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Entanglements in health and wellbeing: working with model organisms in biomedicine and bioscience

Friese, Carrie and Latimer, Joanna (2018) Entanglements in health and wellbeing: working with model organisms in biomedicine and bioscience. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. ISSN 0745-5194 (In Press)

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Drawing on collaborative ethnographic fieldwork, this article explores how human health becomes entangled with that of model organisms in day-to-day biomedical science. Social science scholarship on modelling has explored either how specific models impact and shape our knowledge of human disease or how animal technicians and scientists affect laboratory animals. This paper extends this relational approach by asking how embodied and institutional care practices for model organisms affect the health and wellbeing of animal technicians and scientists. We focus on two interspecies bodily experiences: ‘pathogenic exchange’ and ‘stress’. We then explore ‘enrichment’ as a strategy for producing health and wellbeing across species. We suggest that relations of care form a crucial part of biomedical knowledge production. Not only does care figure in the shaping of model organisms; care for technicians and scientists also plays a role in bioscientific knowledge production. We conclude by proposing an interspecies approach to occupational health.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 American Anthropological Association
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 13:07
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 06:50
Projects: 103320/Z/13/Z
Funders: Wellcome Trust

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