University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Office for the History of Science and Technology
Abena Osseo-Asare's interests include the historical and contemporary study of science and medicine with a focus on the African experience. Her primary research focus is the history of pharmaceuticals and herbal medicines. Her first book, Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa (forthcoming from The University of Chicago Press) traces the biographies of six plants which people have tried to transform into pharmaceuticals since the 1880s. Her research in Ghana, as well as Madagascar and South Africa maps the ways in which people have created overlapping narratives of ownership of healing plants across time and space. Efforts to remake botanical resources into profitable new medicines show the ways in which histories of traditional healing and pharmaceutical chemistry are intertwined and mutually supportive.
Professor Osseo-Asare is conducting research for a new project on the history of medical isotopes, radiation, and atomic energy in Ghana, funded through a National Science Foundation Scholar's Award.
last updated: October 30th, 2012