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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.

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.

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.

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Reflections

African cities in the changing global landscape
Silenced Issues 5| Coming to Terms with the Colorblindness of Contemporary STS
Engendering Alice and Bob
The Space Between with Elina Mäkinen

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.