Renan Gonçalves Leonel da Silva, Health Ethics and Policy Lab, ETH Zürich; Alessandro Blasimme ETH Zürich; Jane Calvert, University of Edinburgh
Synthetic biology has been claimed as an international scientific and technological endeavor oriented to reveal basic operating physical-chemical principles of Life, as well as a multidisciplinary domain of Sciences and Engineering aimed at increasing experimental control over biological processes or assembling biological processes from scratch.
Rafaela Granja, Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS)/University of Minho, Portugal; Mareile Kaufmann, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law/University of Oslo, Norway; Matthias Wienroth, Centre for Crime and Policing, Northumbria/University, UK
Recent sociotechnical developments have brought genetics and digital technologies together. Nowhere is this more apparent than in public safety and security contexts. How does this transformative confluence impact security discourse and practice, and society at large?
Genetics is a continuously expanding research area with a long tradition of tools for public safety and security, e.g. in law enforcement, commercial security, victim identification, and anti-terrorism surveillance.
James Shaw, University of Toronto; Joseph Donia, University of Toronto; Clémence Pinel , University of Copenhagen; Ine Van Hoyweghen, KU Leuven
Systems of public health and health care are characterized by multiple and at times competing logics. The primary function of such systems is to promote health and heal the sick, however health systems are also important sites of profit-making, labor force participation, and the reproduction of social and professional hierarchies.
Violeta Argudo-Portal, Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); Mauro Turrini, Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
The dramatic fall in the price and cost of genomics testing has made possible a practice that seemed to be confined to the laboratory until a few years ago. Testing one's DNA, or that of beings close to us is an increasingly widespread and almost trivialised possibility. Particularly in the reproductive sphere, where non-invasive prenatal testing, pre-conception or gamete donor screening are emerging, but also more simply with the use of direct-to-consumer genetic tests that can investigate susceptibility to diseases, food intolerances, allergies, and so on.
Greg Hollin, University of Leeds, UK; Des Fitzgerald University of Exeter, UK
Hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when neuroscience was one of the hot topics in STS. During the “decade of the brain” in the 1990s, huge amounts of public money and public interest were invested in the brain sciences - an attention that spilled over into STS. Key works by prominent STS scholars took the new brain sciences to task for their reductionism (Martin, 2004), saw them as a site for the recreation of identity (Dumit, 2004), worried that they were medicalizing childhood (Rapp, 2011), located them as a site for new universe of knowledge and belief (Ortega and Vidla, 2011), proposed a new form of critical friendship between them and the social sciences (Rose and Abi-Rached, 2013), and so on.
Torsten H Voigt , RWTH Aachen University, Germany; Sylvia Kühne, RWTH Aachen University, Germany; Bettina Paul, Universität Hamburg, Germany
Airports have long been a topic of inquiry for social scientists and scholars of science and technology in society. They are an interesting and valuable topic of research because they allow to address manifold questions in a relatively well-defined space. Airports are often testing grounds and early adopters of new technologies, specifically for managing the flow of large amounts of people, immigration management, and security.
Mandy de Wilde, Department of Anthropology/University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Irene van Oorschot, Life Sciences and Society Lab/ KU Leuven, Belgium
In the midst of unfolding ecological crises - global warming, soil and air contamination, toxic spills and pollution - feminist-inspired STS invites us to explore possibilities for living and dying well with human and nonhuman others (Haraway 2016, Tsing, Bubandt, Gan, and Swanson 2017).
Salla Sariola, University of Helsinki; Mikko Jauho, University of Helsinki; Jose Cañada, University of Exeter
Microbes are ubiquitous and almost all social practices involve an exchange of microbes. Approaches to microbes and an understanding about how microbes sustain other living beings and the Earth are key to developing sustainable ways of planetary co-existence. Until recently, social sciences have
addressed microbes, if at all, only as an external threatening ‘Other’ capable of generating pathological conditions in humans and livestock.
Maya Hey, Colorado State University; Salla Sariola, University of Helsinki
Fermentation, microbes and microbiomes. At first glance, it would seem that these three domains arrange themselves in a linear manner—that we use microbes in fermented produce to secure a healthy gut. In this frequently and publicly repeated framing, microbes are a lively and technoscientific prosthesis, such that the doings of fermentation aim to optimise the endgame of human thriving.
Liliana Doganova, Mines ParisTech; Nassima Abdelghafour, Mines ParisTech; Evan Fisher, University of Toulouse 2 – Jean Jaurès; Brice Laurent, Mines ParisTech
This panel aims to bring together STS perspectives on forests. Forests have recently become the object of renewed concerns, as wildfires and deforestation alarms have positioned them as the sentinels of the damages of climate change and environmental degradation, while their capacity to act as carbon sinks has revealed them as a potential venue for fighting climate change by reducing global CO2 emissions.
Claudio Coletta, University of Bologna; Asher Boersma, University of Konstanz; Olivier Chanton, IRSN
Time and temporality are inherently part of the concepts of “crisis”, “risk”, and “transition”. Amid the “great acceleration” and the scenarios outlined by IPCC reports, the precarious agreement of the COP meetings, the pressing demands for climate justice and the phasing-out of fossil fuels, temporal aspects are taking on new relevance for STS.
Brett Mommersteeg, Humboldt University; Nona Schulte-Römer, Humboldt University; Ignacio Farías, Humboldt University
In this panel, we invite colleagues exploring current problematizations of airborne exposure as hazardous for human and nonhuman bodies. Most research on ‘bodily exposure’ focuses on how class, gender, race and space determine levels of exposure among human populations. Not losing sight of such structural lines of environmental burden, we are interested in collectively understanding how ‘exposure’ is made or, better, enacted through situated practices of knowing, sensing and articulating bodily impacts.
