Genomic research and the cancer clinic: uncertainty and expectations in professional accounts

Kerr, A. , Swallow, J., Chekar, C. K. and Cunningham-Burley, S. (2019) Genomic research and the cancer clinic: uncertainty and expectations in professional accounts. New Genetics and Society, 38(2), pp. 222-239. (doi: 10.1080/14636778.2019.1586525) (PMID:31156350) (PMCID:PMC6519890)

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This paper explores clinicians’ and scientists’ accounts of genomic research in cancer care and the complexities and challenges involved with delivering this work. Contributing to the sociology of (low) expectations, we draw on sociological studies of uncertainty in medicine to explore their accounts of working with uncertainty as part of the management of patient and institutional expectations. We consider their appeals to the importance of modest inquiry and framing of the uncertainties of genomic medicine as normal and at times welcome as they sought to configure professional autonomy and jurisdictions and cultivate an experimental ethos amongst their patients. We argue that these types of uncertainty work [Star, S. L. 1985. “Scientific Work and Uncertainty.” Social Studies of Science 15 (3): 391–427] are a key feature of managing expectations at the intersections of genomic research and clinical care.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The work on which this study is based was funded as part of a Wellcome Trust [award 104832/Z/14/Z].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kerr, Professor Anne
Authors: Kerr, A., Swallow, J., Chekar, C. K., and Cunningham-Burley, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:New Genetics and Society
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9915
Published Online:07 March 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in New Genetics and Society 38(2): 222-239
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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