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Accepted paper:

Prediction and the interdisciplinary imperative: Anthropology and global health futures

Author:

Helen Lambert (University of Bristol)

Paper short abstract:

This paper considers anthropology's aversion to prediction in relation to its exploratory capacity to identify gaps between formulaic recipes for the remediation of complex ills and the variable contexts in which they are enacted.

Paper long abstract:

This paper consider's anthropology's aversion to prediction through an exploration of its actual and potential role in the constitution and enactment of contemporary global health challenges. Anthropology described roughly as 'medical' has long concerned itself with the persistent gaps between formulaic recipes for the remediation of complex ills and the infinitely variable contexts in which these ills emerge and evolve. Critique, however, is ineffective in the absence of engagement. A range of innovations loosely grounded in the biomedical sciences that seek to fill these gaps has meanwhile emerged, ranging from nascent disciplines such as 'Implementation Science' to methodological strategies including the 'Person-based approach' and 'guidelines for the development of complex interventions'. Drawing on experiences in multi-disciplinary international research collaborations, the papers discusses how a successful futures anthropology might engage with the predictive requirements and grounded complexities of global health.

panel P026
Futures Anthropology as Interventional Theory and Practice [Future Anthropologies Network]