Volker Scheid and Hugh MacPhersonAug 25, 2012
Integrating East Asian Medicine into Contemporary Healthcare
Churchill Livingstone 2011
Volker Scheid and Hugh MacPherson's Integrating East Asian Medicine into Contemporary Healthcare (Churchill Livingstone, 2011) is the result of a wonderfully transdisciplinary project that aims to bring scholars and practitioners of East Asian medicine together in a common dialogue that also informs and is shaped by cutting-edge work in Science Studies. Not a typical conference volume, the book is instead the result of years of continuing collaboration among the editors and authors, and celebrates the spirit of collaborative work in every aspect of its structure and material. The chapters collectively explore some key ideas that thread through the work and are of broad relevance to the histories and practices of health and healing: the nature of "authenticity" in alternative and complementary health practices; the problem of standardization; learning through best practices and best practitioners; and the changing and plural nature of evidence and proof in the contemporary world. The material covered in the book is extended and deepened in a series of vignettes that each illustrate exemplary phenomena, texts, settings, or concepts relevant to the chapters in which they are embedded. I had the opportunity to speak with both co-editors about the book, the larger intellectual and practical goals that inform it, and the history and potential futures of their collaboration. It was a very enjoyable conversation about a fascinating project, and I hope you'll enjoy! * A quick note: You'll notice that there's an echo on this one due to a rare circumstance with a three-way Skype call during which not all participants had earphones handy. Because there was a lot of good material, we decided to post it regardless of the echo. Apologies for that! We're working on trying to reduce the incidence of this kind of audio issue for future interviews, to the extent possible. Thanks for listening!