Consensus Development in Biomedicine: The Liver Transplant Controversy

Controversies in biomedical science are seen by some as essential to progress; most policy makers, however, find them politically disruptive. The consensus development (CD) program was initiated by the National Institutes of Health to adjudicate between these views. By focusing on the liver transplantation conference, the CD program is characterized as a mechanism of social control to contain rather than to resolve controversy. This public performance has the trappings of democratic theater, but also the unmistakable mark of backstage politics.

Author(s): Gerald E. Markle; Daryl E. Chubin

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Volume 65, Issue 1 (pages 1–24)
Published in 1987