Lectures

The scientific entrepreneur as hero: from Arrowsmith to the covid-19 vaccines

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Cover Arrowsmith, Pocket Books, 1944 Edition

Sinclair Lewis’s novel Arrowsmith, published in 1925 to critical and public acclaim (the book was awarded the Pulitzer prize, although Lewis refused it), is a bildungsroman with an unusual hero: a young doctor cum scientist, Martin Arrowsmith (Lewis, 1925). The hero’s career includes a range of roles and positions: he is at …

Lectures

Ludwik Fleck where are you now that we need you? Covid-19 and the genesis of epidemiological facts

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 Tests for Covid-19 and the politics of big numbers

We are incessantly flooded with data on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. WHO and the Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource provide information on the daily number of Covid-19 cases and deaths worldwide, while national media supply details on the dynamics of the pandemic in each state, region and city. These data …

Features

Ultrasound as a diagnostic tool in Brazil: celebrating babies, blurring problems.

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This is a photograph of a publicity for a “street corner” obstetrical ultrasound in Brazil. It proclaims: “ultrasound examinations at low prices.” The advertised “low prices” can be indeed be very low: some clinics charge less than US $10 for an ultrasound examination. The aim such examination is to confirm the existence of a pregnancy, provide reassurance, but above all …