AAA 2017 CFP: Value and Valuation in Biomedicine

AAA 2017 CFP: Value and Valuation in Biomedicine

November 29 – December 3

Washington, DC, USA

Organized by the Science, Technology, and Medicine section of the Society for Medical Anthropology

Biomedicine has become a powerful producer of financial value in local communities and in the global economy, something anthropologists have been studying, sometimes incidentally, for decades. But where does this value come from, who does it benefit, and what worlds are brought into being through the circulation of valuable biomedical artifacts and ideas? This panel, organized by the Science, Technology and Medicine special interest group of the Society for Medical Anthropology, builds on recent efforts in science studies and anthropology to open up the “black box” of valuation processes in technoscientific domains. Here, we will consider how financial value emerges from multiple aspects of the biomedical enterprise: everyday clinical care, the translational steps between bench and bedside, marketing and forecasting activities, epidemiological modeling, the decision making practices of health care company managers and executives, and more. What practices and logics make value in these settings? What relationships or tensions arise between different valuation paradigms? Under what circumstances do values described in “the lab” affect “the clinic”, and vice versa? How does the other sense of value – its moral and ethical connotations – become implicated in technical processes that assign numerical worth to interventions that promise to prolong, abbreviate, or otherwise alter the quality of human lives? We welcome ethnographically-engaged papers that consider these questions in any geographical setting, including in contexts where the value of the biomedical enterprise itself is open to debate.

Please submit abstracts of 250 words or less to Tanja Ahlin ( and Danya Glabau ( by noon EST on Friday, April 7, 2017 to ensure time for review and submission of the panel.

1 Comment

Respond to this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s