Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Tito Carvalho

Tito Carvalho

tito_carvalho (at) hks.harvard.edu

Tito Carvalho is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology and science studies at the University of California, San Diego, and a visiting fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Born and raised in Brazil, he has a Bachelor and a Master of Science degree in biology from Arizona State University.  His research addresses questions of population genetics, race, and democracy.

From a critical, co-productionist, science and technology studies perspective, Tito’s work reinterprets the history of the field of population genetics as it unfolded in Brazil following World War Two. One of the major founders of population genetics, Theodosius Dobzhansky worked in the South American country from 1943 to 1956, where he studied tropical species of the Drosophila animal model. By attending to the previously neglected tropical variety of this powerful scientific instrument, Tito contends with population genetics vis-à-vis the articulation of an optimistic alternative to the calamities of the twentieth century.

If we understand population genetics in this new light, what else can we understand? A traditional category of sociological analysis, race also figures prominently in Tito’s work. What does it mean for race to be biologically constructed and part of an emancipatory project? What kind of co-productionist work and responsibility is entailed?