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Skills through History

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1. Daston, Lorraine, ‘On Scientific Observation’, Isis, 99, 1 (2008), 97110.

2. Malcolm Nicolson, ‘The introduction of percussion and stethoscopy to early nineteenth-century Edinburgh’, in William F. Bynum and Roy Porter (eds), Medicine and the Five Senses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 134–53; Susan C. Lawrence, ‘Educating the senses: students, teachers and medical rhetoric in eigtheenth-century London’, in William F. Bynum and Roy Porter (eds), Medicine and the Five Senses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 154–78; Christopher W. Crenner ‘Introduction of the Blood Pressure Cuff into US Medical Practice: Technology and Skilled Practice’, Annals of Internal Medicine, 128, 6 (1998), 488–93; Warwick Anderson, ‘The Reasoning of the Strongest: The Polemics of Skill and Science in Medical Diagnosis’, Social Studies of Science, 22, 4 (1992), 653–84.

3. Most commonly in studies of medical education, such as Kenneth M. Ludmerer, Learning to Heal. The Development of American Medical Education (New York: Basic Books, 1983).

4. George Weisz, Divide and Conquer: A Comparative History of Medical Specialization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Rosemary Stevens, American Medicine and the Public Interest. A History of Specialization, updated edition with a new introduction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

5. See, for example, Michael McVaugh, ‘Cataracts and Hernias: Aspects of Surgical Practice in theFourteenth Century’, Medical History, 45 (2001), 319–40; Andrew Cunningham, The Anatomist Anatomis’d. An Experimental Discipline in Enlightenment Europe (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010).

6. See, for example, Pamela Smith, The Body of the Artisan. Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); for a survey, see also Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).

7. Jacalyn Duffin, To See with a Better Eye: A Life of R. T. H. Laennec (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998), 27.

8. ‘Preface to the third edition’, in Thomas Sydenham, The Works of Thomas Sydenham, vol. 1, R. G. Latham (trans.) (Birmingham, Alabama: The Classics of Medicine Library, 1979), 11.

9. Ibid., 14.

10. For a discussion of the patient as an object of medical intervention, see Flurin Condrau, ‘The Patient’s View Meets the Clinical Gaze’, Social History of Medicine, 20, 3 (2007), 525–40.

11. Duffin, op. cit. (note 7), 121–50.

12. Michel Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic: An Archeology of Medical Perception, A. M. Sheridan (trans.) (London: Routledge, 1989), 109.

13. See, for example, Ludmilla Jordanova, ‘Social construction of medical knowledge’, in Charles E. Rosenberg and Janet Golden (eds), Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992); Thomas Schlich, ‘Changing Disease Identities: Cretinism, Politics and Surgery (1844–92)’, Medical History, 38 (1994), 421–43; Steven J. Peitzman, ‘From Dropsy to Bright’s Disease to End-Stage Renal Disease’, Milbank Quarterly, 67, Supplement 1, (1989), 16–32; Adrian Wilson, ‘On the History of Disease-Concepts: The Case of Pleurisy’, History of Science, 38 (2000), 271–82.

14. L. S. Jacyna, “‘A Host of Experienced Microscopists”: The Establishment of Histology in Nineteenth-Century Edinburgh’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 75, 2 (2001).

15. Jacyna, op. cit. (note 14), 240, emphasis in original. On docile bodies, see Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Alan Sheridan trans.) (London: Harmondsworth, 1977); Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), 16; Ian Hacking, Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 186–209.

16. Skilled vision in science and medicine has been the topic of a number of historical investigations, for example: Jutta Schickore, The Microscope and the Eye: A History of Reflections, 1740–1870 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). For microphotography, see Thomas Schlich, ‘Linking Cause and Disease in the Laboratory: Robert Koch’s Method of Superimposing Visual and “Functional” Representations of Bacteria’, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 22 (2000), 71–88. See also the essays in Nancy Anderson and Michael R. Dietrich (eds), The Educated Eye. Visual Culture and Pedagogy in the Life Sciences (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2012).

17. Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity (Chicago: Zone Books, 2008), 341–2.

18. This was not a solution exclusive to Bernard or indeed to the history of experimental medicine. On the topic of unskilled workers and nuclear photography in the 1940s, see Peter Galison, Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997).

