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“.