Situated intervention

In my research, I draw together two activities that are often seen as belonging to different realms: intervening in practices and furthering scholarly understanding of them.


3-minute movie on my research

I consider intervening in healthcare practices as a mode of scholarly knowledge production and as a method for putting both scholarly and normative attachments at risk. Situated intervention, the theory/method package I've developed for such work, draws upon understandings of healthcare- and medical knowledge practices that stem from my training in Science and Technology Studies while equally putting such understandings to the test.

I've explored situated intervention in a range of healthcare settings: the development of a hemophilia care center, pathways for hematology and oncology care at an outpatient clinic of a university hospital, redesigning oncology care and elective surgery in sixteen hospitals throughout the Netherlands, formatively evaluating a national quality improvement collaborative in long-term care, and co-founding a working group on appraising and including different knowledge in guidelines. These experiments invariably translated both my theoretical understandings as well as my normative scholarly attachments.

My research interests include the social studies of (healthcare) markets, the sociology of standardisation and the production and use of clinical practice guidelines and care pathways, the sociology of quality and safety, and practices of personalisation and evidence-basing.

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Publication list
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Research projects
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In 2014 I received a LiU Research Fellow grant that is part of a program run directly by the University Board. I am working on projects related to knowledge standardisation and evidence-basing in relation to personalisation. 

One of the places to do this is in the Working group of the Guidelines International Network on Appraising and Including Different Knowledge (AID Knowledge). The importance of appraising and including many different kinds of knowledge in guideline development is widely recognized within Science and Technology Studies as well as among guideline developers. Guidance based on a narrow definition of evidence can lead to the exclusion of crucial knowledge for clinical guidance and limit its use for individual patients and unique situations in clinical, public health and social care practice.
This makes appraising and including different knowledge crucial to facilitating personalized medicine, but moving from that insight to robust practices of knowledge appraisal and inclusion is far from easy or clear cut.

This working group explores learning opportunities for addressing the questions related to AID Knowledge and aims at setting up collaborative spaces and tools.

Another site to explore the relation between personalization and evidence-basing is my research project on Trans* Health Guides as Doing Human Rights. Sonja Jerak-Zuiderent and I study the development of a health guide for trans* care that no longer aims at a transition to ‘the other sex’, but can result in a wider variety of bodies. Developing a health guide to standardize such care raises the question how to translate clinical evidence and other knowledge that is replete with biological binaries into a human rights-oriented non-binary understanding of the trans* body. We ethnographically study the development and use of this health guide as a standard for trans* human rights and show how such guides need to radically rethink evidence, including reclassifying ‘side-effects’ as ‘effects’.

To The Working group of the Guidelines International Network on Appraising and Including Different Knowledge (AID Knowledge)

About me
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CV in short

  • 2010 -2014
    I served as coordinator of the teaching program of the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC).
  • 2007
    PhD from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC). PhD thesis "Standardizing Healthcare Practices; Experimental intervention in medicine and science and technology studies". For the fifth chapter I received the Nicholas C. Mullins Award by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).
  • 2001-2014
    I've been working at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. From '01 -'07 as a PhD candidate at the Research Group Research on IT in Healthcare Practice and Management (RITHM), from '07 to '11 as assistant professor of STS and from 2011 to 2013 as associate professor of STS at the Section of Healthcare Governance.
  • 1999
    MA in Arts and Culture with a major in Cultures of Knowledge and Technology from Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • 1999
    MA in European Studies on Society Technology (ESST) from Maastricht University and Roskilde University, Denmark.

Current PhD supervision

  • 2014-current
    Bistra Vasileva, Project iEvidence; Tinkering with evidence as doing disease as part of LiU Research Fellowship. Study of knowledge production by patients through self-quantification and in online forums.

Previous PhD supervision


Private corner

If you have any difficulty tracing me, or you get an out-of-office reply indicating that I’m away for quite some time, there’s every chance I’m serving or sitting a Vipassana meditation course. A reply may take somewhat longer, but it’s well worth the wait, as you’ll be getting it from a happier person!

Related research
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