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P309


Governing biomedical tests: towards social studies of bio-medical testing? 
Convenors:
Ingrid Metzler (Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences)
Erik Aarden (Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel seeks to bring together scholars who work on the envisioning, development, use and/or governance of testing in various domains and arenas of bio-medicine, in order to discuss transformations in the phenomenon of testing and the normative positioning of STS work in this field.

Long Abstract:

This panel seeks to bring scholars into conversation that engage with testing in bio-medicine, e.g., by exploring the development of tests; their uses in clinical or (public) health practices; their assessment; or their regulation. We seek to shed light on how biomedical tests are simultaneously governed and used as governing devices.

Over the last three decades, scholars in STS and related fields have engaged with testing in bio-medicine, often focusing on particular domains or arenas. By way of example, from the late 1980s on scholarship has engaged with genetic tests, as these were envisioned, developed, and used in clinical and/or public health practices. They have also engaged with the regulations of genetic tests. Simultaneously, work in the sociology of diagnosis has studied how testing in clinical practices contributed to ‘making up people’. More recently, scholars have engaged with the development, use, and regulations of tests in emerging fields such as translational sciences or precision medicine. They have also drawn attention to the political economies of testing industries and the multiple bodies and practices involved in their regulation and governance. Last but not least, a body of scholarship has explored the ways in which biomedical tests have been developed and used as governing devices in global health.

In this panel, we seek to use testing in bio-medicine as a boundary object that allows us to open up a conversation between these areas of research. We invite empirical and theoretical contributions that engage with the envisioning, development, uses, assessment, and regulations of testing in diverse bio-medical domains and arenas. Attending to the conference theme, we aim to highlight how different forms of testing travel, how the phenomenon of testing transformed over time and how we as STS scholars take normative positions vis-à-vis testing in biomedicine.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2