Innogen · Research · Current projects
Graphic and Novel: Law, Bioethics and Medical Futures

Shawn HE Harmon

Funding: UoE Challenge Investment Fund

February 1 2012 – October 31 2012

This project brought together Edinburgh-based researchers from the humanities, arts, and sciences to collaboratively explore the ethical, legal, social, and scientific issues stemming from novel medical research and technologies, including cellular products and implanted smart technologies. A range of disciplinary-based experts came together at two events – one an interactive workshop at the School of Law, and the second a Project Team visit with scientists and knowledge exchange experts at the new MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh.

These discussions helped the project team to write an illustrated speculative fiction novel based in a near-future Edinburgh, Fever Medicine. While largely dystopian, this fictional future portrays both the positive and negative potential of technological developments and their implications for public health. It raises questions about dual use of technologies, access to technologies and healthcare, commercialisation of health research, protection of data, and the difficulties of navigating regulatory pathways, all within a character-driven action story. The associated artworks, which are imaginative, professional, and stimulating, seek to enliven the story, forecast possible technological evolutions, and draw the reader further into both the plot and the issues explored therein.