Javier Lezaun

Javier Lezaun
University of Oxford | OX · Institute for Science, Innovation and Society; School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography

About

65
Publications
29,984
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2,453
Citations
Citations since 2016
32 Research Items
1913 Citations
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Publications

Publications (65)
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A new paradigm of emergency R&D has transformed global health. Beginning with the 2014–2016 Ebola virus disease epidemic in West Africa, experimental product development has been propelled to the frontlines of outbreak response, radically compressing timelines and unsettling regulatory standards, biosecurity strategies and humanitarian protocols. T...
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The concept of net-zero carbon emissions has emerged from physical climate science. However, it is operationalized through social, political and economic systems. We identify seven attributes of net zero, which are important to make it a successful framework for climate action. The seven attributes highlight the urgency of emission reductions, whic...
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This essay tracks a paradigm shift in the use of chemicals to control malaria: away from insecticidal approaches, focused on killing mosquitoes within private domestic dwellings, and toward the creation of protective communal atmospheres. An ongoing study of the efficacy of spatial repellents to reduce malaria transmission in rural Tanzania provide...
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In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a faceless, non-adversarial threat that endangered Israelis and Palestinians with the same ferocity. However, the capacities of the health systems to address it were not equal, with Israel more equipped for the outbreak with infrastructure, resources, manpower and later, vaccines. The pandemic demonstra...
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When the Zika virus burst onto the international scene in the second half of 2015, the development of diagnostic tools was seen as an urgent global health priority. Diagnostic capacity was restricted to a small number of reference laboratories, and none of the few available molecular or serological tests had been validated for extensive use in an o...
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This Policy Brief reviews the experience of the UK in developing principles for the governance of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) at scale. Early discussions on CDR governance took place in two separate and somewhat disjointed policy domains: forestry, on the one hand, and R&D support for novel “geoengineering” technologies, on the other. The adoption...
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This Perspective explores the local governance of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Proposals to enhance the ability of oceans and marine ecosystems to absorb atmospheric CO2 are often discussed as examples of “geoengineering,” but this framing obscures the site-specific nature of most of the suggested interventions. The Perspective outline...
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Background Different forms of mosquito modifications are being considered as potential high-impact and low-cost tools for future malaria control in Africa. Although still under evaluation, the eventual success of these technologies will require high-level public acceptance. Understanding prevailing community perceptions of mosquito modification is,...
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Background Larval source management was historically one of the most effective malaria control methods but is now widely deprioritized in Africa, where insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) are preferred. However, in Tanzania, following initial successes in urban Dar-es-Salaam starting early-2000s, the government now en...
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Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) plays a central role in scenario pathways that limit global warming in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Yet deliberate policy efforts to incentivise BECCS—whether through amending existing climate policies or introducing entirely new ones—remain rare. In this paper, we contend that B...
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There is increasing concern globally about the enormity of the threats posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to human, animal, plant and environmental health. A proliferation of international, national and institutional reports on the problems posed by AMR and the need for antibiotic stewardship have galvanised attention on the global stage. Howe...
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Background: Most field entomology research projects require active participation by local community members. Since 2012, Target Malaria, a not-for-profit research consortium, has been working with residents in the village of Bana, in Western Burkina Faso, in various studies involving mosquito collections, releases and recaptures. The long-term goa...
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Background: Malaria control in Tanzania currently relies primarily on long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying, alongside effective case management and behaviour change communication. This study explored opinions of key stakeholders on the national progress towards malaria elimination, the potential of currently available vector...
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The human microbiome is an important emergent area of cross, multi and transdisciplinary study. The complexity of this topic leads to conflicting narratives and regulatory challenges. It raises questions about the benefits of its commercialisation and drives debates about alternative models for engaging with its publics, patients and other potentia...
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Financial sanctions are often thought of as the “soft alternative” to armed conflict and are widely used in the 21st century. Nonetheless, sanctions are often criticized for being non-specific in their action, and having impact beyond their intended remit. One often-overlooked area affected by sanctions are academic systems of research and educatio...
