Petryna Honored for Contribution to Anthropology

June 1, 2016

Adriana Petryna, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Anthropology, has been awarded the biennial Wellcome Medal from the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland for “a body of published work which makes, as a whole, a significant contribution to research in anthropology as applied to medical problems.”

Petryna specializes in the social and political dimensions of science and medicine in the United States and Eastern Europe, focusing particularly on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and on clinical research and pharmaceutical globalization. Her concerns center on public and private forms of scientific knowledge production, as well as on the role of science and technology in public policy, particularly in contexts of crisis, inequality, and political transition. This includes the social nature of scientific knowledge, how populations are enrolled in scientific experimentation, and what becomes of citizenship and ethics in that process.

Petryna is the author of When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects and of Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl, which won the New Millennium Book Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology and the Sharon Stephens First Book Prize from the American Ethnological Society. She has coedited When People Come First: Critical Studies in Global Health with Joao Biehl, and Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices, with Andrew Lakoff and Arthur Kleinman.

The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) is the world's longest-established scholarly association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology—the study of humankind—in its broadest and most inclusive sense.