Linguists first used the term backchannel to refer to the spontaneous responses and signals that provide interactivity to what is only apparently a one-way communication. Social media users have adopted the term to refer to the unofficial, multi-directional online conversation that parallels formal academic exchange at a lecture or conference. The Backchannels blog is intended to have a similar relationship to scholarly discourse in STS. It provides an outlet for alternative-format scholarly communications, publishing shorter, timelier, media-rich communiques of interest to the global STS community. The editors welcome proposed contributions.
Reviews / Dr Jonathan SilverAccording to Jonathan Silver, "Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic" makes a significant contribution to the global history of cotton and our understandings about the long durée of capitalism.
Reflections / Jess AuerbachIt’s not often that you get to create a new university from scratch.
Projects / Amanda WindleThe move to larger corporate social media groups did disrupt some of these grassroots support networks specifically when their digital infrastructures shifted during the noughties. Someone with UC-CD doesn’t always need their mood creepily enhanced by an algorithm on Facebook, but may appreciate some of the roaming mental health bots on Twitter.
Reflections / Steve G. HoffmanIs prediction in AI a fool's errand?
Report-backs / Evelyn RuppertAs much research has shown, communities amongst which fake news circulates are separate from the platforms and their mitigating technical services. What technical solutions do not address is that sharing is a logic underpinning digital platforms and from which their social value is derived.
Reflections / Mónica LozanoOn February 10, 2017, the philosopher and mathematician Leon Olivé died in Mexico, one of the most important contemporary Mexican thinkers and a reference in Latin America for philosophical and social studies on science and technology.
Reflections / Mariacristina Sciannamblo and Maurizio TeliUsing a participatory design approach, the research consortium of the EU-funded "Commonfare" project rethinks – and critically engages with – the ontological politics of categorizations of poverty.
/ Federico VasenIn the days leading up to Christmas, young researchers and postgraduate students occupied for four days the building of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Buenos Aires demanding more permanent positions for Research and Development in the country
Reflections / James H. CollierWhat is perhaps most puzzling from a strictly epistemological standpoint is that STS recoils from these tropes whenever such politically undesirable elements as climate change deniers or creationists appropriate them effectively for their own purposes.
Reflections / Leo Matteo BachingerThe fourth entry to our ongong series explores and reflects the ways in which data is used to conceal, silence but also bring to the foreground environmental and Climate Change issues.
Tania Pérez-Bustos, Chair, 4S Web Committee
Steven Jackson, Journals and conferences
Assistant Editors: Aleka Gurel, Yelena Gluzman
Gloria Baigorrotegui, Reviews, reblogs, and STS commentary from Asia, Africa & Latin America
Assistant Editors: Fredy Mora-Gámez, Prince Guma, Joseph Satish
Amanda Windle, Reviews, reblogs, and STS commentary from North America, Europe, and Australia
Assistant Editors: Leo Matteo Bachinger, Madeleine Pape
Anita Chan, Conference Blog Editor
For contact information, see the Editorial Guidelines page.