UTS Law Distinguished Visitor Seminar - Law, Science and Psychiatry: On the Construction of Pathological Antisociality within Mental Health
About the Seminar:
Law, technoscience, and biomedicine are intrinsically social. In this talk, I chart some of the social dimensions of innovation in mental health, casting fresh light on innovation and regulation. My account draws on conceptual frameworks from the sociologies of medicine and technology, in order to articulate some of the complexities inherent to innovation at the interface of psychiatry and law. My specific case is the development of a key psychiatric diagnostic manual – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – and, especially, the criteria if contains for disorders of apparently pathological antisociality. The presentation will discuss the development of the DSM, its wider clinical import, and its intersections with law and governance (especially in regards to the revising of the 1983 Mental Health Act of England and Wales). Throughout, I emphasise the dynamic relationship between mental health, biomedical innovation, and law and regulation, and the ways in which they shape and perhaps form one another. In doing so, I also suggest how these interactions can come to construct particular imaginaries of individuals that are – to an extent – brought into being by the effects of those constructions on law and clinical practice.
About the Speaker:
Martyn Pickersgill is Wellcome Trust Reader in Social Studies of Biomedicine, based in Edinburgh Medical School. He is particularly interested in the sociologies of neuroscience and mental health. Martyn has been a principal or co-investigator on grants from AHRC, ESRC, Leverhulme Trust and Wellcome Trust, and received fellowships and personal awards from the British Academy, Newby Trust, and Wellcome Trust. He is a member of the BBSRC Bioscience for Society Strategy Panel and various journal Editorial Boards. In 2015, he became the recipient of a 5 year Wellcome Trust University Award, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh Henry Duncan Medal for Social Science.