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In the post-9/11 security environment, the use of genetic data has extended beyond the confines of the criminal legal domain and into the realms of national security, defense, immigration, humanitarian, army and military operations. As such, the function of genetic data has shifted from that of evidence to intelligence. Central to this shift, Erin Kruger argues here, has been a radical reconfiguration of genetic imaging systems. And it is in the context of this shift that she analyses the role of the image in determining the scientific validity - and with it the legitimacy - of genetic data. How, she asks, is genetic imagery attributed meaning? How does it come to be understood as truthful and trustworthy?
Kruger draws upon the insights of recent work in Science and Technology Studies to address these questions in the context of various legal and other institutional agendas, technologies, discourses and controversies. In so doing - and in contrast to public discourses that unproblematically parade the benefits of technological innovations - she demonstrates both the complexity and the contingency of scientific presentations of truth.