By Alex Preda
Reading the formation of medical wisdom concerning the AIDS epidemic within the Nineteen Eighties, Alex Preda highlights the metaphors, narratives, and classifications which framed medical hypotheses in regards to the nature of the infectious agent and its transmission. Preda compares those arguments with these utilized in the medical research of SARS. He demonstrates how clinical wisdom approximately epidemics is formed by way of cultural narratives and different types of social concept via a close assessment of biomedical guides.
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Extra info for Aids Rhetoric and Medical Knowledge
6% Note: The ﬁve journals are: The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and Science. Syndrome” that the number of medical articles published on this topic grew from 655 in 1983 to 5,354 in 1989 (the timespan of this study extends from 1981 to 1989). Until 1986, ﬁve journals had a considerable share of the total number of published articles (see Table 1). Although this share has diminished over the years (the number of articles published by them grew at a slower rate than the total number worldwide), it is to be assumed that these articles have essentially shaped the medical discourse about AIDS and risk, even if only because in the ﬁrst years they represented almost one-third of the medical articles on AIDS published worldwide.
From this perspective, it can be argued that the articles they published, along with the stands taken by the American Academy of Sciences (which are mostly written by the same authors), the CDC bulletins, and conference papers, form a relevant data set for examining the textual production of medical knowledge on AIDS and risk. Clinicians’ recollections about the beginnings of AIDS have not been taken into account, because recollections about the past tend to reprocess events somewhat, selecting and reinterpreting them.
One answer has come from the rhetoric of science. , Schatzki, Knorr-Cetina, and von Savigny 2001). , Latour and Woolgar 1986; Knorr 1981; Woolgar 1988; Ashmore 1989) has questioned the traditional assumptions that there is a clear distinction between the content of a scientiﬁc theory (its logical structure) and the form in which it is expressed (its rhetoric as a literary genre) and that although the second is socially produced, the ﬁrst is immune to interests, power, persuasion, or other social inﬂuences.