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 / 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.
Projects / Hanna Rose ShellA contribution to a material archeology of waste. A heap of ground-up textile waste is the starting point for a book and a series of interconnected short films and interactive media in progress.
Report-backs / Mariana Fossatti and Jorge GemettoMaking Change Bogotá, Colombia, was part of an international long-term research driven by Leuphana Centre for Digital Cultures, which seeks to question the hegemonic ways of understanding change by conducting intensive workshops where activists, academics and artists from different countries participate. In Bogotá the event was organized in collaboration with Karisma Foundation and the Javeriana University. (Spanish, with English summary)
Projects / Max LiboironWrite2know highlights STS scholars’ roles in civic participation and STS as an practice of “making and doing” politics in and through science.
Reflections / Kathryn de Ridder-VignoneAs we move away from intrapersonal learning and growth into the realm of hope how can...images serve? Participate? And how can they do it better?
Report-backs / Manuel Franco-AvellanedaThe training program for community leaders, museological institutions and libraries was promoted by Colciencias and UNDP during the second half of 2014. The initiative documented the experience of institutions and actors in countries like Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Colombia (Spanish, with English summary)
Report-backs / Daniel BreslauIn our current era, states are more frequently turning to market mechanisms to achieve social aims. Rather than socializing unmet needs, states are establishing new markets to correct the failures of old markets; markets as interventions, markets upon markets.
Reflections / Bryn Whitely2015 marks a year of revitalization for 6S, the student organization of 4S. To this end, we are planning to host three events at the upcoming 4S meeting in Denver.
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.