Contesting Mitochondrial Donation: The Cluster For

  • Rebecca Dimond
  • Neil Stephens


Operating a legitimate campaign in UK biomedical politics requires labour. We focus on how the group that campaigned for legalisation, here the for-cluster, formed a coalition, describing a strong and collaborative partnership approach involving anticipating what work would be required, identifying sympathetic and influential colleagues, and working in parallel with regulation. Key to the campaign’s success was Professor Turnbull’s work as a promissory agent, learning how to authentically and simply communicate a desirable and ethical future, while prominent organisations and charismatic individuals worked to support this particular outcome and maintain and negotiate independence. The strategies employed, and labour invested, helped form a collective action to enact an ethical future aligned with the established sociotechnical imaginary in the UK of permissive but scrutinised embryo research.


Boundary-work Promissory agent Mitochondrial donation For-cluster Charismatic experts 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Social and Political SciencesBrunel University LondonLondonUK

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