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Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp: Environment, Health and Exclusion

Surindar Dhesi and Arshad Isakjee / 04 December, 2017

title The ongoing emergency for refugees is having profound and hidden health consequences for thousands of displaced persons who live in informal ‘makeshift’ camps across Europe. This interdisciplinary research reports the results of the first environmental health assessment in such a location, in what was Europe’s largest informal refugee camp in 2016, in Calais, northern France. We detail the lack of facilities for sanitation, safe provision of food, water and shelter, demonstrating how conditions fall short of agreed international standards for formal refugee camps. Rather than the notion of migrants being the cause of health problems, this paper critically reveals the hidden materiality of bodily injury caused by poor health conditions, where the camp itself produces harm.

African cities in the changing global landscape

Prince K. Guma / 21 November, 2017

"Questions need to be posed as to how we ought to (dis)associate and (dis)connect from/with dominant and inextricable narratives, imaginaries and dichotomies if we must accurately subsume the African city within the increasingly dislocated global present. We have to ask what the possibilities, opportunities and prospects are for cities evidently ready – or at least positioned – to (re)assert themselves within this apparent state of global precarity and reconfiguration."

Silenced Issues 5| Coming to Terms with the Colorblindness of Contemporary STS

Michael Mascarenhas / 15 November, 2017

title "White privilege abounds in STS. We need to look no further than our STS departments and programs." Michael Mascarenhas unmasks the "white spaces in the black box" of contemporary STS.

Building STS Programs: Notes From an Initial Meeting

Sam Weiss Evans / 06 November, 2017

There is a significant amount of largely invisible work that gets done within the STS community to keep it going and continuing building it. In an effort to make that work more visible, during the 4S 2017 Annual meeting in Boston, about 30 members of the STS community gathered for a lunchtime workshop about Building STS Programs.

Segundo Coloquio colombiano en estudios sociales de la ciencia: hacer la paz en un mundo posverdad

GESCTM Universidad Nacional de Colombia / 20 October, 2017

Con el fin de ampliar y situar los debates sobre el postconflicto en Colombia y las discusiones sobre posverdad, algunos de los grupos en Colombia con agendas CTS/STS organizaron el Segundo Coloquio Nacional de Estudios Sociales de las Ciencias y las Tecnologías entre el 21 y el 23 del pasado Septiembre en Bogotá. (English version available)

Engendering Alice and Bob

Quinn DuPont and Alana Cattapan / 09 October, 2017

title Quinn DuPont and Alana Cattapan critically engage with the fictional characters of Alice and Bob. Characters that are meant to convey complex concepts – and thereby represent and reinforce gender norms in fields where women are already few.

The Space Between with Elina Mäkinen

Aleka Gurel / 03 October, 2017

Dr. Elina Mäkinen discusses her recent ST&HV article, "Action in the Space Between: From Latent to Active Boundaries."

Describing and intervening: Exploring the plurality of STS in India

Joseph Satish V / 02 October, 2017

title The Centre for Knowledge Culture and Innovation Studies (CKCIS), University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a special lecture by Prof. Wiebe E. Bijker, Professor Emeritus of Technology and Society, University of Masstricht, The Netherlands and Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway titled ‘Knowledge Swaraj and Responsible Research and Innovation – Renegotiating the social contract between Science, Technology and Society’ on September 14, 2017.

Editorial Director Ken Wissoker on why he loves peer review

Ken Wissoker / 02 October, 2017

title While scholars are researching, they want to find all the evidence they can. When we are reading, if we are convinced by the first example, we rarely need to see three more. Writing—and even sharing one’s writing in a writing group or with a writing partner—is very local, focused on a chapter or section at a time. It’s hard to have a sense of rhythm and pacing and flow; hard to see the whole. The review process is the moment to step back and benefit from generous and invested colleagues willing to read with and for you, to give you the feedback that makes the path more intuitive and well-paced for future readers.

A Yolngu matha translation for 4S Sydney

Michaela Spencer / 11 September, 2017

title Michaela Spencer reports back on her experience of creating with Yirriṉiṉba ‘Yinin’ Dhurrkay an abstract in Aboriginal language – and a potential opening within 4S for Yolngu epistemic sensibilities to be listened to and respected.

The Anthropocene in Chile: notes from an experimental thinkshop

Manuel Tironi / 28 August, 2017

Between 27th and 28th of April, fifteen scholars and practitioners gathered at the UC Marine Costal Research Station in Las Cruces for the two-day thinkshop El Antropoceno en Chile: desafíos actuales, futuros posibles (“The Anthropocene in Chile: current challenges, possible futures”). Organized by Cristián Simonetti and myself as an experimental exercise, the meeting was exceptionally stimulating –and challenging.

Provincializing STS: an EASTS Forum on how East Asia complicates the STS Landscape

Wen-Hua Kuo / 23 August, 2017

East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal (EASTS) is delighted to present a forum featuring the 2015 Bernal Prize winner John Law. An EASTS advisory editor, Law delivered his acceptance speech at the 4S annual meeting on the structure of an article entitled “Provincializing STS: Postcoloniality, Symmetry, and Method,” co-authored with EASTS editor Wen-yuan Lin. Using the ‘symmetry’ principle, Law and Lin challenged the normal “Western” framework by experimenting with “non-Western” concepts as analytical tools.

The Third Year of #QueerSTS4S and Call for 2018 Organizers

Mitali Thakor and Stephen Molldrem / 21 August, 2017

title The past two meetups at 4S 2015 in Denver and 4S/EASST 2016 in Barcelona were very well-attended and have provided a chance for queer STS scholars to build community, share ideas, and relax a bit after a long day of conferencing. Rather than merely a get-together with colleagues, we continue to conceptualize these meetups as part of a much broader set of activities focused on building queer approaches within STS and supporting the emotional labor of individuals who are actively involved in this work.

Doing ethnography of and with rocks

Alison Marlin / 10 August, 2017

title Alison Marlin uses two ethnographic encounters with rocks – by Helen Verran and Sophia Roosth – to reflect on the stories these seemingly unlively objects may hold.

Self-driving cars with Nassim JafariNaimi: New Research in ST&HV

Aleka Gurel / 09 August, 2017

Professor Nassim JafariNaimi discusses her recent ST&HV article, "Our Bodies in the Trolley’s Path, or Why Self-driving Cars Must *Not* Be Programmed to Kill."
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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.