Ana Prades, CISOT-CIEMAT, Spain; Ana Delicado, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal; Marc Poumadère, Inst. Symlog, France; Elisabeth Dütschke, Fraunhofer ISI, Germany; Jussara Rowland, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal
The climate crisis is upon us, and the both positive and concerning outcomes of COP26 (26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) shape futures in energy use. Energy choices, security and prices have become almost permanent features in the headlines in the mainstream media throughout Europe. Technological solutions have been called to play a major role in the transition towards a carbon neutral society.
Arthur Arruda Leal Ferreira, History of Science, Techniques and Epistemology / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Rubén Gómez Soriano, National University of Distance Education (UNED/Spain); Verónica Policarpo, Institute of Social Sciences/ University of Lisbon
The theme of interspecies relationships stands out in some STS approaches such as Bruno Latour's Actor-Network Theory, Vinciane Despret's Political Epistemology, Tim Ingold's entanglement proposal and Donna Haraway's thematization of companion species, just to give a few examples. In these and other approaches, it is possible to observe that the interspecies bond manifests itself in several dimensions.
Dagmar Lorenz-Meyer, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague
Blackouts in the wake of extreme weather events, oil spills, solar micro-generation, landscape scars of fossil extraction, rising electricity prices and debilitating energy debt bring human energetic entanglements into sensibility, also in countries of the global North. In science and technology studies, energy humanities and related fields the concept of energy literacy has been used as a tool to examine people’s energy knowledges, affect, and involvement in sustainable energy practices that are often reduced to energy savings.
Pierre du Plessis, University of Oslo, Oslo School of Environmental Humanities; Else Vogel,
University of Amsterdam, department of Anthropology
The effects of climate change, deforestation, pollution and over-hunting fundamentally reshape multispecies relations across the globe. This panel will engage with the effects of these processes on various communities’ relations with farm animals or livestock.
Ana Delgado, TIK-Centre for Technology Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo; Carmen Romero Bachiller, Department of Sociology, Complutense University of Madrid; Pablo Santoro Domingo, Department of Sociology, Complutense University of Madrid
As states experiment their way out of a pandemic and appeal to solidarity, the pharmaceutical industry profits from a global state of exception. Sectors of the public express skepticism towards vaccines, while antibiotics increasingly meet bacterial resistance. Scientific and activist research on the microbiome, support a proliferation on probiotic life styles. Fermentations, post-Pasteurian practices, breastfeeding and non-processed human milk gain in popularity in what has been termed “the probiotic turn”.
Arne Maibaum, TU Berlin; Andreas Bischof, TU Chemnitz
When talking about the study of possible futures, it is hard to avoid mentioning robots. Robots and robotic technology play a major role in many imaginaries and visions of future societies, with envisionings of human-robot interactions in every aspect of daily life. Imaginaries of robots are also used to answer large societal crises, in the European context especially the nursing crisis.
Alex Rushforth, CWTS/ Leiden University, Netherlands; Marta Sienkiewicz, CWTS/ Leiden University, Netherlands; Jochem Zuijderwijk, CWTS/ Leiden University, Netherlands; Sarah De Rijcke, CWTS/ Leiden University, Netherlands
Over the past decade campaigners and policymakers have become increasingly concerned with what they consider narrow, harmful and ‘irresponsible’ recognition and reward criteria used in academic research assessments. Inspired by Responsible Research and Innovation frameworks, the term Responsible Research Assessment has recently come into vogue among campaigners and reformist research organizations
Tess Doezema, University of Vigo; Madisson Whitman, Columbia University; Geneva Smith, Dartmouth College
As technoscientific developments and practices are taken up and adapted in new contexts, how do normative frameworks of governance and social values move with them? Debates tend to focus on whether there exists or should exist a special domain of ethics for certain technologies, for example nano-ethics (Swiestra and Rip 2007) or AI/ML (Greene et al. 2019). While some look at traveling models more generally (Pfotenhauer and Jasanoff 2017; Delvenne and Rosscamp 2021), STS has paid less attention to how ethical, moral, political, or other normative frameworks travel alongside or depart from technoscientific developments as they move from one space to another.
Tamar Sharon, Radboud University; Marthe Stevens, Radboud University; Andrew Hoffman, Radboud University; Lotje Siffels, Radboud University
Empirical ethics is an approach that can be loosely understood as “the empirical study of ... forms of the good in practice” (Pols 2018; cf. Thévenot 2001). On the one hand, mirroring shifts in bioethics, epistemology, and social studies of science, it seeks to move the field of ethics beyond both a reliance on universal principles and an emphasis on the development of normative criteria for what should count as a ‘good’ practice (Hedgecoe 2004; Pols 2015). On the other hand, empirical ethics also aims to move the field of ethics away from an emphasis on critique that has long motivated much research in the interpretative social sciences (Jerak-Zuiderent 2015; Latour 2004).
Silvia Díaz Fernández, Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Elisa García Mingo, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Although there appears to be an abundance of literature and opportunities available for discussion on the topics of online misogyny and the emergence of networked harassment in a variety of forms, it is imperative we continue to understand how toxic technocultures develop and multiply, inasmuch as they pose a threat to women’s safety and prevent their participation in the construction of democratic networked publics (Massanari, 2015; Ging & Siapera, 2018; boyd, 2010).
