B. Balmer

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This article explores the way in which social explanations underpin the names of particular disciplines. Taking the example of pharmacogenomics (a spin-off from the Human Genome Project), it shows how this term has been constructed since it appeared in 1997, the differences and similarities between it and its precursor, pharmacogenetics, and the way in(More)
In a study of volunteers in medical research, we found contrasting readings of "being comfortable" by the volunteer research subjects and the researchers. Although the experimental process (testing a new kind of diagnostic technology) involved some physical discomfort--and the researchers focused on this--the volunteers' concerns centred on feeling socially(More)
The paper focuses on how volunteer human subjects in research understand their own participation in experimentation. We ask how they view their own role, the experimental setting, and how they articulate their understanding of the researcher-subject relationship. The empirical basis of the study is participant-observation and qualitative semi-structures(More)
This article presents historical cases in which British scientists, principally scientific advisors, have attempted to defend research on biological weapons. Although the historical record is scant, there is a degree of continuity in their justifications, and a number of themes can be identified. It was argued, that biological weapons research is morally(More)
The story of work on biological warfare in the twentieth century is briefly reviewed and the history of the British programme analyzed, largely from documents now available in the Public Records Office. The position of the United Kingdom in relation to other military and political issues has varied, as has its overall attitude from time to time. In the(More)
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