Abstract
The US National Institute of Health’s Human Microbiome Project aims to use genomic techniques to understand the microbial communities that live on the human body. The emergent field of microbiome science brought together diverse disciplinary perspectives and technologies, thus facilitating the negotiation of differing values. Here, we describe how values are conceptualized and negotiated within microbiome research. Analyzing discussions from a series of interdisciplinary workshops conducted with microbiome researchers, we argue that negotiations of epistemic, social, and institutional values were inextricable from the reflective and strategic category work that defined and organized the microbiome as an object of study and a potential future site of biomedical intervention. Negotiating the divergence or tension between emerging scientific and regulatory classifications also activated “values levers” and opened up reflective discussions of how classifications embody values and how these values might differ across domains. These data suggest that scholars at the intersections of science and technology studies, ethics, and policy could leverage such openings to identify and intervene in the ways that ethical/regulatory and scientific/technical practices are coproduced within unfolding research.
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DOI 10.1177/0162243914545405
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Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences.Geoffrey C. Bowker & Susan Leigh Star - 2001 - Journal of the History of Biology 34 (1):212-214.
Materializing Morality: Design Ethics and Technological Mediation.Peter-Paul Verbeek - 2006 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 31 (3):361-380.
Human Values and the Design of Computer Technology.Batya Friedman (ed.) - 1997 - Center for the Study of Language and Inf.

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