1st Edition

The Value of Transnational Medical Research Labour, Participation and Care

Edited By Ann Kelly, P. Wenzel Geissler Copyright 2012
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    What is the value of medical research? With contributions from anthropologists, sociologists and activists, this approach brings into focus the forms of value – social, epistemic, and economic – that are involved in medical research practices and how these values intersect with everyday living. Though their work covers wide empirical ground –from HIV trials in Kenya and drug donation programs in Tanzania to industry-academic collaborations in the British National Health Service – the authors share a commitment to understanding the practices of medical research as embedded in both local social worlds and global markets. Their collective concern is to rethink the conventional ethical demarcations betwweenpaid and unpaid research services in light of the social and material organisation of medical research practices. . Rather than warn against economic incursions into medical knowledge and health practice, or, alternatively, the reduction of local experience to the standards of bioethics, we hope to illuminate the array of practices, knowledges, and techniques through which the value of medical research is brought into being.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Journal of Cultural Economy.


    Foreword Tony Bennett, Liz McFall and Michael Pryke

    1. Investigating the Ethics and Economics of Medical Experimentation Ann H. Kelly and P. Wenzel Geissler

    2. Clinical Trials as an Industry and an Employer of Labour Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan and Dan Allman

    3. Mutual Benefit, Added Value? Doing research in the National Health Service Catherine M. Will

    4. ‘Since We are Taking the Drugs’: Labor and value in two international drug donation programs Ari Samsky

    5. Cultural Economy of Racialized Pharmaceuticals in the US Anne Pollock

    6. ‘Transport to Where?’: Reflections on the problem of value and time à propos an awkward practice in medical research P. Wenzel Geissler

    7. Will He Be There? Mediating malaria, immobilizing science Ann H. Kelly

    8. Trial by Accident: Tort law, industrial risks and the history of medical experiment Melinda Cooper


    Ann H. Kelly is a Lecturer with the Anthropologies of African Biosciences Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. Her work focuses on the production of scientific facts in Africa, with special attention to the built-environments, material artifacts and practical labors of experimentation.

    P. Wenzel Geissler, who qualified as a tropical parasitologist and social anthropologist, teaches social anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway, and the London School of Hygiene, UK. He recently published (with prints) The Land is Dying, and is currently working on an ethnography of medical research in Western Kenya.