Social and Individual Features of Knowledge: The Non-Neutrality of Science in Personalized Medicine

  • Giulia Gandolfi
Keywords: Non-neutrality, scientific production, political epistemology, personalized medicine, knowledge responsibility


In an age marked by rising conspiracy theories and populism, discussions around the non-neutrality of science often become reductive. This article aims to critically dissect the non-neutrality of science beyond mainstream narratives, offering an epistemic-political analysis rooted in three levels: the historical context of science, its truth validation, and the environment of its practice. The study identifies two dominant elements that underpin science’s non-neutrality: its inherent sociality and the individualization of knowledge responsibility. The sociality of science is discussed in light of historic-epistemological insights from Georges Canguilhem and Ludwig Fleck, emphasizing science’s value-laden nature. Conversely, the article spotlights the neo-liberal shift post the mid-20th century that places knowledge responsibility squarely on individual citizens, further exacerbating social disparities. As a case study, the piece delves into Personalized Medicine, illustrating how modern knowledge production mechanisms, especially Omic techniques, potentially alienate patients from participating in their own care, reinforcing societal disparities in healthcare accessibility. The overarching intent is to illuminate the intersections between science’s non-neutrality and contemporary political-economic structures.