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The first bite: imaginaries, promotional publics and the laboratory grown burger

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posted on 2023-06-09, 00:12 authored by Kate O'Riordan, Aristea Fotopoulou, Neil Stevens
In this paper we analyse a 2013 press conference hosting the world’s first tasting of a laboratory grown hamburger. We explore this as a media event: an exceptional performative moment in which common meanings are mobilised and a connection to a shared centre of reality is offered. We develop our own theoretical contribution – the promotional public – to characterise the affirmative and partial patchwork of carefully selected actors invoked during the burger tasting. Our account draws upon three areas of analysis: interview data with the scientists who developed the burger, media analysis of the streamed press conference itself, and media analysis of the social media tail during and following the event. We argue that the call to witness an experiment is a form of promotion but that such promotional material also offers an address that invokes a public with its attendant tensions.

Funding

People Award Dr Neil Stephens; Wellcome Trust; WT096541MA

EPINET - Media Analysis (FP7); G0854; EUROPEAN UNION; 288971

History

Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Published version

Journal

Public Understanding of Science

ISSN

0963-6625

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Issue

2

Volume

26

Page range

148-163

Department affiliated with

  • Media and Film Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date

2016-02-02

First Open Access (FOA) Date

2016-03-30

First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date

2016-02-02

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