Publications of Kim Hendrickx
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See detailMoving cells to the market: an inquiry into the circulation and valuation of stem cells
Delvenne, Pierre ULiege; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege; Parotte, Céline ULiege

Conference (2021, June 17)

Innovation in the life sciences in general and stem cell science in particular is driven by an interlinked set of market demands with regulatory arrangements. Predominant among these markets are research ... [more ▼]

Innovation in the life sciences in general and stem cell science in particular is driven by an interlinked set of market demands with regulatory arrangements. Predominant among these markets are research funding, scientific labor, research materials, clinical labor, venture capital, patenting and, last but not least, patients. In other words, biological materials and biomedical products have become key sites of capital accumulation and encapsulate huge hopes for new health therapies and economic growth. Yet very little scholarly attention has been paid to the movement of human tissues from the clinic to the market — the various steps from sampling to storage, packaging, transportation and commercialization — and the successive stages to ‘realize value’. To address this shortage, we suggest to empirically investigate stem cells not as objects in their own right, but as co-constituted with infrastructures that translate and valorize them. We develop a framework to detect multiple, potentially conflicting, notions of ‘value’ and focus on the difficulties and negotiations to objectify this multiplicity in standards of economic value (e.g. in financial terms such as price and reimbursement). Relying on prolonged ethnographic research conducted in parallel in a laboratory of gene and cell therapy at a university hospital and in a clinical stage pharmaceutical company, this presentation will empirically allow to question how, why and with what consequences stem cells circulate and gain value by following their journey from donors to the market. Informed by science and technology studies, valuation studies and the material turn in social science, our results will illuminate the mutual shaping of moving stem cells markets, medical and regulatory practices. [less ▲]

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See detailOrphan Drugs, Compounded Medication and Pharmaceutical Commons.
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege; Dooms, Marc

in Frontiers in pharmacology (2021), 12

Regulatory agencies installed orphan drug regulations to stimulate research and development of new innovative treatments for life-threatening diseases with a low prevalence (rare diseases). We established ... [more ▼]

Regulatory agencies installed orphan drug regulations to stimulate research and development of new innovative treatments for life-threatening diseases with a low prevalence (rare diseases). We established a list of well-known food-related ingredients with clinical evidence for rare diseases in the open medical literature that obtained marketing authorization as an expensive "orphan drug", protected by intellectual property (IP) rights. We show that these ingredients are part of an established practice of medicinal compounding-a form of point of care manufacturing. We argue that these ingredients should be considered as "pharmaceutical commons", and that regulatory incentives for private companies and market protection mechanisms such as IP rights are not justified in this case. [less ▲]

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See detailContagion and memory.
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

in Social anthropology : the journal of the European Association of Social Anthropologists = Anthropologie sociale (2020)

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See detailThe Political Space between Words and Things: Health Claims as Referential Displacement
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

in Science as Culture (2019), 28(4), 427-448

In the EU today, health claims on food labels are regulated as a form of information. Before the 2000s, statements referring to health on packaged food were subject to different national regulations ... [more ▼]

In the EU today, health claims on food labels are regulated as a form of information. Before the 2000s, statements referring to health on packaged food were subject to different national regulations across the EU, with different perspectives on where the boundary lies between food and drugs. The turn to more horizontal legislation in EU food law and increased emphasis on the role of information for the functioning of the Single Market does not in itself explain why, and especially how, health-related statements on food products have been turned into information and what consequences this has produced. Construction of such a European ‘technological zone’, where health claims circulate as a form of information, can be understood as ‘information's constitutive outside’ (Barry, A. (2006) Technological zones, European Journal of Social Theory, 9(2), pp. 239–253; Barry, A. (2013) Material Politics: Disputes along the Pipeline (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell)). This outside hinges on techno-political discussion, lobbying and decisions where the boundary between health and disease is at stake, along with food's materiality. The concept of referential displacement shows how decisions in the regulatory process have transformed controversial references to human health on food labels into ‘health claims’ as an informational category by shifting the relation between the health claim and its material referents: food itself, health and the body. Referential displacement produces a new kind of information that implies similar efficacy to pharmaceutical drugs, without interfering with the zone or market of pharmaceuticals. © 2018, © 2018 Process Press. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Epigenetic Prism to Norms and Values.
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege; Van Hoyweghen, Ine

in Frontiers in genetics (2018), 9

In this article, we ask to what extent the specific characteristics of epigenetics may affect the type of questions one can ask about human society. We pay particular attention to the way epigenetic ... [more ▼]

