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Socialising Animal Disease Risk: inventing Traceback and reinventing animals


Through a discussion of how the inventive practices of farm animal genomics interact with animal disease and food risk, this paper aims to expand our notion of what constitute the social dimensions of animal genomics, and why attention to animals and the contemporary issues surrounding them can offer us insights into genomics in general. Through a case study of the circumstances surrounding the invention of the DNA TraceBack technology in the midst of the BSE crisis, I argue that, rather than just examining genomics in and of itself, we should follow the inventions of genomics and their inseparable informational material environments. Then we can see the need for a social science approach that is more attentive to the inseparability of politics and science at the material level and can invent new, more inclusive, problems and research questions.

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Correspondence to Andrew Donaldson.

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Open Access This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( ), which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Donaldson, A. Socialising Animal Disease Risk: inventing Traceback and reinventing animals. Life Sci Soc Policy 3, 57 (2007).

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