Towards the applied: the construction of ethical positions in stem cell translational research

Cribb, A.; Wainwright, S.; Williams, C.; Farsides, B. and Michael, Mike. 2008. Towards the applied: the construction of ethical positions in stem cell translational research. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 11(3), pp. 351-361. ISSN 1386-7423 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper aims to make an empirically informed analytical contribution to the development of a more socially embedded bioethics. Drawing upon 10 interviews with cutting edge stem cell researchers (5 scientists and 5 clinicians) it explores and illustrates the ways in which the role positions of translational researchers are shaped by the ‘normative structures’ of science and medicine respectively and in combination. The empirical data is used to illuminate three overlapping themes of ethical relevance: what matters in stem cell research, experimental treatment, and responsible claim making (as contrasted with ‘hype’. Finally, we suggest that this kind of ‘descriptive’ ethical analysis has potential relevance for understanding other substantive areas of stem cell ethics in practice, and we briefly consider the questions our analysis raises about role positions and ethical agency, and the implications for bioethics as a field of scholarship.

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Identification Number (DOI):


experimental treatment, ethical positions, hype, roles, sociology, stem cells, translational research

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]


September 2008Published

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Date Deposited:

15 Jan 2010 15:44

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 11:12

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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