Special issue: From Person to Population and Back: Exploring Accountability in Public Health
Special Issue in Social Studies of Science: “From Person to Population and Back: Exploring Accountability in Public Health” coedited by TIK's Susanne Bauer, Klaus Hoeyer (University of Copenhagen) and Martyn Pickersgill (University of Edinburgh).
Datafication and accountability in public health: Introduction to a special issue
K. Hoeyer, S. Bauer, M. Pickersgill
In this introduction, the editors suggest opening up accountability assemblages by asking a series of ostensibly simple questions that inevitably yield complicated answers: What is counted? What counts? And to whom, how and why does it count? Addressing such questions involves staying attentive to the technologies and infrastructures through which data come into being and are made available for multiple political agendas. Through a discussion of public health, accountability and datafication they present three key themes that unite the various papers as well as illustrate their diversity.
Following the algorithm: How epidemiological risk-scores do accountability
Katrin Amelan, Susanne Bauer
Epidemiological risk scores are calculative devices that mediate and enact versions of accountability in public health and preventive medicine. This article focuses on practices of accountability by following a cardiovascular risk score widely used in medical counselling in Germany. We follow the risk score in the making, in action, and in circulation to explore how the score performs in doctor-patient relations, how it recombines epidemiological results, and how it shapes knowledge production and healthcare provision. In this way, we follow the risk score’s various trajectories – from its development at the intersection of epidemiology, general medicine and software engineering, to its usage in general practitioners’ offices, and its validation infrastructures.