New Project: Diffractive Knowledge Production

On my last day as the Director of Studies for Sociology, I was thrilled to learn to that my BA/Leverhulme Small Grant has been successful. It’s only a one-year project but the perfect time and perfect way to kick start a bigger intellectual journey.

The project, ‘Diffractive Knowledge Production in North-South Innovation Strategies: A Study of Major UK-India BioGovernance Research’, is a continuation of my enquiry into the actual ‘elephants’ and ‘dragons’ in contemporary life sciences and their implications for effective governance. The project sits in the nexus of two major fields: science diplomacy and the decolonisation of global knowledge production. Dr Aparajita Mukhpopadhyay (co-I) and I will critically expand the knowledge on how social scientists and their research shapes the geopolitics of science. By seeing transnational dialogues as a ‘diffractive’ process, in which the encountering of differences produces superpositions of interaction, interference, diversion and reinforcement of facts and values, we aim to cast fresh insight on how rising powers such as India shape (or fail to shape) the global epistemology of ‘responsible science and ‘good governance’.

In the coming months, we will systematically review UK-India life science dialogues over the past ten years, collect oral history from key individuals, and organise an India-UK symposium on life science governance. So a lot to accomplish, plenty of exhilarating conversations ahead!

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