Open Panel ‘Concepts and Practices of ELSI’ @ 4S Sydney 2018

We are delighted that the open panel proposal is accepted for 4S Sydney 2018! Submission of individual papers will be open on 1st Dec 2017 and close on 1st Feb 2018. We very much look forward to receiving your submission.

21. Concepts and Practices of ELSI: Exploration of its plurality

Koichi Mikami, Arisa Ema, Jusaku Minari, Go Yoshizawa

Almost three decades have passed since the program on ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) was first conceived in the United States as part of the Human Genome Project. Scientists and policymakers increasingly accept the idea that major scientific breakthroughs and/or development of novel technologies ought to be accompanied by deliberation of their ELSI, and ELSI has been a domain of valuable STS contributions. However, both understandings of what counts as ELSI and the practices intended to address it seem to differ considerably across places, times, and topics. This panel therefore explores such plurality of ELSI in terms of both its concepts and practices.

Following this year’s conference theme, we invite papers that examine TRANS-forming and/or TRANS-formed features of ELSI since its original conception. The questions they address may include how the idea of ELSI has been translated into a local practice, how discussion on ELSI transformed the way science or technology is done, how transnational ELSI initiatives differ from those at a national level, and how transferable the outcomes of ELSI deliberation can be. There is no restriction on ‘techno-scientific contexts’ of ELSI presenters might engage – from genomics and regenerative medicine to artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and space science. We are also interested in reflexive takes on ELSI and STS, which may include: the ways STS scholars influenced and were also influenced by initiatives to undertake ELSI deliberation locally; or, how ELSI relates to other approaches in science/technology governance, such as Technology Assessment and Responsible Research and Innovation.

Keywords: ELSI, plurality, concepts, practices, transformation

Submission via 4S Sydney 2018 website

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