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Durham University

School of Government & International Affairs


Bioinformational Diplomacy: Global Health Emergencies, Data-Sharing and Sequential Life

25th November 2020, 16:00, ZOOM, Professor Stefan Elbe (University of Sussex)

Wednesday 25 November, 4.00pm
Speaker: Professor Stefan Elbe (University of Sussex)

Abstract: Global health emergencies are a major and recurring threat in the
21st century. Today people can be better protected against such harrowing
outbreaks by scientifically analysing the detailed genetic sequence data of
deadly new pathogens. Why, then, is this valuable epistemic resource
frequently withheld by stakeholders – hamstringing the international
response and potentially putting lives at risk? This paper initiates the social
scientific study of 'bioinformational diplomacy', i.e. the emerging field of
tensions, sensitivities, practices, and enabling instruments surrounding the
timely international exchange of bioinformation during global health

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