Eduardo Restrepo
Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile


Human Expedition (Expedición Humana) emerges as a wide and long-term effort conducted by a private confessional university in Colombia, aiming for advancing genetic research bringing together different disciplines and contributing to “real” scientific knowledge on Colombian biological and cultural diversity. This article describes the Expedition history and characteristics, and examines one of the debates promoted by Indigenous leaders on the biological samples collected without their consent. Finally, the pretenses and diversity and nation analytic categories in the Human Expedition discourse are analyzed, which are more revealing of the scientists’ anxieties and naturalized places of privilege than any traits of the populations under study.

Keywords: Human Expedition; population genetics; genetic diversity; scientific arrogance; national imaginaries; Colombia.