Juan Felipe Moreno was a postdoctoral fellow at the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry at the Science History Institute. His project, entitled “Living in Times of Fumigation: The Aero-Chemical State in Southwestern Colombia,” is an ethnographic and historical study of the use of synthetic chemicals for the eradication of illicit crops in Colombia’s war against drugs.
During his time at the Institute, Juan Felipe did research on the history of the aerial mode of the application of pesticides and herbicides throughout the 20th century and, in particular, how the use of synthetic chemicals has been integrated into different modes of warfare. He is also interested in tracking how herbicides became integral to the eradication of “weeds” and different sorts of unwanted crops. Juan Felipe’s research on aero-chemical statecraft in Colombia addresses broader intellectual genealogies concerning the intertwinement of techniques of warfare, agriculture, forestry, and pest control. Additionally, his research engages with the grammars of environmental controversy that stem from the repeated use of pesticides, crystallized in concepts such as “risk,” “harm,” “causality,” “precaution,” “popular epidemiology,” “scale,” and “nonhuman forms of agency,” to name a few.
Juan Felipe obtained his PhD in sociocultural anthropology from Johns Hopkins University. His research has been supported by the SSRC-IDRF and SSRC-DSD programs.