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January 2023 Newsletter

Posted by C3W Admin on January 27 2023

We have gathered together the latest news and events, together with some content not available on the website and put it into a Newsletter, see below.

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A physician taking the pulse of a male patient with a bandaged head, a nurse is standing near with a bowl, at an outdoor hospital in Korea. Colour process print after J.C. Credit: Wellcome CollectionPublic Domain Mark

Welcome to the January edition of our newsletter, where you will find the latest research findings, activities and events.

This edition has
  • Publications
  • Research trips
  • Upcoming events


Sarah Marks has been awarded £574,000 from UK Research and Innovation to extend her Future Leaders Fellowship through till 2026. The funds will support further research on the history of mental health interventions in Ghana and Zimbabwe, as well funding for two postdoctoral researchers. Becka Hudson, an anthropologist, will work on the use of behavioural interventions in criminal justice contexts; and Rachel Starr will work on a methodological project to improve qualitative research methods for understanding the lived experience of mental health treatments, past and present. 


International Center for Drug Policy Studies at Shanghai University

Dora Vargha and Lu Chen took part in the ICDPS fall seminar series on the 1st and 8th December, 2022.

Dora’s talk was titled ‘Socialist medicine: the history of global health from the socialist world’s perspective.’ She argued that socialist networks of international solidarity and collectivity have shaped health care systems, pharmaceutical manufacturing and knowledge networks in ways that have been rendered invisible in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The rise of neoliberal frameworks, and the HIV epidemic animated the rise of global health initiatives driven by “the West.”

Lu’s talk was titled ‘Democratizing Histories of International Health: Smallpox Eradication in Western Pacific Region.’ She argued that scholars should look beyond West-centric knowledge to understand the eradication of Smallpox. Using materials collected from WHO archives, Lu explained how some newly independent countries in the Western Pacific region have a diverse and important history to share about their roles in the eradication program. She emphasized that the erstwhile colonial countries in the Western Pacific region had already attained a complete removal of Smallpox even before the so-called eradication program of the WHO or the European countries had begun.

Andrea Espinoza led an online seminar series called “Feminism(s) and its multiple agendas to change the world” with the Ecuadorian Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art (MAAC). The seminars were free and open to the public. They aimed to work as an introduction to feminist concepts and debate in the local and international context. 

Dates for your Diary

Science Diplomacy and Science in Times of War
Institute’s Colloquium 2022-23 of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

14 February 14:00-15:30 
Artifacts, Actions, Knowledge and Irregular Warfare in Latin America 
Alexis de Grieff A. (National University of Colombia/MPIWG)


Dora Vargha is organiser of this year’s Institute’s Colloquium at the MPIWG. The series is dedicated to the rethinking of science and scientific knowledge in times of peace and in times of crises and war. Within this framework, the colloquium series will interrogate the history and concepts of “science diplomacy,” its applicability across time and space; limits and opportunities of scientific cooperation across borders, cultural and national contexts, fluctuating between peace and war; legitimation of using science and scientists as means of sanctions and geopolitical tools; and if we should differentiate between politically and diplomatically usable science and politically/diplomatically irrelevant science, reminiscent of Nobel laureate Henry Dale’s distinction between peaceful “normal science” and “abnormal” war science?
The Colloquium is held in a hybrid format and open to all, you can find the program and registration information for online and in-person participation here: 

Postdoc Lu Chen is involved in organizing the Wellcome Centre’s seminar series for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The series is composed of 5 independent seminars, including:

Upcoming events

24th February, 2023

Religions and global health 


Fabian Winiger 

Benjamin Bronnert Walker 

Erminia Colucci

Previous events

Trauma, justice and the human condition was held on 15th September, 2022, the recording is available on the YouTube channel  

The first session “Health of People, Health of the Planet: A Diversity of Perspectives” was held at 20th October, the recording is available on the Wellcome centre’s YouTube channel 

Climate Change & Mental Health: Exploring Responses Across Cultures was held on 17th November, you can view this on YouTube

Death by welfare was held on 19th January 2023, the recording is available on YouTube


Sarah Marks comments on objects from the history of science and medicine in Series 2 of Strangest Things, airing on Sky History/Now TV (UK) and The Science Channel (US), a documentary series  drawing from history, archaeology and science. The series airs between January and March 2023.

The latest from Twitter follow us @C3Worlds 


The Photographers’ gaze: the Mobile Radioisotope Exhibition in Latin America (1960-1965) is a research article written by Gisela Mateos and Edna Suárez-Díaz.


During the IAEA’s Mobile Radioisotope Exhibition (1960–1965) through the eventful roads of five Latin American countries (Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia), a variety of photographs were taken by an unknown Mexican official photographer, and by Josef Obermayer, a staff driver from Vienna. The exhibition carried not only bits of nuclear sciences and technologies, but also the political symbolism of the ‘friendly atom’ as a token of modernization. The photographs embarked on different trajectories, though all of them ended up at the training and exchange official’s desk in charge of the exhibition, Argentinian physicist Arturo Cairo. The ones taken in Mexico also had a local circulation as propaganda intended to promote radioisotope applications. The two sets of images were intended to show the contrast between modernity and traditional society, but they did it from different gazes. Our paper argues that, in the case of Mexico, the photographer reinforced representations of the country which were already popularized by Hollywood for foreign and local audiences. On the other hand, the Viennese photographer’s gaze delivers an autoethnography of his dutiful journey. We also argue that Obermayer’s projection is one of what Roger Bartra has conceptualized as the ‘salvage on the mirror’.

Writing retreats and Research Progress

Writing Retreat at Cholula, Puebla (December 4-6, 2022)

The C3W project funded a fruitful writing retreat in Cholula, Puebla. Five members of the team (Andrea Carvajal, Sebastián Fonseca, Lu Chen, Gisela Mateos, and Edna Suárez-Diaz) were joined by Gabriela Soto Laveaga (Harvard University and Advisory Board member), Vivette García Deister (UNAM, editor-in-chief of Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society), Lina Pinto-García (Universidad de los Andes and InSIS, U. of Oxford), and Joel Vargas (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico), to work on the publication of a special issue on community health. On the last day, Emily Vazquez (U. of Illinois and managing editor at Global Public health) joined to discuss publication options.

As promised in our last newsletter you can check out Andrea’s blog on our website

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