Article ID: CBB383774280

Pandemic Drones: Promises and Perils (March 2021)

unapi

When the novel coronavirus moved around the planet in early 2020, reconfiguring, slowing down, or halting everyday mobilities, another transport mode was mobilized: the pandemic drone. We highlight the increasing prominence of this aerial device by surveying international media coverage of pandemic drone use in the spring of 2020. To address a range of pandemic drone affordances and applications, we organize manifold cases under two broad categories: sensing and moving with the pandemic drone. Here we ask: what roles do, and could, drones play during the pandemic? Following the empirical examples and related mobilities research, we theorize the drone versus virus and the drone as virus. As such, the work identifies avenues for mobilities research into pandemic drones as a growing mobility domain. Moreover, in thinking through the pandemic drone, we demonstrate creative extensions of mobilities thinking that bridge biological and technological, as well as media and mobility frameworks when multiple public health and safety crises unfolded and intersected.

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Authors & Contributors
McDonald, Kate
Phillips, Christopher J.
Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick
Erica Durante
Anderson, Warwick H.
Brazelton, Mary Augusta
Journals
Journal of Asian Studies
Transfers
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Social Studies of Science
British Journal for the History of Science
Journal of Global History
Publishers
The MIT Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Concepts
Pandemics
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Public health
Technoscience; science and technology studies
Mobility
Medicine and politics
People
Mill, John Stuart
Time Periods
21st century
20th century
20th century, early
Places
Great Britain
Japan
China
New Zealand
Australia
India
Institutions
British Society for the History of Science
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