Bioinfromation and Human Identity

Baren van, Drs. J.

Bioinformation and human identity: the impact of bioinformation on the human sciences

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Faculteit Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica
Afdeling Filosofie en Wetenschap studies
Postbus 9010
6500 GL Nijmegen
[email protected]

Hub Zwart and Luca Consoli


Drs. (MA) in humanistics in 2007, with as title: ‘Kennis van Genen, een onderzoek naar de rol van voorlichting in het Nederlandse genetica discours. (Knowledge of Genes, an analysis of the role of public information in the Dutch genetics discourse).


Technologies, partly developed and for a large part improved during human genome project, have led to an enormous buildup of biological data (genomes proteomes etc.), stored in – and made available trough a growing number of databases. In this process, biology and information technology became inseparably interlinked. This linkage has a huge impact on knowledge production in the fields that use biological information. Bioinformatics is the science that develops the IT side of this marriage: the ways of storages and part of the dissemination of the data involved. So bioinformatics is present in every project that relates to, uses and produces bioinformation. As a result, bioinformatics has an influence on defining the processes and meanings in a broad array of fields and thus on the knowledge production in these fields. The fields that use genomics- and related technologies are increasing rapidly.

In this project I focus on the fields that are related to humans and thus influence perceptions of human identities and bodies. These fields, such as archeology, psychiatry, neurology and behavioral sciences, use and add to the enormous amounts of data already available. The aim of this project is to asses the perceptions of human identities and bodies in the context of knowledge production that is developed (partly) by means of bioinformatics. Publications (if available) Baren, J. van en D. Meijer D. (2006) ‘Demon nor angel or both? Vondel’s Lucifer as an analytical example for critique in organisations’. In: The good, the bad and the ugly, Organisations and demons. Proceedings of SCOS XXIV: Nijmegen 2006. p. 677-708.