Defining stem cells? Scientists and their classifications of nature
Stem cell research (SCR) is a regular feature of news stories and public debates. In these, the existence of precisely defined, and definable, entities such as adult or embryonic stem cells is often taken for granted. This chapter examines these definitions and shows them to be fiercely contested, even within the scientific community. It argues that stem cells, and by extension nature, can be classified in particular ways and that this has epistemological, ontological and socio-political implications.