Bloodborne: Chasing Ecologies and Power Across Viral Divides
Project Lead: Gregg Mitman
scientific understandings of viral infectious diseases and their ecologies were built and maps representing West Africa as a disease hotspot were made.
Nonhuman primates emerged as keystone species in the industrial ecologies of virus research and vaccine production. At the same time, viral exchanges posed threats to humans and their primate kin. Increasingly, policing and protecting the flow of viruses across species divides has become a driving agenda in the converging worlds of biomedicine, conservation, and animal rights. With a focus on three viral infectious diseases—yellow fever, hepatitis B, and Ebola—over a century of biomedical research in the Guinean Forests of West Africa beginning in the 1920s, this project explores how a new form of life, the virus, became known; how new scientific understandings of infectious diseases formed; how new alliances among living things were made; and how new health inequities took hold.