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Features

Cryopolitics of Covid-19

The debate on the origin of the virus causing Covid-19 has so far been framed in terms of a failure of biosecurity: it balances the risk of buying live animals in a wet market against the risk of studying zoonotic viruses in a laboratory. As such, it may at first appear to replicate debates that occurred around artificial mutation (or …

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Lectures

Silent Spring in Europe calls for a New Social Ecology

This article is part of the following series:

Deserted streets in Rome, empty dance-halls in Berlin, died-out tourist attractions in Barcelona, and a lonely Eiffel-Tower in Paris: Europe is experiencing its first locked-down spring. It marks an experiential as well as a paradoxical break in our everyday lives. On the one hand, Covid-19 has emerged as a brutal, tragic and unquestionable fact within world society. On the other …

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Features

Sentinels and Whistleblowers: Lessons from Wuhan

When the media asked me how the Chinese government was handling the crisis of COVID-19, I offered them a distinction which comes from the social sciences: the Wuhan authorities acted well as sentinels but failed to act as whistleblowers.

Indeed, the death of 34-year-old ophthalmologist Li Wenliang from COVID-19 on February 7, after warning on the emergence of a coronavirus …

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Features

Respect, care, and labor in collaborative scholarly projects

As members of Somatosphere’s Editorial Collaborative, we have been following the unfolding crisis surrounding Hau with profound concern (Agro 2018, Flaherty 2018). As others have noted, this crisis has revealed multiple structural issues that deserve intense engagement beyond the specifics of the individual case: open-access (OA), digital scholarship and publication, yes, but also academic power, precarity, and vulnerability;

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Features

Storage and stockpiling as techniques of preparedness: Managing the bottlenecks of flu pandemics

This article is part of the following series:

In the last twenty years, influenza has been considered by global health experts as a model for the emergence of new pathogens from animal reservoirs. In the logic of zoonoses, human disease is the tip of the iceberg constituted by a wide circulation of viruses – often asymptomatic – in animals; it is often described as an “evolutionary dead-end”. As …

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Books

Fernando Vidal’s and Nélia Dias’s Endangerment, Biodiversity and Culture

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Endangerment, Biodiversity and Culture

By Fernando Vidal and Nélia Dias (editors)

Routledge, 2016, 264 pages

What do natural reserves, botanical and zoological parks, anthropology museums and department of linguistics have in common? They all describe their objects as endangered beings. The series of essays collected by Fernando Vidal and Nélia Dias start from this diagnosis. If there is a contemporary …

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