Tecnoscienza: Italian journal of Science & Technology Studies has just released a special issue with Manuela Perrotta as guest editor. Titled “Re-conceiving Life in the Labs: The Emerging Meanings of Cells in the Italian Reproductive Biomedicine and Beyond” the journal includes articles on stem cells, IVF and other reproductive technologies, focusing especially on legislation and practice in Italy. The issue also contains an article by Professor Sarah Franklin on “embryo watching” and how IVF has changed biology. Here from the introductory essay by Perrotta:
In the past decades, reproductive biomedicine has quickly developed and become widespread, producing a number of new options that have challenged the definition of kinship and parenthood, bodies and gender relations and even of nature and life itself. Reproductive biomedicine is embedded in the ongoing construction of our wider social imagination, producing a re-imagining of the “facts of life”. Here, we can see how biomedical knowledge fosters a reframing of material bodily tissues. The same biological material can assume a different ontological status according to the sociomaterial processes in which it is embedded. Exploring the process of bio-objectification of embryos in an Italian context, this introduction describes how the equation between embryos and human life itself emerges inside and outside of labs and illustrates how the biomedical conceptualization of embryos is strongly dominated by moral and ethical concerns.
Enjoy the readings!
The pictures on the cover are from the exhibition Smile of a stem cell.