Carleton Gajdusek to a colleague at the National Institutes of Health, 1957 (Anderson 2008: 100).

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Australian colonial administrator Hornabrook, 1975 (Anderson 2008: 182)

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For several years now, Warwick Anderson has been my guide to thinking about the “unequal and disordered” reciprocities that lie at the very foundation of biomedical research, colonial and otherwise. The phrase “collected” me when I read some of Anderson's earlier work on kuru (2000: 715), and it proves a perfect key to the brilliantly rendered, often jarring, dynamics of taking and giving that await readers in The Collectors of Lost Souls. In this provocative book, Anderson refuses the temptation to simply cry “thief” where biomedical extraction is concerned. Instead, he walks readers through what has to be one of the more complex narrative threads in twentieth-century biomedical history, which might properly be called the...

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