Decentering Biotechnology explores the nature of technology, objects and patent law. Investigating the patenting of organic life and the manner in which artifacts of biotechnology are given their object-ive appearance, Carolan details the enrollment mechanisms that give biotechnology its momentum. Drawing on legal judgements and case studies, this fascinating book examines the nature of object-ification, as a thought and a thing, without which biotechnology, as it is done today, would not be possible. Unable to reject biotechnology per se, recognizing that such a rejection would essentialize the very object-ive categories shown to be manufactured, Carolan ultimately argues for doing biotechnology differently. A theoretically sophisticated analysis of the nature of objects and the role of technology as a form of life which shapes the social landscape, Decentering Biotechnology engages with questions of power, globalization, development, resistance, exclusion, and participation that arise from treating biological objects differently from conventional property forms. As such, it will appeal to social theorists, sociologists and philosophers, as well as scholars of law and science and technology studies.
'Decentering Biotechnology is a lucid and timely book. It illuminates how the biotechnology regime exercises power to create new avenues for profit through the commodification of nature. Anyone interested in understanding how patents are employed in opposition to public welfare needs to read this book.' Brett Clark, North Carolina State University, USA 'Decentering Biotechnology: Assemblages Built and Assemblages Masked offers an at once scholarly and refreshingly clear account of a core component of contemporary technoscientific imaginaries - biotechnology. Theoretically sophisticated, and carefully historically documented, Carolan incisively highlights some of the key legal, social, economic and scientific issues of the 21st century.' Adrian Mackenzie, Lancaster University, UK 'Decentering Biotechnology touches on so many aspects of agricultural biotechnology, it may be of interest to those previously unfamiliar with this rich area of research in sociology.' Contemporary Sociology