Paul Rabinow French DNA: Trouble in Purgatory

ISBN 13 : 9780226701509

French DNA: Trouble in Purgatory

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9780226701509: French DNA: Trouble in Purgatory

In 1993, an American biotechnology company and a French genetics lab developed a collaborative research plan to search for diabetes genes. But just as the project was to begin, the French government called it to a halt, barring the laboratory from sharing something never previously thought of as a commodity unto itself: French DNA.

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Review :

In 1994, the French government squashed a deal between its world-renowned CEPH genetics laboratory and an American biotech company, citing the loss of French DNA. If, like most scientifically minded people, you see this as an egregious example of bureaucratic buffoonery at best, or thinly disguised nationalistic racism at worst, anthropologist Paul Rabinow has another point of view well worth considering. Looking broadly at the political, social, and scientific forces combining to shape policy decisions, he shows a complex web of interconnected elements, each with its own inertia, making the government's final decision nearly inevitable.

Rabinow had the unique good fortune to be in France studying CEPH at the time of the decision, so his report contains personal details and insights that never made it into news reports. His own keen observations, grounded in postmodern social theory, are still accessible to those of us who never read Foucault. Incorporating the history of the American and French HIV scandals, France's new, more nationalistic attitudes toward research, and the remnants of colonial attitudes, French DNA explores the neutral territory between science and governance, showing the careful reader that even the strangest results can spring from perfectly sensible decisions, given enough complexity. Rabinow has done a great service to all of us seeking to understand the course of modern science. --Rob Lightner

About the Author :

Paul Rabinow is a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written numerous books, including Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology and French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Description du livre The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. État : New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Is there such a thing as French DNA ? Can a country be said to have its own genetic material? When that country is France, as Paul Rabinow discovered, the answer to both questions is yes . In a story that involves nations, commerce, patients and genetics, Rabinow seeks to uncover the tangled relations and conceptions that govern modern medical research. In 1993, an American biotechnology company, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and France s genetics lab, the Centre d Etude du Polymorphisme Humaine (CEPH), developed plans for a collaborative effort to discover diabetes genes. The results of this collaboration could have been medically significant and financially lucrative. The two companies had agreed that CEPH would supply Millennium with a store of genetic material collected from a large number of French families, and Millennium would supply funding and expertise in new technologies to accelerate the identification of the genes, terms to which the French government had agreed. But in early 1994, just as the collaboration was to begin, the French government called a halt to the deal. The government explained that the CEPH could not be permitted to give the Americans that most precious of substances - never before named in such a manner - French DNA. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9780226701509

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