sub-projects

EXCHANGE’s ground-breaking approach aims at: understanding cultural imaginaries about forensic genetics and its surveillance-related utopias and dystopias; understanding the intersections between genomics and the criminal justice system; analysing the interconnections between geopolitics, national identities and assumptions about criminal conducts; following the process of ‘co-production’ of science and social order through forensic genetics.


Subproject 1

Talking Science

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The transnational exchange of DNA data in the EU involves different national positioning and contexts. Such complex picture will be approached through interviews with relevant forensic experts – namely, all the “National Contact Points” for DNA data under the Prüm system – in order to understand their expectations regarding the potential impact of DNA technologies and databasing in fighting crime, terrorism and illegal migration.

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Subproject 2

Doing Science

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There is a widespread belief that DNA technologies have an unrivalled capacity to provide identification of crime perpetrators. This sub-project studies processes of technological and scientific innovation as key ingredients in the construction of credibility of DNA evidence. Other topics include communication patterns within the forensic science community and the role of private companies in the provision of forensic services.

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Subproject 3

Travelling DNA

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The operation and effective mobilisation of transnationally exchanged DNA data are made visible through criminal investigation of cross-border criminal cases. Discourses about criminal cases circulating among the different domains of practice – the forensic science, the criminal justice and the media – are studied in this sub-project. Furthermore, we are interested in investigating how human rights, data protection and issues related to the distinctive statutory laws are addressed in different EU Member States.

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Subproject 4

Globalising-Localising Forensic Genetics

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This sub-project relies on the comparison of four national cases – the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom and  Germany – differing with regard to their conditions and positioning in relation to the transnational exchange of DNA data. It aims to understand how the forensic laboratories are organized in different countries and how these services are positioned in relation to the social, political, and legal contexts in which they operate.

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Subproject 1

Talking Science

View

The transnational exchange of DNA data in the EU involves different national positioning and contexts. Such complex picture will be approached through interviews with relevant forensic experts – namely, all the “National Contact Points” for DNA data under the Prüm system – in order to understand their expectations regarding the potential impact of DNA technologies and databasing in fighting crime, terrorism and illegal migration.

Subproject 2

Doing Science

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There is a widespread belief that DNA technologies have an unrivalled capacity to provide identification of crime perpetrators. This sub-project studies processes of technological and scientific innovation as key ingredients in the construction of credibility of DNA evidence. Other topics include communication patterns within the forensic science community and the role of private companies in the provision of forensic services.

Subproject 3

Travelling DNA

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The operation and effective mobilisation of transnationally exchanged DNA data are made visible through criminal investigation of cross-border criminal cases. Discourses about criminal cases circulating among the different domains of practice – the forensic science, the criminal justice and the media – are studied in this sub-project. Furthermore, we are interested in investigating how human rights, data protection and issues related to the distinctive statutory laws are addressed in different EU Member States.

Subproject 4

Globalising-Localising Forensic Genetics

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This sub-project relies on the comparison of four national cases – the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom and  Germany – differing with regard to their conditions and positioning in relation to the transnational exchange of DNA data. It aims to understand how the forensic laboratories are organized in different countries and how these services are positioned in relation to the social, political, and legal contexts in which they operate.

publications

2018

Machado, Helena; Granja, Rafaela (2018), Ethics in Transnational Forensic DNA Data Exchange in the EU: Constructing Boundaries and Managing Controversies, Science as Culture, 27(2), p. 242-264. Available here.

Machado, Helena; Martins, Marta; Santos, Filipe (2018), O "suspeito genético": desafios bioéticos da partilha transnacional de informação genética forense, in Ana Figueiredo Sol e Steven Gouveia (eds.), Bioética no Século XXI. Charleston, USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing, p. 315-336. Available here.

Matos, Sara (2018), Biometria e privacidade: desafios bioéticos na cooperação policial e judicial na União Europeia, in Ana Figueiredo Sol e Steven Gouveia (eds.), Bioética no Século XXI. Charleston, USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing, p. 255-286. Available here.

Miranda, Diana; Machado, Helena (2018), Photographing prisoners: The unworthy, unpleasant and unchanging criminal body, Criminology & Criminal Justice,p. 1-14. Available here.

Queirós, Filipa (2018), Retratos Biogenéticos no Combate à Criminalidade: Desafios Éticos e Sociais, in Ana Figueiredo Sol e Steven Gouveia (eds.), Bioética no Século XXI. Charleston, USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing, p. 287-313. Available here.

2017

Costa, Susana (2017), Visibilities, invisibilities and twilight zones at the crime scene in Portugal, New Genetics and Society, 36(4), p. 375-399. Available here.

Granja, Rafaela (2017), Família no entrecruzamento da genética e do controlo social: Velhas e novas racionalidades científicas, in Helena Machado (org.), Genética e Cidadania. Porto: Afrontamento, p. 35-52. Available here.

Machado, Helena (2017), "Genótipos de difícil socialização": Crime, genética, neurociências e ethos científico, in Helena Machado (org.), Genética e Cidadania. Porto: Afrontamento, p. 53-67. Available here.

Machado, Helena (2017), Genética e cidadania, Porto: Afrontamento. Available here.

Machado, Helena (2017), Genética e cidadania no século XXI: Uma breve porém crítica revisitação, in Helena Machado (org.), Genética e Cidadania. Porto: Afrontamento, p.7-12. Available here.

Machado, Helena; Samorinha, Catarina; Santos, Filipe (2017), Genes maus, genes bons: Rumos da justiça personalizada e desafios à cidadania,, in Helena Machado (org.), Genética e Cidadania. Porto: Afrontamento, p. 15-34. Available here.

Martins, Marta (2017), Perspetivas cidadãs sobre participação em biobancos médicos e para investigação científica, in Helena Machado (org.), Genética e Cidadania. Porto: Afrontamento, p. 224-243. Available here.

Martins, Marta; Machado, Helena (2017), Entre a utopia e a distopia dos biobancos: (d)esperanças, riscos e benefícios pela voz dos cidadãos, in Claudia Fonseca e Denise Jardim (org.), Promessas e incertezas da ciência: Perspectivas antropológicas sobre saúde, cuidado e controle. Porto Alegre, Brasil: Editora Sulina, p. 201-226. Available here.

Matos, Sara (2017), Perspetivas de casais heterossexuais face à criopreservação do sangue do cordão umbilical em Portugal, in Helena Machado (org.), Genética e Cidadania. Porto: Afrontamento, p. 207-219. Available here.

Matos, Sara; Machado, Helena; Granja, Rafaela (2017), (Crio)Preservar a vida: significados de família, parentalidade e responsabilidade, in Claudia Fonseca; Fabiola Rohden e Patrice Schuch (org.), Ciência, Medicina e Perícia nas Tecnologias de Governo. Porto Alegre, Brasil: Coleções Editoriais do CEGOV, p. 151-171. Available here.

Santos, Filipe (2017), The transnational exchange of DNA data: Global standards and local practices, in Kai Jakobs and Knut Blind (eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd EURAS annual standardisation condeference. Digitalisation: Challenge and opportunity for standardisation. Verlag Mainz: Aachen, p. 305- 322. Available here.

Santos, Filipe, & Machado, Helena (2017), Patterns of exchange of forensic DNA data in the European Union through the Prüm system, Science & Justice, 57(4), 307- 313. Available here.

Santos, Filipe; Costa, Susana; Richter, Vítor (2017), O banco de dados genéticos no Brasil: Os desafios operacionais e legais de um processo de modernização, , in Claudia Fonseca; Glaucia Maricato; Larissa Duarte; Lucas Besen (org.), Ciência, medicina e perícia nas tecnologias de governo. Porto Alegre: CEGOV, p. 130-150. Available here.

2016

Amelung, Nina; Queirós, Filipa; Machado, Helena (2016), Studying ethical controversies around genetic surveillance technologies: a comparative approach to the cases of Portugal and the UK, in Atas do IX Congresso Português de Sociologia - Portugal, Território de territórios, 6 a 8 de Julho, Universidade do Algarve. Available here.

Frois, Catarina; Machado, Helena (2016), Modernization and development as a motor of polity and policing, in Ben Bradford; Beatrice Jauregui; Ian Loader; Jonny Steinberg (eds.), The SAGE handbook of global policing. London: SAGE, 391-405. Available here.

Ljosne, Isabelle; Mascalzoni, Deborah; Soini, Sirpa; Machado, Helena; Bentzen, Heidi; Rial-Sebbag, Emanuelle; D'Abramo, Flavio; Witt, Michal; Schamps, Geneviève; Katić, Višnja; Krajnovic, Dusica; Harris, Jennifer (2016), Feedback of individual genetic results to research participants: Is it feasible in Europe?, Biopreservation and Biobanking, Online first, 14(3), p. 1-8. Available here.

Machado, Helena; Santos, Filipe (2016), Culturas de objetividade, epistemologias cívicas e o suspeito transnacional. Uma proposta para mapeamentos teóricos em estudos sociais da genética forense, in Claudia Fonseca; Fabíola Rohden; Paula Machado e Heloísa Paim (org.), Antropologia da ciência e da tecnologia: Dobras reflexivas. Porto Alegre, Brasil: Editora Sulina, 179-203. Available here.

Machado, Helena; Silva, Susana (2016), Voluntary participation in forensic DNA databases: Altruism, resistance, and stigma, Science, Technology & Human Values, 41(2): 322-343. Available here.

Martins, Marta; Granja, Rafaela; Machado, Helena (2016), Risco, segurança e criminalidade: o "suspeito transnacional", in Atas do IX Congresso Português de Sociologia - Portugal, Território de territórios, 6 a 8 de Julho, Universidade do Algarve. Available here.

Matos, Sara; Machado, Helena; Santos, Filipe (2016), Criminalidade e geopolítica da ciência na União Europeia, in Atas do IX Congresso Português de Sociologia - Portugal, Território de territórios, 6 a 8 de Julho, Universidade do Algarve. Available here.

Toom, Victor; Wienroth, Matthias; M’charek, Amade; Prainsack, Barbara; Williams, Robin; Duster, Troy; Heinemann, Torsten; Kruse, Corinna; Machado, Helena; Murphy, Erin (2016), Approaching ethical, legal and social issues of emerging forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP) technologies comprehensively: Reply to ‘Forensic DNA phenotyping: Predicting human appearance from crime scene material for investigative purposes’ by Manfred Kayser, Forensic Science International: Genetics, 22: e1-e4 Available here.

2015

Machado, Helena; Silva, Susana (2015), Public perspectives on risks and benefits of forensic DNA databases: An approach to the influence of professional group, education, and age, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 35(1-2): 16-24. Available here.

EXCHANGE Events

2018/11/12

International Conference: Contemporary Challenges to Forensic Genetics in Society

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2018/11/12

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International Conference: Contemporary Challenges to Forensic Genetics in Society

School of Law, University of Minho| Braga, 12-14 November 2018

 

In the last few years, there has been an expansion of the possibilities offered by human identification provided by forensic genetics, based on the expansion of DNA databases for criminal and civil identification, and technological innovation building on forensic DNA phenotyping and forensic genetic massive parallel sequencing. Research in social studies and beyond has begun to explore the development and implementation of such emerging technologies; related societal, scientific, legal, and ethical controversies.

One of the goals of the EU’s Horizon 2020 program is to expand and strengthen the role of forensic science with and for society, in particular regarding its applications in different domains: security and crime control, identification in humanitarian disasters, and in the criminal justice system. This three-day conference aims to bring together and put into dialogue professionals and academics working in these different fields. A main objective of this conference is to engage society more broadly in research discourses and activities by providing discursive spaces for multi-perspective debates. This means in particular to explore good practices that might be applied in governance and policy-making founded on a respect for human rights, transparency and public trust.

