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Human practices
| Activities | Outputs map

For the Sheffield team to have ‘Human Practices’ (HP) as a separate section in our wiki, is perhaps a little misleading. From the outset of our project, the team has held HP to be an integral part of our everyday work both inside and outside of the laboratory in viewing all our activities as inherently human and social activities. This is a position central to the field of science and technology studies (STS) and has provided us with a broad framework through which to reflect upon how the form and direction of our synthetic biology practices have been contingent upon a multitude of heterogeneous sociomaterial factors. 

The ideas have evolved throughout the summer as the team has come up with new ways of doing human practices work within the iGEM model. Having decided on identifying pathogens as our project goal, we deicided that 'identity' could be a guiding theme for our whole project and that our human practices could be a series of experiments in and reflections on the notion of identity within synthetic biology. This concept of identity has been used in a number of ways: we’ve looked at how individual teams make their collective identity, with a particular focus on our own team; we’ve examined how individuals within a team make an identity through relations with people, objects and places; and finally we explore how individuals' participation in their iGEM project is shaped and embedded within the wider context of the competition, their 'parent' institution and their histories of diverse disciplinary education. We think all of these will be important for thinking about the formation of a new kind of interdisciplinary researcher for a new kind of interdisciplinary field.


Our human practices as parts and devices


To explore these questions we have used some traditional methods from social studies of science and some new methods that we have developed within the iGEM model. We think about these new methods as being human practices parts and devices, which we think future iGEM teams should try and develop, combine and invent in the future. To understand more about what we mean by human practices devices please read our main report, which you can see on our 'outputs' page. We’ve produced quite a few outputs, which you can explore using the links below.


You can see a list of the activities that we’ve undertaken in our human practices here.

And here's a map of the outputs from our human practices parts and devices.

Human practices
| Activities | Outputs map

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