Jeannette Pols

Jeannette is the associate professor and principal investigator at the section of medical ethics, Department of General Practice of the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, since November 2006. She was appointed Socrates professor of social theory, humanism and materialities at the Department of Anthropology, on the programme ‘Health, Care and the Body’, at the University of Amsterdam, on behalf of the Socrates Foundation. Jeannette has a PhD in empirical philosophy from the University of Twente (2004). Her thesis, ‘Good care. Enacting a complex ideal in long-term mental health care’, won the award of the Dutch Society for Bioethics for the best publication in medical ethics. She has two doctoralen (Masters), one in social philosophy & ethics (1992) and the other in clinical psychology (1992), both at the University of Groningen.

The core of her research is empirical ethics, which studies ‘normativity in practice’. She formulated three research lines for the Socrates chair, to which she was appointed in 2012:

1) the analysis of ethical and aesthetic values in sociomaterial care practices;
2) the articulation of actual and preferable subject positions of people with chronic disease and other technology users; and
3) conceptualising practical knowledge of patients and their carers.

In 2006 the AMC hired Jeannette to develop innovative theory-based ethnographic research into telecare technologies for people with chronic illness. The study showed how people engage in relations with technologies and analysed the values they brought into being. This knowledge on technology-in-use which is often very different from technology-as-hoped-for. For instance, the main benefit of telecare technology was that it facilitated mutually supportive relationships among patients or informal carers, rather than doctor-patient interaction. That is exactly the opposite of the ideas projected in policies supporting individual ‘self-management’.

Related Sessions
Saturday 17 October 2015, 10.00 Frobisher Auditorium 1
Sunday 18 October 2015, 10.00 Cinema 2

Should we fear democracy?

"Some of the freest speech I have enjoyed in years."
Baroness Ruth Deech QC, crossbench peer; chairman, Bar Standards Board

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