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Cafe Scientifique

Cafe Scientifique


Sharpen your interest and knowledge of science in an informal and friendly atmosphere. This is an opportunity for all members of the public to meet practicing scientists. Take part in the free debate/discussion while enjoying food and drinks from the Showroom café bar.


Monday 12 May 7pm
Showroom Cafe - FREE

From Papanicolau to Papilloma – The Corporatisation of Diagnostic Innovation
Dr Stuart Hogarth. Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine,
King's College London

When cancer screening began in the USA in the early twentieth century it was a public health initiative driven by physicians, charities, government agencies and women’s advocacy organisations. By the late twentieth century it had become a billion dollar business dominated by large corporations. In this talk I use cervical cancer screening as a case study to show how growth in that commercial enterprise is now being fuelled by a new wave of molecular screening tests. I contrast the development of the Pap smear in the first half of the twentieth century with the development of a rival molecular technology in the late twentieth century: DNA diagnostics for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). I will describe how the changing role of industry in diagnostic innovation is linked to the adoption of new business models and to commercial strategies characteristic of big pharma (including consumer advertising, funding of patient advocacy groups and the recruitment of key opinion leaders). This process of corporatisation poses important questions about what constitutes responsible innovation in diagnostics.


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  • Cafe Scientifique