2nd Annual Symposium of the Postgraduate Life Sciences and Society Network, 14-17 January 2007, hosted by the Medical Museion

The symposium will focus on how the recent biosciences challenge and reconfigure formerly stable categories: The social and the biological, the nature/culture dichotomy and the human/animal boundaries are increasingly blurred and become populated by hybrids, cyborgs and boundary objects. New material objects, visual and virtual representations produced and circulated in biomedicine and biotechnology challenge and disrupt the analytical categories of the historiographical and social studies of science. The new categories emerging in this empirical field of the biosciences raise a host of questions:
What are the sites of contestation and which categories are at stake? What new kinds of contested/ambiguous relations become possible and acquire significance? How are they co-produced and mediated by material objects and visual and virtual representations? What are the theoretical and methodological implications and challenges we face when studying the life sciences? How can comparative and inter-disciplinary studies contribute to exploring the formation and reconfiguration of categories such as race, gender, kinship, life, the body etc? In which ways can concepts such as biosociality, bioindividuality and hybridity address these changes ? Are they useful tools or phenomena of these transformations?

Preliminary Programme:Sunday 14th  January18:00 Welcome! Reception at the Medical Museion:

Introduction to the research environment: Thomas Söderqvist: The research programme at Medical Museion: “Danish Biomedicine”; Lene Koch: The research in the Department of Health Services Research; Introduction to Biocampus
Camilla Mordhorst: Selected exhibitions of the Medical Museion (Guided tour).

Monday 15th January 9:00-17:00

Introduction: Contested categories (Hanne Jessen & Susanne Bauer)

Keynote: Thomas Söderqvist, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen: Contested Objects

Mikko Jauho, University of Helsinki: Biosociality reconsidered? Foucault, biopower and the liberal mode of governing health.
Mianna Meskus, University of Helsinki: Politics of life and the question of genetic subjectivity.

Annette V.B. Jensen, BIOS, London School of Economics: Upholding vitality in the face of death: Features of dignity within the realm of dignity and dying.
Malin N. Ravn & Kristin Spilker, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim: Substances of the body: The making of a social person.
Sniff Andersen Nexø, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen: Ambiguous bodies ? enacting foetuses in medical practice.
Megan Clinch, BIOS, London School of Economics: Getting Better and Getting Over It: An anthropological investigation into the role of non-specific symptoms in the diagnosis, treatment and management of hypothyroidism within the United Kingdom.
Nete Schwennesen, Department of Health Services Research, University of Copenhagen: Temporal choreography in the context of prenatal risk assessment: Making foetuses at-risk,

Ayo Wahlberg, BIOS, London School of Economics: The neo-vitalisation of life.
Limor Samimian Darash, Hebrew University, Jerusalem: The Bioterrorism apparatus: Science, violence and the state
Keynote: Lene Koch, Department of Health Services Research, University of Copenhagen: At the margins of life: Defining biology by political means.

Summing up/keywords from the sessions: Jan-Eric Olsén, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen

Tuesday 16th January, 9:30-17:15

Keynote: Gísli Pálsson, Department of Anthropology, University of Iceland: Genomic Anthropology: Coming in From the Cold

Susanne Bauer, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen: “Degrees of Susceptibility”? Population health in postgenomic epidemiology.
Cecily Palmer, Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society,University of Nottingham: Emotive specimens and humanised objects: the troublesome nature of Human Biological Material.

Marko Monteiro, University of Texas, USA: Reviewing the digital body: Comparing Gleason testing and microarray research for prostate cancer markers.
Amrita Mishra, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Dehli: The (un)making of artefact and place in the laboratory: An interrogation of silences and boundaries.
Hanne Jessen, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen: Contested beings? The multiple meanings of laboratory animals.

Murray Goulden, Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society, University of Nottingham: Boundary-working the human-animal binary: Making Apes Human and Making Humans Ape.
Siv Frøydis Berg, University of Oslo: New Technology – old questions? The creations of artificial life.                                                                                                                         Adam Bencard, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen: Contesting the body.

Keynote: Nikolas Rose, Department of Health Services Research, BIOS, London School of Economics: On the borders of normality: the contested categories of mental disorder.

General discussion and rounding off of the workshop, Moderator: Henriette Langstrup Nielsen.
Perspectives of the network.

Wednesday 17th January, 10:00 – 13.:00

Behind the scenes at Novo Nordisk: Dola Bonfils, presentation of the film? Drømme med deadlines? (dreams with deadlines).Discussion. [To be confirmed] 


The symposium will have a workshop character and consist of two days of paper presentations with an emphasis on discussion of pre-circulated papers.
The papers will be distributed to all participants in advance of the meeting, and a discussant will be appointed for each paper. Each presenter has up to 10 minutes to present his/her paper, and the appointed discussant has 5 minutes to comment on the paper and open up the plenary discussion (15 minutes).

The number of participants is limited to 30.
We aim at publishing as many of the contributions as possible as an edited book or journal issue.
Attendance is free.

Abstracts (max. 300 words) and registration details should be sent by e-mail no later than 15th September to Susanne Bauer or and Hanne Jessen

Papers (max 2000 words) should be sent by e-mail no later than 1st December to Susanne Bauer or and Hanne Jessen

The symposium will be held at the Medical Museion, Fredericiagade 18, 1310 Copenhagen K (https://www.museion.ku.dk/)

Further information about the programme will be published shortly after we have received the abstracts – on the website of the Postgraduate Network on Life Sciences and Society Network (http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/plssg/ ), ) and on the Medical Museion weblog (http://www.corporeality.net/museion/), and on the Biocampus website (http://www.ku.dk/priority/biocampus/index.htm).


Susanne Bauer, epidemiologist and historian of science, PhD, Postdoc,
Medical Museion, tel. +45 35 32 38 13,

Hanne Jessen, anthropologist, MSc, PhD scholar,
Medical Museion, tel + 45 35 32 38 14, , and

Nete Schwennesen, sociologist, MSc, PhD scholar, tel. +45 35 32 71 81, 
Biocampus and Department of Health Services Research

Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen

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