The Experiment Must Continue is a beautifully articulated ethnographic history of medical experimentation in East Africa from 1940 through 2014. In it, Melissa Graboyes combines her training in public health and in history to treat her subject with the dual sensitivities of a medical ethicist and a fine historian. She breathes life into the fascinating histories of research on human subjects, elucidating the hopes of the interventionists and the experiences of the putative beneficiaries.
Historical case studies highlight failed attempts to eliminate tropical diseases, while modern examples delve into ongoing malaria and HIV/AIDS research. Collectively, these show how East Africans have perceived research differently than researchers do and that the active participation of subjects led to the creation of a hybrid ethical form.
By writing an ethnography of the past and a history of the present, Graboyes casts medical experimentation in a new light, and makes the resounding case that we must readjust our dominant ideas of consent, participation, and exploitation. With global implications, this lively book is as relevant for scholars as it is for anyone invested in the place of medicine in society.