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 / Claudia AguirreBetween may 24 and 29 this year, took place in Medellin, Colombia, the XIV Congress of the Network of Popularization of science in Latin America and the Caribbean (RedPOP). This network was created in 1990 in Rio de Janeiro to promote the field communication of science at that time made a timid appearance in Latin America. Claudia Aguirre shares a report back of the event.
Report-backs / Guilherme SáThe Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) - Porto Alegre (RS) - received from May 20-22 , 2015 the V Anthropology Meeting of Science and Technology, or, simply put, the V ReACT, as already known the main meeting of anthropologists researching and discussing science and technology in Brazil (Entry in Portuguese)
Reflections / Max LiboironThe road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Ocean Cleanup array, designed to clean plastics from the ocean like a baleen whale, is one of these good intentions: experts in marine plastics, including myself, say it’s a bad idea.Technological fixes like the Array do harm to the larger project of ending plastic pollution, which is a complex social, environmental, and economic problem. It is also going to damage and kill marine life.
Diásporas, Espacios Híbridos y Redes Corpusculares. Presentación de la Red Española de Estudios Soci
Reflections / Maria González AguadoThe Spanish Network of Science & Technology Studies (Red esCTS) is a precarious, immaterial and fluid locus where almost two hundred students, activists, artists, researchers and “affected citizens” collaboratively re-think, experiment with and push STS forward.
Projects / Katrina PetersenTo illustrate the complexities of entanglements between human, technology, and world that STS theory highlights, three projects at Lancaster University facilitate collective embodied engagement and experience.
Report-backs / Yuri Jack Gómez-MoralesThis field of STS is not new in Colombia; starting at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in the early 1990s the number of practitioners has increased in recent years in several epicentres across the nation. Colombian practitioners regularly attend international conferences abroad such as the 4S, EASST, and ESOCITE conferences, the CYTED meetings, the summer schools for postgraduates, and the RICyT congress. Paradoxically, there are few local opportunities for extending academic and research contacts among practitioners and schools. The goal of the First National STS Workshop was precisely tackling this paradox by putting together colleagues from all around the country in Bogotá in April 2015. (Entry in Spanish and English)
Reflections / Isabella E. WagnerIn scientometrics, visualisations perform in a political environment since they form a colourful reality of an abstract construct that is a product of a long series of previous representation and translation steps
Report-backs / AJ Faas and Tess KulstadThe Risk and Disaster Topical Interest Group within the SfAA addresses risk and disaster-related topics with wider, multi-field appeal.
Reflections / Pablo KreimerPablo Kreimer reflects upon how the development of the STS field in Latin America is structured from a tension, which varies over successive generations, between the political commitment, or the attempts to public intervention, and the creation of a 'rigorous' academic field. He presents some of the main landmarks on the origins of the field in the region, argues that this tension is similar to certain processes that have taken place in North América, and suggests that to create an engaged STS field in the region is still a long journey.
Report-backs / Kean BirchA report on the 3rd Changing Political Economic of Research and Innovation (CPERI) Workshop held at UC San Diego in March 2015, and organized by Charles Thorpe and Martha Lampland from the Science Studies Program there. Originally started by David Tyfield in 2012, the CPERI workshops are an attempt to reinvigorate or renew interest in the political economy of science, research and innovation.
Tania Pérez-Bustos, Chair, 4S Web Committee
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