Alternative format, does not seek submissions.
Naomi Hammett, Lancaster University; Marleen Boschen, Goldsmiths University; Franziska Dahlmeier, Hamburg University
The term “Anthropocene” has scandalised humanity’s role in the destruction of planet earth and mobilised discourse and action in the face of climate catastrophe and biodiversity loss. Yet, scholars have recently problematised the sense of urgency invoked by the Anthropocene (Lynch & Veland, 2018), arguing that the proliferation of apocalyptic tales of coming ‘crises’ have helped to stabilize existing conditions rather than hinder them (Masco, 2017).
Klara-Aylin Wenten, Department for Science, Technology and Society, Technical University of Munich; Alev Coban, Department of Human Geography, Goethe-University Frankfurt
This session will engage with emotions at work. On the one hand, we seek to explore the different emotions felt at workplaces of knowledge production and technology development. On the other hand, the session foregrounds how emotions work in these settings. We observe that current phenomena at technoscientific workplaces such as agility, rapid prototyping or the entrepreneurialization of technology development enwrap workers in affective language and practices about promising technoscientific futures.
Susanne Koch, Technical University of Munich/ Stellenbosch University; Sarah de Rijcke, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)/Leiden University; Sarah Rose Bieszczad, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)/ Leiden University; Judit Varga, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)/Leiden University
Science is ascribed a transformative role in tackling today’s multiple, interrelated socio-ecological crises. According to prevailing narratives and imaginaries in high-level documents (e.g. the Global Sustainable Development Report 2019), generating knowledge, providing evidence, and leveraging innovation stimulates the creation of pathways for tackling challenges like climate change, deforestation, soil degradation, and biodiversity loss both on land and underwater.
Joy Zhang, School of Social Policy/ Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent; Saheli Datta Burton, Research Fellow/ University College London
Science diplomacy is not new, but its ambition, substance and actual delivery are constantly evolving. This is not least due to shifting paradigms of geopolitics, but also a result of the changing nature of contemporary science: how it is organised, who manages its framing and delivery.
Irina Papazu, IT University of Copenhagen; Andreas Birkbak, Aalborg University in Copenhagen; Laurie Waller, University of Manchester; David Moats, University of Helsinki
Following on from the forthcoming book Democratic Situations (Mattering Press 2022), this panel invites papers interested in going beyond democracy as an assortment of abstract ideals, an off-the- shelf theoretical construct or taken for granted political reality.
Silvan Pollozek, European New School of Digital Studies; Jan-Hendrik Passoth, European New School of Digital Studies
In recent years ‘interoperability’ has become a powerful term and an important matter in different domains of national and EU policy. In the name of interoperability, new regulations have been adopted (Leese 2020), new EU agencies (e.g. eu-LISA) have been created (Trauttmansdorff & Felt 2021), information and data systems have been harmonised, and institutions have been reordered (Pelizza 2016). Yet, when looking into different domains of governance, notions of interoperability differ greatly in regard to the socio-technological imaginaries and futures they produce, the human and non-human actors they bring together, and the issues and critiques they assemble.
Doris Allhutter, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Anne Kaun, Södertörn University; Stine Lomborg, University of Copenhagen; Karolina Sztandar-Sztanderska University of Warsaw; Christian Pentzold, University of Leipzig
In recent years, the welfare sector has been facing increasing demands and shrinking resources across the EU and is imagined to be radically transformed by automation and AI-enhancement. Automation is suggested as a response to calls for greater efficiency through data-driven welfare provision and freeing resources to better support the flourishing of citizens in society. The past five years of scholarship have seen a steady stream of critical studies of algorithms, datafication and AI within the human and social sciences in particular.
Nicolas Baya-Laffite, Université de Genève; Aykut Stefan, Universität Hamburg; Bilel Benbouzid, Université Gustave Eiffel; Marlyne Sahakian, Université de Genève
Policy-making and public debate in technological societies are characterized by heavy reliance on science-based visions of probable, desirable or potentially catastrophic futures. Policy instruments play a key role therein, as sites where such futures are produced, circulated and put to work in the governance of very diverse sociotechnical matters at multiple sales. As such, they offer an interesting vantage point from where to examine the politics of technoscientific futures.
Stefano Crabu, University of Padova, Italy; Simone Arnaldi University of Trieste, Italy; Paolo Magaudda ;University of Padova, Italy
In recent decades, academic and practitioners alike have paid increasing attention to models of innovation whose distinguishing feature is the involvement of end-users and grassroot organizations in participatory processes that occur outside established R&D institutional settings and that, nonetheless, effectively co-produce science, technology and innovation.
Carlos Cuevas Garcia, Technical University of Munich; Lukas Fuchs, Eindhoven University of Technology; Gunter Bombaerts, Eindhoven University of Technology; Monamie Bhadra, Haines Technical University of Denmark; Sebastian Pfotenhauer, Technical University of Munich
In September 2017, French president Emmanuel Macron resuscitated an old idea that leaders of a nascent and re-configuring European community had envisioned in the postwar years (Gunn, 2021): the founding of a European university. The European Commission rapidly took up the idea and launched the European Universities Initiative, dedicating a budget of €287 million to establish nearly 40 European university networks. The networks have the goal of enhancing “the quality, inclusion, digitalisation and attractiveness of European higher education” (European Commission, 2020) and of serving as a mechanism to tackle challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.
