AO: Tichenor notes how WHO recommendations on diagnostic practices shape national protocols in Senegal and determine who is eligible for global health funding. She tracks the history of diagnostic of malaria and its relationship to capital investments by WHO and Gates foundation (and UN MDGs).
AO: Tichenor also notes how the increase in “public-private partnerships” for global health development goals has contributed to the rule of economically focused performance-based funding models for short-term, “efficient” solutions to complex health problems (440)
Echoing the discussions raised in the collaboration essay, funding emerges as an important aspect that structures what STS work is done: “chief among these necessary conditions is basic financing. Issues of funding were discussed by every single interview participant and, as in other parts of the world, determined the scope and scale of research activities, which scientific questions were pursued, and how. Rather than simply acknowledging that ‘money is tight’, however, a number of interviewees made a noteworthy distinction between the research activities supported by grant money, and the shortfall not covered by the grants” (41)
This is an important point: “the dichotomies that underpin the very notion of the ‘divide: – e.g. online/offline and access/no access – do not tally with the partial and uneven ways in which Internet resources circulate.” (45)
“national park or game reserve in Africa as a colonial relic struggling to adjust to a postcolonial reality” (5)
Mavhunga reasserts critiques of top-down development writing that “development continues to be for them, but not with them” and that the “partnership” between rich and poor countries, politicians and “their” people, (non)governmental organizations and villagers, overseas and local universities, and the university and communities, becomes merely a partnership between a rider and a horse, the one enjoying the ride and directing the itinerary, the other shouldering the burden and doing as ordered (Mavhunga 2007b).
“This is why development, conservation, technology, and innovation projects fail, not only in Africa or the global south, but universally. The view of partnership as a relationship between “us” as riders and ordinary people as horses also forecloses a view to ordinary people as creative beings in their own right.” (relevant for the collaboration doc as well). (7)
Tousignant writes that while research is needed to advance careers and supervise students, it is not materially supported by the institutions and therefore university toxicologists rely on international support and various consultancy work to help to enable research work to continue. This echoes what my own observations of the Nairobi university structures are. (“The main duties of the small number of toxicologists employed by the university have been to train pharmacy students and to take up additional functions (in education planning, a hospital pharmacy, or the drug control lab, for example). From at least the 1980s, their regular budget could not support research, while their proposal for a national poison control center was put on ice for the next two decades. Research -- needed to advance careers and supervise students (the pharmacy degree in Senegal includes a thesis requirement) -- came to depend on brief, uncertain sources of support such as international projects, “favors” from sympathetic collaborators, and paid analytical contracts (with the exception, again, of Project Locustox).” into chapter)
“The trajectory of toxicology and that of other sciences in Africa follow a broadly shared sequence: from a brief period of growing -- but largely promissory -- investment in science as an African(ized), national, collective, and development-oriented enterprise (circa 1940s-1970s), followed by a generalized drop in public (both national and international) funding for science in Africa from the 1980s, leading to the stagnation of scientific activity and/or to new “entrepreneurial” strategies for capturing foreign, non-governmental, or private resources.” (intro chapter)
Pollock mentions histories of mining, apartheid, and structural adjustment as shaping the landscape of her topic. She also mentions IP law: “This is part of why knowledge production in South Africa is high stakes: the place of IP has always been assumed to be the Global North, and if that collocation can be unraveled, it shifts the place of science in postcolonial orders.” (867)
Desire for political relevance (and national competitiiveness) shaped many of the key decisions about funding for research in/on Africa (92)
The growth of science on the continent was linked to the growth of colonialism. Simultaneously the “organization of international science congresses and networks, which established shared nomenclature and methods within disciplines and across nations; the professionalization of the bio- sciences and field sciences—such as geology, geography, evolution, archaeology, pale- ontology, zoology, botany, and anthropology—which took the earth and its inhabitants as their object of study; the inauguration of world fairs and science museums and their attendant exhibits comparing accomplishments in different parts of the globe and among different peoples; the development of international communication systems that allowed much more rapid circulation of scientific journals and correspondence; and the standard- ization and proliferation of national and international laws regulating, and therefore also defining, science, medicine, and technology (including and especially patent laws). It was through these imperial and transnational pathways that scientific communities began to achieve a critical mass and sufficient professional power to enable them both to think and to act in planetary terms, a process that continues to this day.” (113)
Biruk discusses global North and South funding dynamics and inequalities (with famous global North researchers getting more funding as first author than Malawian researchers listed as second and third authors).
Biruk highlights how the university IRB dictates what is an acceptable “gift” for participation in research - soap. “It serves as a small token of thanks but does not threaten to contaminate their data.” (101)