A time of epistemic tension The development of therapeutical tests in the case of aids (1982-1996)
This article takes a look at the critical period in the development of therapeutic tests on aids, marked by a number of public debates on the ethics and the methodology behind these tests. It shows the polarization of the specialist space (doctors, statisticians) with several testing philosophies. It puts forward the opposition between two generations of doctor and statistician ; one, very attached to the public agency and more usually to medical research institutions, oriented towards a controlled design of medical science and clinical practice, the other is engaged more rapidly in aids claiming a new form in the distribution of relationships between science and clinical matters. The article specifies the structural position, in this space, of doctors who criticize globally the codified procedures which at present organize ethics and the scientific character of medical research. It shows what this period reveals about epistemic mutations in our societies and in contemporary medicine.