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Changing (In)Fertilities



Ayo Wahlberg is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. He works broadly within the field of social studies of (bio)medicine and his research has focused on traditional herbal medicine (in Vietnam and the United Kingdom), selective reproductive technologies (in China and Denmark) as well as health metrics (in clinical trials and global health). He is currently working on a 5-year (2015-2020) project entitled "The Vitality of Disease - Quality of Life in the Making", for which he has received funding from the European Research Council. This project is empirically investigating and analysing the making of ‘quality of life’ through four concrete ethnographic studies of: genetic counselling, patient education programmes, clinical trials and patient associations. VITAL studies will focus on how knowledge about living with disease is assembled and mobilised, on the one hand, and how morbid living is negotiated and practiced on the other. He is the author of Good Quality – The Routinization of Sperm Banking in China (University of California Press, 2018), and the co-editor of Selective Reproduction in the 21st Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). He received his PhD from The London School of Economics and Political Science.


Key publications: 

Andersen, S. L., Andersen, O., Petersen, J., & Wahlberg, A. (2019). Traveling health-promoting infrastructures: A meta-ethnographic analysis. Health, DOI:

Wahlberg, A. 2018. Good Quality - the Routinization of Sperm Banking in China, Berkley: University of California Press

Wahlberg, A. & Gammeltoft, T. 2017. Selective Reproduction in the 21st Century, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wahlberg, A 2017. 'The Vitality of Disease'. in M Meloni, J Cromby, D Fitzgerald & S Lloyd (eds), Handbook of Biology and Society. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 727-748.

Wahlberg, A.2016. 'The birth and routinization of IVF in China', Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online, 2: 97-107

Wahlberg, A. & Rose, N.2015.'The governmentalization of living: Calculating global health'. Economy and Society, 44(1): 60-90

Gammeltoft, T. & Wahlberg, A.2014.'Selective Reproductive Technologies'. Annual Review of Anthropology 43: 201-216

Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
 Ayo  Wahlberg
Not available for consultancy