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Att afrikanisera vetenskaplig kunskap: MIM och malariaforskningen i postkolonialt dilemma

by Priebe, Gunilla, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Priebe, Gunilla, Att afrikanisera vetenskaplig kunskap – MIM och malariaforskningen i postkolonialt dilemma [Africanising Scientific Knowledge – MIM and malaria re¬search in Postcolonial Dilemma]. Doctoral thesis in Swedish. Department of Phi¬losophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 2010. ISBN 978-91-977196-6-7 The goal of this thesis is to analyse the concept of Africanisation in relation to the efforts of the international research alliance The Multilateral Initiative on Ma¬la¬ria (MIM), which since 1997 has promoted research on malaria and wor¬ked to strengthen research environments in Africa. When applied to academic know¬ledge production the concept of Africanisation entails two integrated themes: (1) the meaning of locality to researchers’ ability to represent a study object correctly and with relevance, and (2) the impact of continuing colonial logics on scientific knowledge production (in terms of epistemology and orga¬nisation of research). The thesis shows what the concept of Africanisation means in the case of MIM, and demonstrates its complexity – the many mate¬rial, social and political factors that it embraces and processes. Theoretical and methodological points of departure are Actor Network Theo¬ry (ANT), and such feminist and post-colonial perspectives that analyse colonialism’s influence on knowledge production and the researcher’s ability to authentically represent a study object. The thesis presents MIM’s historical de¬velopment (1995–2005): it shows the situation that led to the launch of MIM, what was thought to be achieved, actors’ negotiations over MIM’s focus and how ideas then materialised. It includes an in-depth study of one of MIM’s Pan-African conferences, where it is illustrated how actors negotiate about what justifies research, about what gives scientific knowledge its value and what the relationship between science and other societal institutions should look like. It discusses the meaning of the researcher’s different localities, and pre¬sents exam¬ples of the sort of scientific facts that the Africanisation of malaria research is claimed to result in. The study of MIM shows that the Africanisation of malaria research implies that scientific knowledge production should not be imagined as an auto¬nomous activity, but instead be formulated in cooperation with all the actors affected by scientific work – mainly those who produce knowledge and those who are affected by the disease and the socio-political consequences of the disease. It implies that social and political effects of different support activities should be evaluated in order to avoid the reproduction of colonial orders.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Göteborgs universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; History and philosophy subjects; The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria; malaria research; re¬search capacity strengthening; situated knowledge; localities of malaria research; Actor Network Theory; Postcolonial Science Studies

ISBN:978-91-977196-6-7

Date of Publication:01/01/2010

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