Since beginning my doctorate in 2012, I have developed my research at the nexus of Cultural Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies (STS), focusing on values in (human and animal) health care practices. In my work I combine philosophical reflection with empirical study of care practices. Next to advancing theories of valuation, care and biopolitics, my work informs public deliberation on complex health issues.
In my doctorate I examined care practices targeting obesity as part of the ERC project 'The Eating Body in Western practice and theory' led by Annemarie Mol. I showed that while the dominant approach to obesity emphasizes self-control and bodily discipline, other forms of care differently negotiate diverse values, such as having a healthy body, leading a good life, financial constraints and other practicalities—work that has led to a new theoretical perspective on the ethical and practical considerations of handling a multifaceted health problem. My PhD dissertation was awarded a cum laude distinction and received the Premium Erasmianum Thesis Prize. In my postdoc at the Values group in Linkoping University, led by Steve Woolgar, I continued to study self-care practices, focusing on Dutch rehabilitation centres targeting chronic pain and fatigue – both health conditions that are notoriously neglected in contemporary western medicine.
During my research on health care practices, I began to wonder how care might be negotiated across different divides and in different contexts. These questions, along with the emerging focus on ecology and multi-species relations in anthropology and STS, have inspired me to develop a new research project on veterinary practices in livestock production. Supported by a Veni grant from the Dutch Research Council, I now examine how in a world caught between the growing demand for meat, pressing ecological challenges, and the rising concern for animal welfare, veterinarians negotiate diverse concerns and contribute to changes in the livestock sector.
I am (co-)supervising Jeffrey Christensen on the PhD project ‘Becoming accountable to Swedish HIV’ (Linkoping University). In addition to supervising master students, I have experience in teaching philosophy of science and Science and Technology Studies, medical anthropology and methods at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level.