A growing number of studies of science, technology and innovation policy are taking argumentative practices as a privileged unit of analysis. Underpinning this development is the observation that, empirically, science, technology and innovation policies are often formulated and implemented through bargaining between competing coalitions of actors. I put this claim to practice by examining the recent emergence of translational research and translational medicine as central priority in the biomedical policy of the USA and Germany. Drawing on document analysis and semi-structured interviews with thirty-five biomedical researchers and policy-makers, I find that a specific group of actors, clinician-scientists, have successfully built a coalition concerned with increasing institutional support for their profession by claiming their role as privileged leaders of translational research initiatives. In doing so, they have simultaneously shaped the research agendas and institutional practices associated with translational research.
- Argumentative policy analysis
- Innovation policy
- Translational medicine
- Translational research