Skip Links | Access/General | Site Map
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
You are here: Home >

Promises, Promises! The Promissory Cultures and Political Economies of the Biosciences - Cesagen Workshop

Date: 6-7 May 2009 Time: Wed 6th May and Thurs 7th May

Start 12pm Weds 6th and end 4pm Thurs 7th

Lancaster University Institute for Advanced Studies. Rooms 2/3. Ground floor.


This workshop is intended address the role of promise (and related future colonising tropes of expectation, hope, fear, vision, and foresight) in the development of the biosciences. Questions that arise include: How is the promissory realm constructed - how are promises made and between whom? How do these shape the research agenda and the materialisations of technoscience? Given that both science and finance inhabit a future oriented and uncertain promissory world, how may these speculative realms shape each other? How do such imagined futures help remake the present and the past? Other questions that emerge include: What are the political economies of promise - how might promise become capitalised to finance the biosciences or generate speculative and promissory value? How are substantive promises of health benefits and environmental sustainability enrolled and mobilised? What of the interaction of the binary twins of hope and fear? How are the conditions of complexity and uncertainty handled - including the management of unfulfilled promise and the perpetual maintenance of the promissory horizon?

The workshop is intended to generate new ideas rather than present fixed and finished ones. Therefore the format will be as relaxed as informal as possible, with plenty of space for open discussion.

There are still places available for participants who want to take part without presenting a paper. You are welcome to come along and contribute to the discussion. If you wish to do this, please notify the Cesagen secretary ASAP - for catering purposes etc.

For further details please contact the organiser, Larry Reynolds, Cesagen:


Wednesday May 6th

12.30 Arrivals / Registration - IAS foyer.

1pm Lunch - IAS foyer

2pm Welcome - Brian Wynne

2.15pm Introductory remarks - Larry Reynolds

2.35 - 3.335 Session 1: Round table discussion - participant introductions - aspects of promise. Each workshop participant is invited to spend a few minutes discussing their initial thought on the workshop themes and how it might relate to their research.

3.35 coffee / tea break

4pm - 5.30pm Session 2 :

Adrian Mackenzie - The Mode of Existence of Biotechnological Promise: Delirious or Differential?

Richard Tutton - The Promise of Pessimism: Uncertainty and the Risk of Failure in Genomics

7.30 Workshop Evening Meal.

Thursday 7th May

10.00 - 11.30 session 3:

Nik Brown - Promissory bioeconomies - Caching in on cord blood banking

Michael Arribas-Allyon - Promising complexity: the case of psychiatric genetics

Paul Oldham - Synthetic Biology: Patents as a promissory note.

11.30 tea /coffee break

12.00 - 1.30 Session 4:

Ruth McNally. Hope, Fear and Biolegality: Reflections on finding and reproducing the` 'Cave'.

Nina Moeller - Prospecting's Promises: hope and fear in an Amazonian bioprospecting encounter.

Richard Twine - Farm Animal Genomics: Mobilising the Promise of Sustainability

1.30 - 2.30 Lunch. IAS foyer

2.30 - 4pm - Session 5: - round table participant-led open discussion - observations on the bio-promissory - lessons from the workshop. Future plans.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Larry Reynolds

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for the Study of Environmental Change, Sociology


Search FASS

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
| Home | Departments | People | Study Here | Research | Business and Enterprise | News and Events |
- FASS Intranet -

Save this page: Delicious Reddit Reddit Facebook Stumble It Stumble It!

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1524 510851

E-mail: Email address protected by JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript to contact us.

Copyright & Disclaimer | Privacy and Cookies Notice

Save contact details

Save contact details