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Projects

Descriptions of current work—the makings and doings—of STS scholars across the globe. This includes individual work, as well as collaborations between / with academics, practitioners, and policy makers.

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.

Dis—ease with X and Y: Disclosing Digital Sociology

Amanda Windle / 17 July, 2017

title It was a cheery summer’s evening amongst academic companions, but that night, beer in hand, I talked to an artist (called X) and I learned that a mutual friend of ours was very ill. The friend, whom I will call Y, and I share the same health condition, inflammatory bowel disease. The first time I met Y, X was preparing dinner for us. Y and I sat alone, and for a time, just looked at each other. We didn’t speak much, but looked at each other in the way that ill people do. We eventually talked about our health as was the aim of the intervention. And we shared a key digit, our dates of diagnosis, but not looming digits, like the “loss of weight over time” to cite a graphic from Marres’ book. ‘Fat is a feminist issue’, Marres and Lury recount parodying Susie Orbach, but fat is a big issue for those with Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's disease (Orbach, 1978). Had I been in the seminar Marres talks about in her book, I’d have raised a point about disability and digital ability. I’d have expanded to say, it’s deeply personal and difficult to open up in a first time, face-to-face conversation about illness, and so much easier in a digital group or blog post.

How migrant registration infrastructures co-produce citizens, institutions and territory

Annalisa Pelizza / 08 November, 2016

title The European database containing fingerprints of asylum seekers, called Eurodac, is now interoperable with national police authorities’ databases Europe-wide. What are the implications? Annalisa Pelizza contends that migrant processing centers can be conceived as “routers” in which past identities are assessed and translated into prospective European identities. However, routers do not work in a vacuum. Which material devices “speak for” the previous identity of the individual? Which database-embedded categorizations are decisive to be granted a future European identity?

Developing New STS Minors: The Case of Cal Poly

Richard D. Besel / 17 October, 2016

title From the interesting experience of Cal Poly, Richard Besel draws lessons for schools that want to establish STS programs.

4S Preview: Engaging STS Studies for Inclusive Development

Gabriela Bortz and Hernan Thomas / 25 August, 2016

title This track aims to discuss two main questions: what role does Science and Technology play in processes of social and environmental change? What is the role of Science and Technology studies and STS scholars in promoting, advocating, and building pathways towards inclusive and sustainable development?

4S Preview: Re-configuring Knowledge Practices: Folding Margins and Norms into Dynamic Hybridity

Ellen K Foster and Karin Patzke / 25 August, 2016

title Action, Interaction and Change (or what our 4S title session really means).

4S Preview: Sensing, Walking and Embodiment With and By Technologies—A Track Away From the Desk

Christopher Peter Wood / 25 August, 2016

title How do we do and present research about spaces within spaces? In particular how do we move away from the desk (and the projector) to convey more of the subtle interactions which take place between bodies, technologies and their physical situations? This track offers a day of presentations outside the conference venue, walking around the Poblenou area.

4S Preview: Free Lunch at the Handbook of STS Roundtable

Abby Kinchy / 23 August, 2016

If you like STS and free food, this 4S session is for you. A roundtable discussion with the editors of the fourth edition of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies will take place on September 1 at 12:30 pm, with lunch provided to the first 40 audience members.

4S Preview: Governing Scientific Excellence

Alex Rushforth, Laurens Hessels, Ruth Müller, Sarah de Rijcke, Thomas Franssen, Tjitske Holtrop & Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner / 23 August, 2016

Despite growing interest, as an object of study ‘excellence’ discourses, policies, and instruments remain somewhat difficult to pin down. This is at least partly due to the term itself being something of an ambiguous container concept (c.f. van Lente & Rip 1998), for which no concise agreed-upon definition is ever likely to be forthcoming. This has led STS researchers – along with others in fields such as higher education, critical management and accounting studies, and public policy – to focus on describing specific empirical instances of technologies through which the governance of excellence is enacted, or on variation of discourses across national and regional policy contexts.

4S Preview: Valuation Practices at the Margins as a Centre of Attention

Kristin Asdal, C-F Helgesson, Freyja Knapp, Francis Lee, and Steve Woolgar / 22 August, 2016

How is ‘what counts as valuable’ established in valuation practices, and by what criteria? What and who participate in such ventures and what are the effects?

4S Preview: Bioinformation management in data driven medicine

Karoliina Snell, Ilpo Helén and Aaro Tupasela / 22 August, 2016

We are publishing a series of posts highlighting some of the tracks on the program of the 2016 4S conference, which will convene jointly with the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) in Barcelona, August 31-September 3. This post highlights panel 021, "Bioinformation management in data driven medicine."

4S preview: Pharmaceuticals Out of Bounds

Christy Spackman and Danya Glabau / 18 August, 2016

title We are publishing a series of posts highlighting some of the tracks on the program of the 2016 4S conference, which will convene jointly with the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) in Barcelona, August 31-September 3. The theme of this year’s 4S/EASST conference is “science and technology by other means” For more information on "Pharmaceuticals Out of Bounds" and to view the accepted abstracts, please see the track page

4S Preview: Eating For Life: When Food Is the Best Medicine

Danya Glabau / 17 August, 2016

title We are publishing a series of posts highlighting some of the tracks on the program of the 2016 4S conference, which will convene jointly with the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) in Barcelona, August 31-September 3. The theme of this year’s 4S/EASST conference is “science and technology by other means.” This post highlights panel 139, "Eating For Life: When Food Is the Best Medicine."

Queer STS at 4S/EASST in Barcelona: Looking Forward and to the Past

Stephen Molldrem and Mitali Thakor / 17 August, 2016

title What is Queer STS method? How might Queer STS be institutionalized? The “Queer STS?” roundtable at 4S presents these provocations as we convene a transnational group of early-career scholars who work at the intersection of Queer Studies and Science and Technology Studies.

4S Preview: Materializing Governance by Infrastructure

Francesca Musiani, Annalisa Pelizza and Stefania Milan / 14 August, 2016

We are publishing a series of posts highlighting some of the tracks on the program of the 2016 4S conference, which will convene jointly with the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) in Barcelona, August 31-September 3. This post highlights panel 001, "Materializing Governance by Infrastructure."
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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.