Rapid developments in the life and medical sciences in the fields of genomics and biotechnology have raised important social, political, legal and ethical issues across global and in transnational contexts. In areas such as genetic medicine, stem cell research, data banking, reproductive technologies, epigenetics and synthetic biology there are new challenges regarding the appropriate implementation, likely impact and consequences for both science and society of these developments. This five day summer school will bring together leading experts from across a broad field of the social and historical sciences (including Anthropology, Sociology, Science and Technology Studies, Political Science, History of Science) from world class research and educational institutes inside and outside Brazil to examine these issues. Combining a programme of talks and workshops with an emphasis on interactive dialogue with professors and students the school responds to the urgent need to provide training and education that can address some of the pressing social and ethical issues raised by developments in the life and medical sciences. There will also be the opportunity to present on-going student research and/or poster sessions.