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Title: Mutations in the research system? The Human Genome Mapping Project as science policy.
Author: Balmer, Brian L.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3441 8526
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1993
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The way in which scientific research is conceived, organized and practiced in the context of shifting policies and institutional structures is the main focus of this thesis. The empirical component examines the development of the UK Human Genome Mapping Project (HGMP), the British contribution to the international plan to locate all of the genes in the human species. A comparative case-study examines the unsuccessful attem pts by Australian scientists to establish a national genome mapping initiative. Two main sets of research questions are posed. Why was the HGMP set up in the UK at the end of the 1980s when, prima facie, a number of factors suggested that an organized project would not be established? Allied to this question is the comparative one of how and why a project was successfully established in the UK but not in Australia? The second major question asks how policy subsequently developed for the UK programme: what factors shaped policy-making, what aspects of science did the programme shape? Drawing on recent developments in sociology of science and science policy studies, it is argued that in both Australia and the UK debates over whether to have a genome project, and the subsequent developments in UK policy towards the project, were not straightforward administrative choices. In both countries, the question of what was the best science to support was translated into debates over the best way to do science, what scientific knowledge was for and even what was to count as worthwhile knowledge. The implicit and explicit answers to those questions by various groups were embodied in policies and policy recommendations. The thesis concludes that differing expectations concerning the role of science had to be orchestrated together in order to mobilize, and subsequently maintain, support for gene mapping and sequencing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Genetics