Synthetic Biology Emergence

We analyzed with Benjamin Raimbault and Pierre-Benoît Joly a corpus of publications around synthetic biology.  This empirical analysis provided the opportunity to investigatethe dynamics of emergence of a newly born scientific field.

We show how the community is continuously solidifying a chore set of scientists but is still very porous to exogenous contributors.   The field has been historically structured by 3 schools organized around very distinct epistemic objectives also corresponding to various intellectual property rights systems. We also highlight how a few key actors have shaped the field by building adequate institutions and by largely making use of promises in their discourses.

For a more comprehensive account, you can already download the slides (in French). We also produced a data visualization of geo-spatialized collaborations which is hosted by the “Observatoire de la biologie de synthèse“.

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Tags: emergence, heterogeneous network, knowledge community, morphogenesis, science dynamics, synthetic biology