Date of the plenary: July 8, 2022

Panelists: Ulrike Felt, Sarah de Rijcke, Sarah Rose Bieszczad, Endre Dányi and Vincenzo Pavone

Moderated by Maja Horst


Maja Horst

Maja Horst is professor of Responsible Technology at DTU Technical University of Denmark, Hans Fischer Senior Fellow and Visiting Professor at TUM Technical University of Munich and President of EASST. Her research interests cover science communication, public engagement, sociology of innovation and research management and organization. She chairs the Independent Research Fund Denmark and has been a member of the Danish Council for Research and Innovation Policy. She has also been experimenting with interactive science communication installations for which she received the Danish Science Minister’s Communication Prize.



Ulrike Felt

Ulrike Felt is Professor and head of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna, member of the Academia Europaea and former president of EASST. Her research mainly focuses on questions of governance and public engagements in contemporary technoscientific democracies as well as on shifting research cultures and related institutional transformations. She has been editor of Science, Technology and Human Valuesas well as of the most recent Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (MIT Press).


Sarah de Rijcke

Sarah de Rijcke is Professor in Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies & Scientific Director at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) in Leiden, and Co-chair of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI). She has a long-term research interest in examining the interactions between science governance and knowledge creation. Within the vibrant interdisciplinary space of STS, she specializes in social studies of research evaluation.

Sarah Rose Bieszczad

Sarah Rose Bieszczad is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University. Her research examines how European deep-sea researchers navigate changing governance and evaluation systems and the subsequent constitutive effects these larger transitions have on their daily research practices.  


Endre Dányi

Endre Dányi is visiting professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and university fellow at the Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia. He is one of the founding editors of Mattering Press ( – an Open Access book publisher and ongoing experiment in knowledge making and distribution in the social sciences.


Vincenzo Pavone

Vincenzo Pavone is currently the Director of the Institute for Public Good and Policies (IPP), part of CSIC, the Spanish National Research Council. Scholar in science, technology and society (STS), his most recent work focuses on the social and political implications of the so-called global bioeconomies, with a growing interest on sustainability, circular bioeconomies and democratically generated alternatives to growth-based economies. He is also editor of the book review section of the journal Science and Technology Studies, and co-editor of the EASST Review Journal. More at:


This plenary is intended to support collective sensemaking about the identity and  future of the field of STS as it is conducted in Europe. The overarching theme of the plenary is the interrelationship between integration and separation. Under this theme we would like to address several interrelated topics. 
First of all, it can be a question about our own knowledge base and our collaboration with others. STS was born out of engagements with science and technology  in fields such as sociology, anthropology, and history. Gradually, the field became institutionalized with dedicated journals, handbooks, departments, and schools. At the same time, STS is currently made up of multiple conceptual and methodological traditions, and these are often geographically situated. How is this epistemic differentiation serving STS? Are we making enough out of the possibilities of interdisciplinary exchange? . 
Secondly, our perception of and work to design a relevant publication landscape follows from the previous point. How do we see the landscape as it is? Should we try to increase designated STS journals or is it more important to have a strong presence of STS research in interdisciplinary journals? Do we foster open research, transparency and inclusiveness in the dissemination of our work?  Are our journals aligned with Open Science goals and requirements? How do books and book publishers serve our contributions and our community? How do evaluative pressures shape the epistemic contributions and publishing formats we chose and how do we as a community encourage and embrace alternatives?
Thirdly, how we teach and learn STS shapes its collective future(s). The learning and socialization practices of our early career researchers in the present have constitutive effects for STS as a field in the years to come. What do STS early career researchers want from their community in terms of education and exchange and how do they envision both the future of European STS and their place with it? 
Fourthly, the European funding and policy landscape is special as it is shaped by a set of quite diverse national systems, which are nevertheless influenced by the homogenizing force of the EU. How is this tension creating its own European epistemic dynamics in STS? And how can a politically engaged field like STS (continue to) inform the apparatuses of research funding and science policy, locate its shortcomings, and help foster effectiveness, inclusiveness, and care?

Finally, we also want to reflect on the issue of Europe: On the one hand, we do not suggest that there is a European STS, but on the other, being situated in Europe influences the way STS is done due to the interrelationships between the EU and different European countries as well as between Europe and other places in the world.