Bioethics Blogs

In the Journals, July 2015—Part I by Jason Alley

Here is the first of two postings for this month’s “In the Journals,” featuring a lively collection of summer articles.  Happy reading/browsing/downloading!


Science, Technology, & Human Values

Regulatory Anatomy: How “Safety Logics” Structure European Transplant Medicine

Klaus Hoeyer

This article proposes the term “safety logics” to understand attempts within the European Union (EU) to harmonize member state legislation to ensure a safe and stable supply of human biological material for transplants and transfusions.  With safety logics, I refer to assemblages of discourses, legal documents, technological devices, organizational structures, and work practices aimed at minimizing risk.  I use this term to reorient the analytical attention with respect to safety regulation.  Instead of evaluating whether safety is achieved, the point is to explore the types of “safety” produced through these logics as well as to consider the sometimes unintended consequences of such safety work.  In fact, the EU rules have been giving rise to complaints from practitioners finding the directives problematic and inadequate.  In this article, I explore the problems practitioners face and why they arise.  In short, I expose the regulatory anatomy of the policy landscape.

Disastrous Publics: Counter-enactments in Participatory Experiments

Manuel Tironi

This article explores how citizen participation was methodologically devised and materially articulated in the postdisaster reconstruction of Constitución, one of the most affected cities after the earthquake and tsunami that battered south central Chile in 2010.  I argue that the techniques deployed to engineer the participation were arranged as a policy experiment where a particular type of public was provoked—one characterized by its emotional detachment, political engagement, and social tolerance.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.