Tineke Kleinhout-Vliek, Utrecht University; Conor Douglas, York University; Eva Hilberg, University of Sheffield
Health care systems worldwide face significant pressure. While one might immediately think of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges such as high costs, medicine shortages, and dwindling solidarity predate it. At the same time, the field is host to much innovation in terms of, for instance, personalised medicine and drug repurposing, but also experimentation at the political and policy level with conditional reimbursement and real-world data.
Sarah Wadmann, The Danish Center for Social Science Research; Amalie Martinus Hauge, The Danish Center for Social Science Research; Laura Emdal Navne, The Danish Center for Social Science Research; Paul Martin, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield
From an era of chemical mass production, significant transformations in the pharmaceutical sector currently pave the way for biological ‘niche’ products. Advanced therapies, such as gene and cell therapies and tissue-engineered products, are on the rise while diagnostic techniques are devised to distinguish between patients in still more fine-grained ways. Different concepts are evoked to signify those changes, including personalized medicine, precision medicine, stratified medicine and ‘orphanisation’.
Stuart Blume, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Madhavi Yennapu, National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi, India; Snjezana Ivcic, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb; Vesna Trifunovic, Institute of Ethnography, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade
This proposal follows up the new book Immunization and States: The Politics of Making Vaccines, on which the conveners collaborated. The book focuses on public sector vaccine production in different countries from the nineteenth century onward. It ends with a brief sketch of the discussions and re-considerations provoked by two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the first effective Covid- 19 vaccines became available, intense disputes and negotiations arose over monopolies on vaccine production and access to vaccine technologies, unequal global distribution of vaccines, and seemingly widespread distrust of new vaccines.
Irina Zakharova, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) & Institute for Information Management (ifib) at the University of Bremen
This open panel takes as a starting point the “double vision of care” (Linden & Lydahl 2021)
encompassing both ‘ethico-political obligations’ (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017) and practices of local fine-tuning and tinkering (Mol 2008) required to maintain and continue our datafied society. How can care be integrated in data politics and what dark sides can it potentially bring forth (Martin et al. 2015)? How can research and design of socio-technical data systems be more attentive to the subjectivities, affections, and bodies of datafied cyborg selves (Thompson 2020)? How can academic inquiry be more sensitive and care-ful in its analysis of techno- and data politics?
Hannah Grün, Helmut-Schmidt-University, Hamburg, Germany; Lisa Wiedemann, Helmut-Schmidt-University, Hamburg, Germany
Tensions are a crucial concept in STS studies on care (Gill et al. 2017; Mol et al. 2010;
Lindén/Lydahl 2021; López-Gómez 2020). Care unfolds tensions that need handling: tensions
“between individual and collective needs” (Thygesen/Moser 2010: 137); between different values inscribed in care (Lydahl 2021: 116); between subjective experiences and objectivation practices (Pols 2012: 71); “between feeling safe and annoyed” (Wiedemann 2021: 50); “between the scales of policy and situated care practices” (Gill et al. 2017: 14); or “between taking control and being
erratic” (Mol/Law 2004: 57).
Phillip H. Roth, Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research, RWTH Aachen University, Germany; Alin Olteanu, Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research, RWTH Aachen University, Germany; Ana María Guzmán Olmos, Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
STS describe our world as constructed by a multitude of different agencies, by shared imaginations and by institutionalized forms of order and reason. "Sociotechnical imaginaries", for instance, encode collective visions of future societies to be attained and desired in specific national settings and political cultures. This panel explores, particularly from a media perspective, the scientific imaginaries of the future and how these vary according to their interrelations with diverse communities and contexts.
Susannah Glickman, Columbia University - Department of History; Zeki Seskir, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
New technologies and the technological promises that accompany them often seem to offer opportunities for profound transformations of the existing hierarchies, institutions, and established norms. They offer social scientists a window into moments when those promises and narratives are still in flux and being tailored to the interests and needs of potential audiences. In this sense, the emerging quantum sciences are presented as a possible area of contestation for shifting techno- economic relations on the international level.
Paula Bialski, University of St. Gallen; Mace Ojala, IT University of Copenhagen; Andreas Bischof, Technical University of Chemnitz
Whether it's geopolitical or security hacking, big-tech’s software workers leaking the injustices of their companies, or cryptocurrency geeks gaming the financial markets - people who work with our software and computers, harvest our data, or hack into our systems, are gaining political and cultural significance. This podcast panel invites all researchers who study what it is to be a hacker, computer engineer, or work with computers, software, or digital platforms, and/or what it means to hack technical, individual, state or corporate powers.
Alison Gerber, Lund University; Isak Engdahl, Lund University; Alexandra Middleton, Lund University; Tobias Olofsson, Lund University
Scientific visualizations can bring the relationships between knowledge, understanding, and belief into sharp focus. In bringing certain elements and relations into focus, they also render others blurry, fuzzy, or obscured. Contemporary advances put algorithmically supported imaging and visualization technologies in the hands of more and more diverse image-makers, while older ways of seeing continue to inform the ways that we create, read and interpret new kinds of images.
Francis Lee, Chalmers University of Technology; Michela Cozza, Mälardalen University
The ontological politics of our time seem to be increasingly tied to an algorithmic and datafied production of society and nature. Life is permeated by automated systems, learning machines, tracking devices, and sensors. But what is made as real is closely tied to what becomes made unreal—to what is excluded from thingness in practice.
