Melnikova O., Zvonareva O. Crossing Boundaries: Medicine, Innovations and Society. Report on the International Conference “Social Sciences and Medical Innovations” Tomsk, Russian Federation, May 15–17, 2014 // Technology Assessment – Theory and Practice. № 2, 23 – S. 94-97 (with Zvonareva O.) (http://www.tatup-journal.de/english/tatup142_zvme14a.php)
Crossing boundaries is a challenge of our time. Representatives from a diverse range of disciplines and fields came together at the conference “Social Sciences and Medical Innovations” in order to discuss the dynamics of innovation in biomedicine and public health, as well as relations between such innovations and society. The conference was jointly organised by the Centre for Policy Analysis and Studies of Technologies (Tomsk State University, Russian Federation) and the Department of Health, Ethics and Society (Maastricht University, The Netherlands). In view of the fact that social sciences play a crucial role in understanding the processes and challenges of medical innovations, participants discussed the opportunities created by engagement between social and biomedical scientists, health professionals and policy makers. This highly interdisciplinary event brought together participants predominantly based in European and post-Soviet states, establishing novel connections between scholars involved in the field of medical innovations and engaged with different traditions of thought and disciplinary languages. Correspondingly, the questions raised in the course of the conference were diverse: How innovations in medicine and health are actually developed and how the relationships between innovations and everyday practices are mediated? What concepts and theoretical approaches are fruitful for understanding innovative initiatives in biomedicine and their meanings and consequences for the various actors involved? What concepts and approaches are useful for envisioning and reflecting on the future directions of innovations? How are medical innovation agendas shaped and what kind of governance processes are and should be involved? How do rapid scientific advances and new technologies address issues of public participation and accountability?