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Science from Below: Multispecies Relations and Global Health Inequalities

Alberto E. Morales, PLAS Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer, Princeton University

March 30, 2022 · 12:00 pm1:20 pm · 219 Aaron Burr Hall and Zoom

Program in Latin American Studies

With climate change on the rise and its impact on ecologies, biodiversity, and racialized geographies, emerging infectious diseases present a considerable threat to public health and health security globally. Based on 18 months of fieldwork in Panama City, Panama, this talk highlights the ecological and multispecies relations that figure prominently in global health and natural products research. Natural-products scientists study the chemical properties of “naturally” occurring compounds in biodiversity-rich regions of the world for potential pharmaceutical developments and biomedical interventions. This presentation focuses on the potentials of multispecies assemblages in the reengineering of biotic materials beyond economic speculation. Specifically, this talk explores multiple forms of value and values in natural products research to map injustices, power differentials, and emerging possibilities in global health. In today’s post-COVID-19 world, drug research is more critical than ever, and the diversity of those who participate in creating and disseminating scientific findings is even more crucial.

Alberto E. Morales is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer in the Program for Latin American Studies at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine, and a B.S. in Biological Sciences also from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests lie at the intersections of bioeconomy, racialized geographies, global health equity, and the geopolitics of knowledge production.

Dr. Agustín Fuentes, Anthropology, Princeton University
Dr. Alex Nading, Anthropology, Cornell University

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