PhilSci Archive

Rethinking the History of Peptic Ulcer Disease: from digital textual analysis to declining research programs

Radomski, Bartosz and Šešelja, Dunja and Kim, Naumann (2020) Rethinking the History of Peptic Ulcer Disease: from digital textual analysis to declining research programs. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
pud_paper.pdf

Download (453kB) | Preview

Abstract

The history of the research on peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is characterized by a premature abandonment of the bacterial hypothesis, which subsequently had its comeback, leading to the discovery of Helicobacter pylori -- the major cause of the disease. In this paper we examine the received view on this case, according to which the primary reason for the abandonment of the bacterial hypothesis of PUD in the mid-twentieth century was a large-scale study by a prominent gastroenterologist Palmer, which suggested no bacteria could be found in the human stomach. To this end, we employ the method of digital textual analysis and study the literature on the etiology of PUD published in the decade prior to Palmer's article. Our findings suggest that the bacterial hypothesis of PUD had already been abandoned before the publication of Palmer's paper, which challenges the widely held view that his study played a crucial role in the development of this episode.
The paper makes two main contributions to the literature in integrated history and philosophy of science. First, we suggest that the received narrative on this historical episode, commonly used by philosophers, needs to be revised. Second, we introduce the notion of a `declining research program' and argue for its importance as a unit of socio-epistemic analysis, especially in combination with normative assessments, such as pursuitworthiness of scientific theories.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Radomski, Bartosz0000-0003-4107-2425
Šešelja, Dunjad.seselja@tue.nl0000-0001-5679-5787
Kim, Naumann
Keywords: declining research program, peptic ulcer disease, Ed Palmer, digital textual analysis, pursuitworthiness.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Dunja Šešelja
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2020 01:54
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2020 01:54
Item ID: 17275
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17275

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item