Panel topics are of interest to experts from different disciplinary backgrounds – from social sciences, over life sciences, to police and law studies and include: Current Challenges to Transnational DNA Data Exchange, Challenges to European Forensic Science, Forensics Genetics and Humanitarian Purposes, Privacy and Public Engagement, Emerging Technologies, Forensic Genetics and Racism. The final day is dedicated to shed light on the situation and discourses related to the Portuguese case and addresses topics such as Regulatory and Ethical Challenges of Forensic Genetics in Portugal, and Operations and Practices in Forensic DNA Database.

 

The conference is organized by the EXCHANGE project, funded by the European Research Council. The conference participation is free of charge.

 

List of confirmed speakers:

Álvaro Mendes, University of Porto, Portugal

Ana Bento, Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Portugal

Angel Carracedo, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

António Amorim, University of Porto, Portugal

Carlos Farinha, Portuguese Police Scientific Laboratory, Portugal

Carole McCartney, Northumbria University, UK

Chris Lawless, Durham University, UK

Cíntia Águas, Portuguese National Ethics Council for Life Sciences, Portugal

Dana Wilson-Kovacs, University of Exeter, UK

David Skinner, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

Elisabeth Anstett, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Erin Murphy, New York University, USA

Ernesto Schwartz-Marin, Durham University, UK

Gabrielle Samuel, Kings College London, UK

Georg Biekötter, Council of the European Union

Helena Machado, University of Minho, Portugal

Ingo Bastisch, Bundeskriminalamt, Germany

Joelle Vailly, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France

Kees van der Beek, Retired Custodian of the Dutch DNA database, The Netherlands

Maria João Antunes, Supervisory Board of the Portuguese DNA Database, Portugal

Matthias Wienroth, Newcastle University, UK

Peter Schneider, University of Cologne, Germany

Reinhard Schmid, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Austria

Susanne Schultz, Gen-Ethisches Netzwerk, Germany

Victor Toom, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Wojciech Branicki, Jagiellonian University, Poland

2018/10/17

Bug bounties and CTFs: a new approach to combating cybercrime

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2018/10/17

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Bug bounties and CTFs: a new approach to combating cybercrime

University of Minho, Braga, 17 October 2018

Guest Speaker: André Baptista (University of Porto)

Nowadays, many certifications and courses are available. However, Capture The Flag (CTF) competitions and Bug Bounties are two fields that complement each other as they offer the experience of exploiting complex scenarios and finding real-world vulnerabilities. These concepts are the key to learning advanced offensive skills and thus being a good information security professional, capable of protecting critical infrastructures and fighting the cybercrime.

2018/10/12

The display of cinegetics knowledge-power: the violence of security practices in the management of threats

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2018/10/12

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The display of cinegetics knowledge-power: the violence of security practices in the management of threats

University of Minho, Braga, 12 October 2018

Guest Speaker: Ignacio Mendiola (University of the Basque Country, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea)

In this seminar, Ignacio Mendiola, addressed the idea of ​​state power relations and violence. The main goal of the presentation was to explore a certain form of power through which threats are fought and which will be analyzed from the metaphor of hunting. According to Ignacio, the device of power, hunting, from the point of view of security, implies the implosion of borders and these as a space of politics. It creates the need to watch over the “other”, the “enemy”. In this sense, we are increasingly becoming vigilant, as co-participants of the same surveillance system. Nevertheless, the current technologies are developed from the need to take care of the other and a key element is to detect the threats, the clues, even in the context of Big Data. The debate (re)raises some questions related to the social construction of “prey” and “victim” and the notion that in each context the definition of “prey” and “victim” varies. However, the action is the same – “hunting” the enemy – and this is accomplished by those who hold the power.

2018/09/26

How can Science and Technology Studies help to reflect on the political crisis associated with refugees and asylum seekers? | Workshop

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2018/09/26

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How can Science and Technology Studies help to reflect on the political crisis associated with refugees and asylum seekers? | Workshop

Center for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra | Coimbra, 26-28 September 2018

 

In this workshop focus was on the ongoing political crisis associated with refugees/ asylum seekers/ forced migrants as an object of study. The guiding question was how Science and Technology Studies (STS) approaches may contribute to understanding the sociotechnical and epistemic aspects of forced migration and displacement, (re)integration, resettlement and related debates and practices. Based on the practice-oriented empirical commitments and conceptual repertoires of the field, various developments and configurations have lent themselves to fascinating STS studies. Paper presentations made use of the theories and problematisations of STS and addressed the following issues: border and state surveillance technologies: management of refugees’ mobility; objects, infrastructures and spaces: how classifications and standards envisage smooth protocols while producing human suffering; digital technologies among asylum-seekers and transportation networks: moral and political capacitation; sociotechnical controversies around systems and formulae being devised for asylum-seeker allocation throughout Europe; local formats of doing politics at the margins of democracy (e.g. refugee-organised actions in informal camps or detention centres), issues of exclusion and orders of visibility: critically explore the positioning of refugees not recognized as humans of their own right in sociotechnical assemblages.

Special highlights of the workshop were two key note speeches. Martina Tazzioli, Swansea University, UK, addressed in her key note speech “Can data speak? Financial-humanitarianism and the antinomies between autonomy and freedom”. Christina Boswell, University of Edinburg, UK, gave a key note speech on “The Invention of Illegal Immigration: Constructing Immigration Control as a Social Problem in the UK”. Coupled with the workshop, a science café under the title: “Science and Technology: Empowering refugees and migrants in Portugal?” took place. Mounir Affaki (Syrian Student, Plataforma Global para Estudantes Sírios), Cyntia de Paula (Casa do Brasil de Lisboa) and Susana Gouveia (Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa) discussed together with other participants the particular situations in Portugal.

EXCHANGE team member Nina Amelung presented a paper on “De-politicization and re-politicization of policy instruments in asylum policies of the EU: EURODAC and the epistemic construction of political order” in which she addressed the policy instrument of EURODAC as an example to reconstruct how different expert groups and expertise contribute to the development and establishment of the instrument over time. The analysis emphasized the unintended side effects of European asylum policies which come with expertise and technocracy based policy instruments when they establish particular imaginations, ways of knowing and also technocratic practices which “neutralize” and de-politicize policy areas and make it more difficult to contest policy instruments. She concluded with three propositions of how to study re-politicization dynamics of such instruments.

 

The workshop was organized by Nina Amelung (EXCHANGE project, CECS, University of Minho) and Gaia Giuliani ((DE)OTHERING), Cristiano Gianolla, Joana Sousa Ribeiro and Olga Solovova (Inter Thematic group on Migration (ITM, CES-UC). The workshop was supported by the EXCHANGE project, the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), the Center for Social Studies (CES), Coimbra, the De-Othering project funded through FCT and the Teatro Académico Gil Vicente.

 

2018/08/29

Collating publics in collections of human biological material and data

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2018/08/29

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Collating publics in collections of human biological material and data

Thematic panel within 4S 2018, Transnational STS | Sydney International Convention Centre, Australia, 29 August - 1 September 2018

Nina Amelung co-convened the panel “Collating publics in collections of human biological material and data” together with Erik Aarden, University of Vienna, and Torsten Heinemann, RWTH Aachen, at 4S Sydney. In two sessions 7 papers addressed the relation of data, biological material and publics in the contexts of health research and practice, forensic genetics, migration control as well as neurosciences. In this panel Nina presented the paper “Infrastructuring data-publics: Implications of design and governance of transnational biometric database systems” which highlights the impact of biometric sciences and technologies on the one hand and of design and governance aspects of IT database infrastructures on implicated data-publics.

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2018/07/28

Publics shaped and enacted by surveillance and border biotechnologies: Encountering ´phantom publics`, ´non-publics` and `counter publics´

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2018/07/28

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Publics shaped and enacted by surveillance and border biotechnologies: Encountering ´phantom publics`, ´non-publics` and `counter publics´

Thematic panel within EASST 2018, Meetings - Making science, technology and society together | Lancaster University, UK, 25-28 July 2018.

 

In Europe, policy decisions dictated by executive powers after 9/11 have enabled new national and transnational surveillance, border and post-crisis management technologies to take shape in the name of controlled migration and preventing and reacting to crime and terror. What publics are shaped and enacted by these technologies and how can we study them by mobilizing the conceptual and methodological repertoire of STS?

 

The modus operandi of pre-emptive security measures builds on decisions calling upon what Gunnarsdóttir and Rommetveit termed “phantom publics” instead of testing such decisions’ grounding. How can publics nevertheless engage to hold the management of technologies accountable?

 

An alternative take addresses categories deriving from the social sorting of technologies. Differentiating between trusted and distrusted travelers, low-risk and high-risk groups, documented and undocumented migrants have been regarded as dynamic and contested concepts. Dijstelbloem and Broeders have introduced the notion of “non-publics” to point to heterogeneous publics with ambiguous access to exercise their rights. How can shifted attention from pre-given classifications to ontological modifications of categories provide a perspective on the empowering and disempowering effects on publics?

 

A third perspective focusses on “counter publics”. Enacting for instance “subversive mobilities” or “temporary autonomous zones” by destabilizing or subverting routines and scripts of technologies allows actors to claim rights and space that have either not yet been formally granted or cannot be exercised. How can actions with the potential to circumvent borders and surveillance create invigorated possibilities for renegotiating their performative power?

 

Organization: Nina Amelung (University of Minho), Vasilis Galis (IT University of Copenhagen )

 

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2018/07/27

Genetic technologies: Intersecting criminal investigation, disaster victim identification and commercial uses

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2018/07/27

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Genetic technologies: Intersecting criminal investigation, disaster victim identification and commercial uses

Thematic panel within EASST 2018, Meetings - Making science, technology and society together | Lancaster University, UK, 25-28 July 2018.

 

Genetic technologies are playing a pivotal role about identity, how someone may look or where someone originate from. Such applications have been deployed in inter alia practices of disaster victim identification, criminal investigation and in commercial genealogy testing. Despite the similarity of deployed genetic technologies in these three domains, so far, their implications have been framed differently.

 

The current academic debate on the use of genetic technologies in the field of criminal identification tends to emphasize the risks of disproportionate citizens’ surveillance, and threats to privacy and presumption of innocence. The uses of genetic technologies in disaster victim identification tends to be associated with a humanitarian rationale and a form of respecting and honouring victims and their families’ rights to ‘know the truth’. Lastly, commercial genealogy testing has been framed within a ‘economy of hope’ that allegedly allows to ‘find your roots’.

 

In this panel we welcome contributions that draw on diverse case studies to critically engage with the mutable social, political and commercial meanings attributed to genetic technologies in these three domains of practice. Our aims are twofold: first, to scrutinize the development, stabilization and politicization of genetic technologies in particular case scenarios; secondly, to critically discuss the values and infrastructures they carry.

 

How is expertise constructed and assembled in daily practices?
What are the moral economies and commercial interests played out?
How and what can we learn by juxtaposing the practices?
What is made (in)visible?
How is power embedded in those practices?

 

Organization: Rafaela Granja (University of Minho), Victor Toom (Goethe University)

 

Link here

2018/07/14

Exchange meets Joana Gorjão Henriques | Debate

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2018/07/14

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Exchange meets Joana Gorjão Henriques | Debate

Restaurante do Molhe, Av. do Brasil, Praia do Molhe | Porto, 14 july 2018

Guest Speaker: Joana Gorjão Henriques (Público)

Joana Gorjão Henriques is a journalist and writer. Her last book talks about how the Portuguese treat the Other, highlighting their contradictions, as the title, “Racism in the Country of White Customs”, reveals. Are we as human, tolerant, and special as we seemingly tend to believe? And do new technologies of control and surveillance, like DNA, put at the service of a supposed transnational common good, contribute to a (re)consolidation of old stigmas; or on the contrary for their erosion? This debate opened the door to a better understanding of how racism and xenophobia settle in, manifest themselves and persist. It further discussed sharp links between these phenomena and the automated sharing of DNA data, fingerprints and vehicle registration data between EU Member States, instituted under the motto of combating crime, terrorism and illegal immigration.

2018/07/09

EXCHANGE Summer Internships

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2018/07/09

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EXCHANGE Summer Internships

University of Minho | Braga, 9-11 July 2018

 

In the first edition of the Exchange Summer Internships, students interested in the subjects of crime, surveillance, genetic technologies and human rights were invited for a close interaction with the Exchange team at the project offices.

