The moral economies of cloning in the zoo
This chapter explores the logic of genetic value and its socio-historical context. It addresses the ways zoos use the life sciences in their pursuit of changing economies in wild animal bodies. The focus here is on the production of ‘genetically valuable’ individuals in what appears, on the one hand, as a techno-scientific economy. This economy is made up of laboratory skills and research materials. On the other hand, genetic value also expresses the ways in which the zoo asserts itself as a moral institution, one that remediates its past errors. Through this moral economy, zoos intend to create, exchange, and preserve endangered animal cells and bodies in order to contribute to species preservation. The iterative relationship between these two different kinds of economies in the zoo is analysed in order to ask how moral economies and techno-scientific economies are co-constituted.
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