Sociology, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, France

Fellowship : October 2016 to June 2017

Discipline(s) : Sociology

Pays : France

Research project : "Banalizing Genomics: The invisible success of the molecularization of non-rare thrombophilia"

The spread of the genetic test for non-rare thrombophilia is an interesting successful case of the application of genomics in clinics, established less than two decades after the discovery of the two genetic markers associated with the predisposition for thrombosis. While other innovations in the field of genomics have been surrounded by public outcry or debate, these tests have been almost unnoticed. Still largely unnoticed, the genomic reconfiguration of this predisposition instantiates a new innovation pattern marked by the marginality or even absence of geneticists. “Banalizing genomics” serves here as an ambivalent process which regards, on one hand, the normalization of genomic information, which is increasingly used as any other layer of biological data, and, on the other, the geneticization of medical practice, which is increasingly affected by genetics. This research intends to identify and analyze the conditions that have made the banalization of such tests possible, and the various challenges that this process poses to public health. It comprises two axes: a history of the scientific and clinical validation and subsequent inclusion for national insurance coverage of genetic testing for NRT in France and a study of the test’s rapid incorporation into the routine medical practice of relevant specialties.


Since completing his PhD at the University of Padova with a dissertation on prenatal genetic diagnosis, Mauro Turrini has worked on the relationship between new genetics and society as post-doctoral fellow in several international institutes, including the University of Padova, the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society of the Alpen Adrien University (Graz, Austria), the Department of Social Sciences, Health and Medicine at King’s College London (as a visiting fellow) and as a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Paris 1 “Panthéon Sorbonne”. Currently, he is a member of both the Paris 1 research unit CETCOPRA (Centre for the Study of Technology, Knowledge & Practice), the working group on High-Throughput Genomics of the research unit CERMES3 (Paris), and the AFS (French Association of Sociology) working group 41 on “Body, Technology, and Society”.

Major publications


TURRINI, Mauro et PRAINSACK, Barbara. “Beyond Clinical Utility: The multiple Values of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing”, Applied & Translational Genomics, 2016. In press

TURRINI, Mauro. “Practicing the Biomedicine to Come: Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing, Heamthism and Beyond”, Eä: Journal of Medical Humanities & Social Studies of Science, Technology and Biomedicine, 6 (2), 2015. In press

 TURRINI, Mauro. “Influence and Multiplicity of Risk Thresholds in Preventative Medicine: The Case of Advanced Maternal Age”. In A. MONGILI et G. PELLEGRINO (dir.), Information Infrastructure(s): Boundaries, Ecologies, Multiplicities, Cambridge Scholars, 2014, pp. 256- 281.

TURRINI, Mauro. “Continuous Grey Scales versus Sharp Contrasts: Styles of Representation in Italian Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratories”, Human Studies, 2012, 35 (1), pp. 1-25. DOI: 10.1007/s10746-012-9215-3

 TURRINI, Mauro. Biocapitale. Vita e corpi nell’era del controllo biologico. Verona: Ombrecorte, 2011, 160 p.