Bioethics, Modernity and Subjectivity

This research project examines how the emergence and globalisation of new languages of virtue like human rights and bioethics have reshaped the government of health and biomedicine. Specifically, it analyses the articulation of biomedical research ethics in the UK and Singapore. Building on extensive archival and ethnographic research and drawing on insights from governmentality studies, this project explores the contrasting understandings of modernity underpinning the development of a bioethical assemblage in the UK and Singapore over the last fifty years. Furthermore, influenced by the literature on bio-sociality and biological citizenship, the project examines the ways in which these assemblages have reconfigured the figure of the research subject in both countries.

This project was funded through a University of London Leon Studentship in the Social Sciences, a London School of Economics’ Research Studentship, a Universities UK’s ORS Award and a Fellowship from the Brocher Foundation. The project has produced a series of publications in leading academic journals like Social Studies of Science, Social Science & Medicine, Social Theory and Health, Citizenship Studies, Global Public Health and International Political Sociology. It has also led to the publication of an edited collection with Routledge entitled Assembling Health Rights in Global Context: Genealogies and Anthropologies, which brings together papers by leading sociologists, anthropologists and historians presented at a Wellcome-Trust funded, International Conference on Human Rights and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Furthermore, the project has also resulted in presentations at: the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London; the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics; the Collegium Helveticum, Federal Technical School Zurich; the Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva; the History Department, University of Warwick; and the Anthropology Department, University of Cambridge. In addition, the project has also been related to Visiting Fellowships at the Brocher Foundation and the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

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