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Mapping the Bioeconomy: The knowledge-based economy and the biosciences

Date: 27 -28 April 2006

Venue: Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University


'The bioeconomy, a new concept, encompasses many economic activities, each benefiting from new discoveries, and related products and services arising out of the biosciences'. ... 'The bioeconomy is defined as that part of economic activities "which captures the latent value in biological processes and renewable bioresources to produce improved health and sustainable growth and development"' OECD (2005) The Bioeconomy in 2030: A Policy Agenda

The concept of the 'bioeconomy' is starting to play a key role in the economic strategies of states, corporations and universities. In this workshop we will gather together scholars from a range of disciplines to critically explore both the concept and the reality of the bioeconomy.

Topics to be covered in the workshop include:

  • The bioeconomy as a contemporary political imaginary
  • The historical emergence of the bioeconomy
  • Mapping the bioeconomy - red, green and white biotechnology
  • The geography of the bioeconomy - North v. South, West v. East
  • The spaces of technoscientific production, innovation, appropriation and knowledge transfer
  • Capturing 'biovalue' - matter, vitality, technology, law
  • Capital and epistemology - the effects of commercialisation on the production of knowledge
  • Bioprospecting and biopiracy - bioeconomy, bioethics and biopolitics
  • Bioeconomy as a techno-economic paradigm
  • Governance, risk, publics and regulation

Participants confirmed so far include:

  • Stefano Harney (Management Centre, University of Leicester)
  • Javier Lezaun (CARR, London School of Economics)
  • Sue Mayer (Genewatch UK)
  • Paul Oldham (CESAGen, Lancaster University)
  • Nikolas Rose (BIOS, London School of Economics)
  • Brian Salter (University of East Anglia)
  • Catherine Waldby (University of New South Wales)
  • Brian Wynne (CESAGen/CSEC, Lancaster University)
  • Melinda Cooper (University of East Anglia)
  • Andrew Webster (SATSU, University of York)

To express an interest in giving a paper or simply participating in the workshop, please contact Bronislaw Szerszynski (bron [at] or Larry Reynolds (larry.reynolds [at]

We envisage meeting the cost of rail fares and overnight accommodation for a small number of UK based scholars. This does not, of course, prevent interested non-UK based scholars from participating if they can get to Lancaster; we would be delighted to provide any invitation letters or other documents that would facilitate such participation.

This workshop is sponsored and hosted by the Institute for Advanced Studies, and organised by the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and the Centre for Science Studies, all at Lancaster University.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

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


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

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