London PUS Seminar - Understanding Biological Engineering through genre: a...

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Understanding Biological Engineering through genre: a historical study of New Scientist: Dr Dominic Berry, LSE

This presentation offers a new starting point for understanding the history and development of biological engineering, one that tackles its public life directly. We are confronted with numerous images of biological engineering in popular science writing, journalism, and fiction. My perspective integrates the history and public understanding of science with methods and means of analysis taken from genre theory. The end result is the construction of a new landscape of biological engineering, one which is more ready at hand, which can be used to tackle cliché, identify missed opportunities for discussion, and deflate sensationalism without sidestepping politics. My integration is inspired by the ongoing Narrative Science project, which draws together literary scholarship and narratology with the history and philosophy of science, in order to analyse the ways in which narrative - as a way of arriving at new knowledge - has been and continues to be an important feature of scientific research life.

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