Internationalism and Health. LECTURE. Science, Medicine and Transnationalism. Aaron Pascal Mauck MA, PhD. 2/26/2013. DATE. LECTURER. Course Business Political Foundations of Transnational Science Transnational Health in Europe Transnational Health in the Americas.
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Science, Medicine and Transnationalism
Aaron Pascal Mauck MA, PhD
Political Foundations of Transnational Science
Transnational Health in Europe
Transnational Health in the Americas
Scientific enthusiasm for transnationalism
was tempered by political realities.
Conservative political turn after 1918
In many countries signals end of
Progressive politics- return of market-driven
and nation-centered policies.
International cooperation remains limited
Despite LON: Isolationism in US and
Tensions between France and Germany
Control of VD constitutes a collective goal in the twenties and thirties, but
International cooperation in standard-setting remains due to tensions
between France & Germany & the North America & Europe
Emergence of competing diagnostic standards: Wassermann test in Europe
(created 1906) and Kahn Test in North America (created in 1925)
1888: First Institute is established in Paris
With the goal of spreading knowledge
about the control and treatment of infectious
disease through Germ Theory
Initial institutional focus on rabies inoculation,
smallpox vaccination, and diphtheria antitoxin.
Spread of institutes to other countries reflected
The spread of expertise in treating these
Administering Rabies Inoculation
By 1914, Pasteur Institutes had spread to several countries, but had different
goals and lacked a coherent vision of science, save for a commitment to
collaboration and possibly an affinity for French Science
After 1918, the Paris Pasteur Institute reasserts
control over the other institutes, promoting
“scientific imperialism” rooted in a French vision
Ban on German Science & scientists upheld by
The Pasteur Institutes
1921-1926 attempt at collaboration between
The Institute and the RF fails largely due to
The unwillingness of the institute to share control
or compromise on its vision
“If French reigns over boundless regions, if epidemics are prevented or thwarted,
if sanitary reforms can be undertaken, cities built up, harbors opened to trade,
If Europeans can live safely in hostile Africa or the Far East, if morbidity and
Mortality decrease in a striking way for native populations, all these transformations
Must be attributed to colonial medicine.”
Louis-Pasteur Vallery-Radot, 1938
Veracruz region becomes site of hookworm
Eradication efforts throughout the 20s & 30s
Work predicated on alignment of RF goal of
Illustrating Efficacy of eradication and National goals
of Quelling political unrest in the region by providing
Key services, and entrenching state power
Initial focus on treatment and limited concern for
Infrastructure reflects immediate political realities.
As political unrest dissipates in the 30s, emphasis
Shifts to infrastructure and education
RF Latrine Construction Project
The explicit goal of Americanization emerges at the RF in part through contact with
non-democratic regimes, where public health measures can serve as a tool
For the promotion of pro-democratic ideology
While Hookworm initially serves as a demonstration tool for what the RF might do
In the future for other diseases , it eventually becomes explanation for poor
health and poverty in the Region.
The Interwar Years (1919-1938) witnessed the rise of new transnational
Scientific aspirations, rooted in the Progressive political project, and linked to
Goals like economic development and the promotion of a perpetual peace.
In the areas of disease research and eradication, transnational projects
entailed coordination between private foundations (Pasteur Institute,
Rockefeller Foundation) and national governments.
Transnational science was often employed in the service of national goals:
Rationalization of state administration, entrenchment of state power,
Encouragement of state-supported industries.
Transnational science was also subject to international pressures:
Competition between different models of scientific research or public health
Intervention, disagreements between old enemy states
Thus, transnational science remained more a goal than a reality as it pertained
to the universally shared goals of disease control and eradication