Health, Science and Technology

The Health, Science and Technology Section promotes the humanistic and social scientific study of disease, health, healing practices, and medical and scientific knowledge production, examining these topics in relation to broader social, political, and cultural contexts in Latin America. We are an interdisciplinary organization including historians, anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and specialists in languages, literature, science studies, public health, and the natural sciences.

Research in this group encompasses, but is by no means limited to: health disparities caused by regional, national, and international policies, ideologies, and practices; medical imperialism, transnational medical knowledge, and the rise of “global health”; knowledge networks in Latin America and technologies of health (including bio-prospecting and pharmaceuticals research); the popular politics of treatment practices (including shamanism, curanderismo, folk healing, and bio-medicine); disease, health, medicine, and medical and scientific beliefs in contemporary and historical perspective; the interactions of science and medicine, gender, race, and class, in the creation of Latin American nation states; health and the environment; health and migration; health as a human right; and social and political movements aimed at transforming public health. It is the hope of the section that such approaches to the study of health, science, and technology might enhance our understanding of health problems and lead to gains in access to treatment, more democratic health policies, and real improvements in health conditions in Latin America.

Specific activities to promote scholarly interaction and the diffusion of views include organized sessions at LASA congresses and an electronic bulletin board. Other activities and functions may be developed consistent with the latest revision of LASA's Manual on Sections.