Irina Podgorny is a permanent research scholar (“Investigadora Principal”) at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and Director of the Historical Archives of the Museum of La Plata, Argentina. Former researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin, 2009-2010 and 2018) and Senior Fellow at the IKKM (Weimar, 2013), she holds several visiting professorships in France and the United States. In 2013, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany granted her the Georg-Forster Research Award in recognition of her academic work. In 2019, her non-fiction work Los argentinos vienen de los peces received an honorific mention by the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, Argentina.
Cactus: The Cultures of Artificial Nature
This is a History of Science project that focuses on the European itineraries of Latin American cacti exploring the cross-cultural transfers that shaped Mediterranean landscape and gardening. It connects different geographies and topics: from early modern natural history to the trade in plants and the current debates of what is an original ecosystem. It links the Mediterranean to Mexico and Northern Europe. During her stay at Camargo, Irina Podgorny hopes to sharpen her understanding of the diffusion and/or extirpation of cacti in Europe, in a context that she has called “the cultures of artificial nature”.