Amade M’charek researches the relationship between science and society. She has conducted ethnographic studies of laboratories, attending to human genetic diversity research and the ways that shapes social categories such as the individual, family, population, sex and 'race/ethnicity’. Given the central role of the life sciences in everyday life and the way in which those sciences focus in particular on differences, M'charek’s current research puts a spotlight on notions of ‘diversity’ and ‘race’. In her RaceFaceID project, she is working with a team of PhD students and postdocs to study practices of forensic identification. She follows the relationship between the individual and the population in processes of giving a face to an unknown suspect or victim and examines whether and how that relationship becomes racialised.
As the chair in Anthropology of Science, M'charek will stimulate interdisciplinary teaching and research with a focus on Science and Technology Studies, (Medical) Anthropology and Postcolonial Science Studies. In the course of her work M'charek will be building on her expertise in the field of genetic diversity, forensic identification and the relationships between science and racial classifications. Over the next few years she will focus on the theme of circulations, meaning the ongoing movement of knowledge and technology, people and things, concepts and theories, and facts and fictions between various domains within society, and the cultural practices that such movements help to bring about. Within the theme of circulations, M'charek aims to use her chair to provide the space for a wide range of interdisciplinary research into science and technology.
M’charek has been affiliated with the UvA since 1999, and has been an associate professor since 2004. In 2005 she founded the Master's programme in Forensic Science at the Faculty of Science (FNWI), and from 2010 to 2014 she was director of the Health, Care & the Body research programme in the anthropology department. M’charek is the principal investigator for the Sexuality & Diversity in the Making project and the Race Matter: On the Absent Presence of Race in Forensic Identification (RaceFaceID) project. She has received various research grants from organisations including the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the Fund for Scientific Research of Sexuality (FWOS), and the ERC. The latter awarded her an ERC consolidator grant for her RaceFaceID project. She is the founding convener of the seminar series The Ir/relevance of Race in Science and Society.