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Locke, Simon. "With Great Power Comes Changing Representations: From radiation to genetics in the origin of spider-man." Handbook of Popular Culture and Biomedicine. Knowledge in the Life Sciences as Cultural Artefact. Eds. Arno Görgen, German Alfonso Nunez and Heiner Fangerau. Cham: Springer, 2019. 259–70. 
Added by: joachim (9/15/20, 2:22 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (9/16/20, 1:55 AM)
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-90677-5_19
BibTeX citation key: Locke2019
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Spider-Man", Sciences, Superhero, USA
Creators: Fangerau, Görgen, Locke, Nunez
Publisher: Springer (Cham)
Collection: Handbook of Popular Culture and Biomedicine. Knowledge in the Life Sciences as Cultural Artefact
Views: 27/457
In 1962, Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and transformed into Spider-Man; in 2000, Peter Parker was bitten by a genetically modified spider and transformed into Spider-Man. What does this change in scientific representation mean? This paper reflects a little on this question to suggest that, whilst in one way it is an indication of the cultural penetration of ‘gene talk’ (Howe HF, Lyne J Social Epistemol 6:1–54, 1992) – that is, the rhetoric of the genetic determination of the whole of life (if not quite the universe and everything) – in another way it means nothing of any particular significance at all (In saying this, as should become clear from the following discussion, I do not mean it is merely a ‘McGuffin’ or plot device, although it might be taken to have something of this nature).
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