流行病學的政治:RCA流行病學研究的後設分析

作者資訊
陳政亮
世新大學社會發展研究所助理教授

摘要

摘要

在公害與工安訴訟中,流行病學往往扮演著關鍵的角色,其研究結果也決定了不同團體的利益,因此也是激烈對抗的場域,本文便企圖分析此場域的政治性與其超越的可能。從RCA訴訟的例子出發,本文首先討論流行病學在司法中的角色、其知識上的潛力與限制、與其所處的社會位置。並進一步後設的分析與RCA相關的本地學術論文,以討論流行病學超越其限制的可能。本文認為,在當前資本主義社會下,流行病學被夾在企業與受害者之間,極容易透過方法設計而成為生產「科學不確定性」的學科,它經常失卻了其學科宣稱的「保衛公眾健康」目標,甚至走向企業那一邊去。而透過分析RCA案中的流行病學論文,本文討論了台灣流行病學例行化的風格,以及相對保守的推論;一般而言,它較缺乏受害者的身體感受與歷史經驗,對於社會變遷缺乏敏感度。另外,也指出了納入受害者的身體經驗的研究較能夠接近真實。最後,本文提出一個公民/科學聯盟的策略,此聯盟有助於流行病學對抗企業與捍衛受害者,並形成新的政治/知識形式。

Abstract

In toxic tort litigation, epidemiology often plays a crucial role. Since its research conclusion influences interests of two parties, it becomes an area with fierce conflict. Focusing on the RCA (Radio Corporation of America) lawsuit in Taiwan, this article sees the nature of the conflict as a form of politics of knowledge, and intends to explore, blur and go beyond its boundary. It is found that epidemiology is put in an untoward position between corporations and victims in capitalist societies, and is easily manipulated to produce 'uncertainty'; as a result, it retreats from victims or leans to corporations for the worse. By 'meta-analyzing' four epidemiological articles on RCA Taiwan, in which the causation between diseases found on workers and organic solvents used on the shop floor is studied, this article indicates a kind of routinized and conservative style in these studies, and suggests that bringing workers' bodily experiences into research is beneficial in pursuit of both social and biological facts. It also suggests that a 'citizen-scientist alliance' can help epidemiology challenging the power of corporations. In relation to knowledge, in such alliance epidemiology can be democratized along with the participation of lay people, based on which it will have the possibility to go beyond its social and intellectual limits.

引用: 
《科技、醫療與社會》,第12期,2011年4月出版