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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.

Silenced Issues 2: Stumbling upon a History of STS Concepts in Aboriginal Australia

Reflections / Helen Verran

title In the second entry in the "Silenced Issues" series Helen Verran reports about Leigh Star and her distributed self in Aboriginal Australia.

Extending the ‘14 day rule’ on embryo use for research? Conferences as mobilising points

Reflections / Neil Stephens and Rebecca Dimond

title Dr. Neil Stephens and Dr Rebecca Dimond discuss their recent ESTS paper, "Debating CRISPR/cas9 and Mitochondrial Donation: Continuity and Transition Performances at Scientific Conferences."

A Syllabus for Contextualizing Energy Policy Debates

Reflections / Brian Hamilton and Rachel Gross

title Here we follow the examples of other scholars who have contributed to public conversation by creating accessible syllabi (for example, the University of Minnesota’s brand-new #ImmigrationSyllabus) that compile academic and non-academic readings to contextualize contemporary debates.

IV Encuentro CTS-Chile. Cartografías líquidas y territorios Sociotécnicos.

Report-backs / Gloria Baigorrotegui

title Report of IV Annual Meeting of STS Chilean Community in the University Austral of Chile

Silenced Issues 1: A Story from STS Feminist History

Reflections / Susan Cozzens

title Susan Cozzens, in the first contribution to “Alternative Histories and Practices of STS”, describes how 4S got its first prize named after a woman.

Intractosoma with Sainath Suryanarayanan: New Research in ESTS

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

title Dr. Sainath Suryanarayanan talks about his recent ESTS paper, "Intractosoma: Toward an Epistemology of Complexity Based on Intra-acting Bodies."

Will Populism Kill Your Jetpack?

Reflections / Scott Smith and Georgina Voss

title Preachings from the pulpit of populism promise to summon up a world that existed from the end of World War II until the tech boom of the 1980s.

Segundo Congreso Argentino de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología

Report-backs / Diego Aguiar

title Second Argentine Congress of STS (2016) in The Center for Studies in Science, Technology, Culture and Development (CITECDE for its Spanish Acronym) of the National University of Rio Negro in Patagonia Argentina.

Obama’s legacy in science, technology and innovation

Reflections / Jonathan Coopersmith

title In office Obama was fundamentally an optimist about the potential of science and technology to improve society and safely expand the economy.

Digital Care with Susanna Trnka: New Research in ESTS

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

title Backchannels talks with Professor Susanna Trnka about her new research on young people's use of health apps.

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Reflections

Self-driving cars with Nassim JafariNaimi: New Research in ST&HV
We are all Eric Cartman now
What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences
AI’s Prediction Problem

Report-backs

Doing ethnography of and with rocks
In the Moment: Notes from a Graduate Student Conference
Book Launch, Digital Sociology: The Reinvention of Social Research by Noortje Marres
Revealing fact and reinforcing faith: Gravitational waves and religion in India

Projects

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
4S Preview: Engaging STS Studies for Inclusive Development

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

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.