Appl Clin Inform 2018; 09(03): 496-499
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1656524
Invited Editorial
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Samantha Adams Festschrift: Sam Adams and the Social Construction of Technology and Health—Implications for Biomedical Informatics

Laurie L. Novak
1  Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Craig Kuziemsky
2  Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Bonnie Kaplan
3  Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
03 July 2018 (online)


Clinical informatics, as an applied subdiscipline of biomedical informatics (BMI), must expertly use concepts from BMI core disciplines to design and deploy technologies to improve human health. The core disciplines include, among others, computer science, medicine, and social science. Applying social science concepts is perhaps the most challenging because issues related to people and organizations often have many interpretations, explanations, and solutions. Sam Adams, a social scientist who enjoyed engaging the most complex theoretical domains, made valuable contributions to thorny social problems at the intersection of technology and people. In this article, we argue that her work and the theoretical topics she chose for emphasis should be more widely consumed by practitioners in clinical informatics. As an example, we focus on social constructionism, one general theoretical topic she favored. Sam used social constructionism to explore domains relevant to today's practicing clinical informaticist, including cybersecurity and social media.