History of Kuru Reviewed

The Neuro Times blog has reviewed Warwick Anderson‘s The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen. Anderson’s volume details the history of the neurological disorder kuru, focusing on the interactions of the Fore people of Papua New Guinea with scientists and anthropologists beginning in the 1940s and 1950s. According to The Neuro Times,

This marvelous book deliberately forces us to re-imagine the meaning of sojourn, scientific discovery, colonialism, and sorcery, while at the same time providing us with an account of the discovery of Kuru, a lethal neurological disease, and the science that ultimately determined its etiology. In a narrative grounded in sources found in archives in Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the United States, and further developed through oral histories with scientists, anthropologists, and the Fore people, Anderson shows us that the prion – an infectious protein supposedly discovered in the laboratories of Britain and the United States – was a thing constructed first through colonial aspirations and global imaginations

The full review can be found here. Tip o’ the hat to Mind Hacks for alerting me to this item.

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About Jacy Young

Jacy Young recently completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Surrey in the UK. She earned her doctorate in the History and Theory of Psychology at York University in 2014.

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