Seminar: Nick Brown, "Between use and exchange in bioeconomy"

Past Event

21 February 2012, 5:00pm - 6:30pm


This seminar is hosted by the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society

Speaker: Nick Brown, Department of Sociology, University of York

Venue: Seminar Room, 64 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PN

Summary: This seminar explores self-undermining contradictions and tensions between competing systems of value and valuing in contemporary bioeconomies. It reflects on a dialects between 'exchange-based' and 'use based' economies of value. More specifically, my suggestion is that bioeconomies and their allied systems of disembedding and appropriation are capable of prompting unintended counter-movements amongst those necessary to its logic. This is a broad-ranging phenomena but is illustrated here by focusing on the differing vitalistic values attributed to umbilical cord blood by expectant parents (donors and depositors) on the one hand, and the cord blood bioeconomies on the other.

Biography: Nik is Reader in Sociology at the University of York and Co-Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit. His interests are in social, anthropological and political philosophical perspectives on the biosciences. In recent years he has been writing on immunity (‘immunitary bioeconomy’) as a founding theme in social theory, biology and biopolitics. His talk reflects on findings from his recently completed ESRC-funded research project ‘The moral and political economy of cord blood banking’.