The ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen) was established in October 2002 as a collaboration between the Universities of Cardiff and Lancaster. Cesagen is a multidisciplinary centre in which staff from social sciences and humanities work closely with natural and medical sciences to address the social, economic and policy aspects of developments in genomics.
Cesagen’s main objective is to investigate the economic and social factors that shape natural knowledge in genomics and other life sciences. The Centre is directed by Professor Ruth Chadwick with Professor Adam Hedgecoe as Associate Director in Cardiff and Professor Maureen McNeil as Associate Director in Lancaster.
The Cesagen research programme for 2007-2012 builds upon the collective pool of evidence and skills, as well as the evidence base created by Cesagen and its Network partners in the first phase of funding. We are developing the framework for a coherent cross-disciplinary theoretical perspective built on sound methodological principles with which to further understand the post-genomic era.
We work with colleagues across the EGN and other networks to establish a coherent and complementary research agenda that recognises and encourages the strengths that have already been established. We continue to work closely with life scientists, clinicians, policy actors and other key stakeholders in partnership, and in mutual engagement with the complexities and uncertainties that the genomic era brings.
Cesagen is committed to building on, and extending, the findings of its Phase 1 flagship and related projects to include new collaborations, additional disciplinary perspectives, and a global as well as local perspective. However, to allow more flexibility and facilitate cross-fertilisation (both within Cesagen and across the EGN), Cesagen structures its research programme around 3 overarching and inter-related themes: Biomedicine, Identity, and Behaviour; Therapies and Enhancements; and Bio-knowledge Economies, Publics and Sustainable Innovation.
Aims and objectives
The Cesagen strategic research plan will:
• Work closely with EGN members to build a coherent research profile for the Network as a whole
• Identify and address existing synergies and gaps in the EGN research programme
• Be flexible in order to respond to changing social, scientific and biomedical agendas
• Integrate future research in more focussed and coherent overarching themes building on existing achievements
• Increase overall synergy through complementarity, while developing an interactively engaged but nuanced approach
• Develop the framework and resources for a coherent, evidence-based, theoretical perspective
• Ensure that research is of international/world class quality
• Communicate reflexively with stakeholders, beneficiaries, users and other ‘publics’
• Deliver an enhanced capacity for addressing, and helping shape, future research agendas in genomics and related fields
Cesagen’s main objective is to work with the relevant genomic science whilst attempting to clarify the human (social and economic) factors which shape these natural knowledges.
The ESRC’s overall mission for its three Genomics Centres is:
‘To undertake a systematic, critical and technically informed exploration of the past, present and future economic and social trajectory of genomics to make a major scientific and practical contribution to social science and policymaking at both national and international levels’.
Cesagen provided opportunities for postgraduate study and research (MA and PhD) at both Cardiff and Lancaster. Please visit the universities’ websites find out about current provision.