Introduction: Biomedical Trans-Actions, Postgenomics and Knowledge/Value
Sunder Rajan, Kaushik
Duke University Press
This paper examines the notion of “translational research”, which has become a dominant form of the institutionalization and practice of contemporary biomedicine, as an entry point into theorizing questions of knowledge, value and their articulations. We are interested in locating translational research in a conjuncture that is marked, on the one hand, by a “post-genomic” moment in the life sciences, and on the other hand, by the capitalization and globalization of biomedicine. We undertake this through reference to the historical trajectory of these movements. In the process, we argue for a consideration of knowledge in terms of its mobility, rather than simply in terms of its ability to produce “truth”. These concerns with mobility, we suggest, articulate knowledge to and through value, whose own meanings and stakes come to matter in the process. We conclude that translational research in itself is just a signifier of a contemporary biomedicine that operates “in the trans”, under the sign and context of various movements across domains that see the production, articulation and problematization of knowledge and value. This argument serves as an introduction and framing for the three essays in this Dossier.
Vol. 25, Issue 3