Rethinking Value in Bio-economy: Finance, Assetization and the Management of Value

When:16 Feb 2017, 12pm - 2pm
Venue:Morven Brown 209 (map ref C20)
Who:A/Prof Kean Birch (Innovation Policy Lab, University of Toronto)
Birch Seminar

Environmental Humanities @UNSW

Current debates in science and technology studies emphasize that the bio-economy—or, the articulation of capitalism and biotechnology—is built on notions of commodity production, commodification, and materiality, emphasizing that it is possible to derive value from body parts, molecular and cellular tissues, biological processes, and so on. What is missing from these perspectives, however, is consideration of the political-economic actors, knowledges, and practices involved in the creation and management of value. As part of a rethinking of value in the bio-economy, this article analyzes three key political-economic processes: financialization, capitalization, and assetization. In doing so, it argues that value is managed as part of a series of valuation practices, it is not inherent in biological materialities.

About Kean Birch

Kean Birch is an associate professor in the Department of Social Science, York University, Canada. He is interested in the political economy of science, innovation, and environment. Recent books include: We Have Never Been Neoliberal (2015, Zer0 Books), Innovation, Regional Development and the Life Sciences (2016, Routledge), and A Research Agenda for Neoliberalism (forthcoming, Edward Elgar).:

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