AO: Green notes that where the terms of the IK vs science debate categorise knowledges as different before the parties have spoken a word to each other, there is very little chance of discovering the linkages and partial connections that might begin a new conversation. (6)
AO: Foster focuses on the negotiations over intellectual property of the hoodia plant and studies and problematizes patent law and its dichotomous assumptions of nature/culture, modern/nonmodern, and Western/indigenous.
AO: Foster uses indigeneity as one category of subjects studied (San peoples), and occupation for the other two categories of subjects studied (CSIR scientists and hoodia growers). She notes that San are by no means a homogenous or unified group and have their own internal debates about who should represent them and how their interests should be represented (20).
AO: the science of biometric identification and registration systems. He notes that biometrics can best be described as the “identification of people by machines” (12).
AO: Von Schnitzler looks at the pre-paid electricity and water meters in poor urban areas of South Africa and contestations over them between residents tinkering with the technology and utility officials trying to secure it.
AO: Coban looks at the emergence of a “maker scene” which focuses on the development of “stuff” and hardware rather than software development.
AO: Geissler and Tousignant look at the aspects of capacity building which are typically overlooked: “the political and moral charge – for African scientists, clinicians and patients – of skills, technologies, careers, knowledge and care; the contested values, power and futures that capacity might perturb or activate; the incapacities that global health capacity-building initiatives are rooted in, thrive on, reinforce or reproduce; as well as the existing capacities and dreams of capacity that these initiatives often fail to acknowledge, invest in, or engage with.” (350)
AO: The authors argue that, ‘as something to be ‘built’, capacity is often treated as an inherent property of an object, actor or system, which can thus be delivered or deployed, transacted between haves and have-nots” but that by moving beyond specific capacity-building projects, “capacity can also be thought of as potential, projection and direction, as collective memory and futures, as imaginaries of transformation.” With such an extended temporal frame, capacity then becomes a longstanding goal tied to prior social and political projects; as a distributed property of materials, skills, institutions, persons and groups that can be remembered or forgotten, that accumulates, decays, remains and is recomposed; and as a project that takes effect in the future. (353)
AO: diagnostic science in African hospital laboratory
AO: the production of quantitative diagnostic data about malaria through microscopy analysis and clinical tests in labs in Dakar, Senegal.
They look at the “data engagement activities” of scientists in (bio)chemistry laboratories in Kenya and South Africa but it is unclear what exactly they mean when they say “data” (or “data engagement” for that matter”).The analysis looks very broadly at use of professonal networking sites (as places where researchers build social networks to ask for data or research outputs?).
Specifically, they “selected sites in countries with a robust history of scientific research and that represent major contributors to Africa’s scientific output. We also chose to focus on university laboratories, which, while having engaged in foreign collaborations and received foreign grants, were not part of large research networks. This selection allowed us to come to grips with how the ideals of OS are taken up within the context of a specifically African public institution, illuminating perspectives and practices that might otherwise be obscured by the cultures of a transnational research.” (40)
Mavhunga looks at the professoriate of the hunt in Zimbabwe, defined as “a spiritually guided institution and practice that educated boys in the chase through doing” (20). This is also against the contemporary phenomenon of “cynide poachers” (7). He frames the African villagers as the designers using cyanide as a resource to turn a large mammal into ivory for sale to markets and users in Asia and the rest of the world rather than to trace the journey of cyanide and firearms from their “designers” overseas to their “users” in Zimbabwe. Seeking to reveal the “everyday innovation” in Africa and counter the narratives about the continent, Mavhunga chooses a site from which to explore technology where the concept might “tell us something we do not hear often in prevailing narratives—the site of ordinary people and their innovations or creativities, things that few would consider technological.” (16)
He is keen to focus on a history of African technologies—and not just technology in Africa.