CHSTM Workshop: Mediating Biomedicine: Engaging, Resisting, Negotiating

To be held at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, Friday 10 September and Saturday 11 September 2004

Like contemporary specialists in science communication, historians of medicine and science have largely rejected simple “top-down” models of interactions between everyday people and biomedical experts. Instead, they focus on the complexity and diversity of motives, interests, and understandings that have characterized past as well as present encounters centred on biomedical knowledge.

This small, workshop-style conference will bring together historians exploring dynamic relationships between educators and audiences, experts and laypeople, professionals and patients. The questions we will address include:

— How have expert producers and lay consumers of biomedical knowledge regarded each other, and how have they viewed the actors – journalists, popularizers, educators, activists, officials, and others – who have sought to mediate between them?

— How have these relationships evolved over time? How have the roles of the actors and institutions that mediate biomedicine changed? Have new media altered these relationships and roles, and if so, how?

— How can our historical understanding of past efforts to mediate biomedicine inform present attempts to comprehend and improve relationships between experts and laypeople?

A limited number of places are still available on the conference programme. We invite scholars interested in presenting to submit a 300-word abstract to the conference organizers. Please send abstracts, including full contact information,

1) by email to [email protected], or

2) by post to: Dr. Elizabeth Toon, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Maths Tower Rm. 3.32A, Oxford Road, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom).

For full consideration, abstracts must be emailed or postmarked by 16 April 2004.