Health, Science, and Technology

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Reports

Health, Science, Technology Section – Report 2021

1. Summary of the business meeting

Only 3 people attended our business meeting.

This was due to technical difficulties and communication problems.

We currently have 48 enrolled section members. We spent the meeting planning the activities for the next year – and thought about strategies to create a sense of collective discussion and action even in the midst of Covid.

The possibilities we plan to develop include:

* Create a study meeting, virtual. (bringing a speaker)

* Announce Awards to be given during next meeting: one Book Award, one Thesis Award, and one Award for best Article in the fields of Health, Science, and Technology.

* Promote more events and connect to universities/study groups /calls from our Section

2. The results of the section’s elections

The officers who continue their terms must also be listed with their corresponding email and term.

All current officers will continue their terms.

Section leaders:

  • Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney, Associate Professor of History, University of Arizona, Co-Chair
  • Maria de Lourdes Beldi de Alcantara, University of São Paulo- Medical Anthropology, Co- chair
  • Secretary: Pietra Diwan, Adjunct Professor, U.S. History
3. A review of the activities and plans for the coming term

Possibilities were discussed during our business meeting and reported above.

We also consider more effective alliances with other networks, through Maria de Lourdes Beldi de Alcantara’s work with Harvard University which allows us to combine medical anthropology and human and indigenous rights

4. The names of the section’s awardees

We had no awardees this year but will pick up the awards next year.

Section Annual Report 2019-2020


Attendees: 7


• Proposal to apply for an NSF grant related to coordinating Latin American focused Science and Technology scholars and organizations under a single umbrella. Drs. Rosemblatt and Julia Rodriguez are leading this effort.


There are new section officers:


  • Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney

Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, AZ, USA. She is the author of The Politics of Motherhood: Maternity and Women’s Rights in Twentieth-Century Chile (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009) and has co-edited, with Fabio Lanza, Decentering Cold War History: Local and Global Change (London and New York: Routledge, 2013) and, with Tamara Chaplin, The Global Sixties: Convention, Contest and Counterculture (London and New York: Routledge, 2017). She has written about forced sterilization campaigns and human rights violations in Peru and North Carolina, on exile in the Cold War, on reproductive rights, and on transnational women's activism. She is currently working on a manuscript that uses the biographical lens (the life of medical doctor Benjamin Viel) to explore histories of public health, medicine, and family planning in Chile and the Americas. Her research interests focus on Latin America, and include gender, medicine, and science; feminisms; Cold War competition, and the politics of health and rights.

  • Maria de Lourdes Beldi de Alcantara

Bachelor’s degree in Social Science - Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo), a master’s degree in Anthropology from Pontificial Catholic University of São Paulo, and a PhD degree-in Sociology from Universidade de São Paulo, Post- PhD in Psychology at University of São Paulo. Currently, she is a researcher and consultant for International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs. She is a Coordinator of the Support Group for Indigenous Youth of Mato Grosso do Sul-AJI/GAPK. She is a Professor and person responsible for the discipline of Medical Anthropology of the Medical School in University of São Paulo. She has experience in the area of Anthropology, working mainly with the following themes: gender issues, health, imaginary, culture and memory, cultural diversity, culture, memory and imaginary, culture, imaginary and the catholic religion, and the interdisciplinary. Currently, she is working with medical anthropology and human and indigenous rights. She has a strong activism work with the indigenous youth, as a result she is a head of the NGO – Support Group for Indigenous Youth-GAPK since 2001. At the same time, she is observer at permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues at United Nations-UN and for the Organizations of American States. Most of work is being about indigenous youth and human rights. 


  • Pietra Diwan

I dedicated my initial studies of graduation to the field of eugenics, in particular from the production of Renato Kehl, the iconic figure from Brazilian eugenics. This research resulted in a Master’s degree, that was published as a book entitled Raça Pura: uma história da eugenia no Brasil e no mundo(Contexto, 2007). Almost ten years later, I returned to the academic research to investigate the relations of eugenics and the transhumanist movement during my Ph.D at Pontificia Universidade Católica de São Paulo. The dissertation entitled Entre Dedalo e Ícaro: cosmismo, eugenia e genética na invenção do transhumanismo norte-americano [Between Dedalos and Icarus: cosmism, eugenics and genetics in the invention of the north-american transhumanism] discussed how science developed after the end of second world war in connection with the mass industry and appropriate speeches of transcendence and enhancement in order to advance an agenda of modernity and progress. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I was inspired to begin my own podcast "Historicize" in which episodes present a reflection over naturalized historical concepts. Also, with Brazilian colleagues we formed the "Memorial Pandemia", a digital resource for future researchers to safeguard records created during the isolation from the pandemic and represents new practices and ways of living. I’m an Adjunct Professor for U.S. and Latin American History at The Arts Institute of Miami.


NO PRIZE committee functioned this year.

Section Annual Report 2018-2019


Attendees: 5

  • Proposal to apply for an NSF grant related to coordinating Latin American focused Science and Technology scholars and organizations under a single umbrella. Drs. Rosemblatt and Julia Rodriguez are leading this effort.
  • Discussed problem of section participation and Chairs Noy and Ablard are charged w/ peopling prize committees for LASA 2020

No elections held. Noy and Ablard's term last through next year.


Working on the NSF grant listed above NO PRIZE committee functioned this year. As mentioned above, those committees are being peopled. The five who attended the business meeting all agreed to participate...