Hallam Stevens is an Associate Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is the author of Life Out of Sequence: A Data-driven History of Bioinformatics (University of Chicago Press 2013), Biotechnology and Society: An Introduction (University of Chicago Press 2016), and the co-editor of Postgenomics: Approaches to Biology After the Genome (Duke University Press 2015). He is currently working on a book about the development of biomedicine in China.
There is now a large body of scholarship—broadly centred on the field of science and technology studies (STS)—concerning ‘digital’ or ‘information’ infrastructures. One strand of this intellectual genealogy leads back to the work of Langdon Winner in the early 1980s. Winner (1980) argued that ‘artefacts have politics’—that all technologies, from forks to nuclear power stations, […]