Flora Lysen, Maastricht University; Jojanneke Drogt, Universiteit Utrecht; Mirjam Pot, Universität Vienna; Paul Trauttmansdorff, Universität Vienna
The introduction of AI in health care has generated speculation on the futures of "deep medicine," including hyperbolic media reports on imminent "algorithmic doctors" or "robot radiologists." Additionally, AI has become a prominent issue in policy discourses, which steer the direction (and funding) of AI developments in medicine.
Jutta Weber, Paderborn University; Katherine F. Chandler, Georgetown University; Christoph Ernst, University of Bonn
Sociotechnical imaginations of our social order as well as of our everyday life are inscribed in the design of technological projects and artefacts - not only on the individual but also the sociocultural
level. Imaginaries of today‘s AI as a decision-making entity is not only part of the Hollywood science fiction narrative, but is partly driving contemporary military discourses and practices that build i.a. on biomimetic concepts of emergent and adaptive behaviour.
Attila Bruni, University of Trento; Brit Ross Winthereik, IT University of Copenhagen
Issues of work and organization have always been at the core of STS. Concentrating on laboratories, research centers, innovation processes, centers of coordination, medical settings and other organizational contexts characterized by technologically dense practices, STS have put under scrutiny the role played by technologies, physical and virtual architectures, material and information infrastructures.
Niki Vermeulen, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS), University of Edinburgh; Marion Maisonobe, Géographie-cités (CNRS, EHESS, Paris 1 Univ., Univ. of Paris); Rodrigo Liscovsky, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS), University of Edinburgh; Morgan Meyer, Centre for the Sociology of Innovation (Mines ParisTech, PSL)
We invite papers that address the geography of research collaborations and communities, for a session that aims to take stock of current research on the topic and improve common understanding of the geography of scientific work and its (inter)national relations. This topic is timely, as current societal challenges -such as the inter-related pandemic, biodiversity and climate crises- are global problems which require international collaboration.
Esther Dessewffy, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna; Bao-Chau Pham, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna; Andrea Schikowitz, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna; Fredy Alberto Mora Gàmez, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna; Sarah Davies, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna
Drawing on a long tradition of and commitment to reflexivity, situatedness, and positionality in STS research, this panel invites contributions that highlight the ambiguous relations of researchers to their research subjects, including self-referential methods and practices such as auto-ethnography.
Selen Eren, University of Groningen; Anne Beaulieu, University of Groningen; David Ribes, University of Washington; Nienke van Pijkeren, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Having societal relevance and social impact is increasingly becoming relevant evaluation criteria for STS researchers, just like for researchers in other fields. More and more, researchers are expected not only to understand the phenomena they study, but also to contribute to the stakeholders around/of that phenomena. STS researchers’ projects are often funded directly by those stakeholders themselves, expecting clear ‘recommendations’ or contributions from research outcomes.
Benjamin Lipp, Cornell University; Paula Helm, University of Tubingen; Athanasios Karafillidis, RWTH Aachen University; Roser Pujadas, London School of Economics and Political Science
Human interconnectedness with technology has come to be increasingly shaped and constructed in terms of interfaces between technical components, humans, and specific environments. Knowledge about such interfaces is predominantly shaped by disciplines that understand interfaces almost exclusively in technical terms. Information science and engineering designs software interfaces as technical boundaries and points of information exchange between various components of a given technical system. Human-Computer Interaction investigates user interfaces and how they afford certain activities by users rendering technical systems more or less accessible for those users.
Iñaki Martínez de Albeniz, University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain); Andrés Gómez Seguel, University of Chile (Santiago, Chile); Juan Carlos Arboleya, Basque Culinary Center (Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain)
For some decades now, gastronomy has become an opportunity for reflective and technologically active practices. Many applied scientific disciplines have found in gastronomy an attractive field, and basic sciences an effective shortcut for the always complicated dissemination of their achievements.
Judit Varga, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University; Maximilian Fochler, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna; Sarah Rose Bieszczad, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University; Ismael Rafols, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University; Sarah de Rijcke, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University
Digital data, digital platforms and computational methods saturate knowledge practices that inform or constitute the imaginaries and infrastructures of our future. Examples include diversifying data about scientific practices (including scientometric, altmetric and webometric traces); online traces of collective discussions and commercial practices; and a growing range of digital platforms that coordinate environmental and socio-economic data, such as ongoing efforts by the European Union to create a digital twin of the ocean. Engaging with digital and computational ways of knowing is crucial for STS to study or intervene in them.
Julie Sascia Mewes, Ruhr University Bochum; Sebastian Merkel, Ruhr University Bochum; Estrid Sørensen, Ruhr University Bochum
This panel focuses on co-design in medical and healthcare innovation as a collective knowledge practice. It invites papers concerned with how the participatory development, design and use of mobile health apps and other novel digital health technologies re-structure the relationship between technology, citizens of all ages and their medical staff, their treatment experiences, and related ehealth literacies. We are particularly interested in research exploring ethical, social, and political implications of novel digital applications and how they co-shape daily (work) life and knowledge practices.
Anne K. Krueger, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities; Sabrina Petersohn, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies
The datafication of science and its algorithmic assessment are accelerating at a rapid pace. The digitization of academic publishing jointly with technological developments such as greatly increased storage and computing capacities as well as advanced data harvesting techniques have opened up an abundance of new data sources that are referred to as information about research “output”, “impact”, and “performance”.
