Tuesday, June 10th ~ Workshop Breakout Schedules from 10:45 to 12:00
Organizer: Martin Weinel & Rob Evans
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Queen Elizabeth Suite
Organizer: Katie Plaisance
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Organizer: Erik Fisher
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Bios & Abstracts from this session
A Coupled Ethical-Epistemic Analysis of the US Ban on Blood Donations from ‘Men Who Have Sex with Men’
Authors: Sean Valles, Michigan State University
Abstract: This paper will present a collaborative project (between a philosopher and an epidemiologist), which uses Nancy Tuana’s model of coupled ethical-epistemic analysis to critique the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s long-standing policy of banning blood donations from “men who have had sex with other men (MSM), at any time since 1977” (2013). The policy is designed to minimize the number of donations of HIV+ blood since the testing procedures used on donated blood generate some rare cases of false negatives, putting transfusion recipients at some amount of risk. This presentation will offer a new analysis and critique of this controversial policy, using Tuana’s model to illustrate how the ethical and epistemic dimensions of the case are more tightly intertwined than has been previously represented in the literature.
Tuana’s model of coupled ethical-epistemic analysis asks that the ethical analysis, epistemic analysis and policy analysis processes be completed simultaneously, as an integrated whole. She has applied this model to the task of assessing whether geoengineering should be pursued as one means of responding to climate change (Tuana et al., 2012).
Applying Tuana’s model to the MSM blood ban sheds new light on the complexity of the dynamics between the ethical consequences and epistemic consequences of the policy. For example, while the MSM blood ban policy seeks to prevent harms to the public by reducing the risk of transfusion transmitted infections, it simultaneously undermines the important epistemic goal of doing future research involving MSM populations, since it stigmatizes male homosexual behavior and thus engenders distrust of the biomedical community. Conversely, the MSM ban’s epistemic goal of minimizing the number of false negatives during blood supply testing has the negative ethical consequence of giving dangerously misleading signals to the public about the relative riskiness of different sexual behaviors; particular sex acts have higher or lower risks, not people’s sexual orientations.
While the MSM blood ban has been criticized often over the years (leading other countries, including Canada, to recently change their similar bans), applying Tuana’s model requires that ethical and epistemic features be confronted together and with equal consideration, contrary to the usual trend of analyzing the policy as primarily an ethical (Berhmann and Ravistky, 2013) or primarily an epistemic (Cascio and Yomtovian, 2013) issue. This approach particularly highlights the important ways that ethical consequences can in turn generate new epistemic consequences, and vice versa.
Behrmann J, & Ravitsky V (2013). A Gift That Some Cannot Give: The Ethical Significance of the Ban on Gay/Bisexual Men as Blood Donors. The American Journal of Bioethics, 13(6), 46-47.
Cascio MA, & Yomtovian R (2013). Sex, Risk, and Education in Donor Educational Materials: Review and Critique. Transfusion Medicine Reviews, 27(1), 50-55. Food and Drug Administration (2013, Aug. 19).
Blood Donations from Men Who Have Sex with Other Men Questions and Answers Retrieved March 7, 2014, from http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/bloodbloodproducts/questionsaboutblood/ucm108186.htm
Tuana N, Sriver RL, Svoboda T, Olson R, Irvine PJ, Haqq-Misra J, et al. (2012). Towards Integrated Ethical and Scientific Analysis of Geoengineering: a Research Agenda. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 15(2), 136-157.
Bio: I am currently working on several papers related to philosophical and policy issues arising from the use of race and ethnicity concepts in public health, including mixed-race populations' health and Hispanic health. I am working with some epidemiology and sociology collaborators for some of that work. I am also working on some projects related to the bioethics of climate change and ethics education for environmental scientists. I am always on the lookout for new collaborators.
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Biomedicine, Behavior Disorders, and Socially-Responsible Science
Authors: Roberto Toledo, INS HEA
Abstract: My principal philosophical project could be characterized as Socio-Technical- Medical Integration Research. I have conducted extensive field research in French administrations that are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of what French professionals refer to euphemistically as “behavior disorders” (“attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder”, “oppositional defiance disorder”, and “conduct disorder”, and any combination of the three). As an interdisciplinary philosopher, I have applied methods from Science and Technology Studies to engage experts in critical discussions within these institutional spaces (Plaisance 2013; Collins 2004; Ihde 1997; Latour 2008). At the same time, I have been developing critical tools and alternative visions of science through my engagement with contemporary movements in France and Latin-America that bring together neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, and other professionals in order to seek alternatives to the tendency in national public health and educational institutions to simply “medicalize” so-called “social” problems (www.pasde0deconduite.org; medicalizacao.org.br).
I have been specifically focusing on the medicalization of delinquent behavior in France, the United States, and Brazil and how scientific expertise and technical interventions can reinforce racist notions of pathological youth behavior and racist exclusion of rebellious minority youth.
