Bodies of information : reinventing bodies and practice in medical education
Reinventing bodies and practice in medical education
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society.
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This dissertation recounts the development of graphic models of human bodies and virtual reality simulators for teaching anatomy and surgery to medical students, residents, and physicians. It considers how researchers from disciplinary cultures in medicine, engineering, and computer programming come together to build these technologies, bringing with them values and assumptions about bodies from each of their disciplines, values and assumptions that must be negotiated and that often are made material and embedded in these new technologies. It discusses how the technological objects being created privilege the body as a dynamic and interactive system, in contrast to the description and taxonomic body of traditional anatomy and medicine. It describes the ways that these technologies create new sensory means of knowing bodies. And it discusses the larger cultural values that these technologies reify or challenge. The methodology of this dissertation is ethnography. I consider in-depth one laboratory at a major medical school, as well as other laboratories and researchers in the field of virtual medicine. I study actors in the emerging field of virtual medicine as they work in laboratories, at conferences, and in collaborations with one another. I consider the social formations that are developing with this new discipline. Methods include participant observation of laboratory activities, teaching, surgery, and conferences and extensive, in-depth interviewing of actors in the field. I draw on the literatures in the anthropology of science, technology, and medicine, the sociology of science, technology, and medicine, and the history of science and technology to argue that "bodies of information" are part of a bio-engineering revolution.(Cont.) that is making human bodies more easily viewed and manipulated. Science studies theorists have revealed the constructed, situated, and contingent nature of technoscientific communities and the objects they work with. They also have discussed how technoscientific objects help create their subjects and vice versa. This dissertation considers these phenomena within the arena of virtual medicine to intervene in debates about the body, about simulation, and about scientific cultures.
Thesis (Ph. D. in History and Social Study of Science and Technology (HASTS))--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Program in Science, Technology and Society, June 2004."May 2004."Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-253).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Science, Technology and Society.