class="csc-frame csc-frame-default"Is knowledge power? Is power based on knowledge?

Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens

Universität Zürich

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens

Universität Zürich

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

ALBAN FREI

Life Sciences in 21th Century. A History of Systems Biology in Switzerland

At the Chair for the History of Technology at ETH Zurich a doctoral thesis is unfolding on systems biology research in Switzerland. The thesis examines the institutional organization of the richly endowed research initiative, SystemsX.ch, and the scientific and economic context in which it originated. Among other things the thesis aims to determine how and to what extent research efforts in the field of systems biology change the long-term structures of the partner institutions. At the same time the thesis addresses the importance of paradigmatic change from the reductionist approach of molecular biology to systems biology that reflects the holistic. It also addresses the scientific culture of the new research direction. These four levels – institutional structure, socio-political constellation, epistemic change and cultural practices – furnish the framework of the project. The thesis thus offers an historical view of the research achievements in the highly dynamic field of systems biology and analyzes these processes within a social and political context.