Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine
By (author) M. Susan Lindee
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Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine by M. Susan Lindee
Book DescriptionGenetic research increasingly dominates medical thought and practice in the United States and in many other industrialized nations. Susan Lindee's original study explores the institutions, disciplines, and ideas that initiated the reconfiguration of genetic medicine from a marginal field in the mid-1950s to a core research frontier of biomedicine. Tracing the work of geneticists and other experts in identifying and classifying disease during the explosive period between 1950 and 1980, Lindee identifies the individual "moments of truth" that moved the field away from its eugenic past to the center of a new world view in which nearly all disease is understood to be fundamentally genetic. She suggests that these moments of truth were experienced not only by scientists but also by those who had familial, intimate, emotional knowledge of hereditary disease: patients, family members, and research subjects. Focusing on benchmarks in the field-such as the rise of neonatal testing in the 1960s, genetic studies of unique human populations such as the Amish, the development of human cytogenetics and human behavioral genetics, and the efforts to find genes for rare diseases such as familial dysautonomia-she tracks the emergence of a biomedical consensus that nearly all disease is genetic disease. Using the success of this field as a point of entry, Lindee chronicles both the production of knowledge in biomedicine and changes in the cultural meaning of the body in the late twentieth century. She suggests that scientific knowledge is a community project that is shaped directly by people in many different social and professional locations. The power to experience and report scientific truth may be much more dispersed than it sometimes appears, because people know things about their own bodies, and their knowledge has often been incorporated into the technical infrastructure of genomic medicine. Lindee's pathbreaking study shows the interdependence of technical and social parameters in contemporary biomedicine.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801891014
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 12-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author M. Susan Lindee
Genetic Nature/Culture, Paperback (November 2003)
The so-called science wars pit science against culture, and nowhere is the struggle more contentious than in the realm of genetics. A constructive response, this volume brings together biological and cultural anthropologists to conduct a dialogue that bridges the science/culture divide.
Suffering Made Real, Paperback (October 1997)» View all books by M. Susan Lindee
A study of the first attempts to understand how radiation affected the survivors of the atomic bomb and subsequent generations of Japanese, this book argues that Cold War politics and cultural values shaped this research. Using varied sources, it examines how US science was socially constructed.
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Author Biography - M. Susan Lindee
Susan Lindee is a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania.
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