DISCUSSION QUESTION RELATED TO EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES BY SID MUKHERJEE
- Sid spends time discussing the evolution of the science and medicine related to cancer treatment, whether surgical or medical.
- Borrowing from Joel Mokyr, what propositional knowledge has been involved?
- What prescriptive knowledge?
i. for cancer cure versus palliative
ii. What is an ethical goal: (1) minimize patient suffering; or (2) search for cure?
- With respect to research, what is importance of (i) access to knowledge; and (ii) space to work?
- What cancer related technologies were evolutionary versus “paradigm shifting”?
- Which technologies offered “elegant” solutions?
- Did “paradigm shifters” need to evade societal/medical norms?
- How do societal beliefs and expectations about nature infect scientific conceptualization of cancer therapies?
- cancer research during “industrial phase” versus “bioscience phase”
- shift from “kill or cut” cells to therapies designed to interrupt mutant genes
- Discuss Mary Lasker’s obsession versus big tobacco’s obsession.
- Wouldn’t the Lunar Men have loved the role of industrial dyes?
- Did anyone learn anything about cancer?
- Discuss Sid’s use of language.
- Did you reread any paragraphs solely because the paragraph was well written?
- Discuss role of Sid’s insider perspective on writing.
- Discuss roles of government versus university research with respect to “war on cancer.”
- There are two recent inventions that are changing people’s lives: (1) da Vinci surgical instruments (minimally invasive robotic micro-surgery); and (2) directional drilling techniques (which accounts for steep decrease in price of certain energy and is revitalizing portions of rust belt). Comments about relative value of each?
- Is study of retroviruses and oncogenes “loopy”?
- Genes versus silicon?