Metrics of making knowledge in a wilder Anthropocene : the roles and implications of produced knowledge in the governance of synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/LUCSUS

Sammanfattning: Under the growing influence of dominant discourses such as ecological modernisation and neo- liberalisation, proposed alternative conservation approaches focus more and more on efficiency. In the realm of biodiversity conservation, synthetic biology - the application of engineering to facilitate and accelerate the design or modification of genetic materials in living organisms – has emerged as an efficient approach. However, the international governance of synthetic biology with the aim of biodiversity conservation is fraught with uncertainty, risk, uncertainty, and contrasting values. I discuss the role of knowledge production in the governance of making use of synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation. In this thesis, through an examination of documents involved in these international governmental processes, I apply a perspective of discourse interested in the social production, circulation, and transformation of knowledge (SKAD). I furthermore analyse the data with theories on knowledge production systems and the politics of environmental knowledge. My analysis shows a prioritisation of creating knowledge with the purpose of policy-relevance, resulting in synthetic biology being rationalised and preferred due to its potential of efficiently creating measurable ecosystem services of biodiversity. Relevance within interactions of policy, knowledge, and society has become embedded in procedures not often questioned. This analysis carries an undertone of warning. If we do not create a knowledge system with a diverse inclusion, solutions implemented to deal with synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation can, and probably will, backfire because the complexities of the issue are not properly addressed. However, the findings discussed in this analysis can also be viewed in a positive light. Acknowledging the diversity of knowledge by including other perspectives and knowledges can be an opportunity for more meaningful interactions between policy, knowledge, and society. A distribution of power more equal can be achieved by questioning the procedures of produced knowledge and opening them up for more diversity and accountability.

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