Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lecture: "Structural Bias and the Commercialization of Medicine" by Rebecca Kukla

“Structural Bias and the Commercialization of Medicine”
Rebecca Kukla
Dept of Philosophy, Georgetown University

3:30 pm, October 13, 2017
275 Nicholson Hall
216 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis MN

The rapid and massive commercialization and privatization of medical research and practice constitutes a seismic shift in how medical knowledge is built, disseminated, and applied. In this presentation, I examine the epistemological (as opposed to the narrowly ethical) effects of this commercialization. I consider how private interests shape what gets researched, using what methods, and how research results are communicated, as well as how these interests shape clinical practice and even our theoretical understanding of what counts as a disease. I argue that commercialization and private interests result in various epistemically distorting biases being built directly into how we organize medical research and practice, quite independently from anyone’s intentions or conscious goals.

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