human practices • Human Practices expands standard ELSI approaches and adjusts them to the challenges of synthetic biology • Human Practices productively assembles ethics and ontology • It designs and implements structuresof collaboration

  5. Human Practices From Social Implications to Human Practices Human Practices Lab: Current Experiments Ontology: objects, techniques, logics, relationships; their significance Ethics: contemporary forms of flourishing (eudaemonia); challenges from and to synthetic biology • Current Experiments • Initial design of collaborative equipment (practices linking truth claims, affects, ethical orientations) • The adjustment of practices to emerging objects: analytic strategies (e.g. standardization) • Contemporary security rationalities: remediation strategies (e.g. preparedness)

  6. Human Practices From Social Implications to Human Practices Equipmental Design: Stage 1 Design Principles: Contemporary Equipment We are committed to an approach that fosters a collaboration among disciplines and perspectives from the outset…It is a principle goal of the Human Practices thrust is to invent and sustain such a form. --SynBERC Official Strategic Plan • Emergence: stylizing old and new elements and practices • Remediation: mediate and remedy scientific, political, ethical, and economic practices in ways that mitigate breakdowns and actualize hoped for futures • Human Flourishing: engage challenges and opportunities in real time