Bamford - Chapter 03 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Bamford - Chapter 03

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Buy and Download Description Drawing upon recent writings by historians of science, I argue in this chapter that digital genealogies, a by-product of experimental biomedical projects, can be usefully regarded as machines, as vehicles for generating connections and histories and for changing existing notions of kinship and belonging. I shall focus on the so-called Book of Icelanders, an extensive computerized database on Icelandic family histories that was made available on the Web in January 2003. Earlier, the database was made accessible in an encrypted form to the biomedical researchers of the company deCODE genetics. The genealogical database, then, has a dual role as both a public resource and an essential ingredient of biomedical research. As we will see, it has an aura of science fiction, combining elements of the cumbersome hypertext of late-medieval ancestral albums and the rhizo matic kinship of artificial life (see Helmreich 2001) – and yet it is ethnographically salient, a part of the everyday world of Icelanders. Drawing upon recent writings by historians of science, I argue in this chapter that digital genealogies, a by-product of experimental biomedical projects, can be usefully regarded as machines, as vehicles for generating connections and histo
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