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"Transnational “Truth machine”? Challenges of forensic DNA databases" Helena Machado (University of Coimbra)

Egenis seminar series

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date14 November 2016
Time15:30 to 17:00
PlaceByrne House

Egenis seminar series - In the “genetic age” of criminal investigation, the expansion of large computerized forensic DNA databases and the massive exchange of DNA data at a transnational level have been portrayed as being significantly important resources for fighting crime. The growing expansion of forensic genetic surveillance apparatuses raises acute and ambivalent challenges to the nature of social control, citizenship and democracy. The ethical implications of DNA data exchange between different jurisdictions are paramount. My talk has three interrelated aims. First, to provide an overview of “new” and “old” ways of constructing social order that emerge from the transnational exchange of DNA data for combating criminality. Second, to propose a methodology for developing a multisite ethnographic research on this phenomenon. Third, to understand how a particular group of scientific experts – forensic geneticists – politicize and de-politicize privacy, data protection and public trust.


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