Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine

ISBN : 9780199689583

Isabelle Dussauge; Claes-Fredrik Helgesson; Francis Lee
352 Pages
162 x 240 mm
Pub date
Feb 2015
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Many deep concerns in the life sciences and medicine have to do with the enactment, ordering and displacement of a broad range of values. This volume articulates a pragmatist stance for the study of the making of values in society, exploring various sites within life sciences and medicine and asking how values are at play. This means taking seriously the work scientists, regulators, analysts, professionals and publics regularly do, in order to define what counts as proper conduct in science and health care, what is economically valuable, and what is known and worth knowing. A number of analytical and methodological means to investigate these concerns are presented. The editors introduce a way to indicate an empirically oriented research program into the enacting, ordering and displacing of values. They argue that a research programme of this kind, makes it possible to move orthogonally to the question of what values are, and thus ask how they are constituted. This rectifies some central problems that arise with approaches that depend on stabilized understandings of value. At the heart of it, such a research programme encourages the examination of how and with what means certain things come to count as valuable and desirable, how registers of value are ordered as well as displaced. It further encourages a sense that these matters could be, and sometimes simultaneously are, otherwise.


1. On the Omnipresence, Diversity, and Elusiveness of Values in the Life Sciences and Medicine
2. Key Opinion Leaders: Valuing Independence and Conflict of Interest in the Medical Sciences
3. The Moral Economy of a Miracle Drug: On Exchange Relationships Between Medical Science and the Pharmaceutical Industry in the 1940s
4. The Third Manuscript: Rules of Conduct and the Fact-Value Distinction in Mid-20th Century Biochemistry
5. A Moral Economy of Transplantation: Competing Regimes of Value in the Allocation of Transplant Organs
6. Critical Composition of Public Values: On the Enactment and Disarticulation of What Counts in Healthcare Markets
7. The Mosquito Multiple: Malaria and Market-Based Initiatives
8. Genetic Value: The Moral Economies of Cloning in the Zoo
9. Enacting Values from the Sea: On Innovation Devices, Value Practices and the Co-Modifications of Markets and Bodies in Aquaculture
10. Norms, Values And Constraints: The Case of Prenatal Diagnosis
11. On Relational Work and Epistemic Value in the Biomedical Science
12. Data Transfer, Values and the Holding Together of Clinical Registry Networks
13. Valuation Machines: Economies of Desire/Pleasure in Contemporary Neuroscience
14. Valuography: Studying the Making of Values

About the author: 

Isabelle Dussauge is a researcher at the Center for Gender Research at the University of Uppsala. Her primary research interests are in the science and politics of the body, at the intersection of science and technology studies, gender studies, and the history of medicine. She has worked with visualization in medicine; the early computerization of health care; and the place of the brain in contemporary culture. She is currently concluding the research project entitled Brain Desires, a critical inquiry into the contemporary neurosciences of sexuality and pleasure. ; Claes-Fredrik Helgesson is professor in Technology and Social Change at Linkoping University, Sweden. His research interest concerns the intertwining of economic organising, science and technology. The theoretical inspiration comes primarily from economic sociology and social studies of science and technology (STS). His current project Trials of Value together with Francis Lee, investigates the designing of controlled medical experiments as a site where scientific, medical and economic values at play when establishing what knowledge is worth pursuing. Helgesson is co-founder and co-editor of Valuation Studies, a new open access journal, which published its first issue in spring 2013. ; Francis Lee is assistant professor at the Department of Thematic Studies - Technology and Social Change at Linko?ping University, Sweden. His primary research interests are in the practices, politics and technologies of knowledge. His work has dealt with the valuation of knowledge in the biosciences, epistemic standards in education, and exclusion in sociotechnical processes. He is currently studying research design as a valuation of biomedical knowledge in the project Trials of Value with C-F Helgesson.

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