In this panel we seek to explore the sociotechnical reconfigurations in biomedicine propelled by clinical translation, as a step toward consolidating a robust scholarly network focused on the social, political and ethical dimension of the so-called translational turn in biomedicine.
In recent years, the question about how to 'translate' discoveries made through biomedical research into practices and products available in the clinic and on the market has received considerable attention from policymakers, regulators and funding agencies alike. While the question of making scientific results practically useful is by no means new, the commitment to 'accelerate translation' has brought forth profound reconfigurations in a vast array of socio-technical practices associated with biomedicine. Notably, the scientific, organizational, regulatory and ethical renderings of the translational discourse encourage particular sets of social transformations that challenge ensconced relations between science and society. Each rendering promotes a particular view of the translational landscape and promotes varying strategies that seek to 'close gaps,' remove 'obstacles,' bridge divides, ensure access or promote equality.
In this panel, we seek to explore these challenges and transformations through the discussion of various instances of clinical translation in practice. Charting the uptake of the translational discourse in strategic (funding) programs, regulatory reforms and material and epistemic cultures, the panel investigates the formation of new actors and alliances, conceptions of health and disease, science and innovation, policy and regulations across biomedical fields and communities.
For this panel, we invite contributions that link empirical instances of clinical translation to theoretical concerns regarding the socio-political and epistemic significance of the translational enterprise. We aim to bring together perspectives from different geographical, institutional and techno-scientific spaces to sketch the diverse terrain of clinical translation - both in its unique manifestations and universalizing aspirations.