Reading John Law and Wen-yuan Lin's “Provincializing STS,” I can only suppose that I am expected to engage with it as a cultural anthropologist who has studied the social life of traditional Chinese medicine in China. Certainly, I am interested in how these authors, both outsiders (like me) to the technicalities of Chinese medicine, have found resources for thinking about the global sciences through experiencing clinical practice in Taiwan. But before engaging with the lives and truths of a non-Western medical system as Law and Lin present it, I want to take up a more fundamental challenge their article presents.

The authors argue that we—historians and sociologists of scientific knowledge and practice, writing mostly in English—push beyond the principle of symmetry in the work of science and technology studies. “Symmetry between true knowledge claims and those that were false,” they note,...

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