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Title: Shifting paradigms? Reflections on regenerative medicine, embryonic stem cells and pharmaceuticals
Authors: Wainwright, SP
Michael, M
Williams, C
Keywords: Pharmaceuticals;Embryonic stem cells;Expectations;Bourdieu;Cell transplant
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Sociology of Health & Illness, 30(6), 959 - 974, 2008
Abstract: Will human embryonic stem (hES) cells lead to a revolutionary new regenerative medicine? We begin to answer this question by drawing on interviews with scientists and clinicians from leading labs and clinics in the UK and the USA, exploring their views on the bench-bedside interface in the fields of hES cells, neuroscience and diabetes. We employ Bourdieu's concepts of field, habitus and capital in order to understand stem cell science and cell transplantation. We also build on research on the sociology of expectations, and explore expectations of pharmaceutical approaches in hES research through our concept of ‘expectational capital’. In the process we discuss emerging expectations within stem cell research, most especially the ‘disease in a dish’ approach, where hES cells will be used as tools for unravelling the mechanisms of disease to enable the development of new drugs. We argue that experts’ persuasive promises advance their interests in the uncertain stem cell field, and explore how this performative strategy might stabilise the emerging ‘disease in a dish’ model of translational research.
Description: This article is available open access through the publisher’s website at the link below. Copyright @ 2008 The Authors.
ISSN: 1467-9566
Appears in Collections:Sociology
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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