A Brain Worth Keeping? - Waste Value and Time in Contemporary Brain Banking

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Abstract

If a temporal rather than spatial concept of waste is adopted, novel categories emerge which are useful for identifying and understanding logics of temporality at play in determining what is kept in contemporary brain banks, and reveal that brain banks are constituted by more than stored materials. First, I apply the categories analytically on a recent UK brain banking discussion among professionals. This analysis highlights the importance of data in brain banks, as well as the centrality of ideas about pasts and futures in the discussions. Secondly, I investigate the case of a seven decades old, Danish brain bank which had been reduced to its physically stored material for 24 years, before being reinstituted in 2006. This case demonstrates the importance of material and conceptual infrastructures that co-constitute a collection, as they make up an experimental system that is crucial to maintaining the collection's continued relevance and usefulness as a scientific institution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Volume67
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages7
ISSN1369-8486
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Brain banking
  • Collection science
  • Neuroscience
  • Waste

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