Bioprophecy and the politics of the present: Notes on the establishment of Mexico's national genomics institute (INMEGEN)

Samuel Taylor-Alexander, Ernesto Schwartz-Marín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 1999, a small group of genomic entrepreneurs and local politicians started mobilizing the idea of founding a national genomics institute in Mexico. Approximately four years later, and after 18 months of congressional debate, the Mexican National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN) was established by presidential decree. As scholars, we are interested in how the call for a high-tech, high-cost genomics institute was able to gain political traction in a country, where many people struggle to secure access to even the most basic level of health care. Those behind the establishment of the INMEGEN used what we call technologies of bioprophecy to present it as a modernizing institution that would move the nation into the "new world order" by bringing not only biological and economic health, but also scientific prestige to Mexico.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-349
Number of pages17
JournalNew Genetics and Society
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Economics
  • Genomics
  • Mexico
  • Nationalism
  • Prophecy

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