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Between Knowledge and Practice: On Medical Professionals, Patients, and the Making of the Genetics of Cancer.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date02/2002
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Number of pages29
Original languageEnglish


In this paper, I examine the historical development of a clinical test for `familial adenomatous polyposis' (FAP), an inherited condition which often leads to cancer of the colon. By paying attention to continuities and changes, especially in the engagement between those medical professionals and patients involved in the development of this test, I reconsider the relationship between knowledge and practice, with an eye to Michel Foucault's and Paul Rabinow's competing notions of `bio-power' and `biosociality'. I conclude by offering some speculative suggestions for further avenues of inquiry into the constitution of the `subject'.

Bibliographic note

Pre-publication draft. The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Social Studies of Science, 32 (1), 2002, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2002 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Social Studies of Science page: http://sss.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/