School of Social and Political Science

Engineering Life

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The Engineering Life project studies both the engineering of biology and the role of social scientists within this. Its two objectives are:

  • to investigate the movement of ideas, practices and promises from engineering into the life sciences
  • to examine the ways in which social scientists and other groups are being mobilised as part of this endeavour.

The project aims to provide insights into the engineering imagination, how it is applied to living things, and how it is challenged and expanded in interdisciplinary interactions.

These issues are tackled by collecting empirical data across three continents. This involves semi-structured qualitative interviews and ethnographic research in synthetic biology laboratories that are attempting to make biology easier to engineer.