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Often described as “Africa’s laboratory,” the Gambia, one of the smallest countries in Africa, has offered a site of medical research and public health experimentation for the better part of a century. Drawing from archival and ethnographic materials, this chapter explores the distinct ways in which Gambian populations have become objects of governmental practice and biomedical knowledge. Of particular concern is how scientific activity animates governmental practice in a small-scale state and the configurations between experiment and development that allow the Gambia to operate as the tropics in miniature.

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