Most neuroscience of pathological behavior currently conceives of itself in interdisciplinary terms and the importance of “social” considerations is more evident to these fields than for researchers in other “natural” sciences. However, interdisciplinary approaches may be more or less “well articulated” (Latour 2000, 2004). For example, the results of my critical participant observation within multidisciplinary workshops on “behavior disorders” at the French National Institute for School-Related Handicaps indicate that an overarching medical model restricted what was taken into account in the “social” component of the multi- factorial models taught. More specifically, the medical-oriented discourse frequently portrayed youth behavior as irrational rather than understanding their “rage” as a reasonable response to racial exclusion (Dubet 1992; Schumann 2011).
The key to the success of my dialogues with experts who work with stigmatized youth has been my engagement with “community-based” (Latour 2000, 377) hip- hop artists and professionals who I argue have developed more constructive approaches to “youth-in-difficulty”. The next step in my research is to elaborate scientifically based alternatives that challenge the negative prognostics in national public health expertise on supposedly conduct-disordered youth (Inserm 2005; Haute Autorité de Santé 2005; Goodwin 1992). My goal is to create dialogical spaces to challenge disciplinary limits between the social and natural sciences as well as between sociology and psychology in order to build Bio-Psycho-Socio-Ethico- Political Approaches to psycho-social-political “disorders”. Research in the area of hip-hop therapy and pedagogy is a perfect place to broaden perspectives within the field of biomedicine and psychological disciplines that take inspiration from medical models. Through hip-hop studies in the widest sense of the term, I integrate innovative “propositions” (Latour 2000) related to cultural sensitivity and creative identification into the social-psychological sciences.
Collins, H. 2004. Interactional expertise as a third kind of knowledge. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (2):125–143.
Dubet, François. 1992. A propos de la violence et des jeunes. Cultures & Conflits (06). Goodwin, Frederick. 1992. Presentation of "Violence Initiative". National Mental
Health Advisory Council. Haute Autorité de Santé, expertise collective. 2005. Prise en charge de la psychopathie.
Ihde, D. 1997. Why Not Science Critics? International Studies in Philosophy 29:45–54. Inserm. 2005. Le Trouble des conduites chez l'enfant et l'adolescent. Latour, Bruno. 2000. A Well-Articulated Primatology: Reflections of a Fellow Traveler. In Primate Encounters: Models of Science, Gender, and Society, edited by S. C. Strum and L. M. Fedigan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Latour, Bruno. 2004.
How to Talk About the Body?: The Normative Dimension of Science Studies. Body & Society 10 (2-3):205-229.
Latour, Bruno. 2008. Pour un dialogue entre science politique et science studies. Revue Française de Science Politique 58 (4):657-678.
Plaisance, Kathryn. 2013. Philosophers as Interactional Experts. In Public Philosophy Network. Emory University, Atlanta.
Schumann, Adelheid. 2011. Le rap en France; Expression de rage et de violence de la jeunesse black-blanc-beur. Violences postcoloniales: Représentations littéraires et perceptions médiatiques:315-26.
Bio: I hold a doctorate in philosophy from Stony Brook University, New York. I am currently working on publishing my recently defended dissertation "Latour as Philosopher: On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Critique for Innovative Science and Sociology." I have already applied a Latourian framework to my extensive field research within French institutions that diagnose and treat youth "behavior disorders" and other cognitive disabilities. There, I engaged professionals in discussions about the stigmatizing potential of some of their techniques and discourse in contexts of socio-cultural distance. In addition to publishing the results of my fieldwork, I am also working on a sociology post-doctorate project at the INS HEA (Suresnes, France). We are studying the process of diagnosing and compensating youth with disabilities by pluridisciplinary teams of professionals. I am eager to develop collaborations with any researchers concerned with issues of stigmatization in medicine and psychiatry and who have experience in engaging technical experts in ethical dialogue.
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Three years of the ERC IMGAME Project: Results and Development
Authors: Martin Weinel & Robert Evans, Cardiff University
Abstract: The presentation is designed to provide the context for the cluster of IMGAME related presentations (Tuesday afternoon). As such it will introduce the IMGAME method and report on recent findings and new developments.
Bio: Martin's research interests are in Science & Technology Studies: expertise, knowledge differences between different groups, how to make knowledge-based decisions involving communities with knowledge differences He is interested in science communication and bioethics (collaboration with Nicky Priaulx) and is working on the Imitation Game project (quasi-experimental sociology).
Robert Evans is a Reader in sociology at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, where his research focuses on research methods, the sociology of science and technology and the nature of expertise. Previous projects have examined economic forecasting, GIS models for sustainable development and genetics. His current research is devoted to developing the ideas set out in the ‘Third Wave of Science Studies’ paper co-authored with Harry Collins (Social Studies of Science, 2002) and, in particular, the use of the Imitation Game method for comparative research.
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