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The Human Genome Diversity Project
An Ethnography of Scientific Practice


Part of Cambridge Studies in Society and the Life Sciences

  • Date Published: January 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521539876

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • The Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) was launched in 1991 by a group of population geneticists whose aim was to map genetic diversity in hundreds of human populations by tracing the similarities and differences between them. It quickly became controversial and was accused of racism and 'bad science' because of the special interest paid to sampling cell material from isolated and indigenous populations. The author spent a year carrying out participant observation in two of the laboratories involved and provides fascinating insights into daily routines and technologies used in those laboratories and also into issues of normativity, standardization and naturalisation. Drawing on debates and theoretical perspectives from across the social sciences, M'charek explores the relationship between the tools used to produce knowledge and the knowledge thus produced in a way that illuminates the HGDP but also contributes to our broader understanding of the contemporary life sciences and their social implications.

    • Detailed analyses of the tools of genetics and their implications, with a special emphasis on diversity
    • Provides new insights into how individuals, population, race and sex-differences are produced in laboratory practices
    • Draws on debates and theoretical perspectives from across the social sciences
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'M'Charek offers the reader a fascinating first-hand account of science-in-practice at two of the laboratories involved in the Human Genome Diversity Project, but this is more than just another instalment in the now well-established tradition of ethnography in/of the laboratory. … engagingly written …'. Environment and Planning A

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521539876
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.362kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: The Human Genome Diversity Project
    1. Technologies of populations: making differences and similarities between Turkish and Dutch males
    3. Ten chimps in a laboratory: or how a human genetic marker may become a good genetic marker for typing chimps
    4. Naturalisation of a reference sequence: Anderson or the Mitochondrial Eve of modern genetics
    5. The traffic in males and other stories on the enactment of the sexes in studies of genetic lineage
    6. Technologies of similarity and difference or how to do politics with DNA.

  • Author

    Amade M'Charek, Universiteit van Amsterdam
    Amade M'charek is Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology and the Department of Poltical Science, University of Amsterdam and is Lecturer in Science, Technology and Public Management.

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