Innovation in health: a social science perspective – Andrew Webster

November 26, 2009

“Innovative health technologies: health systems in transition Workshop”

Supported by: Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)

Organized by: Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva (Internet Interdisciplinary Institute –UOC) and Michael Hardey (Hull/York Medical School – Science and Technology Studies Unit, Department of Sociology, University of York)

Data: 26th November

Place: UOC IN3 building. Av. Canal Olímpic, s/n. Edifici B3, 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona)

Andrew Webster’s presentation – Innovation in health: a social science perspective

This presentation offers a brief account of the ways in which innovation, and more specifically medical innovation, can be understood from within a social science perspective, illustrating the ways in which innovation has to be seen as an articulation of both old and new assemblages, the broad range of socio-technical relations that make it possible and indeed workable. In light of this discussion, the paper goes on to raise a number of issues that need to be addressed in future policy and practice contexts, relating to the take-up, choice, evaluation and globalisation of innovation.

Andrew Webster

Professor Andrew Webster is Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU), and Head of Department of Sociology at the University of York. He was Director of the £5m ESRC/MRC Innovative Health Technologies Programme, is member of various national Boards and Committees (including the UK Stem Cell Bank Steering Committee and UK National Stem Cell Network Steering Committee) and was Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Health Select Committee. He is national co-ordinator the ESRC’s £3.5m Stem Cells Initiative (2005-9), and was a member of the Royal Society’s Expert Working Group on Health Informatics. He is currently undertaking externally funded research on stem cells as well as the implementation of pharmacogenetics into clinical practice, and is coordinating a new European (EC) grant on Regenerative Medicine (REMEDiE). He is Co-Editor of the Health Technology and Society Series: Palgrave Macmillan (launched at the Royal Society, October 25 2006). His most recent book is Health, Technology and Society: A Sociological Critique (Palgrave Macmillan) 2007. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in 2006.