About the Project

This site draws on ethnographic research that I began in 2010 at iThemba Pharmaceuticals (pronounced ee-TEM-ba), a small start-up pharmaceutical company in the outskirts of Johannesburg that was founded in 2009 with the mission of drug discovery for TB, HIV, and malaria. The synthetic chemistry research that they do at iThemba is no different than what might be done in a well-equipped lab anywhere in the world. Yet, place matters. This interactive map is an opportunity to explore how.

Mapping iThemba has been made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation program for Science, Technology, and Society (Award #1331049). Professor Anne Pollock did the research and wrote the text for this site, new media artist Katherine Behar conceived the interactive map, and Digital Media master's student Russell Huffman designed, illustrated, and implemented it.

This site provides only one small window into the project. More is available in an article that Anne Pollock published in Social Studies of Science: "Places of pharmaceutical knowledge-making: Global health, postcolonial science, and hope in South African drug discovery." Currently, she is writing a book manuscript on the project with the provisional title Synthesizing Hope: Global Health, Postcolonial Science, and South African Drug Discovery. For updates on publications from the project, see her website at Georgia Tech.