Adia Benton is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at Northwestern University, where she is affiliated with the Science in Human Culture Program. Her first book, HIV Exceptionalism: Development Through Disease in Sierra Leone, won the 2017 Rachel Carson Prize, which is awarded by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) to the best book in the field of Science and Technology Studies with strong social or political relevance.
Her body of work addresses transnational efforts to eliminate health disparities and inequalities, and the role of ideology in global health. In addition to ongoing research on public health responses to epidemics, including the 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak, she has conducted research on the growing movement to fully incorporate surgical care into commonsense notions of “global health.” Her other writing has touched on the politics of anthropological knowledge in infectious disease outbreak response, racial hierarchies in humanitarianism and development, and techniques of enumeration in gender-based violence programs. She has a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University, an MPH in international health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and an AB in Human Biology from Brown University. She has held a postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College and visiting positions at Oberlin College and in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.