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Biomedicine in museums

"The Era of Biomedicine": konference om fransk-brittisk biomedicin, 1945-1975

By January 23, 2005No Comments

(Den her konference afspejler state-of-the art inden for historieskrivningen vedr. biomedicinen i den tidlige efterkrigstid — jeg burde have sendt info om den ud for længst; det er pga den, som David Cantor kommer forbi os den 10. februar)

“The Era of Biomedicine: Science, Technology and Health in France and in Great Britain, 1945-1975”
Maison Française, Oxford, 11-12 februar 2005

This conference will explore the heterogeneous nature of biomedicine, by taking into account not only the tensions between experimental medicine, clinical medicine, and social medicine, but also cross-national variations. Firstly, discussions will aim to analyze changes in experimental medicine in connection with clinical and public health practices. At issue here will be the distinctive nature of these practices, and the fact that they were not displaced by models and molecules, but rather that they were transformed by their very inclusion within a biomedical complex. Secondly, the conference will build upon recent French and British historical research in order to study the ways in which different traditions and situations led, on either side of the Channel, to differences in the evolution and nature of biomedicine in these two countries. Of particular interest will be the part played by the pharmaceutical industry, the impact of the Sécurité Sociale and the NHS, the function of epidemiology, and the role of contrasting systems of health-care provision. Finally, because in all studies of the 2nd half of the 20th century it constitutes an indispensable “background”, this Franco-British comparison will include a summary of the American historiography on the subject, and will use it as a springboard from which to analyze the similarities and differences between European responses to what was perceived as the “American model” in biomedicine.

Friday 11 February

2.00-2.30: Opening Remarks
Viviane Quirke and Jean-Paul Gaudillière

2.30-3.30: Introduction
John Krige (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA) “American hegemony and the postwar reconstruction of science in Europe: the case of biomedicine”

3.30-4.00: tea

4.00-5.30 Session 1: Drug development
1) Viviane Quirke (Centre for Health, Medicine and Society, Oxford Brookes University) “The American model, and the British pharmaceutical industry in the era of biomedicine”

2) Jean-Paul Gaudillière (Centre de Recherche Médecine, Science, Santé et Société, Paris) “Revisiting the postwar therapeutic revolution: drugs, biologists and industry in a French context.”

Comment: Arthur Daemmrich (Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, US)

Saturday 12 February

9.00-10.30: Session 2: Clinical research
1) Christiane Sinding (CERMES, Paris) “From Children’s Diseases to Laboratory Research: Preliminary Thoughts on the French Case.”

2) Tilli Tansey (University College, London) “Post-war clinical research in Britain: witness accounts”

Comment: Alberto Cambrosio (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

10.30-11.00: coffee

11.00-12.30: Session 3: Biology and medicine: the case of cancer
1) C. Timmermann and Helen Valier (Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Manchester): “Cancer and clinical research in Britain, circa 1945-1980”

2) Christelle Rigal (CERMES, Paris) “The laboratory and the clinic in postwar leukemia research: the French case”

Comment: David Cantor (National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, US)

12.30-2.00: lunch break

2.00-2.30: Session 4: National Health Systems and Public Health
1) Luc Berlivet (CERMES, Paris) “Between biomedicine and expertise: Public health research in postwar France”

2) John Stewart “The political economy of the British National Health Service: constraints and opportunities?”

Comment: Patrick Zylberman (CERMES, Paris)

3.30-4.00: Session 5: Medicine and nuclear research
1) S. de Chadarevian (Cambridge University and Max Planck Institute, Berlin) “Radiation, mutations and public health in Britain in the 1950s”

2) S. Boudia (Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg) “Radiation Effects: Public Health in the Atomic Age in France”

Comment: Angela Creager (Princeton University, US)

4.00-4.30: tea

4.30-5.30: Session 6: Round table discussion
J.-F. Picard (CNRS, Paris), Ilana Lowy (CERMES, Paris), J. Pickstone (CHSTM, Manchester), C. Bonah (Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg), J. Slinn (Business School, Oxford Brookes University)

5.30-6.00: V. Quirke and J.-P. Gaudillière concluding remarks

For details please write to the secretary of the Maison Française:

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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