Scott Carney

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Scott Carney (born July 9, 1978) is an American investigative journalist. He reported from Chennai, India between 2006–2009 but currently resides in Los Angeles. He contributes stories on a variety of medical, technological and ethical issues to Wired Magazine, Mother Jones (magazine), Playboy, Foreign Policy, Details (magazine) and National Public Radio. His first book The Red Market: On the trail of the world's organ brokers, bone thieves, blood farmers and child traffickers was published by William Morrow/Harper Collins in June 2011. Carney holds a number of academic and professional appointments including as a contributing editor at Wired, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and as a judge for the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism.


He won the 2010 Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for his story "Meet the Parents". In 2008, he was selected as a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Journalism for an article titled "The Bone Factory", he was also a finalist for the same award in 2010 for this story "Cash on Delivery" about surrogate pregnancies in India. He has been nominated for the Daniel Pearl Award from the South Asian Journalists Association three times. "The Red Market" won the 2012 Clarion Award for best non-fiction book.

The Red Market[edit]

Carney coined the phrase "The Red Market" to describe a broad category of economic transactions around the human body. Drawing on the concepts black markets, white markets and gray markets he suggests that commerce in body parts is separate because bodies are not commodities in a strict sense. Instead commerce in human bodies needs to account for the ineffable quality of life and creates a lifelong debt between the provider and receiver of the flesh. Straight commerce in human bodies disguises the supply chain and reduces a human life to its meat value. Carney calls for "radical transparency" in the red market supply chain in order to protect its humanness.

The book, The Red Market traces the rise, fall, and resurgence of this multibillion-dollar underground organ trade through history, from early medical study and modern universities to poverty-ravaged Eurasian villages and high-tech Western labs; from body snatchers and surrogate mothers to skeleton dealers and the poor who sell body parts to survive. While local and international law enforcement have cracked down on the market, advances in science have increased the demand for human tissue—ligaments, kidneys, even rented space in women's wombs—leaving little room to consider the ethical dilemmas inherent in the flesh-and-blood trade.

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