Submitting items to 4S and Technoscience Updates
The monthly deadline for inclusion in the newsletter is the 7th.
A collection of STS news items, in the order submitted, including grants and awards, new books and other publications, and people news.
Updated: February 10 2017by Basil Evangelidis
Leiden University, Netherlands
Landmarks in the History of Science is a concise history of science from a global and macro-historical standpoint. It is an account of grand theoretical revolutions, such as heliocentrism, atomism, and relativity. But, more importantly, it is also a story of the methodological transitions to the experimental, mathematical, constructivist and instrumental practices of science.
It begins with Ancient Greek science, as one of the first self-conscious, comprehensive and well-documented scientific endeavors at the global level. The numerous contributions of the Greeks, in philosophy, mathematics, geometry, geography and astronomy, momentous as they were, were fruits of leisure rather than industry. It then examines the history of science in China and China’s exchanges with India and Islam. A systematic and collaborative scientific effort is the hallmark of Chinese science. The contributions of the Chinese in medicine, printing, manufacturing and navigation invariably predate and outshine those of western contemporaries.
Attention then shifts to the age of oceanic discoveries, which created the inexorable presuppositions for the genesis of global trade and a world system. From the inner organs of the organisms to the outer regions of Earth, Renaissance science was ubiquitous. The importance of inter-cultural scientific syncretism is highlighted, with the Iberian Peninsula as meeting point and crossroad of mutual affection between Arab, Jewish and European culture. Discoveries and inventions in metallurgy, electromagnetism and the science of petroleum set the scientific basis for the industrial revolution. The logic of the industrial revolution dictates developments in information technologies that culminate with the invention of modern computers. A dedicated chapter on the history of modern scientific conceptions of the universe showcases the subtle links in the fabric of seminal ideas in physics and astronomy. The book concludes with some reflections on the relationship between philosophy and the history of science. Following Kuhn and Latour, this discussion centers on the characteristics of continuities, ruptures and paradigmatic transitions in science.
4S members receive a 12% discount over the list price via by using coupon FLYPR12 at checkout.
Updated: February 09 2017Why Democracies Need Science
By Harry Collins & Robert Evans
- Offers a strong defence of science as a privileged and authoritative voice in social and political life
- Argues that social studies of science have gone too far in reducing scientific conclusions to context-dependent social constructions, or ‘politics in disguise’
- Proposes a reconciliation of sides in the ‘science vs. democracy’ debates, showing how science can still be valued without taking power out of elected hands
- Written by two leading authors in these debates whose work has been tremendously influential in ongoing discussions of science’s role in society
"Scientific and technological advances have a huge impact on our lives, yet science and society have an ambivalent relationship: science needs democracy to flourish but its techniques are beyond political accountability. In this thought-provoking book, Collins and Evans assert that “science gives substance to the way of being of democracy”. Consequently, science is a key to achieving and safeguarding our democratic ideals."
- Barry Barish, Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Caltech; PI and Director of LIGO, 1994–2005
"Free-market ideology threatens both science and democracy. Collins and Evans respond not with philosophical arguments but an appeal to common sense. They ask us first to see that we face a basic moral choice, and then to choose the values of modern science. A provocative and thoughtful book."
- Mark Brown, Professor of Government, California State University, Sacramento
Deadline: April 11 2017
Updated: February 08 2017Dear Colleague Letter: Public Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Research: Capacity-building, community-building, and direction-setting
January 23, 2017
With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Geosciences (GEO), Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), Engineering (ENG), Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) (Divisions of Physics and Materials Research, only) and the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) announce their intention to support proposals aimed at capacity-building, community-building, and direction-setting for Public Participation in STEM Research (PPSR), in alignment with the Foundation's PPSR Agency Priority Goal for fiscal years (FY) 2016-2017. See https://www.performance.gov/content/invest-strategically-public-participation-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics?view=public for more information about this goal.
In PPSR, members of the public partner with scientists and engineers to solve complex problems through participating in some or all of the formulation of questions and experiments; collection and analysis of data; and interpretation, use, and publication of results. Encompassing citizen science, citizen sensing, crowdsourcing, community science, and related approaches, PPSR also benefits public participants by providing opportunities to learn, addressing questions of concern to the participants and their communities, and contributing to science and engineering.
