After Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, his second declaration, after socialism, was that Cuba would become a leader in international science. In biotechnology he would be proven right and, today, Cuba counts a meningitis B vaccine and cutting-edge cancer therapies to its name. But how did this politically and geographically isolated country make such impressive advances? Drawing on a unique ethnography, and blending the insights of anthropology, sociology, and geography, The Cuban Cure shows how Cuba came to compete with U. S. pharmaceutical giants—despite a trade embargo and crippling national debt.
In uncovering what is distinct about Cuban biomedical science, S. M. Reid-Henry examines the forms of resistance that biotechnology research in Cuba presents to the globalization of western models of scientific culture and practice. He illustrates the epistemic, social, and ideological clashes that take place when two cultures of research meet, and how such interactions develop as political and economic circumstances change. Through a novel argument about the intersection of socioeconomic systems and the nature of innovation, The Cuban Cure presents an illuminating study of politics and science in the context of globalization.