Students had the opportunity not only to explore highly topical issues related to crime control and human rights with the Exchange team, but also to deepen their knowledge about scientific research in Sociology and get to know an European research project from the inside.

2018/06/06

Cancers, stories, and objects of resistant women: the oncological disease between society, art (s) and science (s)

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2018/06/06

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Cancers, stories, and objects of resistant women: the oncological disease between society, art (s) and science (s)

Institute of Social Sciences | Braga, 6 June 2018

Guest Speaker: Susana de Noronha (Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra)

In this session Susana de Noronha presented a research series about women, cancer narratives, art and material culture, conducted between 2005 and 2017. A first part born out of a work with twenty-four international art projects on feminine experiences of breast cancer. This research explored art projects and material objects as constitutive parts of cancer experience itself, embedded in the way cancer is lived and understood. A second part redefined material culture as a portion of cancer, looking at the medical, personal and domestic objects that take form and gain relevance in one hundred and fifty artistic projects made by or together with women. In a third project, the researcher studied the cancer stories of eight Portuguese women from her relational circle, reinventing social science, scientific illustration and ethnographic design. From these investigations, Susana outlines what she frames as “another ontology”, a “third half” where spaces, objects, people, experiences and knowledge form an undivided sum.

2018/05/29

Seminar on media content analysis

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2018/05/29

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Seminar on media content analysis

Institute of Education | Braga, 29 May 2018

Guest Speaker: Carla Cerqueira (Communication and Society Research Centre, University of Minho)

In this session Carla Cerqueira gave a presentation entitled “Media content analysis: a path with several rails” and explored the methodological challenges of using content analysis as a technique for analysing data collected from the press (texts and images). She discussed possible strategies for choosing the materials of analysis, as well as the application of content analysis to the data collected. The debate further addressed the potential benefits of using qualitative analysis software and a reflection on the differences and similarities between content and discourse analysis.

2018/04/11

Workshop on Surveillance Society, Privacy, and Human Rights

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2018/04/11

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Workshop on Surveillance Society, Privacy, and Human Rights

University of Minho | Braga, 11-16 April 2018

 

Session 1 – Introduction to surveillance studies

The opening session of the workshop was conducted by Helena Machado and aimed to instigate critical debate on the following sets of questions:

What sorts of surveillance can we talk about? What are its cultural, political and socioeconomic implications?

Which human rights are potentially constrained by surveillance? How can societies conciliate protection of data and public security?

 

Session 2 – Privacy and data protection

Sara Matos and Sheila Khan guided the discussion about privacy and data protection. During the workshop specific issues were discussed such as: a) What does privacy mean? b) What challenges do the new data protection regulation in the European Union pose? c) What are the risks created by Big Data?  It was also critically debated the ethical limits of the use of Big Data, and the notions of digital freedom and digital humanism.

 

Session 3 – The challenges to sociological research

Emilia Araújo presented the most important challenges that sociological research is now facing, considering the new regulations on data protection, as well as in science production processes. Based on several case analyses, the session revised some of the seminal and well stablished methodological and ethical procedures in social sciences, giving account of its importance in present day research contexts. The session also highlighted the need to rethink part of these procedures, making clearer what are the more adequate practices related to data protection for designing and developing academic research projects.

 

Session 4 – Surveillance society: present and future

Rafaela Granja and Marta Martins organized a debate around two questions: How do new technologies reshape “old” surveillance procedures? Which configurations of stigmatization might derive from new technologies? The debate focused on a critical approach to the implications of judicial and police transnational cooperation and on new forms of generating criminal suspects on the basis of DNA evidence. The workshop ended with the viewing of a film, followed by a discussion focused on the implications of the expansion of surveillance in everyday life.

2017/11/07

Academic Citizenship and the Worthy Place of the Other in Research

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2017/11/07

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Academic Citizenship and the Worthy Place of the Other in Research

Institute for Social Studies | University of Minho | 7 November 2017 | Guest Speaker: Sheila Khan (Post-doc researcher at CICS.NOVA.Uminho)

In this seminar, Sheila Khan presented the idea of “academic citizenship” which emphasizes the need of researchers being reflexive about their own familial, social and emotional situatedness and historical context. Khan strengthened her proposal by exploring the concepts of memory and post-memory. She argued for being reflexive on one’s own historical roots shaping individual and collective memories and narratives. Furthermore, she emphasized that in times of increasing nationalism and populism, researcher’s responsibilities are even greater to keep an open and unprejudiced view on “the other”.  These days racism appears in more confusing and fragmented ways. For that reason solidarity and humanity, together with critical thought, needs to be core of academic citizenship. The debate addressed issues related to tensions between getting research funding and making free choices on research topics, the distinction between the choice of topics and the attitude applied on it; and researcher’s achievements when mediating between the roles of investigators and citizens.

2017/07/05

CES Summer School: “Crime and control – Criminal investigation, youth education centres and prisons

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2017/07/05

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CES Summer School: “Crime and control – Criminal investigation, youth education centres and prisons

Centre for Social Studies, Coimbra, Portugal | 5 – 9 July 2017

 

Rafaela Granja, Filipe Santos and Susana Costa organised, under the scientific coordination of Helena Machado, a CES summer school dedicated to understanding some of the dynamics of the criminal justice system. The programme combined theoretical reflections with an emphasis on practical engagements of the participants. The organisers were joined by Vera Duarte, Sílvia Gomes and Paula Sobral, who also contributed with a diversity of theoretical perspectives and empirical insights. The programme included diverse lectures on topics like criminal investigation and crime scene work with DNA technologies in court in Portugal, the transnational cooperation in fighting crime in Europe, and experiences in the execution of juvenile tutelary measures and prison sentences. The practical sessions of the programme contained a workshop on the construction of criminal narratives based on crime scene reports and a mock trial drawn from a fictional criminal case. In addition to these activities the summer school included a visit to the Coimbra Penitentiary Establishment and a guided visit to the photography exhibit “Radical exclusions. A feminine prison world” organized by  Claudia Carvalho.

This three-day summer school provided the opportunity to engage experts, students and practitioners from different areas – sociology, criminology, law, biology, and medicine – in a fruitful debate about how different mechanisms of social control challenge configurations of citizenship.

2017/03/21

Fragility of Portuguese law in the international transfer of DNA data: Implications of the Prüm Treaty and Prüm Decisions

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2017/03/21

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Fragility of Portuguese law in the international transfer of DNA data: Implications of the Prüm Treaty and Prüm Decisions

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 21 March 2017

Guest Speaker: Henrique Curado (Polytechnic Institute of Porto – School of Health Sciences | Department of Management and Administration in Health, Portugal)

 

The seminar with Henrique Curado offered an occasion to reflect on the weaknesses of the Portuguese and Spanish law with regard to the international exchange of DNA data, namely through the Prüm Decisions (2008). Henrique Curado outlined some differences between Portuguese and Spanish legislations. For example, while the latter provides a typology with the offenses based on which biological samples should be collected, the former gives no such specification. Curado mentioned that in both countries the purpose of the DNA databases is identification which means connecting a suspect to a crime scene. However, it is necessary to prove that this particular person was the one who committed the crime. Nevertheless, he argues that for some types of crimes it is easy to find the culprit through other type of proofs and mechanisms, for example fingerprints. Additionally, he stated that the insertion of easily identifiable persons in the database does not make sense. According to his opinion, the collection of DNA should be restricted to specific situations: cases of serious crimes (prison sentences over 5 years), cases of recidivism and in cases when a criminological profile is evident. Regarding the issue of protection of personal data, whether at national or international level, the question that arose was: Can citizens themselves feel protected? Curado argued that what Prüm Decisions (2008) determine in terms of data protection is not sufficient. Citizens do not know how, where and when the information circulates between different Member States. Full transparency is undermined in this exchange, noting that there are real possibilities of suppression of rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens. In order to prevent the misuse of personal data from citizens Member States should guarantee that a third country involved in data exchange can ensure minimal standards of privacy. The debate raised issues related to the so-called CSI effect. There was consensus that it should be fundamental for the justice system to understand the relevance of a DNA proof equal with other evidence. Unfortunately, such differentiated understandings and conceptions of DNA evidence are not taught in law schools.

2018/03/06

Workshop "Meeth2Science"

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2018/03/06

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Workshop "Meeth2Science"

Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto, Porto, March 6 2018 and July 11 2017

 

Co-organization with ENGAGED team (Bionetworking and citizenship on gamete donation), “Short interdisciplinary meetings to discuss methodological and ethical issues in research”

2017/02/20

EXCHANGE Think Tank Day: ethical implications of NGS in the criminal justice system

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2017/02/20

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EXCHANGE Think Tank Day: ethical implications of NGS in the criminal justice system

Bristol Hotel, Frankfurt am Main | Germany, 20 February 2017

 

The one-day event was hosted by the EXCHANGE project in collaboration with Barbara Prainsack in her role as a member of the UK National DNA Database (NDNAD) Ethics Group (EG). The Think Tank Day (TTD) event addressed Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), also known as Massive Parallel Sequencing (MPS), and the complexities surrounding the application of NGS technologies and the ethical issues which may arise with their implementation. As a Think Tank Day, the event aimed to explore these issues from the perspective of the social and forensic sciences. The day program was organized along the presentation of real-life or hypothetical cases of NGS in forensics that contained unresolved ethical questions or posed interesting challenges. In particular, guest speakers and participants were invited to contribute with reflections on the risks and benefits of using different NGS-based technologies in specific contexts, and the risks and benefits of not using them; the balance between individual and collective rights and interests; transparency and public trust; public understanding and debate; and future monitoring.

 

2016/10/27

Webinar: Transnational criminal suspects in the European Union. challenges to citizenship

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2016/10/27

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Webinar: Transnational criminal suspects in the European Union. challenges to citizenship

27 October 2016

 

Helena Machado was invited by the Young Researchers Working Group of the Portuguese Association of Science Communication  (SOPCOM) to talk about work in the Exchange project. Some of the questions posed by the participants were: Who are the suspect populations targeted by the EU security agenda? Which methods can social sciences use to address this particular topic? What is more fascinating and challenging in your work? What are the implication on citizenship emerging from maximum surveillance societies?

2016/10/11

Criminal brains: Forensic uses of neuroscience and its social implications

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2016/10/11

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Criminal brains: Forensic uses of neuroscience and its social implications

Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, 11 October 2016

Guest Speaker: Torsten Heinemann (University of Hamburg|University of California, Berkeley)

 

In recent years, neuroscientists have made fundamental progress in the study of human behavior and mental processes. This progress has not been limited to basic research, and neuroscientific knowledge is increasingly applied in everyday life. This research is expected to help identify individuals at risk of committing violent crimes even before they actually do so. It therefore promises to revolutionize crime prevention, prosecution and intervention programmed in the near future.

Torsten Heinemann talk provided an overview on forensic neuroscience with a focus on the neurobiology of criminal behavior. He argued that neuroscientific research reaffirms and reproduce categories of social inequality such as race, class, and gender that is aims to overcome.

2016/08/31

Technologies of criminalisation: On the convergence of forensic and surveillance technologies

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2016/08/31

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Technologies of criminalisation: On the convergence of forensic and surveillance technologies

Thematic panel within 4S/EASST 2016, Science and technology by other means | Barcelona, Spain, 31 August - 3 September 2016

Guest Speaker: Amade M’charek (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Helena Machado (University of Minho, Portugal)

 

This panel explores the convergence between forensics and surveillance. Papers will focus on the traffic of technologies of crime-solving (forensics) and technologies for managing the population (surveillance), allowing for a conversation between STS and Surveillance studies.

Technologies such as fingerprinting and DNA profiling are increasingly part of border management regimes, and can simultaneously be mobilized to investigate crime. Surveillance practices based on large data collection and data mining have become part and parcel of crime solving. We invite contributions that draw on material and empirical cases to help unpack the normativities and technologies and tactics across the fields of surveillance and forensics.

