Antibiotic resistance is today acknowledged as one of the greatest challenges for modern medicine. Dystopic visions are prevalent, the fear of a future epidemic for which no treatment is available widespread, and terms such as “superbugs”, confer a special agency to multiresistant microbes. In other areas of medicine, the future is defined in opposition to the past as the “place” where solutions are realized, presence manifested, and wrongs righted”. However, in the treatment of infectious disease it is the past which has these glorious futures (”magic bullet”, ”golden age of medicine)”.
Hopes or fears for a future do not only describe expectations, they are also part of the way these futures (our present) are brought into being. They are performative in the sense that they mobilize the interest of allies and define political agendas, and therefore particularly interesting to study. However, they are largely unexplored as such in the history of medicine. This conference intends to explore the changing expectations of antibiotics over . It will explore past (and some present) dreams, hopes and fears for the future, in the clinic, in politics, and in the laboratory settings.
Monday April 22nd
1000: Anne Kveim Lie (Oslo): Exploring past and present futures: opening and welcome
Agricultural past and present futures
1030-1130: Ulrike Thoms (Berlin); Antibiotics, Agriculture and Political Agendas. Past, Present and Future of German Agricultural Policy and its Impact on Strategies against Microbiological Resistance
Claas Kirchhelle (Oxford): Utilizing resistance. Agricultural antibiotics, public anxiety, and expert empowerment in Britain (1953-2003)
Clinical past and present futures
1300-1430: Scott Podolsky (Harvard) Antibiotic Anxieties: Therapeutic Dystopias and the Framing of Antibiotic Reform, 1948-2013
Morten Lindbæk (Oslo): Negotiating futures: working with use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in community medicine
1500-1600: Flurin Condreau (Zürich): Controlling fears: Hospitals and infection (control) in Britain 1860-1960 Quentin Ravelli (Paris): Knowledge without power: multi-resistance from global consciousness to local helplessness
1600-1630: Discussion 1900: Dinner
Tuesday April 23th
Past and present futures of the pharmaceutical industry
0900-1030: Maria Jesus Santesmases (Madrid) Expectations fulfilled: Inventing a Spanish antibiotic 1959-1975
Christoph Gradmann (Oslo): A future for a molecule: inventing combination therapy for tuberculosis 1940-1960?
Amund Pedersen (Oslo): Mobilizing hope in the midst of fear: negotiating penicillin production and distribution in Norway
1030-1130: Discussion and coffee break
Public health past and present futures
1130-1230: Anne Kveim Lie (Oslo): A battle of futures: dystopias and utopias in drug regulation policies and practices in Norway
Bård Hobæk (Oslo): Dystopic visions and restrictive practice: The Norwegian “clause of need” in practice
1330-1430: Dag Berild (Oslo): Apocalyptic scenarios: effective means of prevention or scare propaganda?
Siri Jensen (Oslo): Different expectations for the future? Cultural factors and the prescription and consumption of antibiotics.
1430: Discussion and Coffee
1530-1615: Robert Bud (London)
1630-1730: Final discussion
Organization: Anne Kveim Lie ([email protected])
Contact: Amund Pedersen ([email protected])