Cermes3 brings together sociologists, historians, economists and anthropologists to develop research on the recent transformations of the relations between medicine, science, health, mental health and society.
The researchers of Cermes3 work on various research subjects: the dynamics of pharmaceutical innovation, clinical practices in oncology, the history of psychiatry, care for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, addictions, or even policies concerning disabled people and the care they receive. Their research nevertheless always starts with the assumption that a new configuration of the relationships between medicine, science and society has been taking place for twenty or so years.
It is this new configuration that Cermes3 is seeking to characterize by employing methods from the social sciences to investigate the processes which today are shaping the new relations between the actors of the health system and the new hierarchies of professional, economic and state regulations, as well as ethical and moral regulations, characterizing it.
More specifically, the research work carried out at Cermes3 and which echoes the motives of IFRIS concern:
- innovations in the field of health, especially the links between the production of knowledge and medical and technological practices (the new practices of appropriation, the history of medicines, the shift in the boundaries between curative and palliative interventions, etc.)
- the way health risks are redefined and managed (the importance of genetic predispositions and neuroscience, the multiplication of controversies and forms of public expertise)
- the reconfigurations of the management systems and forms of intervention within the framework of “global health” or “health globalization” at three levels:
– In terms of actors: for example, the way Public-Private Partnerships are becoming more prominent and the international organizations or the roles of NGOs are becoming less so
– In terms of tools for intervention: the increasing importance of economic concerns (cost-benefit analysis) and the generalization of the patent system
– In terms of forms of knowledge: empasis is given to local knowledge (the remobiliation of traditional knowledge) and alternative forms of innovation (innovation in terms of health by and for developing countries)
Finally, one of the specific characteristics of Cermes3 is its comparative approach to these recompositions, which integrates the issue of globalization, “North-South” relations, and now also “South-South” relations (Brazil, India,West Africa).
Institutions to which it is affiliated: CNRS, INSERM, EHESS, Université Paris Descartes