What happens when the logic of population management converges with that of crime solving? How does this affect the categories of people that these technologies are aimed at? Can we, given the pervasiveness of ‘crime’ as a matter of concern in science and society, speak of a criminalization of everyday life? These are urgent questions in the contemporary situation in Europe, with its contested border management regimes and its dealings with refugees and immigrants. But they are equally important in more mundane practices of oversight, where large datasets about populations can become part of crime solving or processes of incriminating certain categories of people.

Rather than assuming that technologies do the same kind of job everywhere we take inspiration from STS to open up the black boxes of forensic and surveillance technologies to examine the kind of interferences that come about once these technologies are put to use.

2016/07/08

The database of genetic profiles for criminal prosecution in Brazil

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2016/07/08

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The database of genetic profiles for criminal prosecution in Brazil

Centre for Social Studies | University of Coimbra, 8 July 2016

Guest Speaker: Rodrigo Grazinoli Garrido (Institute for Research and Expertise in Forensic Genetics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

 

The focus of this seminar was the process of implementation, and an overview of three years of operation, of the Brazilian Integrated Network of DNA Profiles Databases. While emphasising the crucial involvement of the FBI in the implementation of CODIS and the support and training of the Brazilian forensic geneticists, Dr. Garrido also discussed the legislative issues surrounding the creation of the legal basis for operation of DNA profiling in Brazil. In this context, the lack of rigid criteria and guidelines provided by Law 12.654/2012 has been supplemented by resolutions by the Management Board of the Database Network. Echoing the implementation of the Prüm system in the European Union, Brazil’s criminal rates and socio-economic inequalities have impacted so far on the lack of convergence and harmonisation among its Federal States. Furthermore, it was also discussed how there are still a number of legal and bioethical concerns surrounding the collection, storage and use of genetic data, which adds to some degree of public misinformation in Brazil about the potential uses of forensic DNA data.

2016/06/22

Clash of the genomes: Populations as brands in personalised medicine research

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2016/06/22

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Clash of the genomes: Populations as brands in personalised medicine research

Center for Social Studies | University of Coimbra, 22 June 2016

Guest Speaker: Aaro M. Tupasela (University of Copenhagen)

 

Sociologically, studies of the biomedical collection and use of human tissue sample collections have developed into its own distinct rubric under both the sociology of science and technology studies (STS) and medical sociology. In these research traditions, Aaro’s presentation focused on 1) how various actors (researchers and policy-makers) are seeking to lay claim over genetic resources through the generation of different forms of authenticity and origin; 2) how populations are increasingly becoming forms of brands in which particular characteristics are associated with them for the purposes of classifying and differentiating them from others; 3) how different countries exercise policies of inclusion (and exclusion) in an attempt to define group identity.

The discussion focused on similarities and differences between biobanks and forensic DNA databases. It reflected on 1) the different notions of the state as guardians of genomic information (Rabinow) and the challenges of transnational data exchange in this context; 2) how national identity is configured and plays out in national DNA databases and biobanks; and 3) how the purpose of managing populations drives searching the genome for diseases or the “grouping” of genetic clusters associated with propensity to violence.

2016/05/03

EXCHANGE 2016 annual conference: Current and future challenges of forensic genetics in society

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2016/05/03

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EXCHANGE 2016 annual conference: Current and future challenges of forensic genetics in society

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 3 May 2016

 

The first annual conference of the EXCHANGE project gathered internationally renowned speakers from the forensic and the social sciences to participate in an interdisciplinary dialogue on the uses of DNA technologies for forensic purposes.The one-day event was joined by experts, students and practitioners from different areas – criminal investigation, law and justice, sociology, legal medicine – and provided a unique opportunity for all attendants to approach the many ethical, legal, technical and societal implications nourishing the current debate, with an emphasis on empirical cases.Presentations covered such diverse topics related with forensic science as: race, operational and policy issues, ethical and regulatory aspects of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and interpretation of DNA evidence. Other presentations dealt with the methodological and practical aspects of forensic technologies, laboratory work and database management, with a specific focus on the Dutch and Portuguese DNA databases.

2016/05/02

EXCHANGE Scientific Advisory Council meeting

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2016/05/02

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EXCHANGE Scientific Advisory Council meeting

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 2 May 2016

 

The first meeting of the EXCHANGE Scientific Advisory Committee aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the project’s topics, challenges and research perspectives, and to engage in a constructive debate on the possible research development and difficulties arising from the fieldwork. The variety of expertise and approaches represented in the Committee allowed a thorough exploration of the project’s potentialities and aims.

2016/02/15

Writing up fieldwork: Writing creatively in an academic context

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2016/02/15

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Writing up fieldwork: Writing creatively in an academic context

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 15-19 February 2016

Guest Speaker: Amal Chatterjee

The EXCHANGE project aims to engage with innovative modes of communicating research findings. In order to promote this, the EXCHANGE team organised a one-week course, held by Amal Chatterjee, writer, editor and lecturer of fiction at the University of Oxford. The course encouraged researchers to explore creative writing tools vis-à-vis traditional forms of academic writing. Participants were confronted with alternative possibilities to write to academic audiences through unconventional approaches that allow to ‘follow’ forensic DNA in its travelling.

2016/01/28

Semiotics

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2016/01/28

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Semiotics

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 28 January 2016

Guest Speaker: Moisés Martins (Centre for the Study of Communication and Society, University of Minho)

EXCHANGE investigates the meanings attributed to DNA technologies and the processes through which such meanings are created and consolidated in the forensic genetics field. To further develop knowledge and skills on semiotics, a seminar was organised with invited speaker Moisés Martins, professor of Sociology of Communication and Culture and of Social Semiotics. The seminar introduced the participants to the principles of semantic systems, semiotics, technologic production and sensorial memory. A practical exercise that exemplifies the processes of construction of meaning through signs was developed.

2016/01/14

Workshop: Creative writing for academics

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2016/01/14

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Workshop: Creative writing for academics

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 14 January 2016

Guest Speaker: Alison Neilson (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra)

One of the challenges related with academic research lies in the capacity to report research results in a way which is capable of communicating them across different disciplines and publics, and to provoke innovative thinking about existing assumptions. EXCHANGE wishes to explore writing processes that allow to respond to these challenges. This seminar by CES researcher Alison Neilson was organised to stimulate alternative forms of academic writing, with a focus on artistic and creative inspiration. The dangers, the conditions, the processes, and the reasons and places for this kind of writing were assessed during the workshop. The team was also invited to participate in a meditative creative exercise that fostered the exploration of emotions in academic research and the articulation of personal and professional trajectories.

2015/12/09

Sharing experiences of ethnographic fieldwork

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2015/12/09

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Sharing experiences of ethnographic fieldwork

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 9 December 2015

Guest Speaker: Susana Silva (Public Health Institute, University of Porto)

A central position in EXCHANGE’s methodological toolkit is occupied by ethnographic observation, which implies a series of practical and ethical challenges. In order to promote discussion of these issues, invited speaker Susana Silva shared her experience of team work in the context of ethnographic field observation at the Department of Health and Society – Social Epidemiology of the University of Porto. Among the topics discussed in the seminar were issues of team organization and working methods, qualitative methods in public health research, challenges of participant observation, issues of protocol and approaches to sensitive research topics.

2015/11/02

Basic DNA course

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2015/11/02

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Basic DNA course

Centre for Social Studies | Coimbra, 2-5 November 2015

Guest Speaker: Kees van der Beek (Netherlands Forensic Institute)

EXCHANGE aims at bridging between different disciplines by creating opportunities for discussion and mutual learning. As a starting point of this fruitful dialogue, Dr. Kees van der Beek, custodian of the Dutch DNA database and member of the EXCHANGE Scientific Advisory Committee, was invited to hold a course on “Basic DNA”. The course was jointly attended by the EXCHANGE researchers and six forensic scientists from the Portuguese Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF). Among the covered topics related to DNA data management in forensic science, such issues as databasing, familial searching, determination of externally visible traits, dealing with false-positive matches, and frontier DNA technologies were addressed. Following the course, participants were given a guided visit to the laboratories of the Department of Forensic Genetics and Biology and to the facilities of the Portuguese DNA database.

Papers in Conferences

2018/10/11

Police epistemic culture and boundary work in the case of transnational DNA data exchange in the EU//Views of forensic geneticists on the ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping: enacting boundary work

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2018/10/11

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Police epistemic culture and boundary work in the case of transnational DNA data exchange in the EU//Views of forensic geneticists on the ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping: enacting boundary work

Genetic identities and identification: Social issues surrounding non-medical DNA testing | EHESS, Amphithéâtre Furet, Paris, France  | 11 – 12 October

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Helena Machado and Rafaela Granja attended the conference “Genetic identities and identification: Social issues surrounding non-medical DNA testing”

 

Helena Machado presented the paper “Police epistemic culture and boundary work in the case of transnational DNA data exchange in the EU”, co-authored with Rafaela Granja. This talk was about how forensic DNA data is given meaning within a police epistemic culture. The context for this discussion is the EU Prüm system of transnational exchange of DNA data within police and judiciary cooperation. Some of the questions addressed in this presentation were: Which meanings do professionals of police international cooperation give to the role hold by forensic DNA evidence in transnational criminal investigation? How do these views relate to forms of distinction in relation to other professionals involved in transnational cooperation? How are these views implicated within, and reflect, socio- political attitudes to crime and policing?

Rafaela Granja presented the paper “Views of forensic geneticists on the ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping: enacting boundary work”, co-authored with Helena Machado. Drawing on interviews with forensic geneticists based in different European Union countries, the authors explored in this presentation the forms whereby such professionals perform the ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP) and how such performance shapes and is shaped by a scientific ethos. The narratives of forensic geneticists entail, on the one hand, the acknowledgement of the potential risks that FDP technologies might potentiate. On the other hand, they negotiate such potential risks by performing the ethical boundaries of FDP in three main forms, namely: establishing borderlines to the kind of information that might be used; restricting the use of forensic DNA phenotyping to specific criminal cases; and delineating differences between the use of FDP in the investigative and probative phase of criminal investigation.

 

2018/09/13

Surveillance Societies: Challenges of privacy and data protection in the criminal investigation in the European Union // Media narratives of transnational criminal cases: Performing notions of borders // Giving a face to crime: Ethical and social challenges of forensic DNA phenotyping in the EU

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2018/09/13

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Surveillance Societies: Challenges of privacy and data protection in the criminal investigation in the European Union // Media narratives of transnational criminal cases: Performing notions of borders // Giving a face to crime: Ethical and social challenges of forensic DNA phenotyping in the EU

The eyes and ears of power. Surveillance, history and privacy | University of Copenhagen, Denmark | 13 – 14 September 2018

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Sara Matos, Marta Martins and Filipa Queirós attended the conference ‘The eyes and ears of power. Surveillance, history and privacy’

 

Sara Matos presented the paper “Surveillance Societies: Challenges of privacy and data protection in the criminal investigation in the European Union”, co-authored with Helena Machado. She reflected on tensions regarding the exchange of personal data between European Union countries for criminal intelligence purposes. In particular, she problematized the acute challenges posed by the balance between the use of surveillance for international security and the guarantee of fundamental human rights, such as privacy. She also addressed the neutralization of safeguards of privacy and data protection through regulation and protocols.

 

Marta Martins’ presentation, co-authored with Helena Machado, was entitled “Media narratives of transnational criminal cases: Performing notions of borders”. Marta analyzed how media narratives of transnational criminal investigation in European Union reinforce criminalisation of certain populations, underlining a division between “we” and “others”. Her presentation discussed how media narratives and surveillance discourses are intertwined, particularly regarding how criminal practices are linked to individuals of certain nationalities and ethnic minorities.

 

Filipa Queirós’ communication, “Giving a face to crime: Ethical and social challenges of forensic DNA phenotyping in the EU”, co-authored with Rafaela Granja and Helena Machado, explored the diverse legal landscapes across EU member states with regards to the application of forensic DNA phenotyping technologies. Addressing some public controversies occurred in particular European countries, this presentation contributed to the debate on social and ethical challenges associated with forensic DNA phenotyping technologies. This presentation further discussed the consequences for citizenship that arise from the intersections of surveillance technologies, genetics and the criminalization of certain population groups.

