Book launch ‘Prozac Diaries’ (SUP) by Dr Orkideh Behrouzan Monday December 5th 6 pm River Room

pid_24475BOOK LAUNCH  is tomorrow Monday December 5th! With an introduction by Professor Nik Rose

Where: River Room, Strand Campus

When: 6 to 8 pm


Prozak Diaries is an analysis of emerging psychiatric discourses in post-1980s Iran. It examines a cultural shift in how people interpret and express their feeling states, by adopting the language of psychiatry, and shows how experiences that were once articulated in the richly layered poetics of the Persian language became, by the 1990s, part of a clinical discourse on mood and affect. In asking how psychiatric dialect becomes a language of everyday, the book analyzes cultural forms created by this clinical discourse, exploring individual, professional, and generational cultures of medicalization in various sites from clinical encounters and psychiatric training, to intimate interviews, works of art and media, and Persian blogs. Through the lens of psychiatry, the book reveals how historical experiences are negotiated and how generations are formed.

Orkideh Behrouzan traces the historical circumstances that prompted the development of psychiatric discourses in Iran and reveals the ways in which they both reflect and actively shape Iranians’ cultural sensibilities. A physician and an anthropologist, she combines clinical and anthropological perspectives in order to investigate the gray areas between memory and everyday life, between individual symptoms and generational remembering. Prozak Diaries offers an exploration of language as experience. In interpreting clinical and generational narratives, Behrouzan writes not only a history of psychiatry in contemporary Iran, but a story of how stories are told.


About the author

Orkideh Behrouzan is Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology at King’s College London, and a 2015-16 Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. She is the winner of the 2011 Kerr Award from the Middle Eastern Studies Association.

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Upcoming events: London Bioethics Colloquium Monday December 5th with Arnon Keren

The next session of the London Bioethics Colloquium is coming up on Monday – we’re excited to have Arnon Keren with us, who is currently visiting King’s Philosophy department.

5 December 2016, 16:00-17:30

King’s College London, Strand Campus, Somerset House East Wing, SW1.18 (Moot Court)

Arnon Keren (University of Haifa / King’s College London): Autonomy, ignorance and informed consent

We look forward to seeing hopefully many of you!
All the best

Annette and James

London Bioethics Colloquium 2016-17

All welcome, no need to register.

6 February 2017, 16:00-17:30
King’s College London, Strand Campus, Somerset House East Wing, SW1.17 (Ante Room)

Garrett Brown (University of Sheffield): An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: Global health justice and the new global health emergency financing facilities’


6 March 2016, 16:00-17:30
University College London, location TBC
Emily McTernan (University College London): title TBC
Other talks or events of interest
16 January 2017, 11:30-13:30, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King’s College London: Digital Specters: The Life Journeys of Biodata Commodities

Speaker: Dr Mary Ebeling

The rise of the “databased society” creates conditions where health information about our lives often is extracted directly from our bodies to inhabit distributed databases without our knowledge or consent. Within these servers, our information lays dormant, awaiting the application of data-mining algorithms to infuse new life into “dead” matter, and transform our information into the currency of the data industry: biodata commodities. I trace the “life journey” of the biodata commodity–from its birth, death and resurrection as a new digital life-form.


26-27 January 2017, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King’s College London: Measuring Global Health – An International Workshop on the Political, Social and Ethical Aspects of Metrics and Quantification in Global Health

Metrics and quantification – from epidemiological surveillance to cost-effectiveness calculations – have become ubiquitous in the field of global health of late. A collaboration between King’s College London, McGill University and Queen Mary University, this workshop will bring epidemiologists and global health practitioners together with social scientists and historians to discuss the political, social and ethical aspects of this recent development. It will explore the political discourses, institutional forms and statistical techniques that make these metrics possible. It will also examine what numerical evidence has more traction and what remains unaccounted for and why. And, it will look at how metrics transform the way global health advocacy, politics and management is done.

Participation to the workshop is free, but places are limited and prior registration is necessary. If interested, please email Dr. David Reubi ( Please feel free to share this information throughout your own networks.
26 January 2017, 17:00-18:30, Philosophy & Medicine, King’s College London: What’s wrong with pragmatic clinical trials?
Lecture: Nancy Cartwright, Department of Philosophy, University of Durham (Work with Sarah Wieten)

