Genetic Testing: Certainty in a World of Uncertainty?

  • Lucie Samaniego


Genetic testing has displayed a significant rise in late modernity, especially with increased awareness of new risks. With the nature of what we know continually shifting, it is hard to grasp anything certain about risk, or our knowledge of it. Could genetic testing be our source of certainty? This is unclear, as methods of genetic testing defy traditional characteristics and forms of new risks, specifically those in accordance with Beck’s (2009) new risk theory. The objectivity of genetic testing allows calculability and directed solutions contrasting with the unpredictability of new risks. However, in spite of this similarities can be identified. The increase in the dissemination of scientific knowledge leaves individuals more informed than ever, increasing the creation of risks. None of these risks are objectively certain allowing neoliberal product production to facilitate strategic responses. This then poses the question answered by this reflection: does the factuality and reliability of scientific confirmation within genetic testing provide individuals with certainty in a world of uncertainty?