Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 319–322 | Cite as

Karen-Sue Taussig: Ordinary Genomes: Science, Citizenship and Genetic Identities

Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2009, Paperback $23.95, ISBN 978-0-8223-4534-3; Hardcover $84.95, ISBN 978-0-8223-4516-9
  • Sabina Leonelli
Book Review

Of the many contexts in which one might research the social significance of biological and biomedical knowledge and technologies, the contemporary landscape of national identities and cultures is perhaps the most challenging and the least documented. Historians of science have crafted penetrating analyses of how science and technology have and have been shaped by the politics, economics and specific social systems of European nation states, particularly France, Great Britain, Germany and of course the United States. Such analyses become more difficult and controversial when tackling contemporary national contexts, with their volatile politics, diverse social constituencies, complex international relations and ever-shifting layering of power and class.

Few scholars have dared to confront the nation as a unit of analysis in the social studies of science and technology, and those who did—like, most recently, Jasanoff (2005)—had to bear the brunt of critique from all corners of the...


  1. Jasanoff S (2005) Designs on nature: science and democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Philosophy, ESRC Centre for Genomics in SocietyUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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