In this article, we ask to what extent the specific characteristics of epigenetics may affect the type of questions one can ask about human society. We pay particular attention to the way epigenetic research stirs debate about normative and moral issues. Are these issues implied by scientific evidence as an outcome of research? Or do moral and normative issues also shape how research is done and which problems it addresses? We briefly explore these questions through examples and discussions in (social-) scientific literature. In the final section, we propose an additional dimension and a refocusing of attention from issues of scientific evidence alone (asking what kind of evidence epigenetics produces and how it does so) to a broader picture on epigenetics as a mode of attention that encourages relational and process-oriented thinking with entities, values and scales that may not yet fit within conventional problem-frames that inform research funding and policy-making. We argue that the task of (post-)ELSI approaches is to take inspiration from the ecological complexity of epigenetics in order to bring more relations, relief and gradient in our ethical and political questions. [less ▲]

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See detailIntroduction: Immunity, society, and the arts
De Cauwer, S.; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

in Configurations (2017), 25(3), 265-277

[No abstract available]

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See detailBodies of Evidence: An Anthropology of the Health Claim
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2014)

How can a food or food ingredient be proven healthy, without calling it a drug? In this thesis, I make an attempt at understanding the stakes of a heated debate involving scientists from the food industry ... [more ▼]

How can a food or food ingredient be proven healthy, without calling it a drug? In this thesis, I make an attempt at understanding the stakes of a heated debate involving scientists from the food industry, academia, and the European regulatory authorities. The centrality and importance of 'science' in the debate is remarkable, and merits our full attention. The 'science' that is disputed between 'industry' and 'the regulatory authorities', and that serves as a vehicle for their credibility and authority respectively, consists of a very particular practice of putting molecules to the test in clinical trials. The clinical trial in drug testing allows for making a qualitative leap from a molecule's biological action to its therapeutic effect. In the case of food, it is not permitted to define the molecule's therapeutics in relation to pathology, otherwise the substance tips over and becomes a drug. The shared concern of all scientists involved in the debate is to avoid this 'tipping point'. What the debate shows, is not so much an opposition between 'corporate science' and 'regulatory science', but an uneasy relationship between the ecology of pharmaceutical drugs, and an ecology-yet-to-be-made for food therapeutics. Such an ecology rests upon a pattern of collaboration -or agencement- between materials and humans pertaining to different realms of production, regulation and science. As such, the terms of the debate on healthy food ingredients can be reformulated in more precise terms than 'industry' versus 'the authorities', or 'good science' versus 'bad science', which only come to exacerbate a deeper-lying tension that is technical and political at once. At stake are our conceptions of health and disease, cure and prevention, and the professionals that have the authority to talk about health in present-day Europe. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Silence of the Labs
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

in LIMN (2014), (4),

Is sugar a choice? Kim hendrickx explores how a sugar museum puts life and health in perspective

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See detailRivaling Evidence-Bases and Politics in Regulatory Science
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

in Food Science and Law (2013), 4

In line with contemporary political and sociological research on science and regulation, this article problematizes the notion of ‘scientific evidence’ as something independent from and prior to political ... [more ▼]

In line with contemporary political and sociological research on science and regulation, this article problematizes the notion of ‘scientific evidence’ as something independent from and prior to political values. The production of scientific or technical criteria supporting regulatory politics is referred to as ‘regulatory science’ in the fields of policy studies and the sociology of science and technology. Evidence-bases are an example of regulatory science and they illustrate the latter’s intimate relation with political values. I will briefly outline how evidence-bases are not a neutral basis for politics, but that they are constructed through politics and interested groups. Taking the European health claims debate as an example, I show that there exists no unitary notion of evidence, but a confrontation of two scientific frameworks, supported by different expert networks, and proposing different conceptions of what scientific 'evidence' is. In regulatory matters, scientific evidence alone cannot settle disputes once and for all because the evidence is precisely what's at stake. [less ▲]

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See detailCredibility of Evidence
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege; penders, Bart

Diverse speeche and writing (2013)

