(How) might/ do ideas about language and reading have a bearing on biological/ bio-medical research?

My area of specialism, Critical Theory, asks questions about the consequences of assumptions across, potentially, all areas of research. In my case, I focus particularly on how certain assumptions about language and reading underpin claims made in bio/medical research. The core question for me is whether language is assumed to be a transparent ‘medium’ which describes or reflects or represents the world, or whether language makes the world. As a corollary to this, I examine whether/ how in bio/medical research, through an idea of language as ‘neutral’, the world is assumed as represented through that language, or whether/ how that world is read and what the consequences of that all may be. Examples of the focus my work has (had) include: (where/ how) does bio-medical research assume there are bodies that are represented? Or animals? Or children? Or nature? Or genetics?

Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein

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