STS for critical public health studies 
Ger Wackers (UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
Marthe Schille-Rognmo (UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
Rolf Andreas Markussen (UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
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Measurement, commensuration, markets and values
Bowland North Seminar Room 10
Start time:
25 July, 2018 at 13:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel engages critically with Public Health to raise questions of accountability. Significant transformations in data infrastructures allow for strong calculations, casting non-compliance as deficit and target for intervention. How can the excluded be recovered to rework boundaries drawn?

Long Abstract

Public Health is currently evolving, expanding and recursively reinforcing itself as a major governance project in which health authorities' governmental concerns meet and blend with epidemiology and psychology. Significant transformations occur across the broad range of Public Health practices, ranging from an expansion in institutional infrastructures that run large scale digitalized health surveys to the availability on the market of an array of digital sensors that allow for self-tracking and quantification of the self, and the proliferation of online services and programs for the monitoring, sharing and promotion of healthy behaviors; from internationalizing genome wide association studies (GWAS) to a market for over the counter kits and services for genetic testing and the development of personal genomics. The enfolding of digital technologies into the material-discursive practices that constitute Public Health engenders significant transformations, allowing for larger data sets, automatic processing, cost reductions and forms of strong calculation. Mainstream Public Health research is silent about matters of the reception of public health interventions, casting non-compliance in terms of deficits that become a target for more intervention.

This panel invites papers that address these issues at three interlinked process levels: a) the expansion of new configurations in data production infrastructures; b) changes afforded by digital technology in the 'apparatuses of measurement and mapping'; and c) the invention of epidemiology's notions of probabilistically inferred causality, the use of counterfactual reasoning and related use of deficit-models in the explanation of non-obedience. Can what has been excluded be recovered to raise questions of accountability?

Accepted papers: