Para-States and Medical Science: Making African Global Health
This chapter explores the environs of a major medical research center in Africa. The center is owned by the National Clinical Research Organisation (itself explicitly called a para-statal institution) and has, for the past three decades, conducted world-leading research in tropical diseases in collaboration mainly with a one major northern government health agency. While both institutions are linked to their respective states, the result is not simply national government science (as part of a developmental nation state), but a transnational partnership. The chapter discern, in this center traces of multiple pasts that shape the present landscape of medical research. Pasts embodied in buildings and circulations, and in narratives and biographies, and that engage with each other, collide, and transform in the contemporary scientific work on the site. Avoiding a simplified diagnosis of transnational research in terms of obvious political-economic differentials, and as emblematic of a new historical regime, this reading of memories, remains, and traces makes for a less determinate representation of transnational scientific collaboration: open-ended toward the past, which allows multiple interpretations, as well as toward the future.