Tag Archives: Rinocerontes

Mini-artículo: Will the Real Engineers Please Stand Up?

[Estimados amigos/as: lo que sigue es la base de un ensayo en inglés en el que estoy trabajando. Cualquier comentario en español, portugues o inglés es sumamente bienvenido. Abrazos.]

Two months ago, I had the rare opportunity to speak to an audience that is foreign to (most of) us: a room full of natural scientists. The conference that I addressed, BioBricks Foundation 6.0, met at Imperial College, London, to discuss the most recent developments in synthetic biology. The panel in which I participated provided a space to introduce ‘recent’ new developments in science and technology studies to synthetic biologists. I read it as an occasion to talk about the now canonical bread-and-butter of social studies of finance—that is, how economics performs the economy. (I wholeheartedly thank Pablo Schyfter and Jane Calvert for the invitation).

While the contents of my talk were nothing new for the readers of this blog, the experience was particularly stirring in other ways, not the least because of the reactions of the audience to the concept of performativity (in their questions, those who remained in the room to listen to the social scientist sought clarification on how to model and predict what they saw as no more than noisy feedback loops between the abstract descriptions of economics and a detached, yet largely objective real world). Indeed, the greatest reward from participating of the conference came from having been exposed to, even if for a few hours, the awesome metaphors of synthetic biology. Continue reading