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In Search of a Problem: Mapping Controversies over NHS (England) Patient Data with Digital Tools
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9622-9915
Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8681-2576
2019 (English)In: Science, Technology and Human Values, ISSN 0162-2439, E-ISSN 1552-8251, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 478-513Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a long history in science and technology studies (STS) of tracking problematic objects, such as controversies, matters of concern, and issues, using various digital tools. But what happens when public problems do not play out in these familiar ways? In this paper, we will think through the methodological implications of studying “problems” in relation to recent events surrounding the sharing of patient data in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. When a data sharing agreement called care.data was announced in 2013, nearly 1.5 million citizens chose to opt out. Yet, in subsequent years, there has been little evidence of a robust public mobilising around data sharing. We will attempt to track this elusive ‘non problem’ using some digital tools developed in STS for the purpose of mapping issues and problem definitions within science. Although we find these digital tools are unable to capture the “problem,” the process of searching helps us map the terrain of the case and forces us to consider wider definitions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019. Vol. 44, no 3, p. 478-513
Keywords [en]
methodologies, methods, markets, data, politics, power, governance, health care, engagement, intervention
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154414DOI: 10.1177/0162243918796274ISI: 000464499800005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85058940446OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-154414DiVA, id: diva2:1287461
Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11 Last updated: 2019-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Moats, David

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