The Multiplicities of Dust

Showing the Skills of DNA at Assembling humans and Non-Humans

  • Martin Dufresne Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa
  • Dominique Robert Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa
Keywords: DNA, ontology, police investigation, forensic laboratory, tribunal, actor-network theory

Abstract

Unique to each of us, our DNA nevertheless has multiple ontologies. Following dust through a crime scene, a forensic laboratory and a criminal court, we see that DNA is enacted in three different ways: as a sign, as a result and as a proof. Each of these DNAs entails its own regime of practice, codes and meaning. While forensic genetics has been associated with certainty, stability and truth, we contend that this characterisation is made possible by DNA’s multiplicities.

Author Biographies

Martin Dufresne, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa

Martin Dufresne is Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. He has published in diff erent areas: historical work on the transformation of criminal justice in Canada, youth justice policies and practices, and more recently DNA data banking. He recently published with his colleague D. Robert a book on ANT and Crime Studies.

Dominique Robert, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa

Dominique Robert is Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. She teaches and studies qualitative methods as well as sciences and technology. Infl uenced by actor-network theory, she is conducting research with Martin Dufresne on the renewed interest for biology, epigenetics and neurosciences in criminology.

Published
2015-05-01
How to Cite
Dufresne, Martin, and Dominique Robert. 2015. “The Multiplicities of Dust: Showing the Skills of DNA at Assembling Humans and Non-Humans”. TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 20 (May):74-83. https://doi.org/10.36950/tsantsa.2015.20.7432.