Dr. Olga Kuchinskaya to give a talk, 'Recurrent Losers Unite':Evidence-Based Activism and Pregnancy Loss'

Monday, December 5, 201

5:00-6:30 p.m. - Humanities Center
602 Cathedral of Learning

Kuchinskaya (Left) and Parker

Hosted by the Center for Bioethics and Health Law

Abstract: Recurrent pregnancy loss poses unique challenges for both practitioners and patients. Women with recurrent pregnancy loss might undergo multiple tests yet receive no clear answers; a commonly repeated statistic describes 50% of all recurrent miscarriages as "unexplained."

This presentation considers how "recurrent pregnancy loss" is constructed by doctors and by patients and how approaches of both of these groups are affected by new technoscientific tools. I pay particular attention to patients' conceptions as they are expressed in online forums. In these forums, women with recurrent pregnancy loss compare their experiences, seek support and advice, attempt to arrive at shared understandings, and consider approaches of their health care providers in the light of scientific research and personal accounts. My focus is on these knowledge production practices as an example of "evidence-based activism," a term previously applied to the work of patients' organizations. I specifically call attention to knowledge production efforts of individual patients in the context of increased public access to research, technoscientific tools, and new media that provides places for communal discussion.  

About the speaker Professor Kuchinskaya's book, The Politics of Invisibility: Public Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects after Chernobyl examines how we know what we know about the consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, the largest nuclear accident to date. Olga is also interested in the production of knowledge and ignorance about other environmental hazards, especially imperceptible hazards that require scientific expertise and tools to be established as hazards in the first place.

Read an interview about Professor Kuchinskaya's work 

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information contact bioethics@pitt.edu.