Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Biohacking, BioArt, and other Playful Abominations

These days, it is fun to “hack” almost everything. You can hack your life, you can hack your home, and you can even hack your period. So, as the web continues to grow more material on synthetic biology, let us turn once again to the world of biohacking.

A particularly interesting piece considers the possibility of …


How to make a “vulnerable population”

“They used my ass and took advantage of me.” This was the story of Eddie Flowers, a former drug addict used in LSD experiments during the 1950s. Leaning forward, forearms on desk, Flowers spoke into the microphone on Capital Hill during the 1975 U.S. Senate hearings into secret government-sponsored research (known as the Church Committee hearings). Flowers died in 2009 …


Miguel Kottow’s El Pa[de]ciente

This article is part of the series:

El Pa[de]cienteEl Pa[de]ciente: La medicina cuestionada. Un testimonio.

[The Suffering Patient: Medicine questioned. A testimony.]

by Miguel Kottow

Ocho libros. 2013, Reprinted 2014. 171 pages.


Note: The original version of this review was written in Spanish by Sebastián Medina Gay and published in the Chilean Journal of Public Health (Rev. Chilena de Salud Pública 2014; 18(2):227-229). It has been translated

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Ebola

This article is part of the series:

When I teach Medical Anthropology, we talk about globalization and infectious disease, with a focus on the increasing speed of global travel. Typically, I discuss a hypothetical epidemic that could accompany a traveller from a distant continent to the local airport. This year, a hypothetical epidemic will not be necessary. Instead, we have the rapid spread of Ebola, poised to …


Sperling’s Reasons of Conscience

Reasons of Conscience:
The Bioethics Debate in Germany

University of Chicago Press, 2013, 344 pages

by Stefan Sperling

Sperling’s Reasons of Conscience is an ethnographic study of two German Bioethics commissions – the Enquete Kommission and the Nationaler Ethikrat. His particular focus is on the way that the national, political and cultural context influences the democratic and bureaucratic processes …