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Traveling Experts:
Doctors, Demographers, and the Politics of Science in the Cold War

Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

After the Second World War, population issues assumed the weight of a major geopolitical force on the world scene - and in the Americas. Different groups of population specialists adopted these as a pressing cause. They engaged in different practices of counting populations, they claimed that numbers implied knowledge, and, at times, they concluded that knowledge gave grounds for intervention. In this study I engage the expert knowledge of the "golden age" of demography in the 1960s and 1970s; more specifically, I explore the histories of individuals (such as medical doctors and demographers) and scientific tools (such as intrauterine devices) to trace the evidence as well as the consequences of experts' new attention to demographic data and population questions in the Cold War. On this basis, I draw conclusions about applied knowledge production (rather than the "circulation" of knowledge), and about the process of scientization of multiple political-scientific agendas by different experts.


June 20, 2018


Internationales Kolleg Morphomata
Weyertal 59

50937 Köln