2018/09/12

Challenges of communicating DNA evidence to “enthusiastic publics”

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2018/09/12

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Challenges of communicating DNA evidence to “enthusiastic publics”

Law and Citizenship beyond the State | ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal | 10 – 13 September 2018

 

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Nina Amelung presented the paper Challenges of communicating DNA evidence to “enthusiastic publics” co-authored with Rafaela Granja and Helena Machado in a panel on Challenges on penal techniques and gendered crime. In the paper the authors investigate the perceptions of forensic geneticists working in forensic DNA laboratories regarding their communication with publics in the criminal justice systems which they perceive as overly enthusiastic regarding their expectations towards evidence provided through DNA technologies. As a response to enthusiastic publics, forensic geneticists tend to define boundaries regarding the responsibilities for accurate understanding and use of DNA analysis for their own profession and tend to promote a way of science communication which emphasizes the limits and risks of DNA technologies. Nina Amelung also chaired a session on Migration, Integration and Law.

2018/08/30

Infrastructuring data-publics: Implications of design and governance of transnational biometric database systems

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2018/08/30

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Infrastructuring data-publics: Implications of design and governance of transnational biometric database systems

4S | ICC, Sydney, Australia | 29 August – 1 September 2018

 

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Nina Amelung co-convened the panel “Collating publics in collections of human biological material and data” together with Erik Aarden, University of Vienna, and Torsten Heinemann, RWTH Aachen, at 4S Sydney. In two sessions 7 papers addressed the relation of data, biological material and publics in the contexts of health research and practice, forensic genetics, migration control as well as neurosciences. In this panel Nina presented the paper “Infrastructuring data-publics: Implications of design and governance of transnational biometric database systems” which highlights the impact of biometric sciences and technologies on the one hand and of design and governance aspects of IT database infrastructures on implicated data-publics.

2018/07/25

The (in)visibilities of race through Forensic DNA Phenotyping technologies// Media narratives about transnational criminal surveillance systems: constructing the “European others”// Assembling and disassembling ethical controversies of familial searching: the cases of the UK and Poland// Scrutinizing “genetic truth” and protection of personal data// “Bio-bordering” in the EU and the surveillance of “non-publics”

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2018/07/25

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The (in)visibilities of race through Forensic DNA Phenotyping technologies// Media narratives about transnational criminal surveillance systems: constructing the “European others”// Assembling and disassembling ethical controversies of familial searching: the cases of the UK and Poland// Scrutinizing “genetic truth” and protection of personal data// “Bio-bordering” in the EU and the surveillance of “non-publics”

EASST 2018: Meetings – Making science, technology and society together | Lancaster University, United Kingdom | 25-28 July 2018

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Filipa Queirós, Marta Martins, Rafaela Granja, Sara Matos and Nina Amelung participated in the conference “EASST 2018: Meetings – Making science, technology and society together”. Filipa Queirós’ communication, “The (in)visibilities of race through Forensic DNA Phenotyping technologies”, co-authored with Rafaela Granja and Helena Machado, focused on the performative processes by which race is (re)constructed within forensic DNA phenotyping technologies. Drawing on interviews with professionals working directly with automatic exchange of genetic profiles for the purpose of combating cross-border crime, this communication explored three interconnected dimensions regarding the performativity of races’ (in)visibilities: through the differentiation of visible traits; through the comparison with eyewitnesses accounts; and through the collectivization of suspicion.

 

Entitled “Media narratives about transnational criminal surveillance systems: constructing the “European others”, Marta Martins’ presentation, co-authored with Helena Machado, explored the media coverage of transnational criminal cases and how these yield different notions of borders. Based on the idea of “circulations”, by Amade M´Chareck, she argued that criminalisation of mobile populations through the media instils imaginaries of collectivity and belonging that, together, produce a moral and political division between “we” and “others”.

 

Rafaela Granja co-convened the panel “Genetic technologies: Intersecting criminal investigation, disaster victim identification and commercial uses” together with Victor Toom, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. This session involved the presentation and discussion of 4 papers authored by scholars from different universities in Europe, thus prompting a fruitful debate among participants from heterogenous backgrounds. In particular, this event encouraged a debate on the mutable social, political and commercial meanings attributed to genetic technologies.

 

In the same panel, Rafaela Granja presented the paper “Assembling and disassembling ethical controversies of familial searching: the cases of the UK and Poland”, co-authored with Helena Machado. The paper addressed the ethical controversies of familial searching both in the field of criminal investigation and in the domain of missing persons. The authors argue that the views of stakeholders about ethical controversies of familial searching lead to prescribed notions of social risks, public good and accountability of the state.

 

Sara Matos presented the paper “Scrutinizing ‘genetic truth’ and protection of personal data”, co-authored with Helena Machado, where they argue that the transnational exchange of DNA data for crime fighting is being reconfigured as a kind of “truth machine”. The paper further explores the sociotechnical imaginaries emerging from processes of articulation between technological measurements of “genetic truth” and multiple notions of personal data protection.

 

Nina Amelung co-convened the panel “Publics shaped and enacted by surveillance, border and post-crisis management technologies: encountering “phantom publics”, “non-publics” and “counter publics”” together with Vasilis Galis, IT University Copenhagen, Denmark. In the same panel she presented the paper “Bio-bordering” in the EU and the surveillance of “non-publics”” co-authored with Helena Machado where they highlight the implications for affected publics deriving from the cross-border exchange of virtual DNA data.

 

2018/07/20

Transnational biosurveillance and criminalization across borders

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2018/07/20

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Transnational biosurveillance and criminalization across borders

XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology – Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses, Responsibilities | Toronto, Canada | 15-21 July 2018

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The expansion of transnational biosurveillance generated by continuous innovations in the field of databasing and genetics is becoming important in security policies at a global scale. This paper, presented by Helena Machado and co-authored with Filipa Queirós, Marta Martins, Nina Amelung, Rafaela Granja and Sara Matos, analyzes the empirical case of the large-scale exchange of forensic DNA data between different jurisdictions in the European Union. This analysis is based on interviews conducted in different countries with professionals working in the fight against organized crime, terrorism and the so-called illegal migration. This work aims to understand the multiple forms of sense making deployed in the narratives of the experts involved in operations of police and judiciary cooperation among EU countries, focusing on processes of criminalization of mobility across borders. The paper concludes by pointing out how social boundaries and territorial borders are continuously re-created through particular forms of criminalization of certain social groups and intersections between expectations towards different biotechnologies.

2018/06/14

Technological surveillance systems in the European Union: intersecting innovation and integration with geopolitics

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2018/06/14

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Technological surveillance systems in the European Union: intersecting innovation and integration with geopolitics

7th STS Italia Conference | University of Padova, Italy | June 14 – 16, 2018

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Rafaela’s presentation, co-authored with Helena Machado, addressed how the “power to innovate” and incorporate “science and technology” plays an important part in narratives about the necessity to develop and expand surveillance systems, particularly in regard to the use of genetics to identify perpetrators of crime. By exploring the narratives of professionals who directly accompany transnational exchange of DNA data operations, this paper focused on the perceived asymmetrical proportion of benefits and risks of Prüm system. The authors conclude a dichotomy between Central and North Europe and Eastern Europe is played out, which is translated through narratives about the binary of transfer of technology versus transfer of criminality.

2018/06/07

Surveilled body: The ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping // Media narratives and moral panics: performing notions of borders // Data protection in surveillance societies: challenges of privacy protection in the "fight against crime” in the European Union

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2018/06/07

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Surveilled body: The ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping // Media narratives and moral panics: performing notions of borders // Data protection in surveillance societies: challenges of privacy protection in the "fight against crime” in the European Union

Surveillance beyond borders and boundaries. The 8th Biennial Surveillance Studies Network Conference | University of Aarhus, Denmark | 7-9 June 2018

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Filipa Queirós, Marta Martins, and Sara Matos participated in the Surveillance beyond borders and boundaries. The 8th Biennial Surveillance Studies.

 

Filipa’s communication, “Surveilled body: The ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping”, co-authored with Rafaela Granja and Helena Machado, focused on how forensic geneticists perform the ethical boundaries of forensic DNA phenotyping. Firstly, by restricting the use of this technology to particular criminal cases. Secondly, by negotiating its (un)reliability. Thirdly, by differing between investigative and probative phases of a criminal investigation.

 

Marta presented the paper “Media narratives and moral panics: performing notions of borders”, co-authored with Helena Machado. This work analyses the media coverage of transnational criminal cases. The authors particularly explore how the media convey multiple notions of borders which, in turn, intersect with public fears and imaginaries of risky groups. While associating criminality with nationality, ethnicity and socio-economic status, media circulation of cultural notions of borders and of criminal suspects is considered to reinforce a division between the “we” and the “others”. Entitled “Data protection in surveillance societies: challenges of privacy protection in the ‘fight against crime’ in the European Union”,

 

Sara’s presentation, co-authored with Helena Machado, focused on the challenges that new surveillance technologies pose to the fundamental rights of European citizens, namely right to privacy and data protection. This paper further discusses the role supervisory bodies may play to avoid disproportionate collection of data by law authorities as well as potential power asymmetries between countries, prompted by unequal access to resources. The authors conclude the European Union is facing a major challenge with regards to finding a balance between the use of surveillance for international security and the guarantee of fundamental human rights.

2018/05/25

Ethics in transnational forensic DNA data exchange in the EU

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2018/05/25

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Ethics in transnational forensic DNA data exchange in the EU

Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP) | Porto, 25 May 2018 | Seminar on “Ethics in transnational forensic DNA data exchange in the EU”

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Under EU Law Member States are compelled to engage in reciprocal automated forensic DNA profile exchange for stepping up on cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime. The ethical implications of this transnational DNA data exchange are paramount. So far the academic debate has focused on challenges for data protection and privacy safeguards, threats to the presumption of innocence, and issues of transparency, accountability and trust. In this presentation Helena Machado explores what the concept of ethics means to professionals actively involved in transnational DNA data for fighting criminality. Their narratives display a fluid ethical boundary work between science and non-science, which comes together with the dynamic management of controversies. Both aspects are seen as ways to lend legitimacy and objectivity to scientific work. Ethical boundary work involves diverse fluid forms: as a boundary between science/ethics, science/criminal justice system, and good and bad science. Controversies related to social accountability and transparency are negotiated through the lens of opening science to the public.

2018/04/26

Media narratives about "borders" in Europe: dynamics of inclusion and exclusion // Data protection and privacy in surveillance society – which directions for a more inclusive Europe?

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2018/04/26

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Media narratives about "borders" in Europe: dynamics of inclusion and exclusion // Data protection and privacy in surveillance society – which directions for a more inclusive Europe?

Europe as a space of intercultural dialogue and mediation | University of Minho, Braga, Portugal | 26-27 April 2018

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Marta Martins’ presentation entitled “Media narratives about “borders” in Europe: dynamics of inclusion and exclusion”, co-authored with Helena Machado, focused on two main questions: how media coverage of transnational criminal cases conveys multiple notions of borders; how these, in turn, intersect with public fears rising from perceptions of threat associated with specific individuals, populations and/or social groups. The paper explores how media may transmit information which, on the one hand, reduces sociocultural distances but, on the other hand, broadens them, (re)enforcing the criminalization of certain groups and cultural messages.

Sara Matos presented the paper “Data protection and privacy in surveillance society – which directions for a more inclusive Europe?” co-authored with Helena Machado. This paper aims to expand the debate about fundamental human rights, namely privacy and data protection, considering the generalized collection of digital data for surveillance purposes. Furthermore, the paper discusses how current technologies emerge as tools to enhance and reinforce mass surveillance practices. In order to achieve a balance between surveillance for international security and the protection of fundamental human rights, the authors claim that we need to ensure that data is used proportionally and for the purposes it was initially collected.

