Center for Interdisziplinary Research

ZiF Workshop

Genographies - Our Sequenced Lives

Date: 26 - 28 October 2015

Convenors: Dana Mahr (Lübeck, GER), Christoph Rehmann-Sutter (Lübeck, GER)

The title of the conference results from a superposition of the words "genes", "biographies" and "cartographies". In a tense atmosphere, the international participants discussed for three days the extent to which genomic knowledge inscribes itself into our individual identities and how it interacts with other systems medical epistemes. Systems medicine is – at least in one of its varieties – a data-driven Big-Data-Medicine which deliberately remains "agnostic" towards causal and functional mechanistic explanations – said Martin Langanke. Leading questions were: How can we examine the genome and interpret it, if it is not merely seen as an object of biomedicine, but as an individually and socially interpreted part of a lived body? What happens in an era of advanced genetic tests and visibility of disease risks to the way we reflect on ourselves? How does the new genetic knowledge change our lifestyle and our biographies? What lessons can we draw from the the individual incarnation of genetic knowledge for the wider question of the socio-cultural consequences of new genomics like the spreading practice of whole-genome studies. The keynote lecture titled "The contemporary and future challenges of ELSA genomics" was held by Barbara Prainsack. The panels included researchers like Kate O'Riordan, Barbara Katz Rothman, Silja Samerski, Yael Hashiloni-Dolev and Maria Kronfeldner. A major role also had artistic and literary contributions: a specially created installation by Grischa Lichtenberger (Berlin) and a writers reading of Carole Cadwalladr, who is a professional journalist at the London Guardian. The workshop was funded by DFG funds of the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" (Kiel and Lübeck).


Cornelius Borck (Lübeck, GER), Carole Cadwalladr (London, GBR), Yael Hashiloni-Dolev (Tel Aviv, ISR), Veronika Hofer (Bielefeld, GER), Barbara Katz Rothmann (New York, USA), Maria Kronfeldner (Budapest, HUN), Martin Langanke (Greifswald, GER), Grischa Lichtenberger (Berlin, GER), Kate ORiordan (Brighton, GBR), Heike Petermann (Münster, GER), Barbara Prainsack (London, GBR), Jürgen Robienski (Hannover, GER), Silja Samerski (Oldenburg, GER), Georg Töpfer (Berlin, GER), Martin Weiss (Klagenfurt, AUT), Nadja Wilhelm (Lübeck, GER)

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