Summer Research Consortium Fellows 2011-2012

Summer Research Consortium Fellows

Biological Futures’ inaugural cohort of faculty fellows met during Summer 2011. They included:

Leah Ceccarelli (Communication, UW Seattle) is completing a book manuscript that examines that pervasive trope for the future – the metaphor of the frontier – as it is used by scientists and politicians arguing for research priorities in the biological sciences. The book focuses especially on the incongruities of this metaphor in a postcolonial transnational context. This summer, she will be writing a chapter that examines the constraints and possibilities of the frontier of science metaphor in American public discourse about stem cell research.

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Steve Gardiner (Philosophy, UW Seattle) is working on a project concerned with the shape and philosophical bases of our ethical responsibilities to future generations. He is particularly interested in how moral and political theories cope with large-scale and evolving threats to basic security and subsistence, especially when these involve new technologies.

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Gwen Ottinger (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell) researches how expert accountability and ethics are constructed when science is fully commercialized and incompletely regulated, as it is in the petrochemical industry (her current focus) and is likely to be in a future shaped by new biological knowledge. Her ethnography of the long-standing relationships between oil refineries and residential communities in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, also raises questions about how responsibility ought to be taken for technologies whose effects cannot be completely known at the time of their deployment—questions which she hopes to pursue in a future project on the environmental justice consequences of biofuels and other alternative energies.

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Matthew Sparke (Geography, UW Seattle) focuses his current project, Entwined Lives and Enclaved Biomedicine, on the geographical enclaving of biological citizenship and its others in the context of globalization. As well as addressing extremely unequal access to personalized biological risk management, the aim is to explore the economic, ethical, and imaginative ties that bind enclaves of biomedical research with the spatially and temporally delimited sites of global health intervention.

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