19. Harry Collins, Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 83–4.

20. Jens Lachmund, Der Abgehorchte Körper. Zur historischen Soziologie der medizinischen Untersuchung (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1997); Bernike Pasveer, ‘Knowledge of the Shadows: The Introduction of X-Ray Images in Medicine’, Sociology of Health and Illness, 11, 4 (1989), 360–81. Similar arguments about skills have also been found to be powerful in discussions of the viability of new therapies, for example in surgery: Thomas Schlich, Surgery, Science and Industry: A Revolution in Fracture Care, 1950s–1990s (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002).

21. Barbara Rosenwein, ‘Worrying about the Emotions’, American Historical Review, 107, 3 (2002), 821–45; Paul White, ‘Introduction’, Isis, 100, 4 (2009), 811–26.

22. Linda Payne, With Words and Knives: Learning Medical Dispassion in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2007); Peter Stanley, For Fear of Pain: British Surgery, 1790–1850 (Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi, 2003); Christopher Lawrence, ‘Medical minds, surgical bodies: corporeality and the doctors’, in Christopher Lawrence and Steven Shapin (eds), Science Incarnate: Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 156–201; Rachel Prentice, Bodies in Formation: An Ethnography of Anatomy and Surgery Education (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013), 131–96; Delia Gavrus, ‘Men of Strong Opinions: Identity, Self-Representation and the Performance of Neurosurgery’ (unpublished PhD thesis: University of Toronto, 2011). See also Roger Kneebone and Abigail Woods, ‘Recapturing the History of Surgical Practice through Simulation-based Re-enactment’, Medical History, 58 (2014), 106–21, 109; and the contributions of Delia Gavrus and Thomas Schlich to this special issue.

23. Sigmund Freud, ‘Recommendations to Physicians Practising Psycho-Analysis (1912)’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, volume 12, James Strachey (trans.) (London: Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1958), 115. See also Elizabeth Lunbeck, ‘Empathy as a psychoanalytic mode of observation: between sentiment and science’, in Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck (eds), Histories of Scientific Observation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 255–75.

24. Elizabeth Lunbeck, ‘Empathy as a psychoanalytic mode of observation: between sentiment and science’, in Daston and Lunbeck, op. cit. (note 23), 255–75. Also on the relations of the emotions to objectivity, see Paul White, ‘Darwin’s Emotions: The Scientific Self and the Sentiment of Objectivity’, Isis, 100, 4 (2009), 811–26.

25. David Adams, ‘Artificial Kidneys and the Emergence of Bioethics: The History of “Outsiders” in the Allocation of Haemodialysis’, Social History of Medicine, 24, 2 (2011), 461–77.

26. Susan Reverby, Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing, 1850–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 39–59. On emotional labour in the twentieth century, Arlie Russell Hochschild, The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, with a new afterword (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).

27. See Judith Godden and Carol Helmstadter, ‘Woman’s Mission and Professional Knowledge: Nightingale Nursing in Colonial Australia and Canada’, Social History of Medicine, 17, 2 (2004), 157–74.

28. Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing and Notes on Hospitals (Birmingham Alabama: Classics of Medicine Library, 1982), 70.

29. There is a wealth of literature on this topic: Thomas N. Bonner, To the Ends of the Earth: Women’s Search for Education in Medicine (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992); James Stuart Garner, ‘The Great Experiment: The Admission of Women Students to St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School’, Medical History, 42 (1998), 68–88; Claire Brock, ‘Surgical Controversy at the New Hospital for Women, 1872–92’, Social History of Medicine, 24, 3 (2011), 608–23; Claire Brock, ‘The fitness of the female medical student, 1895–1910’, in Francesca Scott, Kate Scarth and Ji Won Chung (eds), Picturing Women’s Health (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014), 139–57.

30. See Joan I. Roberts and Thetis M. Group, Nursing, Physician Control, and the Medical Monopoly (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001).

31. Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (London: Hutchinson, 1949). On the relationship of tacit and explicit knowledge to ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing that’, see Neil Gascoigne and Tim Thornton, Tacit Knowledge (Durham: Acumen, 2013), 13–49.

