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Federica Russo, What can technology do for you? Opportunities & challenges of health technologies in medicine and everyday life
20 November 2019 | 17 h 30 min - 19 h 00 min
Federica Russo is Assistant Professor at the Universiteit van Amstardam, where she carries out research and teaches philosophy of science (social sciences, techno-science, …).
She is interested in causality and probability in the social, biomedical and policy sciences, and in the relations between science and technology.
Technology is pervasive in science and everyday life. Health and disease are no exception in this respect. On the one hand, technologies are becoming increasingly essential to studying the phenomena of health and disease, whether as aids to data analysis or as machines able to analyse biological specimens, or other. On the other hand, technologies can be used by individuals, e.g., for daily health care or for monitoring body performance. Examples abound, but two will be of particular interest in this talk. The first example is the use of omics technologies in cancer research; these technologies allow researchers to shed light on some mechanisms explaining cancer development at the molecular level and that are responses to environmental exposures. This line of research also led to the conceptualisation of ‘allostatic load’, which is in some way related to the biological age of an individual. The second is example are technologies for healthy ageing, which include numerous devices for ‘telemedicine’ in order to promote ‘healthy ageing’. I explore opportunities and challenges that technologies offer to us in the context of health and disease, as scientists studying these phenomena and as individuals caring for our health. I as hope to show, technologies open – and re-open – an array of questions that go from the epistemological and ontological conceptualisation of health and disease, to methodological questions about data and modelling, to normative questions about autonomy, privacy, and ethics of research.