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In a Chats in the Stacks book talk at Mann Library, Stephen Hilgartner presents his book, Reordering Life: Knowledge and Control in the Genomics Revolution (MIT Press, 2017). Hilgartner’s research focuses on situations in which scientific knowledge is implicated in establishing, contesting, and maintaining social order. In his book, he explores the “genomics revolution” and the institutions governing biological research. Touching on issues of secrecy in science, data access and ownership, and the politics of research communities, Dr. Hilgartner argues that in order to understand science’s real impact on society, we need to recognize the changing knowledge-control regimes that frame research and the evolving informal practices through which knowledge and control take shape.

Stephen Hilgartner, professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University, is an author or editor of several books about genomics and the relationship between science and democracy in society, including the Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society 2018 and Science & Democracy: Making Knowledge and Making Power in the Biosciences and Beyond 2015. His book Science on Stage: Expert Advice as Public Drama won the 2002 Rachel Carson Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science. Dr. Hilgartner is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on the Council of the Society for Social Studies of Science as well as on grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the European Research Council.