April 20, 2021, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Double Work in Progress Seminar

King's College London - Chaired by Dr Silvia Camporesi

via Zoom

3:00-3:45 pm

Wellcome Trust PhD candidate, Victoria Charlton, will present her work on the topic of:

‘NICE and Fair(er)? Justice, transparency and the normative basis of decision-making at the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’

Abstract: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the UK’s preeminent healthcare priority-setter, responsible for advising the National Health Service (NHS) on which technologies to adopt and which to reject. In formulating its recommendations, NICE necessarily adopts a range of value judgements that, until recently, were articulated in a 2008 document entitled ‘Social value judgements: Principles for the development of NICE guidance’ (‘SVJ’). Since 2008, however, NICE’s methods have evolved significantly and questions have arisen about the extent to which these continue to align with the approach articulated in SVJ. In light of SVJ’s replacement in January 2020, this study uses documentary analysis to examine whether its successor (‘Principles’) offers a transparent account of NICE’s current normative approach. It finds that it does not. Despite the evolution of NICE’s methods, Principles derives much of its content directly from SVJ, incorporating little new information to acknowledge or explain NICE’s updated approach and omitting much of the foundational material that previously tethered NICE’s value judgements to an underlying normative scheme. Principles also provides a procedurally-focused account of NICE’s approach at a time when its methods are becoming increasingly reliant on substantive decision-rules and ‘modifiers’ that cannot be justified in purely procedural terms. As such, it is argued that Principles does not offer a transparent account of the basis for NICE’s recommendations (either alone, or in combination with other documents) and that, given NICE’s continued reliance on transparency as a requirement of procedural justice, NICE does not currently meet its own definition of a just decision-maker.

3:45 -4:30 pm 

KCL Research Fellow, Rachel Faulkner Gurnstein, will present her work on the topic of:

Who knows, Who cares?: An Ethnography of Clinical Research Delivery in the Bioeconomy’

Abstract: Clinical research embedded within the United Kingdom’s National Health Service is simultaneously an increasingly important area of economic activity and a pathway of patient care. Typically viewed as the domain of clinical academics, lab scientists and biostatisticians, the successful conduct of clinical research relies on the vital yet overlooked contributions of the clinical research delivery workforce. These workers perform the concrete tasks necessary to produce usable data for clinical research and represent the interface between patients and the bioeconomy. This project will be the first in-depth sociological study of the labour of clinical research delivery, shining a light on the workforce that enables the operation of one of the most advanced and important economic sectors in the UK today. Based on an extended ethnographic case study of the Clinical Research Facility at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT), this research will situate the day-to-day work of clinical research delivery within the broader institutional and political-economic context of the bioeconomy. It will explore the changing professional world of clinical research delivery workers, their contributions to knowledge production and value creation, and the complex combinations of knowledge and care labour that they perform within a changing public health service.

Zoom link:


Meeting ID: 858 8450 8407

Passcode: 457709

All are welcome!