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See detailThe multifaceted struggle for power in the bioeconomy
Delvenne, Pierre ULiege; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

in Technology in Society (2013), 35(2),

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See detailBiotechnology, Controversy, and Policy: Challenges of the Bioeconomy in Latin America
Delvenne, Pierre ULiege; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

Book published by Pergamon Press - An Imprint of Elsevier Science (2013)

This special issue explores cases from Latin American countries, studied in comparison to global trends in the arenas of public participation, scientific knowledge production, regulation and governance ... [more ▼]

This special issue explores cases from Latin American countries, studied in comparison to global trends in the arenas of public participation, scientific knowledge production, regulation and governance. The authors demonstrate the complexity of these cases, both in terms of regional differences and the different spaces of public, policy, and scientific knowledge production into which such innovations are inserted. The articles are based on rich empirical data collected in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. Authors show that the top-down circulation of policy narratives on biotechnology is challenged, complemented and even partly undermined by local bottom-up dynamics. Conversely, articles also focus on those grassroots dynamics and the ways they are influenced and conditioned by macro-sociological and political economic factors. Lastly, a great deal of attention is paid to the ways states and national actors actively contribute to their own insertion in globalized markets where bioengineered living resources are increasingly tasked with solving the most pressing economic and social issues. We believe that this collection of works challenges scholars, intellectuals, policy-makers and relevant stakeholders to open up their views of biotechnology as a dynamic construct that interacts with local situations in a variety of ways. From a more distanced perspective, the aggregated findings of the contributors to this special issue suggest that the important tasks for scholarly work on bioeconomy today become (1) to observe and critically assess the de-localization and re-localization of the concept of bioeconomy in Latin America where biological resources have become increasingly strategic over the last decades; (2) to analyze the bioeconomy as a site of struggles among countries and/or social groups who articulate strategic visions as part of narrating activities. [less ▲]

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See detailWinged Promises: Exploring the Discourse on Transgenic Mosquitoes in Brazil
Reis-Castro, Luisa; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

in Technology in Society (2013), 35(2),

The bioeconomy is a strategic program strongly promoted within OECD countries. This paper discusses an example of how the purposes and promises of the bioeconomy are enacted in Brazil, in line with local ... [more ▼]

The bioeconomy is a strategic program strongly promoted within OECD countries. This paper discusses an example of how the purposes and promises of the bioeconomy are enacted in Brazil, in line with local environmental and political specificities. We focus on scientific and political discourse portraying a technological solution to fight dengue disease as a public health problem. The technology involves genetically modified mosquitoes that are released into the environment in order to suppress populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes. We show how the promise of fighting dengue, through technical and scientific arguments, becomes connected to political discourse about the welfare and 'progress' of Brazil as a nation. We argue that this connection comes about through two types of rhetoric devices that downplay risk and uncertainties in favor of the promises inscribed in laboratory-bred mosquitoes. In line with a basic tenet in the field of Science and Technology Studies, it becomes clear that science and politics are intertwined in both discourse and practice. In addition, we highlight the experimental and political character of public health interventions from a spatial perspective. The mosquitoes are set free in an environment that is considered a natural environment while at the same time responding to certain laboratory conditions such as relative isolation. In addition, the genetically modified mosquitoes, as bio-objects, are expected to act like natural mosquitoes in the wild. With these types of proximity between technology and nature in mind, we argue that the mosquitoes are meant not only to enact the pest management program they have been designed for, but also a political program claiming an avant-garde position of Brazil in a global bioeconomy. [less ▲]

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See detailLa gestion de la qualité de l’air en Belgique : une gouvernance multiniveau entre incertitudes politiques et techniques
Vanhaeren, Stéphanie ULiege; Feron, Pauline ULiege; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege et al

in Telescope (2013), 19(hiver),

La gouvernance de l’État belge est caractérisée par un double processus de reconfiguration : vers le haut, par les dynamiques d’européanisation, et vers le bas, par un processus de régionalisation ... [more ▼]

