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Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine$
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Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, and Francis Lee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689583.001.0001

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On the omnipresence, diversity, and elusiveness of values in the life sciences and medicine

On the omnipresence, diversity, and elusiveness of values in the life sciences and medicine

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 On the omnipresence, diversity, and elusiveness of values in the life sciences and medicine
Source:
Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine
Author(s):

Isabelle Dussauge

Claes-Fredrik Helgesson

Francis Lee

Steve Woolgar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689583.003.0001

Biomedicine – life sciences and medicine – are saturated with values. Valuations of life are intermingled with values such as scientific reputation, profitability, fairness, competition, and accessibility of care. Reciprocally, the practices of biomedicine produce values. For instance: public health, the preservation of endangered species, profitability of tamed animals, usability of clinical data, or bodily autonomy. This chapter begins outlining an approach to the study of values in practice. Thus it takes an interest not primarily in values as given entities, but rather how they are made. The exercise is rooted in an ambition to consider ‘values’ as something to be explained and explored rather than as given entities with explanatory power. In this the chapter tries to account for how peoples’ actions draw on values, and how agents’ actions and reactions come to enact values.

Keywords:   values, enactment, biomedicine, life sciences, performativity, biocapital, moral economy

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