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Title: Canada's Science: An Ethnography of Ethics and Expertise in Stem Cell Biology
Authors: Hine, Janet
Advisors: Biehl, Joao
Contributors: Anthropology Department
Keywords: academy
stem cells
Subjects: Cultural anthropology
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In a series of experiments performed at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto in 1961, Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, a physicist and a hematologist, first demonstrated the existence of stem cells. The advent of human embryonic stem cell research in 1998 spurred Canadian scientists and the Canadian government to build on the country’s research capacity in the field. At the same time, the government put in place a policy framework which criminalizes certain human embryonic stem cell experiments. Canadian stem cell science is currently a vibrant research field involving different types of cells and many different lines of research and it remains a funding priority, despite this relatively strict policy on human embryonic stem cell research. Drawing on two years of fieldwork, this dissertation traces the experiences and practices of stem cell scientists, policy researchers and institutional experts in research review and in commercialization as they make and remake the meaning and legitimacy of stem cell science. I explore their morally inflected experiences and modes of analysis as they work to turn stem cell science to medical benefit. To understand how Canadian stem cell science has maintained government and public support, I investigate the conditions in which stem cell research is conducted and shaped in four domains of meaning and practice: that of scientists engaged in research who are concerned with the scientific validity of their results and the credibility of their visions, that of the institutional ethics bureaucracy which certifies research as conforming to Canadian values, that of policy experts trying to steer stem cell science away from potential controversies and, lastly, that of commercialization experts working to move research out of the academy to the benefit of patients without activating public concerns over commercial agendas and profits.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Anthropology

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