Lina Franken, LMU Munich, Department of Sociology; Maximilian Jablonowski, University of Zurich, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies; Libuše Hannah Vepřek, LMU Munich, Institute for European Ethnology and Cultural Analysis
Interacting with the world today increasingly means dealing with sociotechnical systems that fundamentally rely on binary code. Computer code shapes ways of communication and travel, the very bedrock of the global economy and related infrastructures. While code (at least today) is written by humans or human collective practices, there already exist attempts to build AI systems that take over coding themselves, moving today’s discussions on coded sociotechnical assemblages and human-machine relationships to the next level.
Louise Amoore, Durham University, UK; Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Benjamin Jacobsen, Durham University, UK
The advent of deep neural network algorithms has significant implications for how futures are imagined and politically governed. As algorithmic models gain capacity to generate and infer rules from the examples in data, machine learning appears to hold the promise of making inductive and inferential forms of knowing, classifying, and deciding. A machine learning political future does not merely change the political technologies for governing state and society, but is itself a reordering of that politics, of what the future could be.
Roos Hopman, Museum für Naturkunde; Tahani Nadim, Museum für Naturkunde; Ingmar Lippert, Museum für Naturkunde
Whereas the “digital” has become a habitual term in STS, to “digitize” remains relatively absent. This discrepancy hints at a disparity in analytical attention for digital (data) forms on the one hand, and their production on the other.
Yana Boeva, University of Stuttgart; Kathrin Braun, University of Stuttgart; Mascha Gugganig, University of Ottawa; Cordula Kropp, University of Stuttgart
Datafication has been identified as a defining feature of contemporary capitalism. Scholarship in critical data studies, STS, social theory and political economy has interrogated the dynamics of datafication processes in light of a larger sociotechnical and techno-economic reconfiguration of capitalism, captured by concepts such as platformisation, financialisation and assetisation (Birch and Muniesa 2020; Burrell and Fourcade 2021; Fourcade and Healy 2017; Sadowski 2019; Srnicek 2017).
Roland Bal, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Lieke Oldenhof, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Iris Wallenburg, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Brit Ross Wintereik, IT University of Copenhagen
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are portrayed as an emerging promise in our evolving world, forestalling a digital and yet unknown future. Consumer-oriented mobile technologies offer new ways of capturing a digital organizational understanding of how people behave and interact. AI is seen as a promissory solution to urgent societal problems like workforce shortage, unmet social needs, welfare inequality, personalized medicine and precision welfare.
However, AI is also viewed as a sincere threat to human well-being.
Torben Elgaard Jensen, TANTlab, Department of Culture and Learning Aalborg University, Denmark; Anders Kristian Munk, TANTlab, Department of Culture and Learning, Aalborg University, Denmark; NootjeMarres, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies Warwick University, UK
A new spectre is haunting Europe - a spectre that currently goes by the name Artificial Intelligence, or more specifically Artificial Intelligence based on machine learning algorithms. Enthusiastic AI-sponsors and developers raise the hopes of great improvements in areas such as medical services, traffic safety and sustainable management of resources. Meanwhile political and ethical concerns grow over uncontrollable bias, privacy transgressions and the ubiquitous spread of AI into the fabric of society.
Vasilis Galis, IT University of Copenhagen; Helene Oppen Ingebrigtsen Gundhus, University of Oslo; Anu Masso, Tallinn University of Technology; Emils Kilis, Baltic Studies Centre; Evie Papada, St Andrews University
Given the political, social, and economic instability that arose during the latest financial crisis, the negative prognosis for the coming years (World Bank 2019), as well as the issuing of stay-at-home orders/shelter-in-place orders as a response to the COVID19 pandemic, the police have gained increasing attention for their role and militarized tactics to absorb socio-legal turbulences and to maintain order (rua Wall 2018; 2020).
Jens Hälterlein, Centre for Security and Society, University Freiburg; Daniel Marciniak, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale)
Advancements in the AI-subfield of machine learning are already transforming security practices in various contexts, including military operations, policing, intelligence work, private security, and pandemic management. In many cases, the use of AI-based security technologies aims at predicting the future based on probabilistic calculation. In law enforcement, for instance, AI can be used to pinpoint likely places and times of future crimes, terrorist attacks, and social unrest or to identify individuals at high risk of becoming a future (re)offender, terrorist, or victim (Benbouzid 2019, Brayne 2021, Hälterlein 2021).
Sarah R Davies, University of Vienna (Austria); Noriko Hara, Indiana University (USA); Maja Horst, Technical University of Denmark (Denmark)
Science communication and public engagement with science are key mechanisms by which scientific knowledge is mediated, negotiated, and transformed. Over the past decades, STS research has outlined the ways in which science and society are co-produced through public communication activities and catalysed a shift towards dialogue and engagement in science communication practice.
Michiel Van Oudheusden, KU Leuven; Louise Elstow, Lancaster University; Paolo Giardullo, Padova, University of Padova
Citizen science (CS) can be broadly defined as a process in which nonexperts engage in scientific research or data collection with or without the support of science professionals (Irwin 1995; Bonney et al. 2009). Whereas the concept of CS in science is currently in vogue inside and outside science and research (Kulleberg & Kasperowski 2016), it can – and typically does – take on multiple forms, giving rise to tensions, contradictions, paradoxes, and puzzles.
Quentin Dufour, CSI, CNRS, postdoctorate; Didier Torny, CSI, CNRS, senior researcher
For many governments (Finland, France, Greece, Netherlands…), transnational and international organizations (Coalition S, European Academies, European Commission, UNESCO…), we have entered the age of open science, conceived as the only way to build sustainable and solid science.
