Centre for Global Health Policy

‘Emerging intersections of biomedicine and elite sport: institutions, practices and ethics’

Dr Alex Faulkner has been awarded a grant from the ESRC of around £437,000 for this research project to examine the emerging links between molecular and cell-based approaches to disease, injury and medical treatments and the world of elite sport. The aims are to provide evidence and ethical analysis  for  government policy-making both for bioscience enterprise and business and for culture, media and sports, to produce materials for the development of sports science and medical education, and to analyse implications for future global healthcare. The findings will be of concern to wider publics as well as sports participants in the post- London Olympics era.

The research examines the ways in high-profile sports communities influence the agendas of biomedicine, and how the new techniques of diagnosis and treatment influence sportsplayers and their clubs, associations and sports authorities. It will explicate the implications for sport as an industry and as cultural spectacle, and for amateur sportsplayers and society at large as ethical concerns about the spirit of sport and ‘human enhancement’ are raised. Forums for focus group and public debate   are an integral part of the project.

The research will focus on musculoskeletal disease and injury, especially in the case of football (soccer) and cycling, chosen because of their very different organisation, contrasting funding regimes, and differing spectrums of injuries. The research combines the disciplines of medical sociology, science & technology studies and applied ethics, and is conducted in collaboration with Royal Holloway London and the University of Swansea. It runs from October 2013 lasting for three years.

 

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