Health informatics as a social science

In 1951 Maurice Wilkes, one of the pioneers of computer science in Britain, wrote that “even a first-class computer sometimes will make a mistake” and in 1985 he reflected in his memoirs that about the same time he realized that he would spend the rest of life finding errors in his own programs. Putting information technology to work in practice has since then proven to be a daunting task. Technical challenges still do count; writing software applications is still an extremely difficult job despite the availability of advanced programming tools.

Data storage, manipulation and retrieval is a challenge as evidenced by many stories about data vanishing in digital black holes. But even more difficult to understand is how people interact with information technology in their work and daily life. Regularly published public reports about information technology failures testify to this. This conference at the occasion of the retirement of dr. Jos Aarts addresses challenges of getting information technology to work in practice. In short, this conference about the shift in health informatics from a computer science discipline to a social science perspective.


Please direct any questions you might have concerning the symposium 'Health informatics as a social science' to Wouter Kleijheeg, dept. Marketing & Communications ESHPM, via e-mail