Futures past and present: hopes and fears and the history of antibiotic resistance

Futures past and present: hopes and fears and the history of antibiotic

Oslo, April 22-23, 2013

Antibiotic resistance is today acknowledged as one of the greatest
challenges for modern medicine. Dystopic visions are prevalent, the
fear of a future epidemic for which no treatment is available
widespread, and terms such as “superbugs”, confer a special agency to
multiresistant microbes. In other areas of medicine, the future is
defined in opposition to the past as the “place” where solutions are
realized, presence manifested, and wrongs righted”. However, in the
treatment of infectious disease it is the past which has these glorious
futures (”magic bullet”, ”golden age of medicine)”.

Hopes or fears for a future do not only describe expectations, they are
also part of the way these futures (our present) are brought into being.
They are performative in the sense that they mobilize the interest of
allies and define political agendas, and therefore particularly
interesting to study. However, they are largely unexplored as such in
the history of medicine. This conference intends to explore the changing
expectations of antibiotics over time. It will explore past (and some
present) dreams, hopes and fears for the future, in the clinic, in
politics, and in the laboratory settings.

Monday April 22nd

1000: Anne Kveim Lie (Oslo): Exploring past and present futures:
opening and welcome

Agricultural past and present futures
1030-1130: Ulrike Thoms (Berlin); Antibiotics, Agriculture and
Political Agendas. Past, Present and Future of German Agricultural
Policy and its Impact on Strategies against Microbiological Resistance
Claas Kirchhelle (Oxford): Utilizing resistance. Agricultural
antibiotics, public anxiety, and expert empowerment in Britain (1953-2003)
1130-1200: Discussion
1200-1300: Lunch

Clinical past and present futures
1300-1430: Scott Podolsky (Harvard) Antibiotic Anxieties: Therapeutic
Dystopias and the Framing of Antibiotic Reform, 1948-2013
Morten Lindbæk (Oslo): Negotiating futures: working with use of
antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in community medicine
1430-1500: Coffee
1500-1600: Flurin Condreau (Zürich): Controlling fears: Hospitals and
infection (control) in Britain 1860-1960
Quentin Ravelli (Paris): Knowledge without power: multi-resistance
from global consciousness to local helplessness
1600-1630: Discussion
1900: Dinner

Tuesday April 23th

Past and present futures of the pharmaceutical industry
0900-1030: Maria Jesus Santesmases (Madrid) Expectations fulfilled:
Inventing a Spanish antibiotic 1959-1975
Christoph Gradmann (Oslo): A future for a molecule: inventing
combination therapy for tuberculosis 1940-1960?
Amund Pedersen (Oslo): Mobilizing hope in the midst of fear:
negotiating penicillin production and distribution in Norway
1030-1130: Discussion and coffee break

Public health past and present futures
1130-1230: Anne Kveim Lie (Oslo): A battle of futures: dystopias and
utopias in drug regulation policies and practices in Norway
Bård Hobæk (Oslo): Dystopic visions and restrictive practice: The
Norwegian “clause of need” in practice
1230-1330: Lunch
1330-1430: Dag Berild (Oslo): Apocalyptic scenarios: effective means of
prevention or scare propaganda?
Siri Jensen (Oslo): Different expectations for the future? Cultural
factors and the prescription and consumption of antibiotics.
1430: Discussion and Coffee

Concluding comment
1530-1615: Robert Bud (London)
1630-1730: Final discussion
1900: Dinner

Anne Kveim Lie (ahlie@medisin.uio.no)

Amund Pedersen (amund.pedersen@medisin.uio.no)

Attendance: Open for all (no conference fee). Please register by April
12th to (amund.pedersen@medisin.uio.no)

Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel
Holbergs gate 30, 0165 OSLO