The Ebola crisis in West Africa is a global emergency and a set of personal tragedies. But beyond the urgent headlines and struggles to control the epidemic, what deeper stories should be told?
Using Ebola as a lens and connecting local experiences with a global stage, this lecture will trace how inequalities, unsustainability and insecurity can interact, enhanced by misguided interventions, to render people and places deeply vulnerable – and why addressing these interactions must become central to a renewed vision of development for all.
About the Speaker
Melissa Leach is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies. Between 2006 and 2014 Melissa directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre. She originally trained as a geographer (MA Cambridge) and social anthropologist (PhD London).
Over the last thirty years she has been closely involved both in ethnographic fieldwork, speaking four African languages, and in extensive interdisciplinary research. This has engaged anthropology with historical, ecological and science and technology studies approaches, as well as working with foresters, agricultural and medical scientists.
Melissa’s recent work has explored the politics of science and knowledge in policy processes linked to environment and health; addressing vaccine controversies, scientific uncertainties, citizenship and public engagement; cultural and political dimensions of vaccine delivery; medical research trials, emerging infectious diseases, and ecology-health linkages.
Read Melissa Leach’s background paper Ebola and beyond: Equality, sustainability, security – interlaced challenges in a global development era for the lecture, Ebola Response Anthropology Platform and IDS ‘Ebola and Development’ initiative.