Tempo, Acceleration and the Dynamics of Evidence

16–17 May 2016
Byrne House, University of Exeter

The handling and management of time is a crucial aspect of research environments and of expectations around the processes and outputs of scientific research, including how scientific evidence is marshalled in trials and policy-making. And yet discussions of the garnering of evidence and data sharing tend to forgo the temporal aspect in favour of static requirements and time-independent guidance on best practice.

This workshop highlighted and critically examines assumptions and implications of focusing on research as a historical process, whose various stages inhabit different temporal expectations from researchers, funders, governments, regulatory agencies, and relevant publics. In particular, we focused on situations where the temporality associated with research environments — for a variety of reasons ranging from material infrastructures to interpretations of value and efficiency, — varies substantially, to the point of making research carried out under different temporal regimes practically incommensurable (e.g. data collection in the qualitative social sciences versus genomics; management of evidence in publicly funded versus commercial research; data sharing in developed and developing countries).

Through this we aimed to be able to understand the demands and limitations raised by the increasing uses of controlled trials and other forms of evidencing across diverse settings.


Monday 16th

1.00–1:30 Registration and light refreshments

1:30–1:45 Introduction to the workshop

  • Ann H. Kelly (KCL, University of London)

1:45–3:20 Session 1: Circulating and Stalling Clinical Facts

  • 1:45–2:25 Didier Torny (INRA, France): Frozen Evidence? How to maintain ignorance in evidence-based public health. The Example of mammogram screening programs.
  • 2:25–3:05 Salla Sariola (University of Turku): ‘You can’t stop the march of knowledge’: Civil society critiques of clinical trials in India
  • 3:05–3:20 Discussant: Daniela Boraschi (University of Essex)

3:20–3:45 Coffee

3:45–5:20 Session 2: Biomedicine, Just in Time

  • 3:45–4:25 Ann H Kelly (KCL, University of London): Compassionate research and charismatic facts: The making of a global health emergency
  • 4:25–5:05 Marsha Rosengarten (Goldsmiths, University of London): Folding different times toward a reformulating of biomedical problems
  • 5:05–5:20 Discussant: Bronwyn Parry (KCL, University of London)

5:20–5:50 Closing Discussion

7.30– Speakers' dinner

Tuesday 17th

8:30–9:00 Coffee

9:00–9:05 Introduction to Levehulme Project

  • Sabina Leonelli, Brian Rappert & Louise Bezuidenhout (University of Exeter)

9:05–11:05 Session 1: Slowing Data

  • 9:05–9:45 Louise Bezuidenhout (University of Exeter): Technology Transfer and True Transformation: Stimulating Life Science Research in Low/Middle-Income Countries
  • 9:45–10:25 Michelle Willmers (University of Cape Town): The ROER4D Open Data Initiative: Leveraging Open Data for Research Development in the Global South
  • 10:25–11:05 Freya Jephcott (University of Cambridge): Constructing an outbreak: the case study of a supposed monkey-borne outbreak in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana

11:05–11:20 Coffee

11:20–1:00 Session 2: Making Data Move

  • 11:20–12:00 Brian Rappert (University of Exeter): Enabling Data Engagement by Enabling Science: A Proposal for Micro-Credit Funding
  • 12:00–12:40 Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter): Global Standards for Data Quality and the Situated Nature of “Best” Research Practices
  • 12:40–1:00 Discussant: Simon Hodson (CODATA)

1:00–2:00 Lunch

2:00–4:30 Session 3: Diagnostic Paces and Trajectories

  • 2:00–2:40 Ros Williams (University of Warwick): Blood in the archive: locating temporality in the public umbilical cord blood collection
  • 2:40–3:20 Niccolò Tempini (University of Exeter): The Time of Boundary Infrastructures: Pace and Scientific Collaboration through Social Media Health Research Networks
  • 3:20–3:35 Discussant: John Manton (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

3:35–4:00 Coffee

4:00–4:30 Closing Discussion