2018/04/18

Surveillance, security and crime: challenges for sociology

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2018/04/18

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Surveillance, security and crime: challenges for sociology

Sociology Meeting | Department of Sociology, Mosteiro de Tibães, Braga, Portugal | 18 April 2018

 

 

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Helena Machado was invited by the Department of Sociology at the University of Minho to talk about her research experience to BA, MA and PhD students. Helena Some of the questions addressed in her talk were: Who are the suspect populations targeted by the EU security agenda? Which methods can social sciences use to address this particular topic? Why the social construction of suspicion is socially and publicly relevant?

2017/12/14

"Bio-bordering" processes in the EU: De-bordering and re-bordering along transnational regimes of biometric database technologies

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2017/12/14

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"Bio-bordering" processes in the EU: De-bordering and re-bordering along transnational regimes of biometric database technologies

Workshop “Bordering: a view from Portugal” | Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia (CRIA) at NOVA FCSH, Lisbon, Portugal | 1415 December 2017

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Nina Amelung presented the paper “Bio-bordering” processes in the EU: De-bordering and re-bordering along transnational regimes of biometric database technologies”, co-authored with Helena Machado, at the workshop “Bordering: a view from Portugal”. The authors introduced the notion of “bio-bordering” by combining insights from recent developments in border studies with the analytical repertoire of science and technology studies as well as surveillance studies. The notion of bio-bordering shifts the perspective on biometric technologies used at and across borders and the emergence of transnational surveillance infrastructures which continuously contribute to the making of (permeable) borders. The transnational DNA data exchange system regulated under the Prüm decisions served as an example to portray how de-bordering and re-bordering dynamics of bio-borders are negotiated from within a nation state and beyond; and shaped by multiple socio-techno-political conditions.

2017/10/04

Colloquium Social Inequalities and Public Policies (In Honor to Prof. Dr. Manuel Carlos Silva, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)

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2017/10/04

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Colloquium Social Inequalities and Public Policies (In Honor to Prof. Dr. Manuel Carlos Silva, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)

Colloquium Social inequalities and public policies (homage to Prof. Dr. Manuel Carlos Silva) | Institute of Social Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal | 4 October 2017

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In recent times, the intensification of migratory flows and the high circulation of people in the European space have given rise to the proliferation of technological mechanisms for monitoring and predicting the risk of crime. Under the emphasis of public security protection, governments in different countries support the stepping up of networks of police and judicial cooperation of a transnational nature supported by increasingly sophisticated technological systems. Based on an empirical study carried out in the European Union, this Communication discusses different ways of reproducing social inequalities that operate through the criminalization of certain social groups, in particular migrant populations. These neoliberal policies are based on different forms of moral panic and racist practices, which consolidate geopolitical differences

2017/08/31

Affected for good or evil: Conceptions of “publics” shaped by crime management technologies

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2017/08/31

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Affected for good or evil: Conceptions of “publics” shaped by crime management technologies

13th Conference of the European Sociology Association, (Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities | PANTEION University of Social and Political Science and HAROKOPIO University, Athens, Greece | 31 Aug 2017

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Nina Amelung presented the paper “Affected for good or evil: Conceptions of “publics” shaped by crime management technologies” co-authored with Helena Machado in the panel “Science and the Public”. In the paper the authors explore how conceptions of publics, their affectedness and the framing of ethical issues at stake related to forensic DNA databases coevolve. The evolution of the British National DNA database (NDNAD) serves as a case study. The study demonstrates how the articulation of human rights issues as well as issues related to transparency and accountability of institutions in the criminal justice system give rise to the organization of specific issue-publics: one more rooted in civil society organizations, the other manifested in ethical and scientific oversight bodies.

 

Link to the session:

https://www.conftool.pro/esa2017/index.php?page=browseSessions&form_session=1622#paperID1532

2017/08/30

Familial Searching and Controversies in ‘Hybrid Forum’ // Twilight Zones – Scientific and Tacit Practices at the Crime Scene

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2017/08/30

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Familial Searching and Controversies in ‘Hybrid Forum’ // Twilight Zones – Scientific and Tacit Practices at the Crime Scene

Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S): STS (In)Sensibilities | Boston, Massachusetts, August 30 – September 2, 2017

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Rafaela Granja and Susana Costa participated in the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). The participation in this event was an occasion to explore the multiple discourses and variable practices of knowledge-making that characterize technoscience and, more particularly, forensic science.

 

Rafaela Granja presented a paper, co-authored with Helena Machado, with the title “Familial Searching and Controversies in ‘Hybrid Forum’”. In the paper the authors explore how controversies around familial searching have been differently managed in United Kingdom and Poland in the fields of criminal investigation and civil identification. The reflection outlines how this genetic technology displays multiple notions of the socially legitimate uses of genetic technologies in differentiated contexts.

 

Susana Costa presented a paper entitled “Twilight Zones – Scientific and Tacit Practices at the Crime Scene”. The paper explores how narratives of the Portuguese police, constructed based on what they see and what remains unseen, travel between epistemic cultures. She argues that in the Portuguese criminal investigation the production of a narrative with legal meaning at court can be conditioned by the coexistence of epistemic subcultures of the police work (different police forces attending and intervening at the crime scene), shaped by different knowledges, practices and different ways of making sense out of the same objects. The interpretative resources used by the police depending on their degree of technological enthusiasm can to contribute to the loss of the credibility of forensic evidence achieved.

2017/09/07

Criminalisation across borders: Geopolitical tensions and categories of otherness and suspicion // Affected for good or evil: Conceptions of “publics” shaped by crime management technologies

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2017/09/07

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Criminalisation across borders: Geopolitical tensions and categories of otherness and suspicion // Affected for good or evil: Conceptions of “publics” shaped by crime management technologies

8th Tensions of Europe Conference | National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece | 7-10 September 2017

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Rafaela Granja and Nina Amelung participated in the 8th Tensions of Europe Conference. Throughout this event historians, philosophers, anthropologists, and sociologists of science and technology met in order to discuss this years’ theme “Borders and Technology”.

Nina Amelung presented the paper “Affected for good or evil: Conceptions of “publics” shaped by crime management technologies”, co-authored with Helena Machado, on conceptions of publics and their affectedness by forensic DNA databases. In her presentation Nina focused on the case of the UK National DNA database (NDNAD) and the UK controversy to either “opt in” or “opt out” from the cross-border DNA-data exchange across forensic databases regulated under Prüm. The study shows how responsibilities for sensing social and ethical implications have been delegated to new specialist and oversight bodies within the criminal justice system in the UK. They contribute to specific framings and partly closure of public issue-making. With regards to the transnational DNA data exchange issues were picked up which supported mainly nationalist concerns throughout parliamentary debate and media discourse.

Rafaela Granja presented a paper, co-authored with Helena Machado, Marta Martins and Sara Matos, with the title “Criminalisation across borders: Geopolitical tensions and categories of otherness and suspicion”. Based on interviews conducted with forensic experts that are professionally accompanying the development and application of the Prüm, the authors explored why is Prüm considered valuable, how does it work, what data is considered relevant, who is targeted by it and where does data point. Based on such approach they argued that the Prüm system performs not only different versions of Europe, but also diverse modes of criminalizing individuals and social groups. Together, these processes enact closeness and aperture of borders, or their permanent dialectical interplay.

Link to the program: http://8toe2017.phs.uoa.gr/fileadmin/8toe2017.phs.uoa.gr/uploads/Program/8thToE_Conference_Program082017.pdf

2017/09/13

(Re)construction of territorial borders and politics of inclusion and exclusion // Giving a Face to Crime: Ethical and social challenges of DNA Phenotyping // Tensions between the global and the local: challenges of privacy protection in the fight against crime in the European Union

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2017/09/13

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(Re)construction of territorial borders and politics of inclusion and exclusion // Giving a Face to Crime: Ethical and social challenges of DNA Phenotyping // Tensions between the global and the local: challenges of privacy protection in the fight against crime in the European Union

17th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology | Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 13-16 September 2017.

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Filipa Queirós, Marta Martins, and Sara Matos participated in the 17th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology.

 

Filipa’s presentation “Giving a Face to Crime: Ethical and social challenges of DNA Phenotyping”, co-authored with Rafaela Granja and Helena Machado, focused on the possibilities and potential threats which may arise from the results of FDP technology. The paper explored recent controversies that have emerged in Germany due to a high-profile criminal case. The case had triggered debate on the technologies’ potential of stigmatization of asylum seekers. Marta’s presentation, co-authored with Helena Machado, was entitled “(Re)construction of territorial borders and politics of inclusion and exclusion”. She explored how EU transnational policing and cooperation (re)produces geopolitical tensions, repositioning them along symbolic divisions of a moral and political nature. One example was the geographical division between “we” and “others”, that was also reflected in a focus on “socially visible” minorities that become easily suspect or “risky” groups. Sara Matos presented the paper “Tensions between the global and the local: challenges of privacy protection in the fight against crime in the European Union”, co-authored with Helena Machado and Filipe Santos. This presentation reflected on the “glocal” tensions regarding the processes of exchanging DNA data between EU countries for criminal intelligence purposes. In particular, the current challenges to citizenship deriving from the transnational circulation of personal data among different jurisdictions that have diverse regulations and standards regarding data protection.

2017/09/07

Biogenetic suspicion: controversies, discrimination, and stigmatization // The management of borders and populations at risk in the European Union: the "transnational suspect" // (De)standardization of privacy: challenges of privacy and data protection in the fight against crime in the European Union

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2017/09/07

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Biogenetic suspicion: controversies, discrimination, and stigmatization // The management of borders and populations at risk in the European Union: the "transnational suspect" // (De)standardization of privacy: challenges of privacy and data protection in the fight against crime in the European Union

Congress Trends for Sociology of Knowledge, Science and Technology in Portugal | Communication and Society Research Centre, University of Minho, Braga, 7-8 September 2017.

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Filipa Queirós, Filipe Santos, Marta Martins, and Sara Matos participated in the 3rd Conference of Paths in the Sociology of Knowledge, Science and Technology in Portugal. Filipa talked about “Biogenetic suspicion: Controversies, discrimination and stigmatization”, focusing on of DNA technologies which involve the prediction of visible external characteristics of criminal suspects and its surrounding debates and controversies. Filipe’s paper on “Science, technology and cross-border cooperation. A ‘return to Europe’ and common security” explored how the implementation of a system for transnational exchange of DNA data for policing and judiciary cooperation impacted on the Central and Eastern Europe countries. Marta’s presentation, entitled “Border and risk management in the European Union: The “transnational suspect”, argued that different border management regimes not only enact different versions of the European Union but also create the imaginary of the so-called transnational suspects involved in policies of belonging and exclusion. Sara presented the paper “(De)standardization of privacy: Challenges of privacy and data protection in the fight against crime in the European Union”. She focused on the challenges to citizenship and human rights in the context of data exchange of between EU countries. In particular, Sara explored the co-existence of diversified practices and regulations related to the protection of personal data.

2017/07/03

Surveillance society in a fragmented Europe

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2017/07/03

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Surveillance society in a fragmented Europe

Science Meeting 2017 | Lisbon Congress Centre, Lisbon, Portugal | 3-5 July 2017

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Helena Machado was one of the scientists invited to the largest forum of debate about the main themes and challenges of the scientific agenda in Portugal. This is an annual event where researchers, sectors of civil society, and actors of society in general meet. It is organised by the Foundation for Science and Technology in collaboration with Ciência Viva, the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, and the Parliamentary Commission for Education and Science.

Helena discussed the way in which a surveillance society is conjugated with a society “without frontiers”. She focused in particular on the cultural and political implications of transnational processes of fighting cross-border crime. Such practices bring about the convergence of geopolitics with imaginaries of suspect populations, resulting in ecologies of criminalisation. Thereby the projection of ambivalences grounded on symbolical dualities – “us” and “them” – re-creates multiple modes of exclusion, inequality and stigmatization in a fragmented Europe.

