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BioSocieties

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 393–395 | Cite as

Ars synthetica: A rehearsal

  • Marilyn Strathern
Books Forum

Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett Ars synthetica. Designs for Human Practice, Connexions, Rice University, Houston (TX), 2008, http://cnx.org/content/col10612/1.2/ (accessed 29 December 2009)

This is not an ethnography. We do not quite yet know what it is. Although the 12 modules that make up this on-line text comment on and describe themselves, they also convey something of the as yet wordless premonition that 25 years ago preceded the anthropological comprehension of the ‘postmodern’. I found it quite gripping, and almost impossible to re-describe.

In truth, an ethnographic response to the events related here was a temptation deliberately avoided. Rather, this text serves as a kind of second life to what happened; two of the participants textually re-enact what turned out to be a one-sided engagement. Rabinow, an experimenter with discourses of ethical practice, and Bennett, an observer of genomics practice and stem cell research, place themselves in alignment with a network of...

References

  1. Nowotny, H., Scott, P. and Gibbons, M. (1994) The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Society. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Nowotny, H., Scott, P. and Gibbons, M. (2001) Re-Thinking Science: Knowledge and the Public in an Age of Uncertainty. Oxford: Polity.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The London School of Economics and Political Science 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn Strathern
    • 1
  1. 1.Girton CollegeCambridgeUK

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