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Genetic Suspects


  • 2 b/w illus. 4 tables
  • Page extent: 370 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.72 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 614/.1
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: RA1057.55 .G46 2010
  • LC Subject headings:
    • DNA fingerprinting
    • DNA Fingerprinting

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521519434)

Genetic Suspects
Cambridge University Press
9780521519434 - Genetic Suspects - Global Governance of Forensic DNA Profiling and Databasing - Edited by Richard Hindmarsh and Barbara Prainsack

Genetic Suspects: Global Governance of Forensic DNA Profiling and Databasing

As DNA forensic profiling and databasing become established as key technologies in the toolbox of the forensic sciences, their expanding use raises important issues that promise to touch everyone’s lives. In an authoritative global investigation of a diversity of countries, including those at the forefront of these technologies’ development and use, this book identifies and provides critical reflection upon the many issues of privacy; distributive justice; who shapes and governs DNA information systems; biosurveillance; function creep; the reliability of collection, storage and analysis of DNA profiles; the possibility of transferring medical DNA information to forensics databases; and democratic involvement and transparency in governance, an emergent key issue. This book is timely and significant in providing the essential background and discussion of the ethical, legal and societal dimensions for academics, practitioners, public interest and criminal justice organisations, and students of the life sciences, law, politics and sociology.

RICHARD HINDMARSH is Associate Professor at Griffith School of Environment, and Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University, Australia. He specialises in co-produced sociotechnical systems analysis informed by science, technology and society (STS) studies; governance and regulation studies; environmental policy; and the politics and sociology of green biotechnology and forensic DNA technologies. Professor Hindmarsh is also an international expert reviewer for both the Australian Research Council and the UK Economic and Social Research Council and invited International Consultative Group member of the (US) Council for Responsible Genetics. Currently, as its co-founder, he is further establishing the Asia–Pacific STS Network, a new regional research community spanning Australasia, East and Southeast Asia and Oceania, as its convenor for 2010–2011.

BARBARA PRAINSACK is Reader at the Centre for Biomedicine & Society (CBAS) at King’s College London, UK. A political scientist by training, her research focuses on how politics, bioscience, religion and ‘culture’ mutually shape each other, and how they interact with how we understand ourselves as human beings, individuals and citizens. Her research on regulatory and societal aspects of human cloning, stem cell research and DNA testing (both medical and forensic) has featured in national and international media such as BBC News, ABC National Radio (Australia), and Die Zeit. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of Science as Culture and Personalized Medicine, and a member of the National Bioethics Commission in Austria.

Genetic Suspects

Global Governance of Forensic DNA Profiling and Databasing

Edited by

Richard Hindmarsh

Griffith University, Australia

Barbara Prainsack

King’s College London

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Dubai, Tokyo, Mexico City

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Cambridge University Press 2010

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2010

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data

Genetic suspects : global governance of forensic DNA profiling and databasing /
edited by Richard Hindmarsh, Barbara Prainsack.
p. cm.
Summary: “The introduction of DNA profiling and databasing into the criminal
justice system, which began in 1988, when English baker Colin Pitchfork
was the first person convicted through the use of DNA evidence
(Sanders 2000C001-001)” – Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-521-51943-4
1. DNA fingerprinting. I. Hindmarsh, R. A. (Richard A.) II. Prainsack,
Barbara. III. Title.
RA1057.55.G46 2010

ISBN 978-0-521-51943-4 Hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


List of contributors
About the contributors
Sheila Jasanoff
1         Introducing Genetic Suspects
Richard Hindmarsh and Barbara Prainsack
Section 1 Key areas in DNA profiling and databasing
2         Key issues in DNA profiling and databasing: implications for governance
Barbara Prainsack
3         Forensic utilization of voluntarily collected DNA samples: law enforcement versus human rights
Elazar Zadok, Gali Ben-Or and Gabriela Fisman
4         Base assumptions? Racial aspects of US DNA forensics
Harriet A. Washington
5         Health and wealth, law and order: banking DNA against disease and crime
Richard Tutton and Mairi Levitt
6         DNA profiling versus fingerprint evidence: more of the same?
Simon A. Cole and Michael Lynch
Section 2 National contexts of forensic DNA technologies and key issues
7         DNA databases and the forensic imaginary
Robin Williams
8         Partners in crime: the use of forensic DNA technologies in Austria
Barbara Prainsack
9         Inquisitorial forensic DNA profiling in the Netherlands and the expansion of the forensic genetic body
Victor Toom
10        DNA the Nor-way: black-boxing the evidence and monopolising the key
Johanne Yttri Dahl
11        Portuguese forensic DNA database: political enthusiasm, public trust and probable issues in future practice
Helena Machado and Susana Silva
12        On trial! Governing forensic DNA technologies in the USA
Jay D. Aronson
13        Biosurveillance and biocivic concerns, from ‘truth’ to ‘trust’: the Australian forensic DNA terrain
Richard Hindmarsh
14        Finding the balance: forensic DNA profiling in New Zealand
Johanna S. Veth and Gerald Midgley
15        Forensic DNA profiling and databasing: the Philippine experience
Maria Corazon De Ungria and Jose Manguera Jose
Section 3 Conclusions
16        Beyond borders: trends and challenges in global forensic profiling and databasing
Barbara Prainsack and Richard Hindmarsh


Jay D. Aronson Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Gali Ben-Or Legal Counsel and Legislation Department, Israeli Ministry of Justice, Israel

Simon A. Cole Department of Criminology, Law & Society, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Johanne Yttri Dahl Department of Sociology and Political Science, NTNU Social Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Maria Corazon A. De Ungria DNA Analysis Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines

Gabriela Fisman Legal Counsel and Legislation Department, Israeli Ministry of Justice, Israel

Richard Hindmarsh Griffith School of Environment and Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Sheila Jasanoff John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Jose Manguera Jose Legal Consultant, DNA Analysis Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Mairi Levitt Department of Philosophy, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Michael Lynch Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Helena Machado Department of Sociology, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

Gerald Midgley Institute of Environmental Science & Research, Christchurch, New Zealand

Barbara Prainsack Centre for Biomedicine & Society, King’s College London, London, UK

Susana Silva Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Porto Medical School, Porto, Portugal

Victor Toom Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Richard Tutton ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen), Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Johanna S. Veth Institute of Environmental Science & Research, Christchurch, New Zealand

Harriet A. Washington Independent researcher, USA

Robin Williams School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Durham, Durham, UK

Elazar Zadok Independent researcher and consultant in forensic science and management (former Director of the Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS) of the Israel Police)

© Cambridge University Press
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