Appel à contribution – The view from below: On standards in clinical practice and clinical research

Appel à contribution - The view from below: On standards in clinical practice and clinical research

An international conference of the European Science Foundation Program
DRUGS in cooperation with the DFG research project "Psychotropic drugs
in the GDR"

organized by the Institute for the History of Medicine, Charité -
Universitaetsmedizin Berlin (Germany)

14/09/2011-16/09/2011, Berlin

Deadline for proposals: 28/02/2011

The Institute for the History of Medicine, Charité, will organize a
workshop in Berlin on 'The view from below: On standards in clinical
practice and clinical research'.
The workshop focuses on the ways of how standards in drug therapy and
clinical drug research emerged since the mid of 20th century. Key
questions to be addressed include: Which implicit processes of
standardisation can be observed during this period – processes of
standardizing terminology, concepts, and classifications as well as
note-taking, recording practices, and data processing? What were the
conditions under which routines in diagnostics or therapeutic schemas
(for instance drug cocktails) became established, or how were certain
research approaches accepted by the scientific community? How were
guidelines constructed for diagnostics, therapy, and research?
Recent studies in history, anthropology and sociology have often focused
on the impact of constructing standards in medical practice. Mostly,
they have analysed how clinical practices and the relations,
perspectives and the agency of actors (for instance of patients) were
transformed (Timmermans/Berg 2003). In contrast to the 'top down'
perspective our workshop aims to take the analytical approach from
clinical practice. Therefore the workshop will focus on the emergence
and construction of – often implicit – standards. We want to address the
concrete settings of bedside observation, clinical research, and patient
treatment. Special emphasis will be given to recording practices based
on hospital patient files, case reports, research notes, and other
materials left behind in the clinical practice. This approach will also
examine the different positions and scopes of influence of actors as
well as the negotiation processes between them.
 From this perspective, standardization prompted disciplining or
regulative action (in the form of standards or normalization). This is
the reason why we propose that there existed two different modes of how
standards were generated, produced, and distributed. First, standards
were created by explicitly reflecting upon the practice. Secondly, some
standards were formed implicitly from routines and repetitions of
practices. The second mode however is rarely noticed in sciences
studies. So we would welcome particularly all contributions that focus
on the second mode with historical case studies. We also embrace all
contributions that explore theoretical approaches as well as those which
adopt a more empirical analysis. What are the possibilities gained from
analyzing processes of standardization through the study of recording
practices? Which kind of 'Aufschreibesystem' (recording practices) are
most suitable? What can we learn about developing therapeutic routines,
research standards, and guidelines in the medical clinic? Further topics
that are welcomed for this workshop include the clinical practices of
'off-label-use', the training and education of the medical and the nurse
staff as well as of patients and relatives, the production of
compliance, the processes from bedside to evidence-based medicine (and
back), and the emergence of audit cultures for quality management.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 28 February 2011. Please
submit paper proposals (1 page) with presentation title,
presenter(s) name(s) and contact information via e-mail to:

Organizing committee:

Dr Ulrike Klöppel
Dr Viola Balz

Institute for the History of Medicine
Charité - Universitaetsmedizin
Ziegelstrasse 5-9
D-10117 Berlin

fon: x49-(0)-30-450 52 9040 / 9045
fax: x49-(0)-30-450 52 9901