CALL FOR PAPERS - Special Issue: Zika, science, and anthropology

This special issue addresses the relation between research, research participants, researchers and the science/knowledge production within the Zika virus epidemic. At the end of 2015-early 2016, the Zika virus gained notoriety due to its association with fetuses and newborn children with microcephaly and other health issues, what is now known as Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome. The Zika epidemic brought forward several questions and challenges for scientific research, for policy implementation, and for social relations of those affected by the disease. Several anthropological works have examined issues about maternity during the time of Zika, about care for children with disabilities, and about the development of national and international policies related to the epidemic.

This special issue hopes to contribute to these discussions with a new focus not as extensively addressed by the anthropological literature on the epidemic.  We are interested in papers examining topics including, but not limited to: What has the Zika virus meant for the production of scientific knowledge, for the work of scientists, and for the relation between science and the design of (public/global) health policies? What are the researches being produced and what are the questions being asked, from what fields of knowledge, with what kind of emphasis, collaborations, and funding sources? What has been the relationship between researcher and research participants? What kinds of follow-ups and requitals have been created for those studied/affect by the epidemic? How have results been disclosed, in what kind of media, language, and access regime? Can scientific research about the Zika virus present “side effects,” with iatrogenic, anti-ethical, financial, community, political, personal, etc. consequences?

Therefore, the overall goal of this Special Issue is to generate an anthropological look at the Zika virus sciences in order to map and analyze debates, point to the controversies and complexities of the relations between the parties involved, and bring forward a broader understanding of the epidemic. The idea is to be a contribution to, with, and of Anthropology.


Authors should submit their manuscripts electronically using the journal’s SEER system by September 15st, 2019. Articles can be written in Portuguese, English, French, or Spanish. For any further questions, contact or