Discipline building in synthetic biology

Abstract : Despite the multidisciplinary dimension of the researches conducted under the umbrella synthetic biology, the founders of this new research area in the United States adopted a disciplinary profile to shape its institutional identity. In so doing they took inspiration from two already established fields with very different disciplinary patterns. The analogy with synthetic chemistry suggested by the term 'synthetic biology' is not the unique model. Information technology is clearly another source of inspiration. The purpose of the paper focused on the US context is to emphasize the diversity of views and agendas coexisting under the disciplinary label synthetic biology, as the two models analysed are only presented as two extreme postures in the community. The paper discusses the question: in which directions the two models shape this emerging field? Do they chart two divergent futures for synthetic biology?
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Bernadette Bensaude Vincent. Discipline building in synthetic biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Elsevier, 2013, 44, pp.122-129. ⟨hal-00931814⟩

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