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Internationalisation dynamics at play: constructing and diffusing zebrafish as a model organism in Latin American life sciences - Rodrigo Liscovsky Barrera / Science, Technology and Innovation Studies. The University of Edinburgh.

Zebrafish (Danio rerio), a small tropical freshwater fish from the Ganges region of India and popular in pet shops, has become one of the most attractive model organisms in contemporary life science research. Although the use of zebrafish in scientific research has been growing steadily on the world-stage, in Latin America this growth has been unprecedented. The promise of zebrafish in this region is mainly due to the economy of the model allowing average laboratories, which often operate with small budgets and with less well-developed science infrastructures, to conduct word-class research. In this presentation, I will discuss some of the results of my PhD project, which uses mixed methods and a multi-level approach to examine how complex dynamics of scientific internationalisation influenced both the construction and subsequent diffusion of zebrafish as a model organism in Latin American life sciences. In the first case, by focusing on the experiences of individual researchers, I seek to unpack the complex dynamics of dependency and empowerment present in practices of resource exchange as well as the barriers and reactions to the global community infrastructures built to support these exchanges. In the second case, by applying novel bibliometric and social network analysis techniques, I study the extent to which the diffusion of zebrafish in Latin America has been driven by researchers’ individual mobility trajectories as well as research institutes’ exposure to networks of collaborators with previous experience in the use of the model.

Choreographies of collaboration in the Francis Crick Institute - Niki Vermeulen / Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh

This paper analyses the Francis Crick Institute as a recent example of a trend towards integrative research centres. The novel £700 Million, 93000 m2 building is especially designed to stimulate multi-disciplinary collaboration, merging two long-standing research institutes and three universities in London’s central ‘Knowledge Quarter’. In line with its architecture, the Crick strategy ‘Discovery without Boundaries’ emphasizes openness, removing boundaries between disciplines, organisations and diverse communities. Consequently, the Crick provides an ideal opportunity to study the construction of collaboration, exploring issues of epistemic integration, community building, environmental identity and urban engagement.


Rodrigo Liscovsky Barrera / Niki Vermeulen

Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh



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