Dr. Stefan Esselborn, Technische Universität München
Prof. Dr. Mariacarla Gadebusch Bondio, Universitätsklinikum Bonn
Prof. Dr. Karin Zachmann
Evidence is a tremendously important, but at the same time heavily contested resource. In recent times we observe that evidence is being questioned more and more frequently, and established certainties have lost their persuasiveness. Such a tendency to destabilize evidence may actually endanger societal cohesion, by destructing the basis for agreements.
The phenomenon of evidence criticism has so far largely been investigated in terms of the criticism of science, and as the discrediting of science within the context of political or economic conflicts of interests. In this field, a strand of research has developed, which has shown how evidence is deliberately corroded by corporate funding of counterevidence. The research projects of our group, however, do not only focus on such strategic deconstruction of certainties. Instead, we are interested in indirect forms of evidence criticism. Via examining various modes of questioning evidence and investigating them comparatively we hope to better understand the contingencies of evidence, and how they challenge democratically constituted knowledge societies.