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Social Science, Health & Medicine - Dr David Reubi

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David Reubi is a sociologist and anthropologist trained at the London School of Economics (MSc, 2001; PhD, 2009). His work explores the biopolitics of global health and biomedicine, drawing on insights from post-structuralist thought and social studies of science. David’s research interests include: Africa and the non-communicable disease epidemic; health activism and biological citizenship; neoliberalism and the economisation of global health; global health and the politics of epidemiological evidence and numbers; as well as human rights and bioethics. His work has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Brocher Foundation, the European Research Council and the Economic Social and Research Council. Before joining King’s College London, David worked at the London School of Economics, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. 

David is currently working on The Biopolitics of the African Smoking Epidemic – Activism and Knowledge in International Initiatives to Reduce Tobacco Use and Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa funded through a Wellcome Trust 3-Year Research Fellowship in Society and Ethics. Specifically, the project examines the ways in which international experts and activists in tobacco and cancer control imagine Africa and the NCD epidemic on the subcontinent. Using a multi-sited ethnographic approach and influenced by science and technology studies, I am also exploring how these experts and activists attempt – as part of initiatives funded by the Gates and Bloomberg Foundations – to transfer their forms of advocacy, epidemiological evidence and economic knowledge to Mauritius, Senegal and South Africa. The project has led to the publication of articles in BioSocieties, Global Public Health, Medical History and Health & Place as well as a book on The Geographies of Global Health co-edited with Dr Clare Herrick (Routledge, forthcoming). It has also led to invited presentations at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex, the Department of Anthropology at UCL, the LSE Cities Centre and the Royal Geographical Society. Similarly, the project will see the organisation of a two-day workshop on The Politics of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Global South at King’s College and Queen Mary. Furthermore, as part of the project, David spent some time as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University and the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town.
David has also recently completed a research project entitled Bioethics, Modernity and Subjectivity – A Genealogy of Biomedical Research Ethics in the UK and Singapore. This project explored the growth and globalisation of bioethics over the last fifty years. Specifically, it examined the development of biomedical research ethics in the UK from the 1960s onwards and how they were later exported to the Southeast Asian City-State of Singapore. Drawing on archival work, interviews and participant-observation, the project argued that very different understandings of modernity have driven the development of bioethics in the two countries. It also mapped the ways in which bioethics has reconfigured socialities and notions of citizenship in contrasting ways in the UK and Singapore. The project has led to the publications of articles in International Political Sociology, Global Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, Social Studies of Science, Citizenship Studies and Social Theory and Health. It also led to the organisation of a Wellcome Trust-funded Conference on Health Rights in Global Historical Perspective at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2011 and to the production of a book, co-edited with Dr Alex Mold, entitled Assembling Rights and Health in Global Context: Genealogies and Anthropologies (Routledge, 2013). Likewise, the project led to invited seminar presentations at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London, the University of Warwick, the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Furthermore, as part of the project, David spent some time as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and the Brocher Foundation, Geneva.

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