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There is growing interest in bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) as a possible technology for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. In the first study of its kind, we investigate whether and how different forms of incentivisation impact on public perceptions of this technology. We develop a new experimental method to triangulate perceptio...
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This paper explores the changing political economy of malaria drug discovery by tracing the career over the last four decades of a single molecule, tafenoquine. First identified as a promising antimalarial by the US Army in the 1970s, tafenoquine has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the radical cure of vivax malaria –...
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This article examines three locations where entomologists engage in the experimental observation of mosquitoes: the insectary, the semifield station, and the outdoors. We approach each of these settings as creating a distinct mode of interiority, a particular room-space. This concept resets the investigative encounter in terms of an aesthetic of at...
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This paper considers food as a site of public engagement with science and technology. Specifically, we focus on how public engagement with food is envisioned and operationalised by one non-profit organisation, foodwatch. Founded in Germany in 2002, foodwatch extensively uses new information and communication technologies to inform consumers about p...
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Recent attempts to conduct experiments in climate ‘geoengineering’ have demonstrated the deeply controversial nature of this field of scientific research. Social scientists have begun to explore public perceptions of geoengineering, and have documented a significant degree of concern over the effective governance of research and experimentation in...
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In this paper, we analyse the introduction of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes in Brazil and use this case to probe the notion of Responsible Innovation and its applicability to the development of new public health biotechnologies in the global South. OX513A, a strain of GM Aedes aegypti mosquitoes developed by the British firm Oxitec, has been...
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What sort of reality is produced and conveyed to the business trainee through the set of pedagogical techniques that characterize the experiential business curriculum, and how does immersion in this particular kind of reality configure the business self? This essay discusses some of the rhetorical and theatrical contrivances that are used to genera...
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The Basque town of Mondragón is home to one of the largest and most significant experiences of co-operative organization and workers’ self-management anywhere in the world. The Mondragón co-operative movement, born in the 1950s around the local technical training college and a handful of small industrial firms, encompasses today more than one hundr...
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This chapter discusses the emerging body of work in STS that explores the experimental dimension of public participation in contemporary societies. This work moves beyond the original focus of STS on the role of experimentation in the sciences to consider the proliferation of experimental formats in the arts, social movements, economic organization...
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In March 2014 a group of early career researchers and academics from São Paulo state and from the UK met at the University of Campinas to participate in a workshop on ‘ResponsibleInnovation and the Governance of Socially Controversial Technologies’. In this Perspective we describe key reflections and observations from the workshop discussions, payi...
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In a short period of time, climate 'geoengineering' has been added to the list of technoscientific issues subject to deliberative public engagement. Here, we analyse this rapid trajectory of publicization and explore the particular manner in which the possibility of intentionally altering the Earth's climate system to curb global warming has been i...
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Our introductory essay in this journal's 2013 special issue on the " turn to ontology " examined the shift from epistemology to ontology in science and technology studies (STS), and explored the implications of the notion of enactment. Three responses to that special issue argue that: 1) there is no fundamental qualitative difference between the on...
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In a series of groundbreaking studies conducted in the late 1930s at the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, the émigré German psychologist Kurt Lewin and his graduate student Ronald Lippitt transformed the relationship between social-scientific experimentation and political design. In the controlled, confined space of the laboratory they were abl...
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In the last decade, the organization of pharmaceutical research on neglected tropical diseases has undergone transformative change. In a context of perceived “market failure,” the development of new medicines is increasingly handled by public-private partnerships. This shift toward hybrid organizational models depends on a particular form of exchan...
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The development of the One World, One Health agenda coincides in time with the appearance of a different model for the management of human-animal relations: the genetic manipulation of animal species in order to curtail their ability as carriers of human pathogens. In this paper we examine two examples of this emergent transgenic approach to diseas...
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In March 2014 a group of early career researchers and academics from São Paulo state and from the UK met at the University of Campinas to participate in a workshop on ‘Responsible Innovation and the Governance of Socially Controversial Technologies’. In this Perspective we describe key reflections and observations from the workshop discussions, pay...
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Recent work in anthropology points to the recognition of multispecies entanglements as the grounds for a more ethical politics. In this article, we examine efforts to control mosquitoes in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as an example of the laborious tasks of disentanglement that characterize public health interventions. The mosquito surveillance and lar...
