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Mianna Meskus

Associate Professor, New Social Research
Tampere University
phone number+358504377511
City Centre Campus

About me

I work as Associate Professor in Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences and the New Social Research Programme in Tampere University (TAU). I also lead the study program in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at TAU. My research contributes to interdisciplinary studies on knowledge production, technologies and valuation regarding health, biomedicine, gender, and embodiment. My work has focused on scientific and technological modification of reproduction and aging; for example, through prenatal screening, genetic testing, IVF, biological medicines, and stem cell-based delaying of aging. I explore the societal implications of these practices particularly from the perspectives of biopolitics, bioindustrialization, feminist new materialism, and speculative futures. Methodologically, my work ranges from historical sociology to multi-sited ethnography with emphasis on combining different types of qualitative materials.

I am engaged in the popularization and public dissemination of my research in various ways. I have been invited to talk about the ethics and societal effects of biomedical technologies in various public events as well as training events for clinical staff in University Hospitals and patient organizations. I have written about my research in blog texts published for instance in Alusta! and Ilmiö online medias.

I hold a DrSocSc in Sociology from the University of Helsinki, where I also worked as Academy Research Fellow (2015-2018) and University Lecturer in STS (2015). I have been a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, King’s College London and University of Cambridge.

Further information from personal site.

Research profile:

sociology, science and technology studies, gender studies, social theory, power analytics, materialisms

Projects:

VALDA - Valuating Lives through Infertility and Dementia: Science, Law and Patient Activism, which I lead and is funded by the Academy of Finland (2017-2022). More information on the project here.

ReproFutures - Reproductive Futures, funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation (2019-2022), led together with Dr Riikka Homanen. More info on the project's own website and social media @reprofutures 

A New Agenda for Understanding Industrialised Tissue-Based Products, funded by the Wellcome Trust (2019-2021), led by Dr Neil Stephens, Brunel University London.

Books:

Meskus, Mianna (2018) Craft in Biomedical Research: The iPS Cell Technology and the Future of Stem Cell Science. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Irni, Sari, Meskus, Mianna & Oikkonen, Venla (eds.) (2014) Muokattu elämä: Teknotiede, sukupuoli ja materiaalisuus. [Molded Life: Technoscience, Gender and Materiality]. Tampere: Vastapaino.

Meskus, Mianna (2009) Elämän tiede. Tutkimus lääketieteellisestä teknologiasta, vanhemmuudesta ja perimän hallinnasta [Science of Life: A Study on Medical Technology, Parenthood and the Government of Heredity]. Tampere: Vastapaino.

Selected publications:

Meskus, Mianna (2021) Speculative feminism and the shifting frontiers of bioscience: Envisioning reproductive futures with synthetic gametes through the ethnographic method, Feminist Theory, DOI: 10.1177/14647001211030174.

Meskus, Mianna & Oikkonen, Venla (2020) Embodied material encounters and the ambiguous promise of biomedical futures: The case of biologically derived medicines. New Genetics and Society, DOI: 10.1080/14636778.2020.1778459.

Meskus, Mianna, Marelli, Luca & D’Agostino, Giuseppe (2017): Research misconduct in the age of open science: The case of STAP stem cells. Science as Culture, 27:1, 1-23, DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2017.1316975

Jauho, Mikko & Meskus, Mianna (2017): Tieteen- ja teknologiantutkimuksen näkökulma terveyteen. In Sakari Karvonen, Laura Kestilä & Tomi Mäki-Opas (Eds.) Terveyssosiologian linjoja [Science and Technology Studies Perspective on Health]. Helsinki: Gaudeamus.

Ketokivi, Kaisa & Meskus, Mianna (2015) The dilemma of ’the capable actor’: Relational persons and the imperative of individual agency. Contemporary Social Science, 10(1), 39-51.

Meskus, Mianna (2015) Agential multiplicity in the assisted beginnings of life. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 22(1):70–83.

Meskus, Mianna (2014) Technoscientific shaping of human nature – but what does nature stand for? Origins: Finnish Studies in Art Education, 3, 1-6.

Meskus, Mianna (2012) Personalised ethics: the emergence and the effects in prenatal testing. BioSocieties, 7(4): 373–392.

Meskus, Mianna (2009) Governing Risk Through Informed Choice: Prenatal Testing in Welfarist Maternity Care. In Bauer, Susanne & Wahlberg, Ayo (eds) Contested Categories. Life Sciences in Society. Farnham & Burlington: Ashgate, pg. 49-68.

Meskus, Mianna (2005) To Exclude or to Enclose? Medicalisation of Abortion in Finland, 1900-1950 . Scandinavian Journal of History, 30(1): 45-60.