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Technologies that alter subjectivity
Author: Gill Haddow

Using a range of social science methods and drawing on the sociology of the body, biomedicine and technology, Haddow invites readers of ‘Embodiment and everyday cyborgs’ to consider whether they might prefer organs from other humans or non-human animals (known as xenotransplantation), or implantable ‘cybernetic’ technologies to replace their own? In discovering that individuals have a very clear preference for human organs but not for the non-human, Haddow suggests that the inside of our bodies may be more important to our sense of identity than may have previously been thought.

Whereas organs from other (once) living bodies can contaminate the body of the recipient (simultaneously altering subjectivity so they inherit traits e.g. gender), cybernetic technology is acclimatised to and becomes part of the body and subjectivity. In organ transplantation the organ has the potential to alter subjectivity – whereas with cybernetic technology it does not alter identity but is incorporated into existing subjectivity.

Technologies are clean from previous organic fleshy associations and although they may malfunction or cause infection, they do not alter identity in the way that an organ might. Yet, we are arguably creating a 21st-century identity crisis through an increasing reliance on cybernetic technologies such as implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) creating new forms of ‘un-health’ and a new category of patient called ‘everyday cyborgs’ who have to develop strategies to incorporate device alienation as well as reinserting human agency over ICD activation.

Gill Haddow

chosen because they are 1) possibly more open to technoscientific solutions to replace, repair or regenerate human organs given they are internet citizens and 2) least likely to perceive themselves in need and therefore offer responses unaffected by the possibility of requirement. General demographics collected in the survey were age, gender and religion as well as eating preferences, such as vegetarianism (e.g. was there a connection between vegetarianism and being against xenotransplantation?). Views could be captured by asking young people to indicate their most and

in Embodiment and everyday cyborgs
Open Access (free)
Gill Haddow

Introduction Previously in Chapter 2 , research findings from those who took part in the survey and focus groups demonstrated that if people were made to choose between human, animal and mechanical materials as possible medical therapies, there was a clear preference expressed for regenerated or transplanted human options, followed by implantable medical devices, which were in turn preferred over xenotransplantation. By drawing on Sanner’s ( 2001a ) theory of contamination, mechanical implants do not have the same properties of contamination from the other

in Embodiment and everyday cyborgs
Open Access (free)
Towards a future of techno-organic hybridity
Gill Haddow

researching the lived forms of embodiment through the biomedical practices of organ transplantation, xenotransplantation and cyborgisation, I demonstrate how the experience of embodiment is based on a subjectivity intimately tied to an individual’s body. However, there is no paradox in experiencing being a body or having a body as embodiment is ambiguous. I began with following a philosophical path, bringing Descartes’ Cartesian Dualism which implies an individual ‘has a body’ in the same way that they might have a car into conversation with Merleau-Ponty’s ‘being a body

in Embodiment and everyday cyborgs
Open Access (free)
Animal, mechanical and me: Technologies that alter subjectivity
Gill Haddow

as well as a greater variety of organs that can be replaced. The shortage of deceased and living human donors is only likely to become more acute as the demand increases for a higher number and variety of human organs. Meeting the expansion of future needs for an ageing population suggests that attention must be given to alternative sources for organs as procurement systems such as opting-in or opting-out will not meet demand. To put it another way, more of us will require more in us. Currently, highly experimental procedures such as xenotransplantation or 3-D

in Embodiment and everyday cyborgs
Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

A national ethics committee and bioethics during the 1990s
Duncan Wilson

, ‘Person, Property and Gift: Exploring the Languages of Tissue Donation’, in Richard Tutton and Oonagh Corrigan (eds), Genetic Databases: Socio-ethical Issues in the Collection and Use of DNA (London: Routledge, 2004) pp. 19–39. 108 Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 1992–99, p. 12. The DHSS was split into separate Departments of Health and Social Security in 1988. 109 Xenotransplantation was by no means a new procedure. It was the subject of professional and popular interest in the early twentieth century, thanks to tissue and gland grafting, and prompted considerable

in The making of British bioethics
Curse or blessing?
Simona Giordano

of xenotransplantations. Cellular therapies can regenerate tissues, and if genetic and cellular research realised its potential, many degenerative diseases could be cured or even eradicated from humankind, with the result that we all could potentially live longer and disease-free lives. There is further ground for optimism for the non-Epicurean. At the end of the 1990s it was discovered that lifespan depends on the bottom part of the chromosome (called the telomere), which protects the genetic material (Bodnar et al. 1998). Every time the genetic material is

in The freedom of scientific research
Theatre of Debate
Simon Parry

proceeded from specific concepts, diagnoses or technologies often associated with biomedicine. In the 1990s this included HIV/AIDS, Friedreich ataxia, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, xenotransplantation, depression and genetic modification. In the 2000s this meant stem cells, organ transplants, behavioural genetics, post-traumatic stress, dementia, animals in health research, climate change, surveillance, clinical trials and electronic patient records. In the 2010s they tackled pharmacogenetics, cancer, neurotechnologies, nutrition and diabetes. While live theatre

in Science in performance