Abstract: In this talk I want to characterize the ‘territory’ of mental illness today by posing five hard questions that seem to me to represent genuine empirical, conceptual, professional and ethical dilemmas. My questions are: Is there an‘epidemic’ of mental disorder?; Does the path to understanding mental disorder lie through the brain?; What is the role of diagnosis and of diagnostic manuals?; Should we seek early identification of those at risk of future mental pathology? What is the place of patients, users, survivors, consumers in the mental health system? On the basis of this discussion, I will conclude by trying to draw out some lessons for the politics of mental health today.
Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College, London. He was previously Martin White Professor of Sociology, and Director of the BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also co-PI for the EPSRC funded Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI). His most recent books are The Politics of Life Itself : Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton, 2006); Governing The Present (with Peter Miller, Polity, 2008) and Neuro: the New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (with Joelle Abi-Rached, Princeton, forthcoming, 2012). He is a longstanding member of the Editorial Board of Economy and Society, co-editor of BioSocieties: an interdisciplinary journal for social studies of the life sciences, Chair of the European Neuroscience and Society Network, and a member of numerous advisory groups including the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
Admission free, all welcome. Email Michelle Fusco to confirm attendance.
NB: Update from CMH blog editors on 11 June 2013: a video of Prof Rose’s talk has now been made available on YouTube.