Defining Vulnerabilities opens with a description of the history of childhood lead poisoning in the United States, which frames the puzzle at the center of this book: why and how did environmental health scientists, whose defining focus is on the effects of the environment on human health, make “gene-environment interaction” their mantra?How do we understand how scientists deeply committed to protecting public health decided to shift their research practices inside the human body and to the molecular level? The introduction provides a brief overview of the central analytic categories of the book, including fields, institutions, socially skilled actors, and biopolitics.
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