2017/06/28

The transnational exchange of DNA data: Global standards and local practices

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2017/06/28

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The transnational exchange of DNA data: Global standards and local practices

22nd EURAS Annual Standardisation Conference – Digitalisation: Challenge and Opportunity for Standardisation | 28 – 30 June 2017 | Berlin, Germany

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The creation of systems for the transnational exchange of information raises multiple issues related to the establishment of common infrastructures, protocols and regulations. This paper focused on the Prüm system for the transnational exchange of DNA data. This case serves as an example of challenges deriving from making the interoperability of national DNA databases work, but also preserving national autonomy and governance frameworks. The adoption of minimal standards allows flexibility and autonomy at a local level, thus allowing interoperability to exist in spite of national differentiation. However, a relatively wide margin of discretion in terms of the routine local operations of the system can create frictions and lead to isolated solutions that can be seen as sub-optimal.

2017/06/22

Performativity of data flows in criminal DNA databases and categories of suspicion

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2017/06/22

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Performativity of data flows in criminal DNA databases and categories of suspicion

DATA POWER CONFERENCE, 2017, 22-23 June Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

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Helena Machado presented a paper co-authored together with Rafaela Granja, Marta Martins, Sara Matos. Systems for large scale data exchanges are playing a pivotal role in the governance, surveillance and social control of criminality in different parts of the world. In this paper the authors explored the empirical case of the automated exchange of DNA-data among several European countries for the purpose of criminal intelligence to study how circulation of data performs categories of suspicion. The hopes and concerns that accompany the travel of DNA-data among different countries is a particular way of data use and of generating data-based suspect subjectivities. The choices of which data should be prioritized and looked in operate along specific notions of suspect populations. These judgements should be contextualized in a wider account of changing dynamics of technology, geopolitics, and criminalisation. Notions of cross-border crime and suspects, individuals and social groups, of national ownership of data, and other forms of political subjectivity are expressed through sociotechnical systems of government.

2017/06/07

Forensic DNA Phenotyping: Controversies, translations and boundaries // From the lab to the media: DNA technologies on the move // Medical and criminal fields: Genetic data as a boundary object //(In)visibilities of criminal investigation in Portugal // Assembling transnational cooperation. Tensions between global standards and local implementation

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2017/06/07

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Forensic DNA Phenotyping: Controversies, translations and boundaries // From the lab to the media: DNA technologies on the move // Medical and criminal fields: Genetic data as a boundary object //(In)visibilities of criminal investigation in Portugal // Assembling transnational cooperation. Tensions between global standards and local implementation

Joint meeting Red EsCTS and Portuguese STS Network: “Lost in Translation? People, technologies, practices and concepts across boundaries | Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal | 7-9 June 2017

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Susana Costa, Marta Martins, Sara Matos, Filipa Queirós and Filipe Santos participated in the first joint meeting organised by the Spanish and Portuguese STS networks (Red EsCTS and APS-CCT) which was dedicated to the overarching theme of flows across boundaries.

Filipa, Marta, Sara and Susana participated in the sessions of “Living matters across boundaries”. Filipa talked about “Forensic DNA Phenotyping: Controversies, translations and boundaries”. She addressed the controversies over Forensic DNA Phenotyping (FDP) by analysing several production sites of practices and knowledge, both public and private. Marta’s presentation, entitled “From the lab to the media: DNA technologies on the move”, explored the emergence of the notion of “transnational suspects” from the media coverage of transnational criminal cases and interviews with forensic experts. Sara presented the paper “Medical and criminal fields: Genetic data as a boundary object”. She focused on the (re)making and blurring of boundaries that occur when police institutions resort to medical genetic databases for the purpose of criminal investigation. By understanding genetic data as a boundary object that can acquire different meanings across social worlds Sara reflected on the ethical and social challenges raised by the data’s fluidity and plasticity. In her presentation “(In)visibilities of criminal investigation in Portugal” Susana argued that the production of a narrative with legal value can be conditioned on the coexistence of different epistemic subcultures of the police work. Based on an attempted homicide case she showed the different knowledges, practices and ways of “seeing” and “non-seeing” the forensic evidence.

Filipe’s paper was presented within the session “Collaborations across boundaries”. The title of the presentation was “Assembling transnational cooperation. Tensions between global standards and local implementation”. The purpose was to engage the notion of boundary objects to consider how the Prüm system constitutes a plausible site for the study of techno-scientific structure across national borders which develops into differentiated and hierarchized local contexts. By focusing on the scale and scope of the Prüm network Filipe explored how the situated coordination of the actors involved creates conditions for the stabilization of an infrastructure, while negotiating and adapting ill-structured aspects of the system.

2017/06/01

Phenotypic Inference: Ethical and Social Challenges // Biometrics and privacy: bioethical challenges in police and judicial cooperation in the European Union

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2017/06/01

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Phenotypic Inference: Ethical and Social Challenges // Biometrics and privacy: bioethical challenges in police and judicial cooperation in the European Union

Conference “Bioethics: Perspectives in debate” | Nursing School of Porto | 1-2 June 2017

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Sara Matos and Filipa Queirós participated in the conference organized by the Episteme & Logos Association at the Nursing School of the University of Porto. Sara Matos talked about bioethical challenges in police and judicial cooperation in the European Union with regard to biometrics and privacy. She explored the balance between privacy, collective security and the vulnerability of citizens whose DNA profiles are stored in criminal DNA databases. Filipa Queirós discussed the bioethical implications of forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP). She focused in particular on the consequences for citizenship arising from the intersections of technology, genetics, and the processes of criminalisation of certain individuals and populations. She presented the main issues that have been under debate in Europe and the US, exemplified along some high-profile criminal cases in which FDP technology emerged as a promising investigative tool.

2017/05/24

“We are victims of our own success”: Challenges of communicating DNA evidence to “enthusiastic” publics

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2017/05/24

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“We are victims of our own success”: Challenges of communicating DNA evidence to “enthusiastic” publics

Workshop “STS approaches to Science Communication” | Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna, Austria| 24-26 May 2017

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Nina Amelung participated as invited speaker and discussant in a workshop at the University of Vienna organized by Ulrike Felt and Sarah Davies. During the workshop scholars working on various issues related to science communication explored the particularities of STS approaches to analyze the materiality, performativity and spaces of science communication. Besides commenting other papers, Nina presented the paper co-authored with Rafaela Granja and Helena Machado “We are victims of our own success: Challenges of communicating DNA evidence to “enthusiastic” publics”. The article explores how forensic geneticists adapt to the challenge of communicating the risks and limitations of DNA evidence at court to publics who believe in the superior relevance of DNA.

http://sts.univie.ac.at/en/about-us/ulrike-felt/

http://mcc.ku.dk/staff/?pure=en/persons/437438

2017/05/23

DNA testing in criminal investigation: potentialities and limits

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2017/05/23

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DNA testing in criminal investigation: potentialities and limits

Degree in Criminology | Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, Porto, 23 May 2017

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Helena Machado talked about the role and capability of DNA evidence in support of criminal investigation at national and international levels. She explained the risks the collection of DNA from crime scenes, the problem of mixed profiles, and the controversies of using DNA as evidence at court. The audience was composed mostly by Criminology students. They became aware of the particularities of the sociological approach to the uses of DNA profiling techniques in criminal matters.

 

2017/05/11

Doing the individual and the collective in forensic genetics: Governance, race and restitution

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2017/05/11

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Doing the individual and the collective in forensic genetics: Governance, race and restitution

Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam | 11-12 May 2017

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Helena Machado and Rafaela Granja participated as invited speakers and commentators in a workshop entitled “Doing the individual and the collective in forensic genetics: Governance, race and restitution”, 11-12 May 2017, Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam organized by Amade M’charek and Peter Wade.

 

Social scientists working on diverse topics related to uses of forensic genetics debated empirical cases from Europe, Latin America, and the USA. Participants explored two main dimensions of the relation between the individual and the collective: 1) the ways whereby different technologies, laws and governance practices mediate between these both; 2) how certain collective categorisations of families and racialized groups are deployed.

Besides commenting other papers, Rafaela and Helena presented the paper “Biosocial meanings of familial searching: relational bodies, biofamily and suspects by association”. This piece approaches how familial searching articulates the individual and the collective by constructing new sets of suspects in ways that move from individual identification towards the clustering of ‘suspect’ populations on the basis of their biological make-up.

2017/04/07

“Problems of communication between forensic scientists and the criminal justice system” //“The Portuguese DNA database: issues of operationalization”

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2017/04/07

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“Problems of communication between forensic scientists and the criminal justice system” //“The Portuguese DNA database: issues of operationalization”

Workshop “DNA evidence and procedural rights of the accused” | University of Minho, Braga, Portugal | 7 April

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Helena Machado and Susana Costa participated in a meeting joined by law experts, social scientists, and law students. The paper presented by Helena was titled “Problems of communication between forensic scientists and the criminal justice system”. It focused on the main obstacles felt in the domain of reporting DNA results in court settings and the potential misinterpretation of DNA evidence. Susana’s talk was about “The Portuguese DNA database: issues of operationalization”. On the basis of interviews conducted with police forces she pointed out the dissatisfaction regarding the “cautious” regulation that makes the use of the DNA database ineffective.

2017/03/30

Criminal identification, technological innovation and construction of suspicion

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2017/03/30

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Criminal identification, technological innovation and construction of suspicion

Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil | 30 March 2017

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Helena Machado gave a lecture to an audience of police officers and students of the postgraduate program in Sociology, at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil. In her talk she explored three main topics. First, some current trends of criminal investigation in a data-centric society. Second, the unrealistic expectations circulated by the media in regard to the capability of DNA for criminal identification, and its potential harms in the criminal justice system. Third, the linkages between emergent technological innovations in the field of forensic DNA phenotyping and debates in Europe around the interrelations between crime, race, and social inequalities.

2017/03/17

Forensic Geneticists and the transnational Exchange of DNA data: engaging science with social control, citizenship and democracy

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2017/03/17

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Forensic Geneticists and the transnational Exchange of DNA data: engaging science with social control, citizenship and democracy

Seminar “Portugal, Europe and the European Research Council” within the ERC week | Pavilion of Knowledge, Lisbon, 17 March 2017

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Helena Machado was selected among ERC grantees who are based in Portugal to present the main objectives of the Exchange project. This talk was integrated in the festivities associated with the creation of ERC grants. The audience was composed by academics, politicians and policymakers.

 

2017/02/10

Communication between forensic experts and professionals of the justice system

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2017/02/10

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Communication between forensic experts and professionals of the justice system

Seminar integrated in the cycle of seminars of the Master in Forensic Genetics FCUP | Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, Porto, 10 February 2017

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Helena Machado talked to a mixed audience of students and professionals in the fields of Biology, Genetics, Criminal Investigation and Legal Medicine. She summarized the main communication problems related to the presentation and interpretation of DNA evidence in court settings. Helena provided recommendations on how to develop better communication practices.

2017/01/27

Transnational CSI? Modalities of cross-border crime construction // Harmonization and divergences in police and judicial cooperation in the EU

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2017/01/27

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Transnational CSI? Modalities of cross-border crime construction // Harmonization and divergences in police and judicial cooperation in the EU

Second Meeting of the Thematic Section “Sociology of Law and Justice”| University of Minho, Braga, 27-28 January 2017

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The researchers Marta Martins and Sara Matos participated in the event co-organized by the Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (CICS.NOVA-UMinho) and by the Law and Psychology Schools of the University of Minho. In the session “Emerging issues, recent developments and challenges”. Marta talked about the theme “transnational CSI”, which analysed media representations of cross-border crime. Her paper, co-authored with Rafaela Granja and Helena Machado, discussed the moral and geopolitical meanings underlying the category of “transnational suspects” in the context of the exchange of genetic information in the European Union (EU). Sara’s presentation, co-authored with Filipe Santos and Helena Machado, explored the harmonization processes and the existing divergences in police and judicial cooperation in the EU. She focused on the tensions between standardisation of practices and differentiations and asymmetries between countries. Differences are not neutral, and can be framed in a perspective that considers the possible impacts of the circulation of personal data on citizenship rights.

