“Cameroon Is Just Like Bolivia!”: Southern Expertise and the Construction of Equivalency in South–South Scientific Collaborations
- Information & Culture: A Journal of History
- University of Texas Press
- Volume 49, Number 2, 2014
- pp. 177-203
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Focusing on Bolivia and Bolivian researchers, this article discusses the emergence of South–South scientific and technical collaborations in the context of social change. Using ethnographic and historical data, I describe how these are predicated upon and create southern forms of expertise via the construction of equivalency. I define this as how southern experts are recognized on the basis of embodied experience and their production of southern geopolitical, historical, and scientific similarities. This does not erase place from scientific knowledge but valorizes it, making locality a key criterion for expertise, at least in some contexts. This challenges the very histories and legacies of scientific knowledge production in the Global South, how authoritative scientific knowledge is evaluated, and who is defined as a scientific expert.