Ricardo Gomes Moreira
Ricardo Gomes Moreira is an anthropologist and doctoral candidate at the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS).
He studied anthropology at the University of Coimbra (BA 2008) and then Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Institute of Social Sciences (MA 2014).
As an undergraduate student he took fieldwork research at inland Alentejo (under the supervision of the anthropologist Fernando Florêncio) with the aim of producing a dissertation about the history of the agrarian economy of Alentejo, using an ethnographic methodology for the recovery of oral history and memories among kin groups at the south region of Redondo.
By 2010 he enrolled in the last edition of the master degree in Anthropology offered by ICS, which he finished with a dissertation about the creation of the first clinical archive of the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (IPO). This work was conducted as research assistant of the project Nuclear Portugal (ICS-ULisboa), coordinated the science historian Tiago Saraiva.
By 2015, as part of the research team of the project O Estado por Dentro (ISEG-ULisboa), coordinated by the anthropologist Daniel Seabra Lopes, he explored ethnographically the daily work of two Portuguese courts of law. Out of this work two books were published: O Estado por Dentro and Com a Devida Vénia, both by the publishing house of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation.
Currently, he holds a PhD Student Scholarship at the COLOUR project – The Colour of Labour: The Racialized Lives of Migrants (PI Cristiana Bastos), carried out at ICS, where he explores the fields of molecular medicine and population genetics through the crossed perspectives of Science Studies and Anthropology.
Biological collections used in medical research are becoming a common tool to address the question of human diversity. Racial idioms are being reconfigured in the emergence of a new biopolitical context informed by a molecular concept of life and the “new genetics” sciences. Through the study of biomedical research practices performed around collections of human tissues, a privileged insight is taken on how human biological diversity is being recreated in scientific contexts. Concepts such as those of “race” and “ethnicity” are still being taken to address the question of human difference and population variability, thus simplifying at the level of racial classification a well-known presence of complex biological and genetic variation. As an alias of individual identity, a few categories of difference are taken to address the pragmatic needs of research in working through artificially homogenous populations. The fundamental questions remain such as what do these «race» and «ethnic» notions hold in the scientific inquiries, and how can we understand their use, as concepts of human variability, in contemporary research and scientific led innovations and policies.