Cometta Mosè, University of Turin
Recent years have shown the key role that new technologies are taking in the context of political life in general and in Western societies in particular. Their function as recording and communication devices makes it possible to channel an increasing amount of information and transform public debate. Thanks to this, new actors emerge, while political and cultural sensitivities evolve.
Jarita Holbrook, University of Edinburgh; Duane Hamacher, University of Melbourne; Annette S. Lee, Arizona State University
Astronomy is central to understanding our place in the universe and cultures from the ancient past to today regard the night sky as an important element of the world around us, informing cultures about survival, tradition, law, social structure, and memory.
Ignacio Marcio Cid, University of Barcelona; Mosè Cometta, University of Turin
Classical studies are not pourposeless nor a mere exercise of cultural archeology. While the effects of new technologies are increasingly visible in contemporary society, a serious and in-depth analysis of their political influences is increasingly necessary to understand the direction in which our society is moving. The new challenges posed by technology require new, original and interdisciplinary perspectives of analysis. This panel proposes to address this issue by starting with a reading of the classics.
Martin Sand, Delft University of Technology, Department of Values, Technology and Innovation; Alfred Nordmann, TU Darmstadt, Institut für Philosophie; Armin Grunwald, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis
A discussion about Politics of Technoscientific Futures must commence by critically asking why and how public discourse refers to technoscience futures at all and whether technoscientific governance can do without such reference. These questions have been taken up by a hermeneutic approach to technology assessment (TA) and the various attempts to conceive the future as an object (of design, of technical, intellectual and political control): In the last decades, it has been shown that thinking about the future has been reduced to thinking about technology, and inversely, that technology is the answer to the global challenges for the future.
Jérôme Denis, Centre de sociologie de l'innovation - Mines ParisTech; David Pontille, Centre de sociologie de l'innovation - Mines ParisTech
As they consist in carrying out for the preservation of things and cultivating their endurance, maintenance practices are a matter of time. Yet, they contrast significantly with most future-oriented technoscientific activities and, more generally, with the modernist innovation-centric timescapes (Jackson, 2016; Puig de la Bellacasa, 2015; Schabacher, 2021). Rather than organizing the world by designating a desirable future, the care of things deals with continuity. It turns duration into a matter of concern. This has importance consequences.
Alexandra Ciocanel, University of Manchester, University of Bucharest; Roosa Rytkoenen, University of Manchester
Diseases, finance, wars, and the environment have generated in contemporary societies a proliferation of crisis talk. Crisis has become the main interpretative frame of social changes even if historically the past might have witnessed more violent manifestations of these phenomena. Rather than seeing crisis as an isolated period of time, some scholars have proposed to examine crisis as a context, recognizing that in many places of the world the experience of crisis is endemic rather than episodic (e.g. Vigh 2008).
Daniel López-Gómez, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Helen Manchester, University of Bristol; Juliane Jarke, Bremen University; Alexander Peine, Utrecht University
The technoscientific capacity to make ageing futures knowable and actionable in the present is key in the governance of aging (Moreira 2016). In the midst of the crisis usually associated with aging societies, namely a 'care crisis', an 'environmental crisis' and a 'socio-economic and cultural crisis', technoscientific developments are usually placed both as the necessary responses for the prevention or mitigation of their harmful consequences and as a source of multiple uncertainties, risks and dangers also for the most aged (especially for disabled or racially or socio-economically minoritized older people).
Hannah M. Varga Humboldt, University Berlin; Miguel Mesa del Castillo, University Alicante; Ignacio Farías, Humboldt University Berlin
In the last decade, ecological questions have gained attention in architecture, especially through discussions about the ‘(Post-)Anthropocene’ (Turpin 2014; Jaque/Otero Verzier/ Pietroiusti 2021) and a ‘more-than-human architecture’ (Roudavski 2019), where ‘the human’ is losing the centrality given to it by modernity as means to make room for other forms of existence.
Julio Paulos, University of Lausanne; Laura Kemmer, Humboldt University of Berlin, Jenny Lindblad, KTH Stockholm
The way cities are conceptualized and governed has undergone a major shift in the past decade as place-making has evolved into a vital part of urban politics. Urban interventions, both material and normative, have infiltrated novel terrains that attempt to strengthen citizenship. In this political age, we are surrounded by tropes of crisis-induced urgency and calls for action as we grapple with paralysis, exhaustion, and chronic ruin.
Ilia Antenucci, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany; Armin Beverungen, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany; Paula Bialski, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland; Andrea Pollio, Polytechnic of Turin, Italy / University of Cape Town, South Africa
Computational environments make speculation an ordinary component of urban life. Autonomous vehicles speculate on mobility patterns in the data analysis of forms of sociality on and off the street. Algorithmic urban platforms influence social, economic, and political interactions, establishing boundaries and divisions in urban space via homophilic logics.
Ignacio Farías, Humboldt University; Elisabeth Luggauer, Humboldt University; Jorge Martín Sainz de los Terreros, Humboldt University
We tend to imagine cities in material terms: a space made of bodies and things - placed at specific locations or moving across space. Key contributions from post-humanist perspectives such as ANT, technofeminism, and multispecies ethnography have highlighted the roles played by nonhuman actors in urban politics: materials, technological artefacts, and nonhuman beings. In this special format, we will discuss, experience, and stage emerging matters of concerns in urban politics that challenge that ontology, as they bear upon an understanding of urban spaces as wave fields.
Maximilian Roßmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT); Jascha Bareis, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT); Janine Gondolf, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
This panel will be dedicated to technology hypes, considering digital platforms and digital methods, to foster understanding their nature, analysis, content, and power. Hype shall be transformed from a buzzword to a reflected term and applicable working concept.
