Evidence in Virulent Times

An Interdisciplinary Symposium

A two-part symposium organized by the Centre for medical humanities organizes and the Institute for Medical Humanities, Bonn. The symposium is held in English.

The first part of the symposium is held on May 17, 17.00–19.00 on Zoom. Please contact Erika Sigvardsdotter for registration and link.


Already before the COVID-19 pandemic, negotiations about scientific evidence were intensifying in the public sphere. Climate policy and global warming skepticism, anti-vaccine movements and radio frequency radiation health concerns have brought discussions about the credibility and interpretation of scientific inquiry to the forefront of political decision making and public debate. This presents a new need for researchers in science, medicine, humanities and social sciences to communicate across disciplinary domains. A two-part interdisciplinary symposium will provide an opportunity for an exchange between social science, medicine, humanities, and natural sciences that addresses the use and interpretation of evidence on all levels of society, from governance to everyday lives, including mainstream as well as fringe perceptions and positions, and reflection on the role of scientists in this landscape. Part two of this symposium will take place in Fall 2021.


17.00 Welcome and Introduction

  • Making sense of expert disagreement in the COVID-19 pandemics
    Fredrik Andersen (Faculty of Health and Welfare, Østfold University College) and Elena Rocca (School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
  • Evidence generation for pharmacological and non-pharmacological COVID-19 interventions: Comments on uncertainty
    Cathrine Axfors (Meta-Research Innovation Center, Stanford University)
  • Sovereign lexicons: fragmentary images of a nation in official miscommunication
    Claudia Merli (Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University)

19.00 End

Last modified: 2021-04-18