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Book Forum––Warwick Anderson and Ian R. Mackay’s “Intolerant Bodies”

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We are happy to present a book forum organized around the release of  Warwick Anderson and Ian R. Mackay‘s Intolerant Bodies: A Short History of Autoimmunity (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).  Here, a “short” history should not be mistaken for one that is “thin” – Anderson and Mackay masterfully navigate a terrain populated as much by bodies as ideas.  …

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Bio-Ethnography: A Collaborative, Methodological Experiment in Mexico City

In 1993, a team of U.S.-based environmental health researchers partnered with public health officials in Mexico to form ELEMENT (Early Life Exposure in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants). The project aimed to study the effects of chemical exposures, particularly lead, on fetal and childhood growth and neurological development in what the United Nation then designated as the most polluted city on …

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“Body Leads”: Medicalizing Cultural Difference, or, what are we doing when we Say Putin Has Asperger’s Syndrome?

A recent USA Today article described a report from a Department of Defense think tank study that suggested that President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has “neurological abnormalities” and, perhaps, an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The report, part of a project entitled “Body Leads,” which claims to use analysis of bodily behavior to suggest underlying neurological states, was originally written …

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Open access, open data, open science…what does “openness” mean in the first place?

Recently, the research community has been flooded with encouragement to make things “open,” meaning: freely and easily accessible, in a variety of ways, and to a great variety of audiences.  This impetus to be open has taken the form of debates over “Open Source” software licensing, “Open Access” to the published results of research[i], …

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Concussion’s Memory Problem

In the lead-up to this year’s Superbowl, a surge of scientists, celebrities, athletes and everyday citizens all weighed in, many with tongues-in-cheek, to a so-called scandal about the deflation of game balls prepared by one of the competing teams. While popular media bubbled with the latest news for nearly two weeks, a simultaneous commentary was launched by some

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Ebola and Localizing the “Global Other” in the United States

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The outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa has spurred a great deal of anxiety among state and local public health officials in the United States. The initial arrival of the disease in the United States with a Liberian immigrant in Texas exposed the shortcomings of a response system that relied heavily on guidance and protocols from medical organizations emphasizing protective …