Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary field which explores the relationship between science, technology, and society. As a related field, Anthropology of Science explores the ways scientists produce knowledge in their laboratories. Also, it asks how scientific knowledge both influences and is influenced by economics, policies and daily life.
Wakana Suzuki has conducted long-term fieldwork at a stem cell laboratory in the Kansai area over a period of several years. Inspired by discussions of care and affect theory in STS, she has focused on how scientists care for and exploit cells or laboratory animals with the aim of making scientific knowledge and medical technologies.
For her new project, Wakana Suzuki is interested in human-microbe relationships in science and out of science. Thanks to rapid developments in bioinformatics, scientists explore a variety of microbes in the human gut, skin, birth canal, food or soil. She explores how scientists understand human-microbe relationships. Furthermore, she asks how the new understanding of the human and microbes influence our daily life, in particular in the era of the Anthropocene. Currently, she is focusing on food-related social movements and fermentation practices in the context of the ongoing planetary environmental crisis. Using various research methods, she is tracking how people are shifting away from a food system that relies heavily on imported products and mass production by engaging in regenerative agricultural practices, such as making their own soils, composting, growing vegetables, and making fermented foods.