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Backchannels

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.

6S: The Graduate Student Organization of 4S, Revitalized

Reflections / Bryn Whitely

2015 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.

On the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective

Projects / Jim Collier

Jim Collier explains the purpose and goals of SERRC: "Social epistemology, after all, understands knowledge as a principle for social organization and action, and welcomes the reformist impulse."

Discutiendo la agenda de desarrollo sustentable

Projects / Mariano Fressoli & Valeria Arza

El Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación (CENIT) asociado a la Universidad de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) trabaja desde 2008 en conjunto con el Centro STEPS – Universidad de Sussex, del Reino Unido en temas que vinculan la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación con el desarrollo sustentable e inclusivo. (Spanish, with English summary)

Light Years

Projects / Wesley Shrum

Wesley Shrum was invited to make a 5 minute, “experimental" film to help launch the 2015 International Year of Light at UNESCO.

Taking Care of Business Cat

Reflections / D.E. Wittkower

Problematizing stuff is great. Open up concepts, get down underneath ideology, deconstruct—important stuff. Viva la différance and all that. Today, though, let’s solvatize something. And it’s this: what’s up with all these cats online? A philosopher reflects on the business cat internet meme.

“Emotional Bodies. A Workshop on the Historical Performativity of Emotions” Geneva, 20-22 October

Report-backs / Beatriz Pichel

“Emotional Bodies: a Workshop on the Historical Performativity of Emotions” (20th-22nd October, 2014) aimed to contribute to this debate by focusing on how emotions understood as cultural practices have the affective power of creating emotional bodies.

Interview with Karin Knorr Cetina

Reflections / 4S Admin

Former 4S Secretary Wesley Shrum is building a series of video interviews with former 4S Presidents. These in-depth interviews are a rich source of information and perspective, not only about the illustrious careers of these scholars, but about currents of thought within the field over time. In this episode from the 4S 2009 meeting in Washington DC, Shrum interviews Karin Knorr Cetina, who was president in 1996 and 1997.

Backchannels Editorial Guidelines

/ Backchannels Editors

Why write for us? Contributing to our online community provides you the opportunity to share how your work connects to and enhances the field; to build networks and resources around particular issues relevant to science and technology today; and to participate in a growing and important conversation about the value of 4S scholarship in society. If you’re a graduate student or emerging scholar, blog posts can help you hone your ideas, diversify your writing skills, and develop an audience for your work.

About Backchannels

/ 4S Editors

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.

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Reflections

STS and environmental history live to see another day
African cities in the changing global landscape
Silenced Issues 5| Coming to Terms with the Colorblindness of Contemporary STS
Engendering Alice and Bob

Report-backs

Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp: Environment, Health and Exclusion
Building STS Programs: Notes From an Initial Meeting
Segundo Coloquio colombiano en estudios sociales de la ciencia: hacer la paz en un mundo posverdad
Describing and intervening: Exploring the plurality of STS in India

Projects

The Third Year of #QueerSTS4S and Call for 2018 Organizers
Dis—ease with X and Y: Disclosing Digital Sociology
How migrant registration infrastructures co-produce citizens, institutions and territory
Developing New STS Minors: The Case of Cal Poly

Reviews

Book Review: Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa, and America, 1900-1920
Renewable energy for STS scholarship: the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies
Betwixt and Between Augmentation and Automation: Some Reflections after Watching “Sully”
‘Hard’ Surveillance and ‘Soft’ Surveillance: The Quantified Self at Work

Backchannels Editors

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.