32. On the sociological analysis of skills in medicine, see H. M. Collins, G. H. de Vries and W. E. Biker, ‘Ways of Going On: An Analysis of Skill Applied to Medical Practice’, Science, Technology & Human Values, 22, 3 (1997), 267–85.

33. Harry Collins, Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1985/92), 56–8; Harry Collins, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge (Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 2010).

34. Thomas Schlich, Surgery, Science and Industry: A Revolution in Fracture Care, 1950s–1990s (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); Sally Wilde, ‘See One, Do One, Modify One: Prostate Surgery in the 1930s’, Medical History, 48 (2004), 351–66; Trevor Pinch, H. M. Collins and Larry Carbone, ‘Inside Knowledge: Second Order Measures of Skill’, Sociological Review, 44, 2 (1996), 163–86; Christopher Lawrence, ‘Medical minds, surgical bodies: corporeality and the doctors’, in Christopher Lawrence and Steven Shapin (eds), Science Incarnate: Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 156–201.

35. Alberto Cambrosio and Peter Keating, Exquisite Specificity: The Monoclonal Antibody Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 45–79.

36. Catherine Pope, ‘Resisting Evidence: The Study of Evidence-Based Medicine as a Contemporary Social Movement’, Health, 7 (2003), 267–82, 274–5.

37. The history is relayed in Adrian Johns, Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 415–22. See M. Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-critical Philosophy (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973, first published in 1958); M. Polanyi, ‘The Planning of Science’, Political Quarterly, 16 (1945), 316–28.

38. See Harry M. Collins and Robert Evans. ‘The Third Wave of Science Studies: Studies of Expertise and Experience’, Social Studies of Science, 32, 2 (2002), 235–96; Harry Collins, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010). Similarly, the sociology of skill is also linked to clarifying differences between humans and machines; see Collins et al., op. cit (note 32); Harry Collins and Martin Kusch, The Shape of Actions: What Humans and Machines Can Do (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999).

39. Thomas Schlich, ‘The Art and Science of Surgery: Innovation and Concepts of Medical Practice in Operative Fracture Care, 1960s–1970s’, Science, Technology and Human Values, 32 (2007), 65–87.

40. The literature is wide-ranging. For an overview, see John Harley Warner, ‘The History of Science and the Sciences of Medicine’, Osiris, 10 (1995), 164–93.

41. Harry M. Marks, The Progress of Experiment. Science and Therapeutic Reform in the United States, 1900–90 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 2.

42. See Schlich, op. cit. (note 39), 74.

43. Stefan Timmermans and Marc Berg, The Gold Standard. The Challenge of Evidence-Based Medicine and Standardization in Health Care (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003), 83–5.

44. Marc Berg, ‘Turning a Practice into a Science: Reconceptualizing Postwar Medical Practice’, Social Studies of Science, 25 (1995), 437–76, 442; see also Steve Sturdy and Roger Cooter, ‘Science, Scientific Management, and the Transformation of Medicine in Britain c. 1870–1950’, History of Science, 36 (1998), 421–66, 435–9.

45. Christopher Lawrence, ‘Incommunicable Knowledge: Science, Technology and the Clinical Art in Britain 1850–1914’, Journal of Contemporary History, 20, 4 (1985), 503–20, 505.

46. On the persistence of this rhetoric into the first decades of the twentieth century, see Christopher Lawrence, ‘Still incommunicable: clinical holists and medical knowledge in interwar Britain’, in C. Lawrence and G. Weisz (eds), Greater than the Parts: Holism in Biomedicine, 1920–50 (New York: Oxford University Press), 94–111.

47. Anderson, op. cit. (note 2), 677.

48. Polanyi, Personal Knowledge (note 37), 53.

49. G. Gigerenzer, Z. Swijtink, T. Porter, L. Daston, J. Beatty, and L. Krüger, The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 265.

50. Deborah Gordon, ‘Clinical science and clinical expertise: changing boundaries between art and science in medicine’, in M. Lock and D. Gordon (eds), Biomedicine Examined (Dordrecht: Kluwer), 259–60.

51. Theodore M. Porter, Trust in Numbers. The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 204.

52. Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era 1890–1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1964); Charles S. Maier, ‘Between Taylorism and Technocracy: European Ideologies and the Vision of Industrial Productivity in the 1920s’, Journal of Contemporary History, 5 (1970), 27–61.

