STS Methods Lab: Resistant bodies - in science and culture: challenges, approaches, and concepts in immunology

In the next STS methods lab, December 8, we are excited to welcome anthropologist Emily Martin (NYU) in conversation with evolutionary biologist Kjetill Jakobsen, and immunologists Shou-Wang Qiao and Finn-Eirik Johansen from the UiO: Life Science Convergence Environment COMPARE, on the challenges, approaches, and concepts of immunology ‘before and now’.

Emily Martin’s seminal book Flexible Bodies: The Role of Immunity in American Culture from Polio to the age of AIDS (1994), will be the point of departure for our conversation. Flexible bodies has been influential in forming our understanding of the role of science as culture and the traffic of knowledge, concepts and practices between science and society. In this conversation we will discuss Flexible Bodies, its contributions and concepts with core researchers from COMPARE – Comparative immunology in fish and humans.

In the COMPARE-project the immune system of cod is examined – and compared also with the understanding of immunology with a point of departure in the human immune system. COMPARE demonstrates new modes of working and comparing across bodies and species. How can this work add to our understanding of immunology? Do we understand immunity differently today than at the time when Emily Martin published her book? Are relations between science and society different? What tools and concepts are relevant in contemporary immunology and how do new tools and approaches impact what we take to be immunity and the discipline of immunology? And what can the combination of immunology and evolutionary biology bring to the table? These questions will shape the conversation in this unique meeting between an interdisciplinary group of experts on the immune system in science and culture.

Published Nov. 30, 2021 2:03 PM - Last modified Dec. 3, 2021 7:56 AM