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Lorna Weir

Department of Sociology

 
Office: Founders College, 310
Phone: (416)736-2100 Ext: 33198
Emaillweir@yorku.ca
Primary websitewww.yorku.ca/laps/soci/facstaff/people/weir
 
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My research lies at the intersection of health, the life sciences, and social theory. I examine what is most dangerous in current biomedicine and the life sciences in order to assist reflection on its cultural, social and political effects.

More...


Research Interests

Health and illness, social theory, science and technology studies

All Publications

Books

Weir, Lorna and Eric Mykhalovskiy (2010) Global Public Health Vigilance: Creating a World on Alert. New York: Routledge. Series: Science, Technology and Society.

Weir, Lorna (2006) Pregnancy, Risk and Biopolitics: On the Threshold of the Living Subject. Series: Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism. London and New York: Routledge.

Book Chapters

Weir, Lorna and Jasmin Habib (2006), “A Critical Feminist Analysis of The Report of the Canadian Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies." In Pat Armstrong and M. Patricia Connelly eds., Feminism, Political Economy and the State (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press): 327-343. Reprint of article with same title in Studies in Political Economy 1997 (52): 137-154.

Weir, Lorna and Eric Mykhalovskiy (2006) “The Geopolitics of Global Public Health Surveillance in the Twenty- First Century,” in Alison Bashford ed., Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization and Security, 1850 to the Present. New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 240-263. (co-authored)

Journal Articles

Selgelid, Michael and Lorna Weir (2010) "The Mousepox Experience: An Interview with Ron Jackson and Ian Ramshaw on Dual-Use Research," EMBO Reports 11 (1): 1-7.

Weir, Lorna and Michael Selgelid (2009) "Professionalization as a Governance Strategy for Synthetic Biology," Systems and Synthetic Biology. Special issue on Societal Issues pertaining to Synthetic Biology. 3(1-4), December: 91-97. DOI 10.1007/s11693-009-9037-4.

Weir, Lorna (2008) “The Concept of Truth Regime,” Canadian Journal of Sociology 33 (2): 367-389. (co-authored)

Singer, Brian and Lorna Weir (2008) “Sovereignty, Governance and the Political,” Thesis 11 94 (August): 49-71. (co-authored)

Singer, Brian and Lorna Weir (2007) “Politics and Sovereign Power: Considerations on Foucault,” European Journal of Social Theory 9 (4): 443-465 (co-authored).

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Lorna Weir (2006) “The Global Public Health Intelligence Network and Early Warning Outbreak Detection: A Canadian Contribution to Global Health," Canadian Journal of Public Health 97 (1) Global Health Issue: 42-44. (co-authored)

Weir, Lorna (2006) “Folgen des Risikofaktors,” Deutsche Hebammenzeitscrift 5: 53-56 (translation)

Curtis, Bruce and Lorna Weir (2005) “Crisis Talk: Comments on McLaughlin's “Canada's Impossible Science”,” Canadian Journal of Sociology. 30.4, Fall: 503-11. (co-authored)

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Lorna Weir (2004) “The Problem of Evidence-Based Medicine: Directions for Social Science,” Social Science and Medicine 59 (5): 1059-1069. (co-authored)

Weir, Lorna and Bruce Curtis (2003) “Reply to O’Malley and Hunt,” Society/Société 27 (2), 2003: 91-95.

Curtis, Bruce and Lorna Weir (2002) “The Succession Question in English Canadian Sociology,” Society/Société 26 (3): 3-13. (co-authored)

Current Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Summer 2014 AP/SOCI4072 3.0  Sociology of Human Reproduction SEMR Course Website 
Summer 2014 AP/SOCI4110 3.0  Gift and Sacrifice SEMR Course Website 


My research lies at the intersection of health, the life sciences, and social theory. I examine what is most dangerous in current biomedicine and the life sciences in order to assist reflection on its cultural, social and political effects.


In Pregnancy, Risk and Biopolitics: On the Threshold of the Living Subject (London: Routledge 2006), I examined how mid-twentieth-century medicine unsettled birth as the entry into human status. Whereas previous scholarship on ‘maternal-fetal conflict’ privileged clinical care and diagnostic images, I investigated the invention of a new temporal concept, the perinatal interval, in mid-twentieth century medicine. The perinatal interval links the fetus and newborn just prior to, during, and after birth. During the second half of the twentieth century in the global North, the health care objective of reducing perinatal mortality resulted in the routine conservation of fetal health late in pregnancy and during birth. This resulted in the displacement of birth as the unique threshold of the living subject.

Research for Pregnancy, Risk and Biopolitics involved me in making a variety of contributions to Canadian policy-related work on new reproductive technologies, beginning with consultancy work for Health Canada, the Department of Justice (Ottawa), and the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and continuing in the organizing of international workshops during 1996 and 2000, funded research, and publishing.

