Eden Medina is an associate professor in the Program for Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research uses the history of science and technology as a way to understand processes of political change, especially in Latin America. She is the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile (MIT Press, 2011) and coeditor of Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America (MIT Press, 2014).
As a fellow, Medina is writing a book that connects the history of science and technology to the ways that nations respond to traumatic events of the past, in particular the human rights crimes committed by the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. The book studies the practices used by the Chilean government to identify the remains of those the dictatorship disappeared and executed with a focus on the 48 cases where the government’s identifications were later shown to be wrong. Her research studies how governments produce scientific, legal, and historical truths about human rights crimes, how these truths come undone, and the ramifications of this undoing for the ways people engage with the past.
Medina earned her PhD in the history and social study of science and technology from MIT and holds a master in studies of law from Yale Law School. Her writings have won multiple prizes, including the Sidney Edelstein Prize from the Society for the History of Technology for best scholarly book.