TV documentary by Paula-Marie Pucker

Our brilliant VALUE VACC team member Paula-Marie Pucker has just produced a TV documentary for Austrian public television (ORF). The documentary explores the anthroposophy movement and the role of industry actors in its promotion. It is titled Das Hokuspokus-Marketing Was steckt hinter Weleda, Dr. Hauschka & Co? and is available here. With her exceptional investigative skills, Paula explores questions such as: what role does the cosmetic industry play in promoting the anthrospphy movement and how what cultural and economic values shape their current market position? 

PhD Defense of Anna Pichelstorfer

On September 7th, 2023, Anna Pichelstorfer successfully defended her PhD Thesis in Science and Technology Studies, entitled “(Re)Producing public issues: the co-production of assisted reproduction and democracy in Austria”. In her thesis, supervised by Prof. Ulrike Felt, she analyzed different practices of problematizing assisted reproductive technologies to show how those problematizations did not only define technologies in distinct ways but also enacted specific situated imaginaries and practices of doing democracy. It was a wonderful and joyful moment with colleagues, friends and family present! Anna can now officially start her role as a postdoc in in the project Value-Vacc.

IPW Talk – Dr. Ellen Stewart

Co-director of Centre for Health Policy, University of Strathclyde

On November 6, Dr Ellen Stewart is going to visit the Department of Political Science. She will give an invited lecture in the lecture series of the Department of Political Science (IPW lectures). The lecture is organized by the research group VALUE-VACC  (FWF - Austrian Science Fund START project, headed by Katharina T. Paul) in cooperation with CeSCoS (Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity).

Topic: How Britain loves the NHS: solidarity and ‘the healthcare discrepancy’

Date: November 6, 17:00

Location: Conference Room (Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstr. 7, 2nd floor, Trakt A, University of Vienna, Department of Political Science)







Quantitative studies of public opinion have argued that there is a ‘healthcare discrepancy’ (Bambra, 2005) in public attitudes to welfare state spending: population attitudes towards spending on healthcare diverge from those towards other welfare state functions. This is attributed to factors including the socio-cultural status of medicine in societies, and to the less stigmatised character of ill-health compared to conditions such as poverty or unemployment. In How Britain Loves the NHS (Stewart, 2023) I offer an analysis of this phenomenon in the UK context, where the socio-cultural significance of the NHS has grown sharply in recent years. This is often seen as problematic because the NHS becomes a proxy for exclusionary nationalist sentiment (Fitzgerald, Hinterberger, Narayan, & Williams, 2020), but also because public support for the NHS might encourage politicians to protect NHS budgets at the expense of other public services which might prevent ill-health. This paper discusses not how much the British public loves the NHS, but the modalities and dimensions of that affection. I consider how public affection for the NHS might be conceptualised, not as a vampiric threat to the wider welfare state, but as a valuable exemplar of how public services might act as solidarity-generating machines within society.