Controlled Human Malaria Infection Trials: How Tandems of Trust and Control Construct Scientific Knowledge

E.M. Bijker, Hans Sauerwein, Wiebe Bijker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Controlled human malaria infections are clinical trials in which healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with malaria under controlled conditions. Controlled human malaria infections are complex clinical trials: many different groups and institutions are involved, and several complex technologies are required to function together. This functioning together of technologies, people, and institutions is under special pressure because of potential risks to the volunteers. In this article, the authors use controlled human malaria infections as a strategic research site to study the use of control, the role of trust, and the interactions between trust and control in the construction of scientific knowledge. The authors argue that tandems of trust and control play a central role in the successful execution of clinical trials and the construction of scientific knowledge. More specifically, two aspects of tandems of trust and control will be highlighted: tandems are sites where trust and control coproduce each other, and tandems link the personal, the technical, and the institutional domains. Understanding tandems of trust and control results in setting some agendas for both clinical trial research and science and technology studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-86
Number of pages31
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Keywords

  • CANCER CLINICAL-TRIALS
  • CHALLENGE
  • ERA
  • HEALTH
  • JOURNAL EDITORS
  • RESEARCH ORGANIZATION
  • RESEARCH PARTICIPATION
  • SCIENCE
  • clinical trials
  • control
  • malaria
  • social construction
  • trust

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