Accepted Paper:

Certified Risk: Brain-Mapping, Model-Building, and Stroke-Measuring  


Doyoung Lee (Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science)
Buhm Soon Park (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST))

Paper short abstract:

This research explores the process of making a ‘certified risk’ for the brain, particularly in the area of stroke risk assessment, by examining the ways in which a national standards reference data system or brain-mapping is developed in Korea.

Paper long abstract:

The theme of health risk intersects the boundary between STS and public health policy. How is a particular health risk detected, measured, diagnosed, communicated, and controlled? What kind of opportunities and challenges do new and emerging technologies present to those who deal with health risk issues? How are these issues manifested in the local or global contexts? This paper explores the process of generating a standard model for brain health, particularly for stroke risk assessment in the context of building a national standards reference data system in Korea. It examines the ways in which a large number of health information of individuals are encoded as 'data' to create a standardized model for determining the health of the brain. In particular, this research traces the development of statistical maps for diagnosing a brain disease, White Matter Hyperintensities (WMHs), to illustrate how the concept of 'certified risk' is generated and put to use in Korean society. This case study of statistical brain anatomical maps shows, we argue, an interesting assemblage of health risk practices encompassing measurement science, computer technologies, probability statistics, and standard-making procedures. This paper thus aims to shed light on the contemporary risk governing practices by analyzing an interplay among various actors, such as researchers, policy makers, clinical practitioners who are trying to gain a certain level of objectivity, accuracy, and reliability for governing public health risks within the framework of making standards.

Panel T045
New Collective Practices of Measurement, Monitoring and Evidence