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P089


Epistemic corruption: claims, contestations and the fragility of knowledge systems 
Convenors:
Sergio Sismondo (Queen's University)
Nishtha Bharti (University of Oxford)
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Chair:
Sergio Sismondo (Queen's University)
Discussants:
Sally Wyatt (Maastricht University)
Karin Knorr Cetina (University of Chicago)
Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

We welcome proposals exploring accounts, debates and narratives around ‘epistemic corruption’, which we understand as when a knowledge system importantly loses or lacks integrity, ceasing to provide the kinds of trusted knowledge expected of it.

Long Abstract:

The sciences are in many ways paradigmatic sites of knowledge production, and yet are also sites of significant contestations. We invite proposals exploring accounts, debates and narratives that invoke some form of ‘epistemic corruption’, which we understand as when a knowledge system importantly loses or lacks integrity.

From epidemiological models to reproducibility crises, concerns about the flaws, biases and breakdowns of knowledge-producing tools and methods have had profound consequences. For example, the breakdown – in discursive articulations and material enactments – of promises of sweeping transformations through artificial intelligence can highlight important issues facing new knowledge systems, their outputs and their speculative solutionisms.

In addition to presentations on narratives of ‘epistemic corruption’ fully within the bounds of science, technology and medicine, we also welcome contributions that help to bring understandings of the fragilities of knowledge systems up to speed for a broader ‘post-truth’ or ‘alternative facts’ era. Our aim for this panel is to gather an empirically grounded set of models and analyses of ‘epistemic corruption’ and the tensions, conflicts and contradictions that surround it.

Accepted papers: