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A hallmark of the postgenomic era is an imperative that scientists elucidate the role of the environment in shaping the processes and outcomes of gene action. This paper examines the efforts of scientists in two very different epistemological traditions to meet this challenge. Exposomics is an emergent postgenomic field that seeks to assess environmental exposures, from conception to death, and their effects inside the human body. The environment as made visible in exposomics contrasts with measurements of the environment in contemporary social epidemiological and sociological research on neighborhood effects on health. This comparison elucidates the unsettled conceptualizations and techniques of measuring the environment that characterize the postgenomic moment. Tensions between different disciplinary approaches to the environment—and whether or how they are resolved—are a central dynamic in the development of postgenomic knowledge production.

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