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Biomedicine in museums

Negotiating the aims, methods and results of ageing research

By October 14, 2010No Comments

If you are interested in medical science studies, you might consider visiting Medical Museion on Thursday 28 October at 2PM.  Tiago Moreira (School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University) will speak about “Ageing in Technological Democracies”:

Social gerontology has until recently been mainly concerned with the structural and cultural contexts through which age identities and practices are organised. This has been enriched by current debates about the extent to which these identities are constrains on individuals or represent ‘reflexive opportunities’ of re-invention, and by the increased recognition that knowledge and representations of ageing play a central role in these social and political processes. In this paper, I explore the growing importance of processes of collective negotiation about the aims, methods and results of research on ageing. Drawing from a documentary analysis of an on-going public controversy about access to dementia drugs on the National Health Service and the role of ‘quality of life’ measurements within it, I examine how patient organisation, charities, clinicians, health economists and policy makers confront different understandings of the ageing process in their quest to assess the value of therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease. I argue that these differences can be explained by relating them to divergent perspectives on the relationship between the experience of ageing, ageing research and the politics of health and social care. I conclude by suggesting ways through which a ‘technological democracy’ could include groups and concerns that have remained at the margins of the knowledge making process in contemporary societies.

Tiago is trained as a sociologist and has written extensively about “the complex worlds that are enacted in contemporary biomedicine, with particular attention to the role of technology in the orders of medical work, the use of health technology at home, the collective production of health care standards and the politics of clinical trials”.

Arranged by Center for Healthy Aging, Theme 5: Communication and Innovation (in which Medical Museion takes part with a postdoc project and two PhD-projects). Further info from Lene Otto ( or myself (

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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