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Science, Medicine, Technology and Society

Science, Medicine, Technology and Society Working Group

The definition of mind. Genomic sequencing. Algorithmic thinking. Science, Medicine, Technology Studies brings together what frequently are considered discrete bodies of knowledge in the sciences with universal questions about the historical, philosophical, and social scientific bases of that knowledge. This working group brings together faculty and students in interdisciplinary inquiries into the ethics, equity, governance, and theorization of science, medicine, and technology as social forces in society.

Below you can find the names and courses for faculty in the working group and courses that they regularly teach either during the year or during our SMTS Summer Program. Regular events give the public a space for intellectual debate over the critical questions facing societies today.

Events

The Science, Medicine, Technology and Society Working Group in Liberal Arts Presents:

Hydroxychloroquine and Covid-19: clinical trials, politics and public debate

Dr. Ilana Löwy

Dr. Ilana Löwy, Research Director of the Center for research in medicine, science, health, mental health, and society, University of Paris
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Zoom link: tulane.it/smts-covid19-event

The claim that anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19 became a focus of fierce political battles that pitted “medical elites” against the promoters of this supposed curative, among them Presidents Bolsonaro and Trump.

At the center of these battles are different meanings of effectiveness in medicine, the complex role of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in proving such effectiveness, the task of medical experts and the state in regulating pharmaceuticals, patients’ activism, and the collective production of medical knowledge. My talk, grounded in a research I conducted with my colleague Luc Berlivet, follows hydroxychloroquine’s trajectory as an anti-COVID-19 drug. It will focus first on the public reception of its main scientific promoter: the French infectious disease specialist Didier Raoult. Then it follows the trajectory of this drug in France, the US, and Brazil. The surprising travels of hydroxychloroquine, I will argue, is fundamentally a political event, not in the narrow sense of engaging specific political fractions, but in the much broader sense of the politics of public participation in science.

Faculty

Thomas Beller, English
Tom Beller is Director of Creative Writing in Tulane's Department of English. He is author of four books of fiction and non-fiction. His interests in science and medicine have taken him into research about lead and lead poisoning, psychoanalysis, trauma and public space, and illness as metaphor.

Daniel Burnston, Philosophy and Cognitive Studies
Daniel Burnston is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Tulane University, a faculty member in the Tulane Brain Institute, and the director of the Tulane Cognitive Studies Program. He is also the co-managing editor of the Brains Blog. He is interested in how scientists reason - what their concepts are like, how they employ representations of different kinds, and how these representations relate to explanation and scientific practice.
http://danburnston.tulane.edu
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/philosophy/people/dan-burnston

  • PHIL 6105: Philosophy of Neuroscience
  • PHIL 6170: Philosophy of Perception

Mariana Craciun, Sociology
Mariana Craciun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests include Sociology of Medicine, Expertise and Professions, Social Studies of Science, Sociological Theory, Qualitative Methods, Immigration. Her current research project examines the construction and legitimation of knowledge in the field of mental health.
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/sociology/people/mariana-craciun

  • SOCI 2100: Sociology of Medicine
  • SOCI 6080: Mental Health and Illness

Clare Daniel, Newcomb Center Institute
Clare Daniel is an American studies scholar and Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Leadership at Tulane University’s Newcomb Institute. Her research, teaching, and student program administration focuses on reproductive rights, health, and justice. Her book Mediating Morality: The Politics of Teen Pregnancy in the Post-Welfare Era was published in 2017 by the University of Massachusetts Press.
https://newcomb.tulane.edu/clare-daniel-phd
https://claredaniel.tulane.edu

  • COMM 2720: Media & Reproductive Rights

Karissa Haugeberg, History
Karissa Haugeberg studies the relationship between gender, race, politics, and medicine in the United States during the twentieth century. Her first book, Women against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform of the Twentieth Century (Illinois, 2017), charted the experiences of women who shaped the contemporary anti-abortion movement. Her next book “Nursing Revolution: Civil Rights, Feminism, and the American Nursing Profession, 1965-90,” explores how nurses supported and sometimes resisted social justice reforms.
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/history/people/karissa-haugeberg
https://www.karissahaugeberg.com

  • HISU 2500: Legal History US Gender Sex
  • HISU 2100: History of Medicine
  • HISU 3541: History of Reproductive Health in the U.S.

