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Regen Med. 2012 Jan;7(1):117-26. doi: 10.2217/rme.11.107.

Social science in a stem cell laboratory: what happened when social and life sciences met.

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UK Stem Cell Bank, National Institute for Biological Standards & Control-HPA, Blanche Lane, South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, UK.


We describe the experience of conducting intensive social science research at the UK Stem Cell Bank from the viewpoint of both the person conducting the social science research and the Director of the Bank. We detail the initial misunderstandings and concerns held by both and the problems these caused. Then we describe how the relationship developed as the project progressed and shared benefits became apparent. Finally, while acknowledging potential areas of tension between the life and social sciences, we suggest further interaction between the disciplines would prove beneficial for both and speculate as to how this may be achieved. In the discussion we identify a set of learning points from our experience and definitions of social science terminology that may help to inform future engagements between life and social scientists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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