Multipolar technoscience: clinical science collaborations in a changing world system

Rosemann, Achim (2014) Multipolar technoscience: clinical science collaborations in a changing world system. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This dissertation focuses on the formation and governance of international clinical
research collaborations in the field of regenerative stem cell medicine, and analyzes
these processes against the background of the current transition to a multipolarizing
scientific world system. The empirical point of departure of this study is an
ethnographic analysis of the establishment of a trans-continental academia-centered
clinical trials infrastructure, between researchers based in China, Hong Kong and the
USA. Field research was carried out in mainland China and Hong Kong amongst
scientists, clinical researchers, medical entrepreneurs, government regulators and
patients, between April 2010 and May 2011. The dissertation contributes to debates on
the processes and challenges that surround the global distribution of evidence-based
medicine clinical research standards, and the study of science and globalization in the
context of the emergence of new scientific, economic and geopolitical center regions
in the world, with a particular focus on literature that comments on the scientific
ascent of the People’s Republic of China.
The dissertation reveals that the global diffusion of evidence-based clinical
research standards, in regenerative stem cell medicine, is accompanied by the
surfacing of vital forms of resistance and the creation of novel transnational spaces of
alter-standardization, in which less rigorous, physician-based forms of experimental
clinical practice are endorsed, publicized and tried to be legitimized. The dissertation
uncovers, furthermore, that the creation of internationally standardized research zones,
in the clinical stem cell field, is not necessarily a stable or constant process. The
implementation of internationally recognized standards can be highly temporary and
depends upon activation in specific situational contexts. Multiple modalities of
experimental clinical practices continue to exist side by side to each other.
Another line of theorization in this study focuses on the contemporary
dynamics of global scientific multipolarization, and explores the empirical and
theoretical implications of this trend for international clinical research collaborations.
The dissertation argues that a new mode of clinical research partnerships may
gradually be emerging. Processes of collective financiering and joint-innovation are
giving rise to changing patterns of labour division, decision-making, benefit sharing,
profit sharing and revised forms of ownership regarding inventions and research data.
Based on a reflective engagement with postcolonial approaches to the study of science
and technology, the dissertation concludes that new analytical perspectives are
required, through which the empirical transformations and impact associated with the
move toward a multipolarizing science system, can be captured in a more nuanced,
and comprehensive manner.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN049 Physical anthropology. Somatology > GN296 Medical anthropology
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2014 09:42
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2015 15:10

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