Global Public Health Vigilance: Creating A World on Alert (Lorna Weir and Eric Mykhalovskiy, New York: Routledge, February 2010) book explores a remarkable period of conceptual innovation during which infectious disease, historically the focus of international disease control, was displaced by “international public health emergencies,” a concept that brought new responsibilities to public health authorities, helping to shape a new project of global public health security. Drawing on research conducted at the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Global Public Health Vigilance analyzes the formation of a new social apparatus for detecting, responding to and containing international public health emergencies. Between 1995 and 2005 a new form of global health surveillance was invented, international communicable disease control was securitized, and international health law was fundamentally revised. This book raises critical questions about the institutional effects of the concept of emerging infectious diseases, the role of the news media in global health surveillance, the impact of changes in international health law on public health reasoning and practice, and the reconstitution of the World Health Organization as a power beyond national sovereignty and global governance.

Work on the global public health governance drew my attention to the field of biosecurity, which was initially formed in relation to emerging infectious diseases and fears about the intentional spread of pathogens. My current SHHRC-funded research investigates debates around the securitizing of synthetic biology (a new field of genomic research) and public health. Initial publications from this project have appeared in the journal Systems and Synthetic Biology, EMBO Reports, and one is forthcoming in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. I am planning to write a series of social science articles on biosecurity and biopolitics in 2010 to conclude this project.

Degrees

Ph.D., York University


Research Interests:

Health and illness, social theory, science and technology studies

All Publications

Books

Weir, Lorna and Eric Mykhalovskiy (2010) Global Public Health Vigilance: Creating a World on Alert. New York: Routledge. Series: Science, Technology and Society.

Weir, Lorna (2006) Pregnancy, Risk and Biopolitics: On the Threshold of the Living Subject. Series: Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism. London and New York: Routledge.

Book Chapters

Weir, Lorna and Jasmin Habib (2006), “A Critical Feminist Analysis of The Report of the Canadian Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies." In Pat Armstrong and M. Patricia Connelly eds., Feminism, Political Economy and the State (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press): 327-343. Reprint of article with same title in Studies in Political Economy 1997 (52): 137-154.

Weir, Lorna and Eric Mykhalovskiy (2006) “The Geopolitics of Global Public Health Surveillance in the Twenty- First Century,” in Alison Bashford ed., Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization and Security, 1850 to the Present. New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 240-263. (co-authored)

Journal Articles

Selgelid, Michael and Lorna Weir (2010) "The Mousepox Experience: An Interview with Ron Jackson and Ian Ramshaw on Dual-Use Research," EMBO Reports 11 (1): 1-7.

Weir, Lorna and Michael Selgelid (2009) "Professionalization as a Governance Strategy for Synthetic Biology," Systems and Synthetic Biology. Special issue on Societal Issues pertaining to Synthetic Biology. 3(1-4), December: 91-97. DOI 10.1007/s11693-009-9037-4.

Weir, Lorna (2008) “The Concept of Truth Regime,” Canadian Journal of Sociology 33 (2): 367-389. (co-authored)

Singer, Brian and Lorna Weir (2008) “Sovereignty, Governance and the Political,” Thesis 11 94 (August): 49-71. (co-authored)

Singer, Brian and Lorna Weir (2007) “Politics and Sovereign Power: Considerations on Foucault,” European Journal of Social Theory 9 (4): 443-465 (co-authored).

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Lorna Weir (2006) “The Global Public Health Intelligence Network and Early Warning Outbreak Detection: A Canadian Contribution to Global Health," Canadian Journal of Public Health 97 (1) Global Health Issue: 42-44. (co-authored)

Weir, Lorna (2006) “Folgen des Risikofaktors,” Deutsche Hebammenzeitscrift 5: 53-56 (translation)

Curtis, Bruce and Lorna Weir (2005) “Crisis Talk: Comments on McLaughlin's “Canada's Impossible Science”,” Canadian Journal of Sociology. 30.4, Fall: 503-11. (co-authored)

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Lorna Weir (2004) “The Problem of Evidence-Based Medicine: Directions for Social Science,” Social Science and Medicine 59 (5): 1059-1069. (co-authored)

Weir, Lorna and Bruce Curtis (2003) “Reply to O’Malley and Hunt,” Society/Société 27 (2), 2003: 91-95.

Curtis, Bruce and Lorna Weir (2002) “The Succession Question in English Canadian Sociology,” Society/Société 26 (3): 3-13. (co-authored)


Teaching:

Current Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Summer 2014 AP/SOCI4072 3.0  Sociology of Human Reproduction SEMR Course Website 
Summer 2014 AP/SOCI4110 3.0  Gift and Sacrifice SEMR Course Website