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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.

The employment crisis of young PhDs in Argentina. Is neoliberalism to blame?

/ Federico Vasen

title In the days leading up to Christmas, young researchers and postgraduate students occupied for four days the building of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Buenos Aires demanding more permanent positions for Research and Development in the country

Is STS All Talk and No Walk? Steve Fuller

Reflections / James H. Collier

title What is perhaps most puzzling from a strictly epistemological standpoint is that STS recoils from these tropes whenever such politically undesirable elements as climate change deniers or creationists appropriate them effectively for their own purposes.

Silenced Issues 4: (Un-)Silencing Issues in Thinking Through Environmental Data

Reflections / Leo Matteo Bachinger

title The fourth entry to our ongong series explores and reflects the ways in which data is used to conceal, silence but also bring to the foreground environmental and Climate Change issues.

Researching Sprawling ‘Mobile’ Infrastructures in Nairobi

Reflections / Prince K. Guma

title Mobile technology production and development, mobile-based infrastructural engagements, and mobile money markets are increasingly becoming key signifiers for African cities' identity.

Q&A: Global Trouble

Reflections / Scott Macleod

title At some level I have to say, I don’t want to hear, I don’t want to know, how much you feel that you hate the other, or that you are sure the other hates you. I actually think there are global obligations, and also territorial obligations, to live with other people we may not love and to honor their equal right to live there too.

Silenced Issues 3: Silenced Issues in Academic Publishing

Reflections / Joshua Pitt

title Joshua Pitt problematizes the ways in which voices and issues remain silenced through inherent and prevailing biases in academic publishing.

Revealing fact and reinforcing faith: Gravitational waves and religion in India

Report-backs / Joseph Satish V

title Reflections on the engagements between science and religion in Indian society following the discovery of gravitational waves

Performing Moral Stories through Bodyweight

Reflections / Michael Penkler

title Bodyweight is a rich source of ‘moral stories’. In talking about their own and others’ bodies, people not only narrate and negotiate themselves as rational actors and accountable persons, but also hold one another accountable.

Call for Nominations: 6S Representatives Deadline 4/30!

Report-backs / Posted by Madeleine Pape and Amanda Windle on behalf of 6S

title Student Section of the Society for Social Studies of Science (6S) is now accepting self-nominations for a new representative. The tentative deadline for nominations is April 15, 2017.

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.

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Reflections

Engendering Alice and Bob
The Space Between with Elina Mäkinen
Editorial Director Ken Wissoker on why he loves peer review
A Yolngu matha translation for 4S Sydney

Report-backs

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
The Anthropocene in Chile: notes from an experimental thinkshop
Provincializing STS: an EASTS Forum on how East Asia complicates the STS Landscape

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

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.