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King's College London - Professor Barbara Prainsack


Barbara Prainsack is a political scientist with expertise in the regulatory, social, and ethical dimensions of bioscience, biomedicine, and forensics. In the medical realm, her current work focuses on the emergence of personalised medicine and the ‘participatory turn’ in generating, analysing, and interpreting data. In the realm of forensics she is interested in the impact of forensic technologies on attitudes and strategies of prisoners; the societal and regulatory dimensions of forensic bioinformation exchange; and the increasing convergence between biomarkers used in forensic and medical practices. Barbara also explores how the concept of solidarity can guide policy and practice in both of these domains.

Barbara has published over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and edited and (co-)authored several books. Her most recent books include: Tracing Technologies: Prisoners’ Views in the Era of CSI (Ashgate, 2012), jointly authored with Helena Machado (University of Minho, Portugal), and Das Solidaritätsprinzip (‘The solidarity principle’, Campus, 2016; with Alena Buyx; in German). A new book on Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond (with Alena Buyx, Cambridge University Press), and an edited volume on Investigating Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Theory and Practice Across Disciplines (with Scott Frickel and Mathieu Albert) will be out in 2017.

In the last ten years Barbara has been a visiting Fellow at the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics at Cardiff University (winter 2006/07), and visiting professor (Gastdozentin) at the Department of Social Sciences at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (spring/summer terms 2010). She is currently a member of the National Bioethics Council advising the Federal government in Vienna, Austria, and a member of the UK National DNA Database Ethics Group. From 2011-2013 she chaired the European Science Foundation’s (ESF) Forward Look on Personalised Medicine for the European Citizen  (with Aarno Palotie and Stephen Holgate). She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at St Thomas’ Hospital, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Barbara is on the editorial advisory board of Personalized Medicine, Science as Culture, New Genetics & Society, OMICS , Genetics Research, and  Applied & Translational Genomics. She is an Area Editor for the forthcoming second edition of the International Encyclopedia for Social and Behavioral Sciences(Elsevier, 2015), covering 400 entries in the fields of Evolutionary Sciences; Genetics, Behavior and Society; Religious Studies; Law; and Science and Technology Studies (STS), and she is currently co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Genomics, Health & Society (with Sahra Gibbon, Stephen Hilgartner, and Janelle Lamoreaux; publication scheduled for 2017).

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Tel: + 0044-(0)7912622901

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