TECHNO: (How) does the analyst account for the data practices and responsibilities of the people and organizations studied?

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Angela Okune's picture
August 7, 2018
  • “Most important genomic data is available from freely accessible databases and sophisticated analyses can be performed using free software.” (459)

  • Okeke notes that most Africans are relegated to collection work in partnerships related to global health and genomics work. “In the last half-century far too many African scientists are engaged in what they themselves view as “collecting” biological specimens, which are then dispatched to laboratories elsewhere on the globe. African scientists have viewed their conduit role in this “postal research” as derogatory (Ntoumi et al. 2004; Oyebade 2010; Crane 2013; Sawyerr 2004; Fullwiley 2011).6 For them, bioscience has matured, but Little Brother has not. Others spend a few weeks a year hosting “parachute scientists” who visit only to grab specimens and then disappear into the real world of scientific inquiry (Okwaro and Geissler 2015; Fullwiley 2011).

  • “Postal” and “parachute” research inevitably addresses remote or “global” questions, not local ones (Kebede and Polderman 2004; Costello and Zumla 2000; Okeke 2011; Wolffers, Adjei, and van der Drift 1998; Karim and Karim 2010; Fullwiley 2011). We know a lot because of this type of research, but very little of this knowledge has been applied to health care on the continent (Fullwiley 2011).”

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