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

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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.

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

2016

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; 1-8. doi: 10.1089/bio.2015.0115

Machado, Helena; Silva, Susana (2016), Voluntary participation in forensic DNA databases: Altruism, resistance, and stigma, Science, Technology & Human Values, 41(2): 322-343, doi: 10.1177/0162243915604723.

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. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2016.01.010

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, doi: 10.1177/0270467615616297

meetings

2018/06/02

Call for Applications and Papers for Summer School - "Surveillance Technologies, Criminality, and Human Rights"

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2018/06/02

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Call for Applications and Papers for Summer School - "Surveillance Technologies, Criminality, and Human Rights"

University of Minho | Braga, 25-28 June 2018

In 2018 the first edition of the Summer School “Surveillance technologies, Criminality, and Human Rights” will take place at the University of Minho, in Braga (50 Km away from Porto, Portugal). This 4 days-course is organized by the project EXCHANGE, funded by the European Research Council. This Summer School aims to reflect on human rights in the particular area of surveillance technologies and crime control practices.

 

The Summer School will cover the following issues: governance of the surveillance society; security and neoliberalism; borders and biometrics; databases and surveillance; big data and new challenges to privacy; emerging technologies and crime control; rethinking privacy and human rights; racism, migration and criminalisation; media and moral panics; public engagement in surveillance societies.

 

The Summer School targets PhD students and early career researchers from all academic backgrounds as well as practitioners in related fields. It will combine different activities: academic thematic sessions with renowned international experts, presentations and critical discussions of participants’ projects, a workshop on academic and creative writing, and social activities orientated to networking and socializing with peers.

 

Participants will have the opportunity not only to explore highly topical issues related to surveillance, crime control, and human rights with experts and academics in thematic seminars, but also to actively apply and deepen their knowledge in practical exercises as well as to present and receive feedback on own research.

 

To facilitate productive discussions, all participants are expected to share academic papers and/or accounts of professional non-academic experience before the Summer School starts.

 

 

 

 

Confirmed invited speakers:

Karolina Follis (Lancaster University, UK)

Catarina Fróis (CRIA-ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal)

Mark Maguire (Maynooth University, Ireland)

Carole McCartney (Northumbria University, UK)

Eric Töpfer (Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte, Berlin, Germany)

Hellen Wallace (Genewatch, UK)

 

Additionally, there will be sessions with EXCHANGE researchers:

Helena Machado (University of Minho, Portugal)

Nina Amelung (University of Minho, Portugal)

Rafaela Granja (University of Minho, Portugal)

 

How to submit your application:

Applications should include a short CV (max. 5 pages, including a list of publications), one recommendation letter, and one extended abstract of a paper (between 1000 and 2500 words) relating to one or more topics of the summer school.

 

Important Dates:

The deadline for applications is the 3rd of April. Notification of acceptance will be given until the 9th of April. The selected participants will have to register by the 15th of April. The deadline for submitting a complete paper draft (max. 8000 words) is the 25th of May.

 

Registration Fee and Financial Support:

There is no registration fee. The organisers can offer the reimbursement of travel expenses and accommodation costs to max 10 participants. Please indicate in your application if you wish to be considered.

 

Organization and Contact:

The Summer School is organized by the EXCHANGE project team. Please direct all your queries to: exchangeprojectevents@gmail.com

 

How to travel to Braga:

Here some information how to get to Braga: http://www.sri.uminho.pt/Default.aspx?tabid=20&pageid=134&lang=eng

 

The event is sponsored by the European Research Council (grant agreement 648608).

 

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.

outreach

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.

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

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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.

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.

Crime, genetics and criminal investigation

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Crime, genetics and criminal investigation

CES goes to school

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Aiming at opening the debate on the social studies of forensic genetics beyond the ‘specialist’ public, EXCHANGE researchers joined the initiative “CES goes to school”. Supported by the Centre for Social Studies, this initiative promotes the diffusion of knowledge in the areas of Social and Human Sciences by sharing the research developed at CES and promoting debates. The “crime, genetics and criminal investigation” presentations organized by the EXCHANGE team were held in various secondary schools of Northern and central Portugal and aimed to engage students with the issues associated to the social studies of forensic genetics. Researchers invited students to approach and debate the construction of forensic narratives, the uses of forensic DNA technologies, the social implications of DNA databases, and the challenges associated with DNA data exchange among EU Member States.