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When Nature Goes Public : The Making and Unmaking of Bioprospecting in Mexico - Cori Hayden

When Nature Goes Public

The Making and Unmaking of Bioprospecting in Mexico

Paperback Published: 16th November 2003
ISBN: 9780691095578
Number Of Pages: 312

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Bioprospecting--the exchange of plants for corporate promises of royalties or community development assistance--has been lauded as a way to develop new medicines while offering southern nations and indigenous communities an incentive to preserve their rich biodiversity. But can pharmaceutical profits really advance conservation and indigenous rights? How much should companies pay and to whom? Who stands to gain and lose? The first anthropological study of the practices mobilized in the name and in the shadow of bioprospecting, this book takes us into the unexpected sites where Mexican scientists and American companies venture looking for medicinal plants and local knowledge.

Cori Hayden tracks bioprospecting's contentious new promise--and the contradictory activities generated in its name. Focusing on a contract involving Mexico's National Autonomous University, Hayden examines the practices through which researchers, plant vendors, rural collectors, indigenous cooperatives, and other actors put prospecting to work. By paying unique attention to scientific research, she provides a key to understanding which people and plants are included in the promise of "selling biodiversity to save it"--and which are not. And she considers the consequences of linking scientific research and rural "enfranchisement" to the logics of intellectual property.

Roving across UN protocols, botanical collecting histories, Mexican nationalist agendas, neoliberal property regimes, and North-South relations, "When Nature Goes Public" charts the myriad, emergent publics that drive and contest the global market in biodiversity and its futures.

Industry Reviews

Winner of the 2003 Diana Forsythe Prize, American Anthropological Association

List of Figures and Tablesp. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Author's Notep. xvii
Neoliberal Natures
Interests and Publics: On (Ethno)science and Its Accountabilitiesp. 19
Neoliberalism's Naturep. 48
Prospecting in Mexico: Rights, Risk, and Regulationp. 85
Public Prospecting
Market Research: When Local Knowledge Is Public Knowledgep. 125
By the Side of the Road: The Contours of a Field Sitep. 158
HREE: Prospecting'S Publics
The Brine Shrimp Assay: Signs of Life, Sites of Valuep. 191
Presumptions of Interestp. 213
Remaking Prospecting's Publicsp. 230
Notesp. 237
Bibliographyp. 255
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691095578
ISBN-10: 0691095574
Series: In-Formation
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 16th November 2003
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.43