17 de enero de 2018

STS Italia CfP "The value of participation. Studying biomedical research participation through multiple heterogeneous valuation processes"

abstract submission deadline is 10th of February. More information on 2018 STS Italia: https://www.frombelow-stsitaliaconf.org/

The value of participation. Studying biomedical research participation through multiple heterogeneous valuation processes

In recent years, a growing STS literature has investigated the role of “lay expert” people in the production of knowledge, technologies and innovation in the field of biomedical research. This literature has explored how lay experts, by forging alliances with medical professionals and exploring new organization arrangements, shape new modes of knowledge production and structure novel collective identities, subjectivities and forms of “biological citizenship”. In parallel, another strand of STS literature has investigated the involvement of lay experts and non-experts in the political economy of biomedical research, as participants, experimental subjects and tissue, data or bioinformation donors who are exploited as a source of ‘biovalue’, which is then realized in market exchanges or in financialised strategies of accumulation.

This track aims to put these two bodies of literature into relation, and to explain how in processes of coproduction in the biomedical research field, the voluntary participation of lay experts entails multiple heterogeneous forms of value production. We use the plural concept of “forms of value” to stress that
(a)     A heterogeneous plurality of forms of value underpins the participation of lay experts and non-experts in biomedical research and knowledge production
(b)     Any value, including economic value, is not an inherent property of objects (whether they be commodities, technologies or knowledge) but the relational outcome of intersubjective valuation processes
(c)     Economic valuation is related to other valuation processes through mutual constitution.
We argue that understanding research participation as a complex of valuations by multiple parties can help us explain why novel, experimental and often ephemeral convergences of social actors in a coproduction project are possible.

We invite scholars from different fields to discuss theoretically and empirically the heterogeneous plurality of valuation processes taking place in biomedical research and with a focus on participation. We welcome contributions exploring the entanglement of economic, epistemic, ethical, political, and (individual and collective) identitary forms of value in different settings of biomedical research – and how they relate to the fast-changing landscape of clinical trials, the provision of experimental therapies, the development of digital platforms for health self-reporting and data donation, and the management of biobanks; explaining historically, where possible, the actions that actors in the field take to steer or shape the course of a project they are part of. We encourage scholars to engage with questions such as:

•       What are the convergences that sustain coproduction projects, the forms of value that are therefore created, and to what extent is voluntary participation exploited rather than not?
•       How are coproduction initiatives shaped over time by the changing convergences of valuations and value questions held by different parties?
•       What value questions are shaping the evolution of coproduction projects, and who has the power to select them among many that may be advanced?
•       What are the spaces for subversion, and what value creation conflicts are underpinning them?

We also encourage the submission of contributions that problematize the oft taken for granted economization of value concepts – the reduction of value production to solely its economic dimension – by stressing instead how valuation processes are complex and heterogeneous social practices shaped by multiple regimes that are not reducible to the economic sphere alone.

Niccolò, Tempini, University of Exeter, n.tempini@exeter.ac.uk
Lorenzo, Beltrame, University of Trento, lorenzo.beltrame@unitn.it