March 18th SSHM Seminar with Professor Christoph Rehmann-Sutter: “A ‘lived’ genome?”

Where: K.6.63 King’s Building Strand Campus

When: 18/03/2015 (13:00-14:30)

Prof Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

Prof Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter is Professor of Theory and Ethics in the Life Sciences, Institute for History of Medicine and Science Studies, University of Lübeck, Germany and visiting Professor at SSHM. His work focuses on elements for a new methodological framework for bioethics, drawing on resources of phenomenology, philosophical hermeneutics, relationship ethics and social theory. In a set of concrete research projects his groups in Basel and in Lübeck use qualitative research methodology in order to illuminate how situations of decision-making are perceived by different actors. Another line of work that is of continuous importance is bioethical policy advice by national or international bioethics committees. In collaboration with researchers at SSHM, Rehmann-Sutter works on developments in China and in the development of the Sino European Platform for Biomedical Research Ethics.

Title: “A‘lived genome’? Intermediary results from a socio-philosophical study on patients’ genomics of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis”

Abstract: The genome was never just a biomedical object but always also a meaningful, subjective phenomenon for those who embody it. What genes and their mutations mean not only depends on scientific evidence but also on how those who live a body make sense of it in their lifeworlds. I shall explain the concept of genomic lifeworlds in the Husserl-Schütz tradition. What is the genome from the patients’ perspectives, i.e. of those living a body? In other words: What is the lived genome? In a qualitative empirical study of patients’ sense-making practices, Dr Dominik Mahr and I are currently interviewing patients in Germany with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis who interpret this new genetic dimension of their disease. Before geneticization, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases have been paradigmatic psychosomatic ailments. Two groups of narratives could be identified that make different sense of genetic factors: one involving an antidote against blame, the other involving a restriction of agency.

For more information on SSHM Research Seminar Series, please visit this LINK or contact Dr Hanna Kienzler: hanna.kienzler@kcl.ac.uk

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