Evidentiary Practices: Testing, Measuring and Accounting in Global Infrastructures

Professor Richard Rottenburg and the LOST Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology,  University of Halle, organised a two-day workshops on new global evidentiary practices at the Hotel NH Alexanderplatz in Berlin on 21-22 April 2016. Bringing together anthropologists, sociologists and geographers, the workshop explored the practices of testing, measuring and accounting that have become so omnipresent today drawing on ethnographic, genealogical and STS-informed approaches. How can we understand contemporary evidentiary regimes as particular ways of world-making? How do the techniques that make up these practices travel across disciplinary fields and geographical spaces? What are the stabilities and temporalities of evidences? What kinds of responsibilities emerge out of evidence-based policies? How is testing, measuring and accounting done and what new types of evidence does it produce? The workshop included presentations from: Emmanuel Didier (EHESS/UCLA) on Testing Evidence in High-Pressured Science; Manjari Mahajan (New School) on Re-Making Global Health; David Reubi (King’s College London) on Epidemiological Accountability; Vololona Rabeharisoa and Liliana Doganova (Paris Mines) on Making Rareness Count; Ann Kelly (King’s College London) on The Detinova Technique; and Michael Guggenheim (Goldsmiths) on Importing Standards. Presentations were followed by commentaries by Stephen Collier (New School), Susan Erikson (Simon Fraser), Marc Broeckler (Goethe Universitaet) and Keith Breckenridge (Witwatersrand).