George Weisz is the Cotton-Hannah Professor of the History of Medicine at McGill University. He holds a PhD in History from Stony Brook University and a doctorate in Sociology from the Université Paris-Descartes. He has written four books, edited five others and published numerous historical articles on such varied subjects as mineral waters, national differences in gynecological practices, clinical practice guidelines, and medical quantification. He has been visiting professor or researcher at INSERM, Université Paris-Sorbonne, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin). His last book, Chronic Disease in the 20th Century: A History, was published in 2014.
History of Medicine in the 20th and 21st centuries; History of Global Health and Global-Health Research; the transformations of medical authority; the scientific study of sexuality.
The Evolution of Global Health Research Planning (1974 to the present)
The rise of global health (GH) has been accompanied by a rapid expansion in transnational research. While there is some disagreement about the kinds of knowledge most needed, it is now taken for granted that research is vital to the success of the GH enterprise. This project opens up this taken-for-granted certainty to historical, sociological and anthropological investigation. With colleagues in Montreal and abroad, I propose to explore how advocacy, policy and donor groups, both national and international, public and private, have come to identify research as a critical component of efforts to improve health in the Global South, and to analyze the mechanisms that have emerged to select, plan and coordinate this research. The rise of GH research was not merely a corollary to the rise of GH. Debates about health research for the Global South have actively contributed to the development of the core values, objectives and institutional arrangements that now dominate GH. They have also led to the emergence of a heterogenous new field called Health Policy and Systems Research that now counts over 2000 researchers.