BitS in practice

Biomedicine in Society (BitS) brings together scholars in social sciences of biomedicine at the Department of Social Research. It provides a forum for transdisciplinary discussion on development, application and influence of cutting edge medical technology in Finnish society, a framework for common research projects and events, and interfaces across disciplinary and institutional borders of biomedicine and social sciences.

The purpose of BitS is to carry out high quality research on the development and deployment of advanced biomedicine in social, economic and ethical contexts. The research projects in BitS are focused broadly on post genomics, reproductive and regenerative medicine, neurosciences and mental health as well as bioinformatics. More information on these research areas and individual projects can be found from the respective pages in this blog. In general, the studies are focused on:

  • Requirements and environments for development and implementation of biomedical high-tech in clinical work, public health and health policy
  • The image and reception of advanced medical technology among the lay publics
  • Political and economic interests and dependencies connected to medical high-tech
  • Ethical discussion on development of biomedical technology

Besides research activities, BitS initiates and creates opportunities for discussion on these topics in expert and policy-making forums and in public. A main objective is to stimulate stakeholder involvement in these issues and encourage discussion that would transgress institutional and disciplinary boundaries.

Activities of BitS unite the best expertise in Finnish biomedicine with the best expertise in social studies on biomedicine. For this reason, BitS is capable of focusing research and discussion about the social and political dimensions of advanced biomedicine to themes which are concrete and relevant for medical research, health care and policy and for the general public. BitS projects address the most critical issues in public debate on medical research. At the same time, they are able to address those social and ethical challenges which medical research consider central in pursuing new medical technology. Moreover, BitS focuses on concrete issues and challenges in implementation of high-tech medicine which clinicians and policy-makes consider the most topical.

Members of BitS:

BitS Research platform is directed and convened by  Docent Ilpo Helén. The other members in University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research are: Dr. Mianna Meskus, Dr. Aaro Tupasela, Dr. Karoliina Snell, Dr. Sakari Tamminen, Dr. Anna-Maria Tapaninen, M.Soc.Sci. Lotta Hautamäki, M.Soc.Sci. Heta Tarkkala, M.Soc.Sci. Elina Helosvuori. For more information on the research activities of the members, please see the links to their homepages.