THCL - Towards a holistic conception of life?
In progress from 23-04-2010 to 23-04-2010
Project manager: Helge Torgersen
Biotechnology, Expert-based, Governance, Innovation
Towards a holistic conception of life? Epistemic presumptions and socio-cultural implications of systems biology
Read more on the project homepage
Systems biology is a new field combining fundamental and application oriented research. It draws upon different disciplines such as genetics, biochemistry, physiology, mathematics, computer sciences and medicine. It aims at displaying processes of life in a holistic way, for example all processes in a cell at a given physiological condition. To do so, elaborated computer models are developed based on a wealth of genetic and biochemical data.
The trans-national project THCL is carried out in collaboration between ITA and the Research Centre for Biotechnology, Society and the Environment (BIOGUM) of the University of Hamburg. It aims at investigating, i.a., how the holistic concept of systems biology is being implemented methodologically and how different disciplines exchange knowledge. It looks at the role of possible applications for fundamental research and the relevance of the results from systems biology for developing further the technology and designing new products. Comparing Austria and Germany the project analyses where and how systems biology becomes established in academia and private research, how it gets described in the media and how the public perceives it. Apart from a better understanding of systems biology proper in its scientific and societal context, the aim is to throw a light on the functioning of modern science in a more general sense, in particular on its role in the development of new technological applications and their societal relevance.