BSA MedSoc 2021 – Race in the Round

Poster from the event

At this year’s British Sociological Association ‘MedSoc’ or Medical Sociology conference, my colleague Prof Anne Pollock (KCL, Global Health & Medicine) and I put together a virtual roundtable to discuss the broad intersection of social scientific work on race and health. We had an exciting roster of speakers include Dr Brett St Louis (Goldsmiths), Dr John Narayan (KCL) and Dr Tanisha Spratt (Greenwich). We also featured the Black Health and the Humanities network where I presented Mix and Match work last week.

The event invited interventions from these scholars whose work traverses this intersection in different ways, and who’ve worked in their research and teaching to confront key issues at the confluence of race and health. Amongst the issues discussed were how the Northern American canon on race, health and technology has travelled to, and potentially shaped, much UK debate, and how that might be otherwise. The conversation also considered efforts to make Black Lives Matter in UK scholarship in a context of state denial of systemic racism. Attendees debated the value of thinking about ‘racism’ rather than ‘race’ in our analyses, and also what the role of white scholars is (or perhaps ought to be) in this research area.

Anne and I joined the virtual roundtable together from a room in Sheffield

An audience member recollected a conversation with a clinical colleague who’d been discussing ‘black blood’, which prompted fascinating discussion in the (virtual) room about the politics of biomedical participation. This was well timed, as I was also able to share with colleagues at the roundtable a new paper that was recently published from Mix and Match, “It’s harder for the likes of us”: racially minoritised stem cell donation as ethico‐racial imperative

The virtual roundtable is available to watch for MedSoc attendees on the BSA MedSoc website.

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