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New Content ItemDigital epidemiology: how big data challenge ethics, society and politics in infectious disease surveillance

Digital epidemiology in infectious disease is a new discipline in the area of big data, which promises faster detection of disease outbreaks and improved surveillance as well as reduction in administrative burden, among other things.  Whom will these methods help? What are their possible negative – consequences and how do we deal with these? To answer these questions well interdisciplinary discourse about digital epidemiology is critical including considering the relevant epistemological, methodological, ethico-legal, social, political, and organizational aspects and implications. 
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New Content ItemSynthetic biology: How the use of metaphors impacts on science, policy and responsible research

In the context of biology, can we distinguish between metaphors that are used unconsciously or lazily and metaphors which are chosen consciously to stimulate hopes, fears, financial investment or emotional reactions; metaphors that inspire, challenge traditional thinking or entrench established prejudices; metaphors that are good for something or some people but detrimental to others; and finally, are there metaphors that travel between groups and connect people and metaphors that create barriers and divide people? Read more about submissions
The collection started to publish: 29 August 2017

Continental philosophical perspectives on life sciences and emerging technologies

This series aims to provide a podium for authors to address concrete issues of emerging life sciences and technologies from a ‘continental philosophical’ perspective (which includes phenomenology, hermeneutics, dialectics, psychoanalysis, pragmatism, critical theory and similar approaches) in areas such as epistemology, ontology and philosophical anthropology. Read more about submissions
The collection started to publish: 13 June 2016

ELSA & RRI - Ethical, legal and social aspects of emerging sciences and responsible research & innovation

Sensitivity to ethical, legal and societal issues, particularly within the life sciences, has increased over the years and has become a standard feature of funding programs. In particular, responsible research & innovation focuses on increasing involvement of stakeholder perspectives in research so as to make research more sensitive to the needs and concerns of society. Read more about submissions
The collection started to publish: 3 January 2014

Biobanks as sites of bio-objectification

The thematic series understands the contents of biobanks as bio-objects, referring to a socially potent biotechnological entity which generates controversy due to its potential challenging of established classifications.
The collection started to publish: 21 July 2015

Data protection (Brocher Foundation workshop)

The workshop discussed data protection and direct-to-consumer testing in relation to genome sequencing, aiming at informing discussions on all aspects of data protection and direct-to-consumer genetic testing: legal, ethical, and social.
The collection started to publish: 27 March 2015

Sport and Genomics

Genetic testing/screening in athletes, especially preventive testing, is a diagnostic tool to identify hereditary health risks, but such preventive applications are sometimes hard to distinguish from enhancing measures, especially when talking about sports. As a matter of fact, it seems as if sports serves as the ideal playground for genomics in order to test outcomes in real life.
The collection started to publish: 15 May 2012

Featured article: Digital epidemiology - what is it, and where is it going?

Digital Epidemiology is a new field that has been growing rapidly in the past few years, fueled by the increasing availability of data and computing power, as well as by breakthroughs in data analytics methods. This short piece provides an outlook of where the field is heading, and offer a broad and a narrow definition of the term.

Featured article: Towards new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology

New Content Item

Look how The Guardian, Scientific American and Die Welt, among others press outlets, picked up this paper, which by analysing the relationship between neuroscience and human rights, identifies four new rights that may become of great relevance in the coming decades.

Call for papers on Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI)

The journal is calling for submissions to the thematic series ELSA and RRI - Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Emerging Sciences and Responsible Research & Innovation. Don't miss the opportunity to contribute to a lively debate over the state of the art of RRI both locally and globally, and to the further development of discussion and research. Read more

Discover all thematic series and expand knowledge

Life Sciences, Society and Policy hosts thematic series on hot topics in the field of responsible research and innovation, bioethics, and applied ethics in emerging life sciences. Discover the articles and learn more about submitting your next article to these collections.

Featured collection: Synthetic biology: How the use of metaphors impacts on science, policy and responsible research

In the context of biology, genetics, and new technologies, can we distinguish between metaphors that are used unconsciously or lazily in language and communication, and metaphors which are chosen consciously to stimulate hopes, fears, financial investment or emotional reactions? Metaphors are not just decorative rhetorical devices that make speech pretty. They are fundamental linguistic and cognitive tools for thinking about the world and acting on the world, and natural and social scientists have become increasingly interested in them. This ground-breaking collection presents interdisciplinary and international discussion of the impact that metaphors can have on science, policy and publics in the context of synthetic biology. The collection started publishing, stay tuned!

Call for papers - Addressing integrity challenges in research: the institutional dimension

Although big cases of academic and research misconduct draw a lot of attention in the public debate, this thematic series aims to focus on integrity challenges emerging in daily scientific practice. Rather than on the individual dimension, it aims to bring the institutional responsibilities into view: how to create a research culture and a research eco-system where integrity challenges can be addressed and deliberated as part of quality care in research?

Welcome to BMC

We are delighted to announce that Life Sciences, Society and Policy is now part of the BMC family of journals. The BMC website already receives over 100 million views per year and has expanded beyond biomedicine into a broader area of inquiry to offer a wider portfolio of subject fields on a single platform for authors considering open access publishing. Bookmark our new URL and make sure to sign up to our article alerts so you can keep up with all of the latest research and articles and read more about BMC’s pioneering spirit.

Aims and Scope

The purpose of Life Sciences, Society and Policy (LSSP) is to analyse social, ethical and legal dimensions of the most dynamic branches of life sciences and technologies, and to discuss ways to foster responsible innovation, sustainable development and user-driven social policies. LSSP provides an academic forum for engaged scholarship at the intersection of life sciences, philosophy, bioethics, science studies and policy research, and covers a broad area of inquiry both in emerging research areas such as genomics, bioinformatics, biophysics, molecular engineering, nanotechnology and synthetic biology, and in more applied fields such as translational medicine, food science, environmental science, climate studies, research on animals, sustainability, science education and others.

The goal is to produce insights, tools and recommendations that are relevant not only for academic researchers and teachers, but also for civil society, policy makers and industry, as well as for professionals in education, health care and the media, thus contributing to better research practices, better policies, and a more sustainable global society.

Established in 2005 as Genomics, Society and Policy, the journal has gradually expanded its area of research and critical reflection, particularly encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration and now developing along four main directions:

  • How science and innovation affect society and the environment, and how responsible research can integrate societal needs and concerns in the process of research, with a strong focus on sustainability, responsibility and public engagement
  • Where humanities and science meet: multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship, for instance on neuro-enhancement and digitalisation
  • How research can inform evidence-based practices and policies
  • How philosophical traditions (such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, dialectics, psychoanalysis, pragmatism, and critical theory) can help understand and address concrete issues of emerging life sciences and technologies. 

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