Wednesday April 2nd, 2014 at 12:30 to 1:30 pm
3647 Peel Street, Seminar room 102
Abstract: It has been fifteen years since the ‘new’ era of medicine was proclaimed by two science journalists Robert Langreth and Michael Waldholz in the Wall Street Journal. Since then, personalized medicine (PM) has provided a powerful language through which significant change in medical practice has been imagined and in which the interests of various actors in politics, economics, science and patient organisation seem to converge. Given that scholars associated with the social science of technology have prioritized the role of expectation in the shaping of new technologies, a historical perspective on current (and futuristic) phenomena such as PM would, at first glance, seem incongruous. Nevertheless, I would like to suggest and discuss two areas in which a historical or a historically-informed analysis is helpful: (1) analyzing and interrogating the construction of genealogies of PM in medical literature by showing a specific way of connecting past, present and future; (2) analyzing the continuing significance of some longstanding patterns in the field of medical research and practice (e.g. the focus on the biological individuality as a key category of (bio-)medicine), and their influence on past visions of the medical future.
Feel free to bring your lunch!