Hallam Stevens Presents "The Business Machine in Biology: Intelligenetics and the ‘Knowledge Engineering’ of DNA"

October 28, 2013

As part on the Science and Capitalism Lecture Series sponsored by the Brown University Program in Science and Technology Studies, Hallam Stevens Presents "The Business Machine in Biology: Intelligenetics and the ‘Knowledge Engineering’ of DNA."

Stevens will be presenting his research on Wednesday, Nov. 20th from 4-6PM in Barus & Holley 190.

Contact Lukas_Rieppel@Brown.edu with questions, and see below for more information

Computers are – amongst other things – business machines. Their history is linked closely to the history of business and computational practices have developed in ways that link them closely to practices of accounting, logistics, and corporate management. When computers began to be used by biologists in the 1970s and 1980s, some of these ‘business’ practices were imported into biological work. Intelligenetics – a start-up company founded by Stanford University researchers in 1980 – offers a case study for exploring some of the implications of the computerization of biology. Intelligenetics developed their software for molecular biology and management of DNA information into a ‘knowledge engineering environment’ for managing complex engineering problems in commercial settings. The computerization of biological work involved deploying new practices that were closely linked to corporate uses of computers for speeding up, making efficient, and centralizing control.