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The post-World War II period gave rise to a large number of social-scientific techniques for investigating and intervening in social reality. A particular group of these, exemplified here by the experiments of Moreno, Lewin, Bion, Milgram and Zimbardo, worked by establishing suggestive micro-realities in which participants were exposed to, or exper...
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There is in science and technology studies a perceptible new interest in matters of ‘ontology’. Until recently, the term ‘ontology’ had been sparingly used in the field. Now it appears to have acquired a new theoretical significance and lies at the centre of many programmes of empirical investigation. The special issue to which this essay is a cont...
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Few places bear as much historical and scientific significance as the breeding ground, the accumulation of stagnant water where disease-carrying insects lay their eggs. Since the turn of the twentieth century, when mosquitoes of the Anopheles genus were identified as the vector of malaria transmission, these aquatic habitats have been a key object...
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Functional foods and foods derived from genetically modified organisms represent two forms of intervention in the design of foodstuffs that have given rise to distinct political and regulatory dynamics. In Europe, regulatory agencies have tried, unsuccessfully, to affix a definitive legal meaning to these categories of food artificiality. This inco...
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How is the law bound to the material world? This article examines the production of reference materials, artefacts that incarnate legally relevant measurements and serve as a transitional object for the law in its approximation to the stuff of the world. The argument, an opening for an ethnographic investigation into the life of legal materials, is...
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In the 1970s a group of social scientists attempted to create a new, more democratic form of work organization aboard the Norwegian merchant ship Balao. To do so they redesigned the physical structure of the ship to facilitate the emergence of a participatory shipboard community. This paper revisits the journeys of Balao as an example of the potent...
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This introduction provides an overview of material- or device-centred approaches to the study of public participation, and articulates the theoretical contributions of the four papers that make up this special section. Set against the background of post-Foucauldian perspectives on the material dimensions of citizenship and engagement - perspectives...
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Over the last decade the flying patterns and foraging behavior of bees have become a matter of public policy in the European Union. Determined to establish a system where transgenic crops can ‘coexist’ with conventional and organic farming, the EU has begun to erect a system of demarcations and separations designed to minimize the extent of ‘gene f...
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On the seventh day of the trial of The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes, William Jennings Bryan was cross-examined by Clarence Darrow. What ensued was one of the most famous exchanges in American legal history, and a constant referent in the struggle between religious Fundamentalists and defenders of academic freedom and natural evolution....
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Anticipating risks has become an obsession of the early twenty-first century. Private and public sector organisations increasingly devote resources to risk prevention and contingency planning to manage risk events should they occur. This 2010 book shows how we can organise our social, organisational and regulatory policy systems to cope better with...
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Law and bioethics have traditionally expressed an elective affinity. Bioethics has often spoken “in the language of the law,” or at least in a pidgin that the law can easily understand, and bioethicists have conceptualized their principles and arguments in ways that make them amenable to legal translation. However, there has always been a tradition...
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The new centrality of “the public” to the governance of science and technology has been accompanied by a widespread use of public consultation mechanisms designed to elicit from citizens relevant opinions on technoscientific matters. This paper explores the configuration of legitimate constituencies in two such exercises: the UK “GM Nation?” public...
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This article addresses the response of European institutions to a series of food control emergencies: the BSE crisis of 1996, the dioxin scandal of 1999, and the introduction of an illegal genetically modified organism in 2005. The protection of European consumers from threats arising in the food chain has become a core value of the European polity...
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Since the late 1990s, the European Union (EU) has embarked on an effort to make fully traceable and identifiable every genetically modified organism (GMO) that travels through its territory. New regulations force market operators to record the presence of genetically modified material in foods and feed, and to pass this information along in every t...
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Experiments play a crucial role in contemporary policy-making, yet their political and epistemological dimensions have been neglected in studies of regulatory practice. This article offers an initial examination of the uses of experiments in regulation. It analyses two examples: the partial release of genetically modified organisms in the UK Farm-S...

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Project (1)
Project
A collaboration between socials scientists, public health practitioners, entomologists and vector biologists, this project seeks to formulate and test a set of principles for effective community engagement with novel vector control interventions, specifically those that involve the release of laboratory-altered insects. The project combines research into past experiences of insect releases, international guideline development via the Pan-Africa Mosquito Control Association, and a proof-of-principle stakeholder engagement process in Tanzania.