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Life on IceA History of New Uses for Cold Blood$
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Joanna Radin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226417318

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226448244.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 13 May 2021

Managing the Cold Chain: Making Life Mobile

Managing the Cold Chain: Making Life Mobile

(p.121) Four Managing the Cold Chain: Making Life Mobile
Life on Ice

Joanna Radin

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes the three separate human biology expeditions undertaken with the help of a National Science Foundation-sponsored floating laboratory known as the R/V Alpha Helix in the 1970s. This fieldwork, which brought scientists to the Amazon and to Melanesia, demonstrates the technical, diplomatic, and interpersonal challenges scientists faced as they attempted to navigate the cold chain, including what happened when elements of the frozen infrastructure they were attempting to create broke down. Following the Alpha Helix across space and across time reveals new kinds of “ships”—kinship, ownership, stewardship—that sail to the core of efforts to cope with the promise and peril of biomedical innovation predicated on access to human body parts.

Keywords:   cold chain, collection, R/V Alpha Helix, scientific diplomacy, fieldwork

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