Dove Leads Ethics Review for International Data-intensive Research

An article led by Edinburgh Law School and Liminal Spaces PhD candidate Edward Dove has been published in the world-renowned journal Science.

The article, which is a ‘Policy Forum’ covering a science-relevant topic from a policy perspective, discusses key lessons learned from five data-intensive multi-jurisdictional research projects, of which several of the co-authors were personally involved.

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Mason Institute Lunch Seminar with LS’s Annie Sorbie

On 24 March 2016, the Liminal Spaces project’s PhD Candidate, Annie Sorbie, will present at an upcoming MI Lunch on Regulating healthcare professionals and the public interest – ‘Hello from the other side: tales from the tribunal.

Over the last 15 years Annie has prepared, prosecuted and advised upon hundreds of cases before the national regulatory tribunals, as well as in the civil courts. These cases concern the fitness to practise of a wide range of healthcare professionals, from pharmacists to chiropractors, and span conduct from clinical incompetence to dishonesty and sexual misconduct. Drawing on her experience, Annie will provide a lively and accessible insight into how the courts have approached the concept of the public interest in this context.

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AllegraLab Article: Liminality, Biomedicine, and the Law – A Symposium Supported by the Wellcome Trust

The Liminal Spaces team discuss their recent symposium on liminality and health research regulation in the United Kingdom with AllegraLab.


Liminality, Biomedicine, and the Law – A Symposium Supported by the Wellcome Trust

Biomedicine and the life sciences continue to rearrange the relationship between culture and biology, problematizing what it means to be a person, and introducing uncertainty and instability to individual and public life. When this occurs, law is often called upon in response. Is this the best option? Why do we always turn to law to deal with ethical tensions or uncertainty in technoscience?

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Liminal Spaces Team Holds Symposium on Health Research Regulation and Liminality

In May 2015, the Liminal Spaces Project team held a one-day workshop to discuss health research regulation in the United Kingdom.

Biomedicine and the life sciences continue to rearrange the relationship between culture and biology, problematising what it means to be a person, and introducing uncertainty and instability to individual and public life. When this occurs in regulation, law is often called upon in response. Is this the best option? Could an anthropological concept developed to make sense of ritual, structure and agency help us to better understand the profound sociotechnical challenges that continue to redefine life in the age of biobanks, gene and stem cell therapy, and other novel medico-scientific domains? Liminality refers to a threshold state characterised by possibility, marginality and transformation. Early research into liminal states helped to better understand the relationship between structure and agency, drawing attention to the connection between transformation and a given society’s underlying organisation and values. As temporal and spatial spaces of change, liminal states are also the sites of and for reflection.

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Welcome to Samuel Taylor-Alexander and Edward Dove

We are pleased to welcome on-board Dr Samuel Taylor-Alexander as Senior Research Fellow in Medical Anthropology and Edward (Ted) Dove as the Liminal Spaces PhD candidate.

Sam is conducting a study called “Regulation in Action: Doing and Experiencing Rare Diseases in the UK” in which he examines how health research policy influences quotidian experiences and decision making in domestic, clinical, and laboratory settings. In highlighting the spaces where regulation works, he aims to bring into relief the gaps and fissures between policy aims and policy function, allowing for a broader examination of regulatory function and a reassessment of current approaches to research governance.

For his PhD on the Liminal Spaces project, Ted will trace consent as a regulatory artefact in the assemblage of biomedical research expertise, and think through the ways in which we can move beyond the arguably narrow paradigm and clogged regulatory spaces in which consent operates.
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Ganguli Mitra and McMillan Join Liminal Spaces

Prof Graeme Laurie’s Wellcome Trust Liminal Spaces Project officially began in October 2015. The project brings together a team of anthropologists, sociologists, ethicists and lawyers with a range of stakeholders and regulators to examine the liminal spaces of the regulatory landscape.

The Mason Institute is pleased to welcome on-board the projects first research fellows – Ms Catriona McMillan and Dr Agomoni Ganguli Mitra. We’ve invited them to tell us a little bit about themselves.
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Laurie Launches Liminal Spaces Project

On the 40th anniversary of the inaugural lecture of Professor JK Mason, delivered in the University of Edinburgh on 28th February 1974, Professor Graeme Laurie, Chair of Medical Jurisprudence, gave a lecture entitled “Confronting the Liminal Spaces of Health Research Regulation”.

The launch of this annual series coincided with the launch of a major new project on this topic, led by Professor Laurie, and funded by the Wellcome Trust.
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