Using Tissue Engineering to Make Edible Muscle: An Analysis of the Socio-Politics of Cultured Meat

Starts 06 December 2017 - 11:30
Finishes 06 December 2017 - 13:00
Venue Birkbeck, University of London. Paul Hirst Seminar Room (102), 10 Gower Street, London WC1E 6HJ
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Event description

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Speaker: Neil Stephens, Brunel University, London

Chair: Jason Edwards, Birkbeck, University of London

Earlier this year vegan mayonnaise company Hampton Creek announced they would release the world’s first commercial meat product produced through tissue engineering before the end of 2018. Known as ‘in vitro meat, ‘cultured meat’, and ‘clean meat’ (among other names), this technology utilises techniques developed in biomedical stem cell science to produce muscle in bioreactors to be consumed as food. It is embedded with a range of promissory narratives addressing diverse grand challenges, including the environment, health, animal welfare and the economy. I have been tracking the community of scientists, advocates, and funders of this technology since 2008 through interviews, documentary analysis, and participation within the community. In this presentation I will use a Science and Technology Studies (STS) perspective to articulate the current state of the technology and the community that supports it, and the intersection of ethics, politics and ontology that is central to everything it does.

The  BISR Food Group aims to promote research into the production, distribution, and consumption of food and drink from the perspective of interdisciplinary social science. For more information please contact Jason Edwards.

Image from: The Atlantic