Global Science / Women's Health By Cindy Patton and Helen Loshny


The past 3 decades have witnessed unprecedented integration of global information systems. From satellite-television news to the Internet, more people share information than ever before. At the same time, biomedical research teams have increased collaborations across private and public sectors, national borders (especially by involving both the first world and third world), and disciplines. These factors have resulted in an explosion of scientific information more widely accessible than research produced a generation ago. There has been considerable discussion regarding the interrelationship between global and local forces in the context of "health," a term this volume queries, rather than taking it as a clear referent. Such work has considered the benefits and drawbacks of increasing connection and interdependency (which is not always equilateral) among people and organizations that are now connected via shared systems of knowledge, transportation, communication technologies, imagined communities, and markets. To date, gender-based analysis of globalization has focused mainly on the impact of structural-adjustment policies and trade agreements. The idea that the production and distribution of scientific knowledge, in itself, fails to take into account the differential distribution of women in social, cultural, and economic space, has not been taken seriously by most critics. This volume opens the debate on this matter. The editors, Cindy Patton and Helen Loshny of Simon Fraser University, along with other scholars, take up the question of the interrelationship between "global science" and "women's health," querying each of these four terms, while also keeping in view specific cases and spaces in which their vertiginous spin stabilizes to produce clarity about how the terms intersect.