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.
Reflections / Madeleine PapeAthletes trust that sports governing bodies have long settled the question of whether testosterone produces sex and performance differences. The concept of testosterone carries enormous symbolic power in modern society and particularly in the world of sport ... But most of us know only the simplified version of a complex biological entity that takes natural and synthetic forms and which affects individual bodies in inconsistent ways.
Report-backs / Tiago Ribeiro Duarte and Luis Reyes-GalindoThe Workshop on Latin-American and Postcolonial STS took place at the University of Brasília, Brazil, from 18th to 20th of May. It was organised by Dr. Tiago Ribeiro Duarte (University of Brasília) and Dr. Luis Reyes-Galindo (Cardiff University) to get scholars from Brazil and other countries in Latin America together to debate through the presentation of empirical case studies what is specific about doing STS research in Latin American contexts and what theoretical/methodological approaches are more promising for researching science and technology in this continent.
Projects / Francesca Musiani, Annalisa Pelizza and Stefania MilanUncovering regimes of inclusion/exclusion nested in technical details of information infrastructures.
Projects / Laura Watts, Max Liboiron, Phoebe Sengers and Kaiton WilliamsCrew wanted. Sail with us to the edges of the world, where monstrous futures can be found.
Projects / Sarah Kember and Alex TaylorCritically examining these relations between time, the count, and forms of life/labour, our research might also be seen to point to more careful and caring imaginaries of who and what could count in/through computation.
Projects / Johan Söderberg, Maxigas, Adrian SmithIn this track, we propose a mid-term assessment of STS theory, on basis of case studies of hackers and makers. The question we pose to ourselves is: Are we fighting a foregone war like old generals do when we seek the liberation of our tools, just as if it was our own liberty that we fought for?
Report-backs / David RibesThese elder stateswomen and men of their diverse disciplines recognized that the worlds that had made up their graduate and early academic lives were in flux; that how they had once learned to collect and work with data were undergoing, in uneven stops and starts, great shifts.
Projects / Katherine Weatherford Darling, Natali Valdez, Emily Vasquez, Christoph Hanssmann, and Melissa CrearyAre projects that focus explicitly on the gendered and raced forms of subjectivity and lived experience within technoscientific domains seen as "STS enough"?
Reflections / Xaq FrohlichThis summer when you attend the 4S Conference in Barcelona, I recommend a visit to La Boquería food market just off La Rambla. You might notice that much of the food there is not actually Mediterranean, but rather “ethnic” immigrant foods. I encourage you to read the label of that “extra virgin” olive oil bottle on your table when you dine out, to see whether it is from local Arbequina olives in Catalonia, or the more fiery Picual variety from Andalusia. Partake of the very Mediterranean tradition of “sobremesa,” socialising with others at the dinner table, a significant lifestyle factor some diet scientists worry isn’t accounted for in nutrition studies of the Mediterranean diet. And you should enjoy the “pintxos” from the Basque country or “jamónserrano" from interior regions of Teruel and Extremadura. And as you do, you can ask yourself, is this the Mediterranean diet? And if so, does that make it good for me? Whether or not it is, I promise you, it tastes good.
Projects / Don IhdeBarcelona marks the ninth year for postphenomenology research panels at 4S. Don Ihde highlights the research that will be presented in Barcelona this year.
Steven Jackson, Chair, 4S Web Committee
Roopali Phadke, Conferences, journals, and events
Assistant Editors: Poonam Pandey, 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, Yana Boeva
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