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Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels

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Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels. / Mackenzie, Adrian.

In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Vol. 44, No. 2, 06.2013, p. 190-198.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Mackenzie, A 2013, 'Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels', Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 190-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.014

APA

Mackenzie, A. (2013). Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44(2), 190-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.014

Vancouver

Mackenzie A. Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 2013 Jun;44(2):190-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.014

Author

Mackenzie, Adrian. / Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels. In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 2013 ; Vol. 44, No. 2. pp. 190-198.

Bibtex

@article{c481449c96844b5e98ce2d9a2516a27f,
title = "Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels",
abstract = "The principal existing real-world application of synthetic biology is biofuels. Several {\textquoteleft}next generation biofuel{\textquoteright} companies—Synthetic Genomics, Amyris and Joule Unlimited Technologies—claim to be using synthetic biology to make biofuels. The irony of this is that highly advanced science and engineering serves the very mundane and familiar realm of transport. Despite their rather prosaic nature, biofuels could offer an interesting way to highlight the novelty of synthetic biology from several angles at once. Drawing on the French philosopher of technology and biology Gilbert Simondon, we can understand biofuels as technical objects whose genesis involves processes of concretisation that negotiate between heterogeneous geographical, biological, technical, scientific and commercial realities. Simondon{\textquoteright}s notion of technicity, the degree of concretisation of a technical object, usefully conceptualises this relationality. Viewed in terms of technicity, we might understand better how technical entities, elements, and ensembles are coming into being in the name of synthetic biology. The broader argument here is that when we seek to identify the newness of disciplines, their newness might be less epistemic and more logistic.",
keywords = "Biofuels, synthetic biology, Metabolism, Technicity, Simondon",
author = "Adrian Mackenzie",
year = "2013",
month = jun,
doi = "10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.014",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "190--198",
journal = "Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences",
issn = "1369-8486",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels

AU - Mackenzie, Adrian

PY - 2013/6

Y1 - 2013/6

N2 - The principal existing real-world application of synthetic biology is biofuels. Several ‘next generation biofuel’ companies—Synthetic Genomics, Amyris and Joule Unlimited Technologies—claim to be using synthetic biology to make biofuels. The irony of this is that highly advanced science and engineering serves the very mundane and familiar realm of transport. Despite their rather prosaic nature, biofuels could offer an interesting way to highlight the novelty of synthetic biology from several angles at once. Drawing on the French philosopher of technology and biology Gilbert Simondon, we can understand biofuels as technical objects whose genesis involves processes of concretisation that negotiate between heterogeneous geographical, biological, technical, scientific and commercial realities. Simondon’s notion of technicity, the degree of concretisation of a technical object, usefully conceptualises this relationality. Viewed in terms of technicity, we might understand better how technical entities, elements, and ensembles are coming into being in the name of synthetic biology. The broader argument here is that when we seek to identify the newness of disciplines, their newness might be less epistemic and more logistic.

AB - The principal existing real-world application of synthetic biology is biofuels. Several ‘next generation biofuel’ companies—Synthetic Genomics, Amyris and Joule Unlimited Technologies—claim to be using synthetic biology to make biofuels. The irony of this is that highly advanced science and engineering serves the very mundane and familiar realm of transport. Despite their rather prosaic nature, biofuels could offer an interesting way to highlight the novelty of synthetic biology from several angles at once. Drawing on the French philosopher of technology and biology Gilbert Simondon, we can understand biofuels as technical objects whose genesis involves processes of concretisation that negotiate between heterogeneous geographical, biological, technical, scientific and commercial realities. Simondon’s notion of technicity, the degree of concretisation of a technical object, usefully conceptualises this relationality. Viewed in terms of technicity, we might understand better how technical entities, elements, and ensembles are coming into being in the name of synthetic biology. The broader argument here is that when we seek to identify the newness of disciplines, their newness might be less epistemic and more logistic.

KW - Biofuels

KW - synthetic biology

KW - Metabolism

KW - Technicity

KW - Simondon

U2 - 10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.014

DO - 10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.014

M3 - Journal article

VL - 44

SP - 190

EP - 198

JO - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

JF - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

SN - 1369-8486

IS - 2

ER -