{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

4_Epstein - Lay Expertise

4_Epstein - Lay Expertise - 410 Science Technology&...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 410 Science, Technology,& HumanValues between doctors and patients (Cicourel 1986; Freidson 1988; Katz 1984), and the tension between expertise and democracy within complex and differentiatedsocieties (Ezrahi 1990; Habermas1970; Petersen 1984). By insisting that AIDS clinical trials are simultaneouslysites of scientific researchandmedicalcare,AIDS activistsindicatethatthey understandmplici itly what some sociologists (Berg and Casper,this issue) have recentlybeen assertingprogrammatically-that medical therapeuticscannot fully be understood separatelyfrom questions of knowledge constructionand that our b conception of scientific practicecan be furthered y carefulattentionto the o local details of medicalwork.The importance f analyzingAIDS researchis heightened by the influence that AIDS activism appearsto be exerting, at least in the United States, on a new wave of health-relatedactivism-a " politics of identityorganizedby particular diseaseconstituencies"such as those sufferingfrom breastcancer,environmentalllness, or chronicfatigue. i In this article, I explore how AIDS activists in the United States have establishedtheir credibilityas people who might legitimately speak in the language of medical science. I focus specifically on interventionsby soo a called "treatment ctivists"into the design, conduct,andinterpretationf the clinical trials used to test the safety and efficacy of AIDS drugs.3This is an t areain which activistshaveenjoyedgreatsuccess in transforminghemselves into credible players-as marked,for example, by the presence in recent a years of AIDS treatment ctivists as full voting membersof the committees of the NationalInstitutesof Health (NIH) thatoversee AIDS drug developa mentandasrepresentativesttheFoodandDrugAdministration (FDA)advisory committee meetings where drugs are considered for approval.4 As the National ResearchCouncil of the NationalAcademy of Sciences noted (in a report otherwiseskepticalaboutthe transformative impactof the AIDS epidemicon c " U.S. institutions), not since randomized linical trials became the orthodox a h mode of clinicalinvestigation avethe mostbasicapproaches ndassumptions i b research ethodologies eenopento searching ritiquen thecontext c m regarding of an epidemicdisease"(JonsenandStryker1993, 111).5 I begin with a discussion of the study of scientific credibility in the interface between biomedical professionals and social movements. I then a o describethe uniquecharacteristics f the AIDS treatment ctivistmovement i o and analyzefourkey mechanisms r tacticsthattheseactivistshavepursuedn t constructing heir credibilitywithin biomedicine:the acquisitionof cultural o the o t competence, heestablishmentf politicalrepresentation, yokingtogether f o a a epistemological ndethicalclaimsmaking, ndthetaking f sidesin pre-existing c d methodological isputes.Finally,I pointto some of the implications, omplicaw tions,andironiesof the activistengagement ithbiomedicine. ...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}