Asking how anthropologists can think about medical evidence other than through a consideration of its social and suasive power, this panel seeks to explore medical evidence beyond epistemology.
Interdisciplinary experiments with medical evidence practices have allowed anthropologists to trace conflicts and ruptures in knowledge and to re-examine evidentiary practices in anthropology (Ecks, 2008). These approaches have primarily considered medical evidence as a problem of knowing. However, across anthropology and the medical and exact sciences, evidence is not only an epistemological question. The handling and assembling of evidence makes selves and worlds and evidence-ing is an unstable practice that not only transgresses intellectual and disciplinary boundaries and modes of reasoning but also creates new moral and ethical problems, new subjectivities, and new alliances. This panel asks how anthropologists can think about medical evidence other than through a consideration of its social and suasive power; in other words, we seek to explore medical evidence beyond epistemology. Some of the questions we are interested in addressing are the following: • How is the medical evidence of the past curated and encountered in the present? • What events or crises incite a call for more evidence? How does an absence of evidence galvanise new categories and new knowledges? • How do people interact with evidence and its objects in order to evidence an ideal medical or scientific self? • When does evidence become proof? • How is medical evidence commensurated between different regimes of value?