Biobanks: Governance in Comparative Perspective

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Herbert Gottweis, Alan Petersen
Taylor & Francis, Apr 28, 2008 - Medical - 236 pages
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In recent years, a number of large population-based biobanks – genetic databases that combine genetic information derived from blood samples with personal data about environment, medical history, lifestyle or genealogy – have been set up in order to study the interface between disease, and genetic and environmental factors. Unsurprisingly, these studies have sparked a good deal of controversy and the ethical and social implications have been widely debated.

Biobanks: Governance in Comparative Perspective is the first book to explore the political and governance implications of biobanks in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia. This book explores:

  • the interrelated conditions needed for a biobank to be created and to exist
  • the rise of the new bio-economy
  • the redefinition of citizenship accompanying national biobank developments

This groundbreaking book makes clear that biobanks are a phenomenon that cannot be disconnected from considerations of power, politics, and the reshaping of current practices in governance. It will be a valuable read for scholars and students of genetics, bioethics, risk, public health and the sociology of health and illness.

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About the author (2008)

Herbert Gottweis is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna, Austria. 

Alan Petersen is Professor of Sociology, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He is also an Honorary Visiting Professor at Plymouth University and at City University in London, UK.

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