Ulrich Ufer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology/ Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis; Alexandra Hausstein, Institute for Technology,/Institute for Technology Futures, Hausstein; Andreas Lösch, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,/Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis
Modern innovation discourses are framed by promises and expectations of pioneering techno- scientific renewal and groundbreaking future improvement. Often, these promises and expectations are based on technoscientific visions of the future. Once activated and socially relevant, these visions can provide resources for generating new meaning and orientation in contexts of impending social and technological innovation.
Thomas Franssen, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) / Leiden University, The Netherlands; Anne Beaulieu, Knowledge Infrastructures Department, Campus Fryslân / University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Esther Turnhout, Science, Technology and Policy Studies/ University of Twente, The Netherlands
What is ‘good’ environmental knowledge? And what is a ‘good’ environmental scientist? These two questions are recurrently asked in assessments of environmental knowledge conducted by the IPCC or IPBESS, and assessments of environmental scientists by funding bodies, in yearly appraisals or national research evaluations like the UK REF.
Alan Irwin, Copenhagen Business School; Jane Bjørn Vedel, Copenhagen Business School
Innovation represents a powerful means of constructing socio-technical futures. However, innovation can take many forms: from ambitious statements (not least in Europe) about the development of nations and regions to more localized efforts at achieving responsible and sustainable change.
Furthermore, ‘innovation’ is open to diverse conceptual and empirical perspectives: from case-studies of innovation-in-action to the analysis of larger political discourses around ‘innovation futures’ and from analysis of power imbalances and inequities to the more economic and policy concerns addressed by Innovation Studies.
Kean Birch, York University; Jane Bjørn Vedel, Copenhagen Business School; John Gardner, Monash University
Techno-economic futures are increasingly defined by the transformation of different things into assets – that is, by assetization. As a process, assetization entails not just the transformation of things into a techno-economic object (i.e. asset), it also shapes the governance of our futures through the construction of future expectations (e.g. revenues) and the practices that bring those expectations into the present (e.g. discounting).
Saheli Datta Burton, University College London; Katharina Kieslich, University of Vienna; Katharina T. Paul, University of Vienna; Barbara Prainsack, University of Vienna; Gabrielle Samuels, King's College London/University of Oxford
Attempts to rethink what ‘value’ is or should be across various domains of contemporary policymaking has gained increasing currency. The conversation around more socially responsible valuography was already ongoing before the pandemic where calls had been made to pay more attention to less-easily measurable or monetizable value(s) previously ignored in policy. The urgency of this conversation has gained momentum in the last few years, as systemic fragilities of existing ‘valuation’ methodologies largely reliant on economic dimensions have become increasingly visible across diverse sectors such as energy, healthcare and transport.
Tereza Stöckelová, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Lukáš Senft, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Kateřina Kolářová, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
The prevailing forms of economic growth that implicate persistent increase and acceleration of industrial, agricultural as well as cultural production lead to the ecological and climate emergency. In spite of that, the idea of economic growth upholds its hegemonic position in most of the mainstream public debates. Economic growth is--again--held up as a way to the socioeconomic recovery from the current global pandemic.
Kamilla Karhunmaa, University of Helsinki; Kristin Asdal, University of Oslo; Trine Pallesen, Copenhagen Business School
Environmental problems are often described through the notion of a market failure, or the inability of markets to account for the costs associated with the production of goods and services. The notion of market failure calls for internalizing externalities, thus focusing environmental economics on the calculation and minimization of harm and cost through the design of market interventions. A classic example is thinking of climate change as “the greatest example of market failure” (Stern, 2006) which requires valuing and accounting for the damages and costs caused by climate change.
Eugen Popa, University of Twente; Vincent Blok , Wageningen University; Cornelius Schubert,
TU Dortmund University
Contemporary societies face a series of grand challenges on topics such as energy produc- tion, transport, social equity, and affordable healthcare. Motived by the moral obligation to address these challenges, and pressured to legitimize themselves in relation to societal needs, scientists and knowledge institutions are increasingly engaging in modes of inno- vation that allow for the negotiation and absorption of societal values in the creation of techno-scientific futures
Olga Zvonareva, Maastricht University; Claudia Egher, Maastricht University; Artur Holavin, Maastricht University
Ways of taking part in formulating and addressing matters of shared concern are diverse. Practices people employ to engage in shaping societal orders go far beyond organized formats such as citizen juries or co-production sessions, where questions and tasks are, to a large extent, preset.
Maxime Le Calvé, Cluster of Excellence "Matters of Activity", HU Berlin, Germany; Jennifer Clarke, Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Scotland
“The Anthropocene seems to arrive just as a whole new series of materialisms, vitalisms, realisms, and inhuman turns require „us‟ to think about what has definite and forceful existence regardless of our sense of world.” (Colebrook 2017)
Ange Pottin, ENS Paris; Claire Le Renard, LISIS; Maël Goumri, Graz University of Technology; Martin Denoun, GSPR, EHESS
How does the energy past weigh on energy futures?
STS scholars are well aware of societies’ dependency to large energy infrastructures such as electric, gas, or fossil fuel supply as well as their production networks. Yet an important area of investigation remains, especially concerning the so-called « energy transition » (Fressoz, 2014) and the way infrastructures inform our political life forms (Mitchell, 2011). For instance, how do you plug wind energy to the existing electrical grids that were designed and built to accommodate nuclear or fossil fuel power plants?