La gouvernance de l’État belge est caractérisée par un double processus de reconfiguration : vers le haut, par les dynamiques d’européanisation, et vers le bas, par un processus de régionalisation approfondi. Par exemple, le domaine de l’environnement est aujourd’hui régionalisé, mais de nombreuses décisions sont prises au niveau de l’Union européenne, dont les instances décisionnelles n’intègrent pas pleinement le fait régional. Cet article s’appuie sur une étude menée auprès des instances fédérales et régionales chargées de la gestion de la qualité de l’air en Belgique. La traduction du cadre européen demanderait le déploiement d’une approche transversale environnement-santé associant tous les niveaux de pouvoir, mais les répondants dénoncent l’absence d’intégration de ces politiques aux niveaux régional et fédéral. Chaque niveau de pouvoir développe une dynamique propre pour réinterpréter la politique et les instruments définis au niveau européen. [less ▲]

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See detailBio-Objects' Political Capacity: A Research Agenda
Maeseele, Pieter; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege; Pavone, Vincenzo et al

in Croatian Medical Journal (2013), 54

This article explores the merits of foregrounding the dichotomy of politicization vs de-politicization for our understanding of bio-objects in order to study their production, circulation, and governance ... [more ▼]

This article explores the merits of foregrounding the dichotomy of politicization vs de-politicization for our understanding of bio-objects in order to study their production, circulation, and governance in European societies. By asking how bio-objects are configured in science, policy, public, and media discourses and practices, we focus on the role of socio-technical configurations in generating political relations. The bio-object thereby serves as an entry point to approach and conceptualize “the political” in an innovative way. Drawing from our previous work, which uses the concepts of de-politicization and (re-)politicization, this paper puts forward a research agenda for studying the political relations generated by specific socio-technical configurations of bio-objects. [less ▲]

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See detailRéguler par la science: le cas des aliments fonctionnels
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

Conference (2013, March 08)

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See detailLa qualité de l’air comme politique transversale : une analyse participative de l’espace de gestion publique
Fallon, Catherine ULiege; Hendrickx, Kim ULiege; Vanhaeren, Stéphanie ULiege

in Brunet, Sébastien; Fallon, Catherine; Claisse, Frédéric (Eds.) La participation à l'épreuve (2013)

Cet article s’appuie sur une étude menée auprès des instances fédérales et régionales chargées de la gestion de la qualité de l’air en Belgique. Grâce à des entretiens préliminaires suivis d'une ... [more ▼]

Cet article s’appuie sur une étude menée auprès des instances fédérales et régionales chargées de la gestion de la qualité de l’air en Belgique. Grâce à des entretiens préliminaires suivis d'une application informatisée de la méthode Delphi (logiciel Mesydel), nous avons pu déterminer que la traduction du cadre européen demanderait le déploiement d’une approche transversale environnement-santé associant tous les niveaux de pouvoir. Mais, les répondants dénoncent l’absence d’intégration de ces politiques aux niveaux régional et fédéral: chaque niveau de pouvoir développe une dynamique propre pour réinterpréter la politique et les instruments définis au niveau européen. Cet article montre que le Delphi a mis en évidence l'adéquation de l'outil au secteur administratif, dont les membres semblent plus prompts à répondre que les scientifiques. [less ▲]

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See detailContesting Frames in Public Health
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

Scientific conference (2012, December 05)

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See detailHet Licht van Vlaanderen
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

Article for general public (2012)

A metaphorical reflection on police control in Flanders, and the creation of a suspicious Other

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See detailWho has the guts to make health claims? Good and Bad Scientists in Europe
Hendrickx, Kim ULiege

Conference (2012, October 18)

How can scientific statements be made in which molecules or bacterial strains figure as active food constituents, contributing to human health beyond basic nutrition? This paper traces the specific ... [more ▼]

How can scientific statements be made in which molecules or bacterial strains figure as active food constituents, contributing to human health beyond basic nutrition? This paper traces the specific historical and political circumstances that gave rise to the above question, and how the issue is played out in the EU at present. Special attention goes to the European health claims regulation that is in the course of being implemented today. Often referred to as a 'learning process', this implementation has proven to be very difficult and sometimes conflictual, especially regarding claims related to the human intestinal flora. Here, the nature of scientific evidence and the boundary between food and medicine have become the stakes in discussions and contestations between the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), new emerging groups such as 'gut health' scientists, and scattered critical voices throughout the Member States. Next to a subject of actual research, the 'gut' becomes a space of symbolic investment where 'good' and 'bad' bacteria echo the rivaling conceptions of good and bad science between the actors involved in the production and evaluation of health claims. It will be shown that in addition to the rise of new professional identities, these frictions are also changing the meanings of 'nutrition' and the clinical trial. [less ▲]

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