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Anna Barry-Jester Reading Group – Mellon Sawyer Seminar on “Race, Empire, and the Environments of Biomedicine”

May 11, 2023 @ 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210


The Mellon Sawyer Seminar on “Race, Empire, and the Environments of Biomedicine” will welcome Anna Barry-Jester, who will lead a reading group exploring explanations of the causes of drug-resistant tuberculosis and the subsequent policy implications. One article looks at the history of TB control policy, and how “cost-effective” strategies bred drug resistance. Two recent commentaries debate the deployment of new TB treatments in absence of sufficient diagnostic capacity. A fourth article examines the legality of a policy framework that gave different treatment protocols for resource-poor and resource-rich countries. Barry-Jester hopes we can draw on past and current policy debates and decisions to discuss the narratives surrounding what causes drug-resistant TB in order to think about policies at scale.

Email Jennifer Derr at for a copy of the readings.

Anna Berry JesterAnna Barry-Jester is a public health reporter with ProPublica. Previously, she was a senior correspondent covering public health at Kaiser Health News. Her series “Underfunded and Under Threat,” with colleagues at KHN and The Associated Press, investigated how chronically underfunded public health departments buckled under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic. The project won awards from the Online News Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her reporting on harassment and menacing threats endured by public health officials was the basis of an episode of “This American Life,” and PEN America later awarded its PEN/Benenson Courage Award to the officials who she profiled. Barry-Jester has lived and worked in Latin America and Southeast Asia, where she has reported, photographed and filmed stories in more than a dozen countries. She was a writer at FiveThirtyEight and a producer at Univision and ABC News.

This event is part of the “Race, Empire, and the Environments of Biomedicine” Sawyer Seminar series.


May 11, 2023
12:15 pm - 1:45 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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