Epidemic Projections and the Politics of Reckoning
ADIA BENTON, PHD, MPH
Associate professor, Anthropology, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University
About the lecture
Within the field of public health, strategies for minimizing and mitigating health risks depend on describing and proving causality and correlation. Risk calculations draw on past experiences with danger, and form the bases for anticipating and planning for future crises. When it comes to modeling in public or global health, the repetitive relationship between the past and future embodied in epidemiologic projections and forecasts are central to explaining misfortune. In this talk, I ask: What kinds of assumptions about people and places, about time, and about danger underlie these projections? What are the stakes of using these models not only to predict disease dynamics and speculate about effective interventions, but also to monetize them for the purposes of generating profit for private investors and delivering financial assistance to cash-strapped governments in the midst of an epidemic?
Lunch will be provided. This event is part of Think Global, a weekly lecture series at the Duke Global Health Institute. It is co-sponsored by the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health, the Department of Cultural Anthropology, and the Department of African and African American Studies and is free and open to the public. Parking for Trent Hall is available in the Duke Medicine Circle Parking Garage, located at 302 Trent Drive.