Book ID: CBB001421212

Barcoding Nature: Shifting Cultures of Taxonomy in an Age of Biodiversity Loss (2013)


Waterton, Claire (Author)
Ellis, Rebecca (Author)
Wynne, Brian (Author)

Taylor & Francis

Publication Date: 2013
Physical Details: 212 pp.; bibl.; index
Language: English

DNA Barcoding has been promoted since 2003 as a new, fast, digital genomics-based means of identifying natural species based on the idea that a small standard fragment of any organism's genome (a so-called `micro-genome') can faithfully identify and help to classify every species on the planet. The fear that species are becoming extinct before they have ever been known fuels barcoders, and the speed, scope, economy and `user-friendliness' claimed for DNA barcoding, as part of the larger ferment around the `genomics revolution', has also encouraged promises that it could inspire humanity to reverse its biodiversity-destructive habits. This book is based on six years of ethnographic research on changing practices in the identification and classification of natural species. Informed both by Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the anthropology of science, the authors analyse DNA barcoding in the context of a sense of crisis -- concerning global biodiversity loss, but also the felt inadequacy of taxonomic science to address such loss. The authors chart the specific changes that this innovation is propelling in the collecting, organizing, analyzing, and archiving of biological specimens and biodiversity data. As they do so they highlight the many questions, ambiguities and contradictions that accompany the quest to create a genomics-based environmental technoscience dedicated to biodiversity protection. They ask what it might mean to recognise ambiguity, contradiction, and excess more publicly as a constitutive part of this and other genomic technosciences.

Reviewed By

Review Bowker, Geoffrey C. (2014) Review of "Barcoding Nature: Shifting Cultures of Taxonomy in an Age of Biodiversity Loss". Science, Technology and Human Values (pp. 759-761). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Rader, Karen A.
Winther, Rasmus Grønfeldt
Kirk, Andrew Glenn
Sensarma, Priyadarsan
Drummond, José Augusto
Franco, José Luiz de Andrade
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal of the History of Biology
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Indian Journal of History of Science
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
University Press of Kansas
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Santa Cruz
Easton Studio Press
CSIRO Publishing
The University of Utah Press
Biological diversity; biodiversity
Conservation of natural resources
Libraries and archives
Plant genetics
Natural history
Darwin, Charles Robert
Mello-Leitão, Cândido de
Linnaeus, Carolus
de Charlevoix, Pierre Francois Xavier
Hunter, William
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, late
21st century
18th century
20th century, early
North America: United States; Canada
Colorado (U.S.)
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Latin America
South America
Bussey Institution
Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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