The translational lag narrative in policy discourse in the United States and the European Union: a comparative study
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Whilst basic science rapidly produces new insights into the biological determinants of human health and disease, clinical innovation is often said to lag behind, as it fails to rapidly turn such knowledge into new tools for innovative patient care. This view of biomedical innovation constitutes a ‘translational lag narrative’, which is widely present in current research policy. This paper presents a qualitative content analysis of a corpus of documents (n = 28) issued by key policy actors in the domain of clinical translation between 2000 and 2018 in the United States and the European Union. The aim is to reconstruct how policy discourse articulates the translational lag narrative, and to analyze how the latter relates to specific sociotechnical imaginaries of progress and of the role of policymaking in their realization. The article identifies key impediments to clinical translation and highlights salient differences in the sociotechnical imaginaries of translation in the US and the EU. In the US, policy discourse around translation is mostly driven by the perceived need to re-instate linearity in the transition from knowledge-production to clinical innovation. In the European context, instead, the driving imaginary of the policy discourse around clinical translation has to do with constructing a distinctly European model of economic growth centered around the idea of a knowledge-based economy, thereby connecting policy stimuli for translation with broader political imaginations. This analysis elucidates how publicly staged narratives about science and technology in the biomedical field simultaneously contain state-specific visions of progress and statecraft. Show more
Journal / seriesHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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