Drawing upon ITEMS thematic network results (Identifying Trends in European Medical Space. Contribution of social and human sciences, FP5), MEDUSE aims at setting up a dialogue between social scientists and non-academic actors directly concerned with three issues:
1- The dynamics of patient organizations in the European area
2- The emergence of new technologies and responsibilities for health care at home across diverse European systems and cultures
3- Cross-national and European perspectives on health safety agencies.
These three topics appear as highly relevant issues for health policies: they put matters of governance and citizenship to the front, due to new framings of knowledge production and use in the domain of health and medicine. All three also relate to the increasing role played by non-traditional actors (e.g. patient organizations, health agencies, networks for care at home). Three large conferences will be organized, gathering social scientists, professionals, patients' representatives, decision and policy makers, both at national and European levels. These conferences will be framed as to put academic and non-academic participants on an equal footing.
For this to be achieved, two sets of preparatory activities will be undertaken:
1- setting up of bibliographical databases on the three issues, comprising academic and grey literatures and reports from experts, available on ITEMS website
2- preparatory exchanges with participants on issues of particular interest to them.
The conferences will be arranged in order to disseminate social science findings and to permit cross-examination of the issues at stake. Exchanges will concern: questions likely to be put on the scientific and political agenda; desirable knowledge for addressing these questions; modalities of partnership between social scientists and non-academic actors which will suit the best for producing this knowledge. Recommendations on these matters will be issued at the end of the project.
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