Science&Society@UCI Series - Viral Geopolitics: Emergency Responses to Ebola and Polio in West Africa
Friday, January 31, 2020, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Light refreshments will be served.
California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology
4100 E Peltason Dr, Irvine, CA 92617
Parking will be provided at the Anteater Parking Structure. Please see parking attendant for permit.
On the corner of East Peltason and Anteater Drive
Kristin Peterson is associate professor of anthropology at the University of California Irvine. Her areas of expertise include science and technology studies, medicine and health, political economy, African studies, and political theory. Her first book, Speculative Markets: Drug Circuits and Derivative Life in Nigeria (Duke University Press, 2014) is based upon ethnographic work conducted in pharmaceutical markets in Lagos, Nigeria. Two other projects were conducted jointly with Dr. Morenike O. Folayan (Obafemi Awolowo University). One studied failed HIV related clinical trials in Nigeria and Malawi, and another analyzed the ethics and politics of Ebola clinical trials pertaining to the 2014 West African outbreak. Peterson is currently working on a research project about the relationship between Sahelian viruses (specifically HIV/AIDS, polio, Ebola, and Lassa Fever) and West African geopolitical security.
In 2014, Ebola viral disease broke out in Sierra Leone and spread to other countries in West Africa. Up until then, Ebola outbreaks took place mostly in remote forest areas in Central Africa. But when it arrived to Lagos, Nigeria - the largest city on the African continent with a population of 20 million - health authorities around the world essentially panicked. This talk describes how a unique Nigerian initiated polio prevention program converted its expertise to respond to urgent geopolitical challenges while initiating one of the most impressive responses to Ebola that has ever taken place.
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