The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into

The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen This riveting account of medical detective work traces the story of kuru, a fatal brain disease, and the pioneering scientists who spent decades searching for its causeWhen whites first encountered the Fore people in the isolated highlands of colonial New Guinea during the s and s, they found a people in the grip of a bizarre epidemic Women and children succumbed to muscle weakness, uncontrollable tremors, and lack of coordination, until death inevitably supervened Facing extinction, the Fore attributed their unique and terrifying affliction to a particularly malign form of sorcery The Collectors of Lost Souls tells the story of the resilience of the Fore through this devastating plague, their transformation into modern people, and their compelling attraction for a throng of eccentric and adventurous scientists and anthropologistsBattling competing scientists and the colonial authorities, the brilliant and troubled American doctor D Carleton Gajdusek determined that the cause of kuru was a new and mysterious agent of infection, which he called a slow virus now called prions Anthropologists and epidemiologists soon realized that the Fore practice of eating their loved ones after death had spread the slow virus Though the Fore were never convinced, Gajdusek received the Nobel Prize for his discoveryThe study of kuru opened up a completely new field of medical investigation, challenging our understanding of the causes of disease But The Collectors of Lost Souls is far than a tantalizing case study of scientific research in the twentieth century It is a story of how a previously isolated people made contact with the world by engaging with its science, rendering the boundary between primitive and modern completely permeable It tells us about the complex and often baffling interactions of researchers and their erstwhile subjects on the colonial frontier, tracing their ambivalent exchanges, passionate engagements, confused estimates of value, and moral ambiguities Above all, it reveals the primitive foundations of modern scienceThis astonishing story links first contact encounters in New Guinea with laboratory experiments in Bethesda, Maryland sorcery with science cannibalism with compassion and slow viruses with infectious proteins, reshaping our understanding of what it means to do science


About the Author: Warwick Anderson

Is a well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen book, this is one of the most wanted Warwick Anderson author readers around the world.



10 thoughts on “The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen

  1. says:

    From the blurb the brilliant and troubled American doctor D Carleton Gajdusek determined that the cause of kuru was a new and mysterious agent of infe


  2. says:

    What a turn out by the end of the book If you are reading it, haven t finished it, but want to stop because you ve understood everything about Kuru disease in


  3. says:

    A full exploration of kuru and prion science from the 1950s to the modern day, spanning a broad range in many senses Anderson does a great job, writes well, and his res


  4. says:

    the fourth chapter is the most fascinating one a real magic for the Fore people This chapter also revealed a crucial step for the building of modern biomedicine, the separation


  5. says:

    Interesting and insightful book Example of a Postcolonial work.


  6. says:

    I wrote some thoughts about this book here A compelling account of the decades long search for the cause of kuru disease among the Fore tribe in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, once hypothesiz


  7. says:

    I came into this book knowing something of prion diseases which are damned fascinating and expecting to learnabout the science behind them Disappointingly for me, the book largely focuses on the human int


  8. says:

    It s a story too interesting to completely mess up, which is why I gave it an extra star The problems with the book start with the title, which is greatly deceptive The majority of this work documents in great det


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