Nanomedicine in the Making. Expectations, Scientific Narrations and Materiality

Stefano Crabu


Abstract: Starting from the theoretical debate about technoscientific expectations, and based on the data collected doing ethnographic research in a laboratory of nanomedicine (in Northern Italy) operating in the field of experimental and clinical pharmacology, the paper explores in detail the relationship between anticipatory knowledge, scientific forward-looking statements and the situated practices of biomedical research in nanomedicine. In particular, I will focus on the processual dimension of scientific narrations on nanomedicine, in order to understand how future-oriented abstractions may represent a fundamental element for the local practices of nanomedical research. In doing so, and referring in particular to a socio-technical artefact called “triangle Dna origami”,I develop the notion of promissory bio-object, as a conceptual device to improve the understanding of the engagement of anticipatory knowledge in biomedical research.

Keywords: nanomedicine; translational research; anticipatory knowledge; promissory bio-object; ethnography.

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