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.
Report-backs / Gloria Baigorrotegui, Juan Felipe Espinoza & Martín Pérez ComissoDuring the 13 to 15 of January it was held, at the School of Business at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, the Third Meeting of the STS-Chilean Network. Given the public uprisings that have taken place since 2011 in Chile, and given the new forms of collective action seen in our country, we agreed to convene the meeting under the theme "Citizenship, Collective, Knowledge and Power: Achievements and Challenges for Science, Technology and Society Studies.
Reflections / Aleka GurelProfessor Ulrike Felt, from the University of Vienna, talks to Backchannels about her recent ST&HV article, "Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research in Practice."
Report-backs / Sudeepa Abeysinghe, Luciana Brondi, Ian Harper, Hannah Lesshafft, Lucy Lowe, Alex Nading and Ting Ting ShumFive speakers examined Zika and its implications from differing perspectives. Of particular concern for the roundtable was to address how social scientists may approach the issues at stake.
Reflections / Heather Shattuck-HeidornHighlighting the need for research on gender alongside sex is a critical contribution of feminist science studies scholars.
Report-backs / Abby Kinchy and Roopali PhadkeWhat can STS contribute to the burgeoning new field of “subsoil” social theory?
Reflections / ElHassan ElSabryIn November 2015, the Egyptian government announced an initiative to provide nationwide access to a multitude of knowledge resources (k-12 curricula, scholarly journals, eBooks, educational videos ... etc.) claiming that it is "“the biggest digital library in the world". ElHassan ElSabry, an Egyptian researcher in the field of scholarly communication and Open Access, provides some thoughts on the issue and the project's ability to fulfill its promise.
Reviews / Hannah GibsonI like to show Zippi Brand Frank’s 2009 HBO documentary Google Baby about gestational surrogacy in India as it clearly maps out the movement across national borders, social classes, and bodies involved in transnational surrogacy arrangements.
Report-backs / Gloria BaigorroteguiChildren and young people from schools throughout Chile and school representatives from three Latin American countries: Mexico, Peru and Argentina met from 24 to 26 November 2015 in the city of Valparaiso to present their scientific projects in the final of the XVI School National Congress School of Science and Technology. 53 projects were selected in three categories: i) Natural Sciences, ii) Research in engineering and technology and iii) Social Sciences. Gloria Baigorrotegui tells us her experience as an external evaluator of this initiative.
Reflections / Abby KinchyBackchannels interviews Dr. Victor Toom, an anthropologist of scientific practice, about his recent ST&HV article that analyzes how victims’ remains were recovered, identified, repatriated and retained after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Projects / Max LiboironNinety-three percent of all marine plastics are smaller than a grain of rice (Eriksen et al 2014). This summer I made a research voyage through one of the world’s five gyres, huge slow-moving currents in the middle each of the world’s five oceans that tend to accumulate floating debris, including plastics.
Steven Jackson, Chair, 4S Web Committee
Steven Jackson, Conferences, journals, and events
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.