Jacquelyne Howard, Newcomb Center Institute
Jacquelyne Thoni Howard is Administrative Assistant Professor of Technology and Women’s History at Newcomb Institute. She solves humanities-based research questions using computing methods, increases the knowledge production about women’s participation in STEM fields, and advocates for the use of technology in teaching and research. Her current book project and database titled Families and Kin in the Lower French Louisiana Borderlands: 1700-1766 uses digital methods to examine the experiences of women and families in the North American Borderlands. She directs several technology student programs including the Digital Research Internship Program.
https://newcomb.tulane.edu/jacquelyne-thoni-howard-phd
http://bit.ly/jacq-howard

Katherine Johnson, Sociology
Katherine Johnson’s primary research interests are in the sociology of reproduction, which lies at the intersections of the sociology of gender, family, and health/healthcare. Her work addresses various reproductive health issues (e.g., infertility, abortion, childbirth, breastfeeding) as well as specific reproductive technologies (e.g., gamete donation, IVF, surrogacy) and the potential implications for (re)defining gender and family norms.
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/sociology/people/katherine-johnson

  • SOCI 2210: Sociology of Reproduction
  • SOCI 6100: Sociology of Health & Illness

Adeline Masquelier, Anthropology
Adeline Masquelier is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Her fields of study include: Cultural anthropology; religion, medicine and gender; West Africa.
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/anthropology/people/adeline-masquelier

  • ANTH 6340: Medical Anthropology

Vicki Mayer, Communication
Vicki Mayer’s research encompasses media and communication industries, their political economies, infrastructures, and their organizational work cultures, most recently as these relate to hyperscale data centers. Her theories inform her work in the digital humanities and pedagogy, most recently on ViaNolaVie and NewOrleansHistorical.
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/communication/people/dr-vicki-mayer

  • COMM 3160: Technology Analysis

Felicia McCarren, French and Italian
Felicia McCarren, Professor of French at Tulane University and associated faculty in Film Studies, is a cultural historian and performance theorist. Felicia is the author of four books: Dance Pathologies: Performance, Poetics, Medicine (Stanford University Press, Writing Science Series,1998); Dancing Machines: Choreographies of the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Stanford 2003); French Moves; The Cultural Politics of le hip hop (Oxford University Press, 2013), and One Dead at the Paris Opera Ballet; La Source 1866-2014 (Oxford, 2020), which explores science, sex and race in four historical performances of an Orientalist environmental ballet by the Paris Opera’s first archivist.
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/french-italian/people/felicia-mccarren

Andrew McDowell, Anthropology
Andrew McDowell has a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from Harvard University. His research interests focus on care, contagion, pharmaceuticals, diagnosis, and inequality in North and Western Indian social worlds entangled with tuberculosis. His current book project Breath, contagion, and caste: The intimate poetics of tuberculosis in India takes up the problem of spread. A study of rural Indian families muddling through overlapping atmospheres of airborne infectious disease, growing consumptive aspirations, and caste contagion, it theorizes life touched by spreading, uncultivated affects.
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/anthropology/people/andrew-mcdowell

  • ANTH 6340: Medical Anthropology

Courses

While there is no certificate in SMTS, these are a few of the regularly offered courses that interested students might consider:

  • ANTH 6340: Medical Anthropology
  • COMM 2720: Media & Reproductive Rights
  • COMM 3160: Technology Analysis
  • HISU 2500: Legal History US Gender Sex
  • HISU 2100: History of Medicine
  • PHIL 6105: Philosophy of Neuroscience
  • PHIL 6170: Philosophy of Perception
  • SOCI 2100: Sociology of Medicine
  • SOCI 2210: Sociology of Reproduction
  • SOCI 6080: Mental Health and Illness
  • SOCI 6100: Sociology of Health & Illness