In principle nothing is wrong with pragmatic trials: trials that ‘seek to determine the effectiveness of an intervention in a real-world setting to inform clinical decision making’ (Roland and Torgerson, 1998). In aid of this, pragmatic trials eliminate some of the exclusion conditions that are usual in what are labelled ‘ideal’ or ‘explanatory’ trials. The trouble comes with the concepts of ‘effectiveness’ and ‘external validity’. Positive results in well-conducted trials, whether ideal or pragmatic, show only that the treatment has worked for some members of the population enrolled in the trial. They cannot establish that it works in general nor what other factors help or hinder. Similarly, a pragmatic trial can establish that the treatment worked in the particular ‘real world’ setting – the one in which it was conducted, not that it works in ‘real world clinical practice’. Nor can they tell us what, if anything, is causally relevant in those settings. What can they do then? We shall argue that pragmatic trial results can be used in just the same way as ‘explanatory’ trial results: in tandem with a great deal of other evidence and theory, especial ‘midrange’ theory, to build credible local claims about how specific populations – or possibly even a specific individual – in specific places and circumstances may respond.

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Bioethics Film Screening and discussion of ‘GATTACA’ at Deptford Cinema December 12th with Giulia Cavaliere

The Deptford Cinema is launching a Bioethics film screening. The first event will be on the 12th of December showing  GATTACA, a very interesting (and prescient!) film on human enhancement, justice and assisted reproduction starring Jude Law, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.

After the screening  Birkbeck scientist Dr Clare Sansom and King’s bioethicist Giulia Cavaliere will open the discussion. Drinks will follow.

For more info and to book tickets see here:


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Applications now open for applications for Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods for Social Science and Health.

The Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London is now accepting applications for the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods for Social Science and Health.

The Postgraduate Certificate is aimed at social science and health researchers, professionals and practitioners who wish to develop their understanding and practical application of quantitative and qualitative research methods. This programme is suitable for students from a range of health, policy and government sectors, including those who conduct, manage and commission research. Past students have joined us from government bodies such as the Civil Service, charitable organisations including Cancer Research & Unicef, branches of the NHS and other Higher Education providers.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods for Social Science and Health aims to:

  1. Provide students with foundational training in research design, governance, quantitative and qualitative methods for research in health and public services and the social sciences.
  2. Develop a critical understanding of research methods for those who wish to evaluate and apply existing scholarship and commission or undertake original research.

Students take three modules that are taught on Thursdays from 19th January to 30th March 2017, which provide basic research design, quantitative and qualitative training:

  • Designing Quantitative Research for Social Science & Health
  • Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Designing Qualitative Research for Social Science & Health

Students then choose one further module (Researching Vulnerable Populations or an advanced statistical course, Data Manipulation and Management) that is taught over one full week in mid-May (15th to 19th).

The PG Certificate is 60 credits at a Masters level, which means that these credits can be applied to select MSc degrees offered in the department should students desire to further their studies (e.g., MSc Gerontology).

Further information about the certificate can be found here (note: the PG Cert is nested within the MSc programme):

and additional information about all our taught programmes can be found here:

For any questions please contact Valerie D’Astous at Valerie.d’

Tel +44 (0) 20 7848 7061

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POST-PONED! Work in Progress Seminar Nov 17th: Dr Robert Smith presents “Integrating diverse knowledges into strategic research funding policy for genome-edited plants”

This Work in Progress has been post-poned.

Watch this space for new date and time.

We are delighted to announce that the GHSM Work in Progress Seminar Series (WiPs) is ready to kick off again with a seminar by Dr Robert D.J. Smith titled “Integrating diverse knowledges into strategic research funding policy for genome-edited plants”.

When: Thursday November 17th at 4 PM

Where: Room 3.1.1, 3rd floor East Wing King’s Building, Strand Campus (Department of Global Health & Social Medicine)

You can read the abstract here.

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Dr Rob Smith

Robert Smith is a sociologist of science and technology. His work explores the social and ethical dimensions of the biosciences, primarily in relation to science policy, research funding and laboratory science.

His work currently examines: 1) the embedding of responsible innovation in research funding organisations; 2) the imagination and realisation of automation in synthetic biology / biological engineering, and the consequences this has for scientific roles, notions of value and understandings of skill; and 3) the practical and methodological consequences of collaboration for scholars in Science and Technology Studies. His past work has focused predominantly on the way that ethics was constructed and enacted in a controversial biotechnology, biofuels.

If you would like to attend contact the convenor of the seminar series Giulia Cavaliere who will send you the full draft of the paper.

A quick reminder: these seminars are part of the BIOS+ Research Group events and offer the opportunity to the members of the Department to discuss drafts of their work-in-progress and receive helpful feedback from colleagues before submission or before a presentation.

The aim is to bring together the researchers in the Department (and not only!) and provide a locus for sharing expertise and knowledge in an informal setting. Junior researchers, including PhD students and post-docs, are especially encouraged to present and attend. Contact the convenor Giulia Cavaliere if you are interested.

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