Dr Priscilla Song   Dr Priscilla Song


Priscilla Song is Associate Professor in the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine and the Department of History at HKU. She is a medical anthropologist working at the nexus of global health, science and technology studies, and China studies. She received her PhD and MA in anthropology from Harvard University and her BA in anthropology and philosophy from Yale University. Dr Song’s research focuses on the social and ethical aspects of transnational biomedical technologies in urban China. Her first book, Biomedical Odysseys: Fetal Cell Experiments from Cyberspace to China (Princeton, 2017), is an ethnographic account of the challenges of regulating experimental medical treatment in a globalized era, the ways in which digital communication technologies are transforming patient activism in both China and the U.S., and the unintended consequences of Chinese healthcare reforms. The book received the 2018 Francis Hsu Book Prize from the Society for East Asian Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association. Dr Song’s current research goes beyond the pursuit of curative medicine to examine what happens when biomedical technologies are no longer able to restore health. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in emergency rooms and critical care settings in Beijing, Shanghai, and Henan province, Dr Song is writing a second book on the fraught debates among clinicians, patients, and family members over the use and termination of costly life-sustaining technologies. Dr Song is also pursuing several related strands of inquiry including an analysis of medical violence against Chinese medical care workers, the medicalization of death in Chinese hospitals, community-based eldercare and experiences of aging in the context of China's demographic transition, and the history and development of emergency medicine in China. Her email address is