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Sociology Research


Life in Translation is a collaborative project led by Professor Sarah Franklin, Dr Noémie Merleau-Ponty and Karen Jent. The project explores from social scientific and ethnographic perspectives a contemporary emphasis in the biosciences on biomedical translation, and examines the varied interdisciplinary techniques and practices with which biology is brought into conversation with, directed at and converted into applications.

The tools for the micromanipulation of in vitro cells were first developed alongside mammalian in vitro fertilisation. These tools are now used in biotechnological platforms not only advancing assisted reproduction, but also the regeneration of the body. For example, they materialize as human embryonic cells coming from embryos once conceived in fertility clinics, or as cell culture techniques that originate in IVF research.

How are projects of regenerative medicine informed by reproductive trajectories? What kinds of reconfigurations of biology inspired by reproductive medicine are now applied in regenerative medicine? And, what are the contents and forms of translation that materialise in these projects?

Life in Translation investigates the biotechnological and socio-ethical dimensions of translation between reproduction and regeneration paying attention to increasing emphases on interdisciplinarity and public engagement. How does the turn towards dialogue inspire novel ways of conceiving the relationships between science and society? And, how might translation, at times, be more productively addressed through its misconceptions and misunderstandings? What is communicated, and what is lost in translation?