The Spaces of Evidence Network is delighted to invite you to an international early career researcher seminar at the University of Sussex, on 31st March 2015. This is the first of two ECR events co-sponsored by Spaces of Evidence. The second will take place at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany in autumn 2015. The seminars will provide PhD and early career researchers a platform to present and discuss their research into influential evidence discourses in contemporary society.


In the UK, US and Europe, there is an increasing commitment to an approach to policy that has the stated aim of ensuring that decision-making is well-informed by the best available evidence. Evidence is thus conceptualised as bringing to our attention ‘facts’, intended for use in support of a hypothesis, conclusion or a new action. Yet, such an understanding immediately prompts a series of questions regarding the legitimacy of different forms of evidence and their relationship with the complex goals and apparatus of the policy process. We encourage contributions from all disciplines and example themes for papers include but are not limited to:


  • Evidence-based practice and hierarchies of evidence
    • Randomised Controlled Trials: A gold standard?
    • Big Data: The future of social research?
  • Politics of evidence and the sociology of knowledge production
    • Policy-based evidence and the realities of policy-making
    • Evidence discourses as a means of control
  • Ignorance, uncertainty and appeals to evidence in a complex world
    • Evidence production as management of uncertainty
    • Decision-making under conditions of ignorance or uncertainty
  • Evidence, ethics and the politics of life
    • Ethical appraisal of processes of evidence production
    • Biomedicine, power and corporate responsibility


Attendance is free and speakers will be offered accommodation and reimbursement for UK travel. To be considered for presentation of 15 to 20 minutes in length, please email us an abstract (max 400 words) and put ‘Early Career Research Seminar’ in the subject line. Deadline for submissions is Monday 1st December 2014. Successful applicants will be informed by mid-January 2015. If you have any questions, please email the organising team: Daniela Boraschi, Shadreck Mwale and Philip Sayer.


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