with Mark Flear from the Queen’s University Belfast
Talk Title: ‘Performing and Legitimating the Future in Health Research Regulation: Regulating or Regulatory Futures?’
Expectations and the related concepts of visions and imaginaries are mobilised as rhetorical resources to concretise images of technology, engage investors, and build social and institutional support for innovation and the implementation of science and technology. Here I interrogate the roles of these concepts using the example of the global bioethics guideline on good clinical practice produced by the International Council on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use and its implementation in European Union health research regulation. By bringing together and synthesising insights from law, regulatory studies, critical theory, and science and technology studies, I aim to illuminate the way in which expectations and related concepts become key techniques of governing, including of risk management. In this way I seek to provide a new perspective from which to view the way in which expectations, visons and imaginaries regulate futures, but also how these – and the futures they perform into being – are regulated through their constitution as techniques of governing.
About the Speaker:
A significant part of Dr Flear’s work has focused on reframing governance and regulation beyond the state on public health, and as part of that new technologies, as a field for biopolitics. In this work he argues that citizen participation would add a valuable input of knowledge on health inequalities and vulnerabilities to shape the trajectory of innovation and improve the efficacy, accountability and legitimacy of public health regulation as a whole. Dr Flear pioneered ‘European law and new health technologies’ as a field and collaborative network and provided the first map of the modes of European Union law as it engages with new technologies. Research funding, clinical trials, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, patents and health indicators are some of the most important examples Dr Flear examines throughout his work. His research brings together insights from law, regulatory studies, critical theory, science and technology studies (STS) and the social studies of science, and his sustained engagement with these disciplines has informed each of his research projects.
About MI Lunches
Human health is essential for the enjoyment and maximisation of almost all human activities. As our health futures rapidly evolve alongside great medical, scientific, and technological advancement, we are faced with the obligation to both protect patients and promote ethical research. How to successfully navigate these interconnected and complex relationships is a challenge not yet met. The Mason Institute is at the forefront of research into the protection and promotion of human health. The MI Lunch Series reaches across the boundaries of discipline and institution to directly engage with crucial human health actors – researchers, practitioners, policymakers, patients, and the public – to exploit on-going research and explore this challenge.
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