Kaleidos is organizing a panel on Data (Dis)trust In The Global South: The Case Of Covid-19, in the 4S Annual Meeting 2021, to be held in 6 - 9 October, 2021.
In conversation with citizen science, the panel seeks to position data distrust as an element that must be considered in data infrastructures and capabilities. The discussion seeks to transcend the purported dichotomy between people who reject scientific evidence, and those who espouse other forms of knowledge. Understanding data distrust (Covid-19 and health data in particular) as the expression and deployment of frustration, uncertainty and cynicism in some parts of the population, the aim is to understand how data distrust is produced and mobilized through various social dimensions and institutional contexts. The call for submitting abstracts is currently open.
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About the panel
What kinds of data have we produced at the local, national or transnational scale to deal and respond to Covid-19? Over the past year we have grown accustomed to measure, quantify, report, visualize, and account for all aspects of our lives. This has also come with a growing need for “valid” data and what it means to produce, share, circulate, and trust it. The assumption that data, especially more data, will lead to societal betterment is one that tends to pervade both academic conversations in data studies and public discourse. We do not argue against the importance of generating data in the face of local and global problems. Rather, we seek to challenge the assumption that critical analysis of, and intervention into, data infrastructures should happen primarily at the stage of data production. In conversation with citizen science studies the panel argues that data distrust must be taken as an integral part of data infrastructures and capacities—particularly in the context of the global south. This intervention is relevant in that it seeks to destabilize a globally adopted dichotomy that pits people who reject scientific findings against other forms of knowledge. It builds on the contention that data (dis)trust is not a “cultural” attitude of the public, but rather the result of situated processes through which frustration, uncertainty, and cynicism are enacted and produced. We are interested in understanding how data distrust—particularly around health and Covid-19—is produced and mobilized within various and transnational social fields and institutional settings.