53. Edward T. Morman, ‘Introduction’, in Edward T. Morman (ed.), Efficiency, Scientific Management, and Hospital Standardization (New York: Garland, 1989), i–xxvii, i.

54. Joel D. Howell, Technology in the Hospital. Transforming Patient Care in the Early Twentieth Century (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), 65–6.

55. Susan Reverby, ‘Stealing the Golden Eggs: Ernest Amory Codman and the Science and Management of Medicine’, Bulletin for the History of Medicine, 55 (1981), 156–71, 157.

56. Howell, op. cit. (note 54), 67.

57. Reverby, op. cit. (note 55), 161–2.

58. Roger Cooter, Surgery and Society in Peace and War: Orthopaedics and the Organization of Modern Medicine, 1880–1948 (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1993), 32, 47, 93, 113–4, 121.

59. Roger Cooter and Steve Sturdy, ‘Of war, medicine and modernity: introduction’, in Roger Cooter, Mark Harrison and Steve Sturdy (eds), War, Medicine and Modernity (Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1998), 1–21, 3; Mark Harrison, ‘Medicine and the Management of Modern Warfare’, History of Science, 34 (1996), 379–410, 380; Mark Harrison, The Medical War: British Military Medicine in the First World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); Thomas Schlich, ‘The Perfect Machine: Lorenz Böhler’s Rationalized Fracture Treatment in WWI’, Isis, 100, 4 (2009), 758–91; Hans-Georg Hofer, ‘Effizienzsteigerung und Affektdisziplin. Zum Verhältnis von Kriegspsychiatrie, Medizin und Moderne’, in Petra Ernst, Sabine Haring and Werner Suppanz (eds), Aggression und Katharsis. Der Erste Weltkrieg im Diskurs der Moderne (Vienna: Passagen, 2004), 219–42, 228.

60. David Kaiser, ‘Introduction: moving pedagogy from the periphery to the center’, in D. Kaiser (ed.), Pedagogy and the Practice of Science: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005).

61. Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1975).

62. Scholars attacked Braverman on a variety of grounds, noting, for instance, that automation of particular duties tended not only replace the simplest tasks in a production process, but in many instances created new skilled roles in supervision and management. A useful review of these criticisms and others is Paul Attewell, ‘The Deskilling Controversy’, Work and Occupations, 14, 3 (1987), 323-46. See also, Craig R. Littler and Graeme Salaman, ‘Bravermania and Beyond: Recent Theories of the Labour Process’, Sociology, 16, 2 (1982), 251–69.

63. Among various criticisms, Braverman’s detractors accused him of a selectivity of sources in both past and present. See Paul Attewell, ‘The Clerk Deskilled: A Study in False Nostalgia’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 2, 4 (1989), 357–88.

64. Paul Attewell, ‘What Is Skill?’, Work and Occupations, 17, 4 (1990), 422–48, 440; Attewell, op. cit. (note 62), 323-46. For comparable discussions in the history of science and medicine, see Jan Golinski, Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and The History of Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008); Ludmilla Jordanova, ‘The Social Construction of Medical Knowledge’, Social History of Medicine, 8, 3 (1995), 361–81; Ian Hacking, The Social Construction of What? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

65. David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital (London: Verso, 2010), 126.

66. Anne Phillips and Barbara Taylor, ‘Sex and Skill: Notes towards a Feminist Economics’, Feminist Review, 6 (1980), 79–88, 79; William Lazonick, Historical Origins of the Sex-based Division of Labour under Capitalism: A Study of the British Textile Industry during the Industrial Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Institute of Economic Research, Havard University, 1976); Sonya O. Rose, “‘Gender at Work”: Sex, Class and Industrial Capitalism’, History Workshop Journal, 21 (1986), 113–32; William Lazonick, ‘The Subjection of Labour to Capital: The Rise of the Capitalist System’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 10, 1 (1978), 1–31, 19. Also on the alleged intrinsic limitations of gender on knowledge, see Alison Winter, ‘A calculus of suffering: Ada Lovelace and the bodily constraints on women’s knowledge in early Victorian England’, in Christopher Lawrence and Steven Shapin (eds), Science Incarnate: Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 202–39.

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