This year’s Technoscience Salon explores the mobilization of evidence at the nexus of science, activism, and policy. Evidence is the ground for taking action in government, laboratories and research institutes, in social movements, and in daily life. We begin from the premise that evidence is activated in contested fields of power, and that it can be mobilized to do very different kinds of work to very different ends. We also acknowledge that just as it takes serious work to constitute and reconstitute evidence, evidence can also be ignored or concealed. This year we invite participants to attend to the precarious life of evidence: those erasures, elisions, deceptions, calibrations and fabulations that blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, and between official accounts and lived realities.
The Salon will explore the messy and multiple lives of evidence and the historical, epistemic, and material contingencies of evidentiary regimes. We ask: How do different evidentiary regimes secure evidence? What modes of attention and forms of expertise do these regimes demand? Which phenomena are rendered sensible? Which remain imperceptible, indeterminate, and immaterial? Which bodies of evidence are valued? Which are permissible? Which are impermissible?
How might we excavate the pervasive “self-evidences” that take shape around scientific authority and expertise? How can we deepen our analyses of the craft of persuasion in scientific storytelling, and the animation of evidence in the performance and performativity of truth?
As we explore the vagaries of expertise, authority and advocacy in multiple contexts where evidence is at stake, the aim of this year’s Salon is to explore new ways to activate evidence. How might we expand what counts as evidence? How might we repurpose and reconfigure bodies of evidence it to tell new kinds of stories and make new kinds of interventions in this changing world?
Salon Schedule :: TBA