From Gift to Waste: Changing Policies in Biobanking Practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Traditionally the analysis of biomedical discourses surrounding biobanking has focused on the role of donation and gift giving as central aspects related to the procurement and use of tissue samples. More recently, studies have looked at the political underpinnings of building national collections of tissue samples. These national projects draw increasingly on a discourse of waste and efficiency as a way of legitimising activities. This paper draws attention to the way new arguments draw from environmental discourses in an attempt to reframe contentious ethical and legal issues in a more favourable light. Attempts to evoke notions of efficiency draw on a different set of persuasive techniques to foster support for large research and development ventures involving public-private partnerships, but at the same time limit public debate.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)510-520
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology

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