LEVIN Luciano Guillermo
UNICEF / UNDP / World Bank / WHO PROGRESS REPORTS, FINAL REPORTS & RENEWAL REQUESTS
KREIMER, PABLO; ZABALA, JUAN PABLO; LEVIN, LUCIANO
Naturaleza de la
Campo de Aplicación:
The objective of the project has been to analyze the development of scientific knowledge on Chagas disease in Argentina and its consequences on the access to the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of said disease. There has been plenty of scientific research on Chagas for several decades as a consequence of: a) a strong tradition in biomedical research on the subject; b) constant availability of resources for these research works; c) the identification of Chagas as a socially relevant issue by researchers and authorities; d) specific incentive programs to promote research (both national and international) on Chagas Disease. At the same time, Chagas disease has been recognized in Argentina as a relevant social problem since the 40?s. Consequently, the State has developed several initiatives to fight this disease, which have been aimed at the different forms of transmission: vectorial, transfusional or congenital. Included in these measures were fumigation prevention campaigns, patient care and implementation of compulsory diagnosis. The question this research is based on is: how much have these scientific research works contributed to the improvement of the conditions to control the disease? Science as source of development The promotion and development of scientific knowledge have been widely recognized as essential factors in the improvement of living conditions in societies. In Latin America, this has been reflected on almost all the Plans developed by different science and technology planning and management bodies1. However, the dynamics of these processes in peripheral countries is often a particular one. The region typically shows that scientific knowledge has little effective use (appropriation by other actors), if compared to the situation in central countries, where locally produced knowledge is often related to innovations, productivity improvement, welfare, global competitiveness or environmental improvements. Taking into account the relevance of the relationship between social problems and the production of scientific knowledge, scholars on social studies of science in Latin America have developed a set of studies on two most relevant topics: on the one hand, they have oriented their work to fully describe the social processes of knowledge production2. On the other hand, they have intensively dealt with the problem of the social and economic use of scientific knowledge3. These investigations have shown some special features of scientific processes in Latin America and the mechanisms of their social appropriation by different actors.