Refractions through culture: the new genomics in Iceland

Arnar Arnason, B. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the processes whereby complex scientific developments are rendered into locally intelligible idioms as part of strategies to incorporate a 'public' in decisions Which may have profound implications in the longer term. We focus in particular on the recent developments in genetic technologies and take as our example the deCode biogenetic project in Iceland. We trace how the images and metaphors drawn upon by all sides of the debate created powerful resonances with Icelandic history and culture. We analyse these representations and the broader themes of ethnicity and nationalism which they invoke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-553
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • genomics
  • deCode
  • culture
  • ethnicity
  • Iceland
  • genetics


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