The TRANSGENE project operates within the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) subject group at the University of Edinburgh. This multidisciplinary affiliation, and association with the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) research network, enables us to discuss our work with researchers that have a wide range of disciplinary approaches and research interests. Over June 14th and 15th members of the TRANSGENE team attended a retreat organised by ISSTI, and posed the challenge of investigating multi-domain translation, in which researchers and research organisations work with different industries and stakeholders towards distinctive goals.
Miguel Garcia-Sancho introduced the session and provided background about the TRANSGENE project and its aims. James Lowe then detailed the differences between single-domain translation in both biomedical research (from which the concept of translation arose) and livestock genetics, and the new modes of translation in which the livestock genetics community are increasingly implicated. Mark Wong then detailed potential digital research and social network analysis approaches to meeting the challenge of investigating multi-domain translation.
We were pleased that the presentations prompted several questions and comments, concerning the interactions between the pig genetics community and the swine breeding industry, the increasing interest of regenerative medicine research in the pig as a model, ways in which quantitative and qualitative approaches could be integrated, and tensions around the value of genomic information and how they are being shared in open-access databases.
We have also been grateful for the participation of some recent visitors to STIS in an afternoon event organised to discuss each of the strands of the TRANSGENE project. Joining us on the 21st June were historian Soraya de Chadarevian, historian and science policy specialist Robert Cook-Deegan, human geneticist Shona Kerr, science and technology policy analyst Ismael Rafols, and Erika Szymanski who will be joining the TRANSGENE project in September. Following the presentations there was lively and productive discussion which examined our characterisations of the organisation of genomic research and the practices associated with it and has helped us to identify new lines of inquiry to pursue.
James Lowe and Mark Wong, June 2017