2016/11/14

Transnational ‘Truth machine’? Challenges of forensic DNA databases

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2016/11/14

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Transnational ‘Truth machine’? Challenges of forensic DNA databases

Seminar Egenis, The Centre for the Study of Life Sciences | University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 14 November 2016

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In the “genetic age” of criminal investigation, the expansion of large computerized forensic DNA databases and the massive exchange of DNA data at a transnational level have been portrayed as being significantly important resources for fighting crime. The growing expansion of forensic genetic surveillance apparatuses raises acute and ambivalent challenges to the nature of social control, citizenship and democracy. The ethical implications of DNA data exchange between different jurisdictions are paramount. This talk had three interrelated aims. First, to provide an overview of “new” and “old” ways of constructing social order that emerge from the transnational exchange of DNA data for combating criminality. Second, to propose a methodology for developing a multisite ethnographic research on this phenomenon. Third, to understand how a particular group of scientific experts – forensic geneticists – politicize and de-politicize privacy, data protection and public trust.

2016/09/08

`It is Out of Our Hands´. Performing Ethics in Transnational Exchange of Forensic DNA Data

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2016/09/08

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`It is Out of Our Hands´. Performing Ethics in Transnational Exchange of Forensic DNA Data

Workshop “Doing the individual and the collective in forensic genetics: Governance, race and restitution” | Chancellors Conference Centre, Manchester University, UK, 8-10 September 2016

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Helena Machado talked to an audience of academics in diverse disciplines and to forensic practitioners. She argued that ethical challenges related to genetic privacy and DNA data exchange have to reconsidered. Exploring what the concept of ethics means to forensic practitioners actively involved in transnational DNA data exchange allows discussing how ethics can be addressed as embedded in the sociality of science and in the way scientific work is legitimated. Helena claimed that the narratives of forensic practitioners juxtapose the construction of fluid ethical boundary work between science and non-science with the dynamic management of controversies, both of which are seen as ways to lend legitimacy and objectivity to scientific work.

2016/09/21

All in the family: Biogenetic perspectives on family and crime // Fighting cross-border crime and terrorism in the EU: Criminological challenges of transnational exchange of DNA data

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2016/09/21

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All in the family: Biogenetic perspectives on family and crime // Fighting cross-border crime and terrorism in the EU: Criminological challenges of transnational exchange of DNA data

European Society of Criminology Conference | Münster, Germany, 21-24 September 2016

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Rafaela Granja, and Filipe Santos participated in the 16th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology. The motto of the conference was “Crime and Control. Structures, Developments and Actors”. The participation in this event allowed exploring, from a criminological standpoint, the several actors involved in the (re)production of social control.

In a paper co-authored with Helena Machado, Catarina Samorinha and Susana Silva, Rafaela Granja’s participated in the session “Biological, Biosocial and Psychological Perspectives”. The paper explored the current configurations of the understandings about criminality, family and biological inheritance and discussed the ethical and societal challenges associated with the re-emergent trend of “biology of culpability”. The reflection was based on two cases: emerging theories within the bio-psychological field about criminal behavior and the criminal investigative technique of familial searching.

Filipe Santos and Helena Machado were co-authors of the paper “Fighting cross-border crime and terrorism in the EU: Criminological challenges of transnational exchange of DNA data”, presented in the session “Fighting Transnational Crime I”. This presentation provided an overview of the 5 years of available data regarding the implementation and operation of the Prüm DNA exchange system, highlighting the main trends in terms of total volume of matches and the differentiated progress of Prüm implementation, as well as the criminological challenges raised by the asymmetrical patterns of criminal mobility in the EU.

2016/08/31

Materializing the (criminal) body: Science and culture in forensic genetics // Biosocial futures of the family in forensic DNA databases // Travels and troubles of forensic genetic surveillance in the EU

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2016/08/31

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Materializing the (criminal) body: Science and culture in forensic genetics // Biosocial futures of the family in forensic DNA databases // Travels and troubles of forensic genetic surveillance in the EU

4S/EASST – Conference Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures | Barcelona International Convention Center, Barcelona, Spain, 31 August – 3 September 2016

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Rafaela Granja, Helena Machado and Filipe Santos participated in the joint 4S and EASST 2016 conference. The motto of the conference was “Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures”. The participation in this event was an occasion to explore, following an STS approach, the articulation of collectives and social order embedded in the production of knowledge and technologies in the forensic genetics.

Together with Amade M’charek (University of Amsterdam), Helena organized the track Technologies of criminalization: On the convergence of forensic and surveillance technologies. The overarching theme of this track focused on instances and modes of convergence between technologies and tactics aimed at solving crime (forensics) and technologies of control and oversight of populations (surveillance). The purpose is to provoke a conversation between STS and Surveillance Studies about this assemblage in practice. Within this track, Helena talked about the ethical challenges of “false positives” in the transnational exchange of forensic DNA data in the EU. She addressed ethics in forensic genetic surveillance as boundary work involving collectives of scientific and non-scientific actors who negotiate the meaning, relevance and reliability of a DNA match. Rafaela’s presentation explored the biosocial meanings and implications of familial searching in forensic DNA databases. In particular she discussed the kind of bodies constructed by this investigative technique, the family meanings emerging in the process and the connections constructed between individuals with genetic shared traits. Filipe participated in the track Body, Science and Expertise with a presentation that focused the entanglements of the body, technoscience, culture, and forensic expertise, emerging from the use of mixed DNA samples to materialize (criminal) bodies.

2016/07/14

Geopolitics and ethical challenges of DNA data exchange in the EU

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2016/07/14

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Geopolitics and ethical challenges of DNA data exchange in the EU

ESRC Research ‘Seminar series on genetics, technology, security and justice. Crossing, contesting and comparing boundaries’ – Seminar 3: Comparing criminal investigations & DVI across European borders | Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 14-15 July 2016

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Helena Machado was invited to talk to a diverse audience of academics, forensic experts, police forces, and policy makers. She focused on the ethical challenges of transnational DNA data exchange in the EU from the point of views of forensic experts. The topic of false positives was discussed in detail. The perception of ethical risks also reproduces geopolitical asymmetries of technological development.

2016/07/06

Risk, security and crime: the "transnational" suspect // Crime and geopolitics of science and technology in the EU // Transnational sharing of genetic information in the EU: Social and ethical challenges (EXCHANGE)

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2016/07/06

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Risk, security and crime: the "transnational" suspect // Crime and geopolitics of science and technology in the EU // Transnational sharing of genetic information in the EU: Social and ethical challenges (EXCHANGE)

IX Portuguese Congress of Sociology – Portugal, territory of territories | University of Algarve, Faro, 6-8 July 2016

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The researchers Marta Martins and Sara Matos participated in the biggest event of the community of Sociology in Portugal, organized every four years by the Portuguese Sociological Association. In the session “Security of the population, public policy and citizenship” Marta talked about risk, safety and crime, by analyzing the processes and meanings behind the construction of the concept “transnational suspect”. Her paper also discussed how the use of DNA technologies might reproduce the “old” forms of discrimination by mostly affecting the social groups more vulnerable to social and political inequalities.  Sara joined the session “Technologies and safety” and presented a communication about criminality and geopolitics of science and technology in the EU. The focus of the paper was how “global and common” concerns within the European Union have expanded cross-border flows that reflect different ways of incorporating science and technology in national practices and structures – in this case, the DNA databases for criminal investigation purposes.

This conference was also an opportunity for the team to present a collective poster with the ultimate goal and expected outcomes of the EXCHANGE project.

2016/06/23

Ethical and social challenges of transnational exchange of DNA data in the EU

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2016/06/23

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Ethical and social challenges of transnational exchange of DNA data in the EU

EUROFORGEN International Dissemination Conference “Forensic DNA analysis in the light of the new security needs”, Intersocietal Symposium of the International Academy of Legal Medicine | Venice, Italy, 23 June 2016

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Helena Machado was invited to present her work to the forensic geneticists who are part of the   European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence — EUROFORGEN-NoE, funded by the SECURITY programme of the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme The talk focused on the particular case of ethical and social challenges associated to exchanging DNA data among different  jurisdictions

2016/06/20

Separating the wheat from the chaff? Publics affected from European's crime and border control technologies

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2016/06/20

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Separating the wheat from the chaff? Publics affected from European's crime and border control technologies

Workshop “The sociological gaze on science and society relations”, Research Network 24 – Sociology of Science and Technology Network (SSTNET) of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and Institute of Social Sciences | University of Lisbon, Lisbon, 20-21 de June (2016)

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Nina Amelung participated in the workshop “The sociological gaze on science and society relations” organized by the Research Network 24 – Sociology of Science and Technology Network (SSTNET) of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal. Nina’s presentation aimed at examining the crafting of publics and forms of public participation in transnational biometric border and crime control technologies. She talked to an audience interested in approaches to the public understanding of or engagement with science and technology and addressed the question: How do biometric border and control technologies shape notions of European publics and public participation? For the purpose of illustration she used two examples of transnational cooperation regimes for fighting crime and control of “illegal migration” which both use biometric data such as DNA profiles and fingerprints: Prüm in the area of criminal investigation and EURODAC in the area of asylum management. Finally, she discussed specific dynamics and politics of silencing and (un)doing publics and public participation in biometric border and crime control technologies

2015/12/17

Genomics, neurosciences and data sharing. Sociological and ethical challenges

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2015/12/17

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Genomics, neurosciences and data sharing. Sociological and ethical challenges

XIII Annual Meeting of the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology | Coimbra, 17 December 2015

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As invited speaker in a special session of the CNC Annual Meeting, Principal Investigator Helena Machado introduced prospective developments and concerns related with the use of genomics, neurosciences and big data technologies in the field of Law and Justice. The presentation explored the disciplinary and ethical boundaries traced by forensic uses of medical biobanks, forensic DNA phenotyping, neuroscience in the criminal justice system. Furthermore, it analysed the social and political consequences of mandatory data sharing and open access at the EU level.

Videos / Interviews

2016/11/23

Rafaela Granja, Forensic Genetics Explained

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2016/11/23

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Rafaela Granja, Forensic Genetics Explained

EUROFORGEN, “What is ´Familial Searching` ”, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 23 November 2016

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Available here.

2016/06/23

Helena Machado, 180 seconds for the future of forensic genetics

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2016/06/23

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Helena Machado, 180 seconds for the future of forensic genetics

EUROFORGEN, “Forensic DNA analysis in the light of the new security needs”, Venice, Italy, 23 June 2016

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Available here.

Science for Society

2018/01/01

Crime, genetics and criminal investigation - EXCHANGE at School

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2018/01/01

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Crime, genetics and criminal investigation - EXCHANGE at School

EXCHANGE researchers are keen to present their research beyond the ‘specialist’ public. As part of the mission of engaging science with society, the “crime, genetics and criminal investigation” presentations organized by the EXCHANGE team are being held in various secondary schools of Northern and Central Portugal. Researchers invite students to debate the implications of the uses of forensic DNA technologies, the social and ethical implications of DNA databases, and the challenges associated with DNA data exchange among EU Member States.Until September 2017, the initiative to disseminate the EXCHANGE’s research among high school students was conducted under the program CES goes to school by the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra.

2017/11/22

Film Cycle 2017/2018

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2017/11/22

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Film Cycle 2017/2018

Film: The Circle, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Minho, 22 November 2017

2017/03/19

Transnational exchange of genetic information in the EU: Ethical and social challenges

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2017/03/19

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Transnational exchange of genetic information in the EU: Ethical and social challenges

Qualifica, EXPONOR, Porto | 19 March 2017

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The Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in collaboration with POCH (Operational Programme Human Capital), invited the EXCHANGE project to make a presentation at Qualifica, an annual career fair that takes place at EXPONOR, Porto.

This year’s priority was to invite top researchers who have received a European Research Council (ERC) grant. With a target audience mainly composed by secondary school students Exchange was represented by four team members who were available to provide information about the main objectives of the project and to engage in discussions with students about the challenges associated with forensic DNA data exchange among EU Member States.