To help researchers, practitioners, and participants in PPSR learn from each other's experiences, collaboratively pursue PPSR challenges, and plan future PPSR efforts, NSF encourages through this DCL proposals to coordinate PPSR efforts at large, medium, and small scale. Specifically, NSF encourages proposals for (a) Research Coordination Networks (RCN) to build PPSR capacity and community; (b) conference proposals to bring together specific communities and to envision future directions for PPSR activities; and (c) PPSR-focused supplements to existing NSF-funded awards that enhance existing research activities through the introduction of PPSR components.
For more information, see: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17047/nsf17047.jsp
Deadline: March 06 2017
Updated: February 02 2017National Science Foundation in Arlington VA is seeking proposals to the program on Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems
Amount: $2,500,000 per award maximum total for 3 years ($40 M is projected to be spent in total)
- Three PIs from three distinct NSF directorates (seeking PIs from Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences)
- Integration across the three disciplines from the three directorates
- A systems approach
- Attention to food, energy, and water systems (not just one or two)
- Placement into one of three tracks
-- system modeling or
-- visualization and decision support or
-- system solutions (the track that seems most reception to proposals with SBE sciences in the lead)
Updated: January 25 2017The Sociology of Speed: Digital, Organizational, and Social Temporalities
Edited by Judy Wajcman and Nigel Dodd
- Pulls together and extends the most important theoretical and empirical innovations across the social sciences
- Interdisciplinary in appeal; contributions from authors in a range of fields including social and cultural theory, economic sociology, science and technology studies, and sociology of organizations among others.
- Contributions by leading scholars from both the US and Europe
- Clearly laid out and accessibly written
There is a widespread perception that life is faster than it used to be. We hear constant laments that we live too fast, that time is scarce, and that the pace of everyday life is spiraling out of our control. The iconic image that abounds is that of the frenetic, technologically tethered, iPhone/iPad-addicted citizen. Yet weren't modern machines supposed to save, and thereby free up, time?
The purpose of this book is to bring a much-needed sociological perspective to bear on speed: it examines how speed and acceleration came to signify the zeitgeist, and explores the political implications of this. Among the major questions addressed are: when did acceleration become the primary rationale for technological innovation and the key measure of social progress? Is acceleration occurring across all sectors of society and all aspects of life, or are some groups able to mobilise speed as a resource while others are marginalised and excluded? Does the growing centrality of technological mediations (of both information and communication) produce slower as well as faster times, waiting as well as 'busyness', stasis as well as mobility? To what extent is the contemporary imperative of speed as much a cultural artefact as a material one? To make sense of everyday life in the twenty-first century, we must begin by interrogating the social dynamics of speed.
This book shows how time is a collective accomplishment, and that temporality is experienced very differently by diverse groups of people, especially between the affluent and those who service them.
Updated: January 10 2017Shirley Sun. Socio-economics of Personalized Medicine in Asia (Routledge, 2017). Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
This book contributes to a growing body of literature on the molecularization of identities by tracing and analyzing "personalized medicine" as it unfolds in Asia. It shows that there are inextricable transnational linkages between developing and developed countries, and examines the various social forces shaping the "co-production" of genomic science, medicine and social order in transnational settings. Theoretically guided and empirically grounded, the book provides important insights into the formation and usage of racial and ethnic human taxonomies in population-based genomic science and medicine.
"This is a major contribution to the ongoing debate about the relationship between "personalized medicine" and "racialized medicine". Dr. Sun documents how in practice, the two are far more integrated than previous analysts have recognized or acknowledged. Using an international platform, Sun demonstrates how Asian geneticists (Japanese, Chinese, Singaporean, Korean, et al), in a pushback against US-European domination of human molecular genetics, are often inadvertently re-inscribing ethnic and racial categories generated in the West."
— Troy Duster, author of Backdoor to Eugenics, Chancellor's Professor, University of California, Berkeley
"A highly timely counter-weight to the dominance of works on this topic from North America and Europe, Shirley Sun's brilliant and sobering analysis of 'probability medicine' in Singapore will make even the most reflective reader think about the global implications of genomic medicine differently."
— Barbara Prainsack, Professor at Social Science, Health and Medicine of King’s College London, U.K.
"This book addresses a critical but understudied topic: personalized medicine within the context of Asia. Asian countries are key leaders in the move towards personalized medicine, but as the author points out, historically personalized medicine has been viewed through a Western centric focus. The findings also have implications for the large Asian population residing in the US and other countries. The book is engaging to read and insightful in its interpretations. I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the global context of the emerging trend towards personalized, precision
medicine and how it will change the future of health care."
— Kathryn Phillips, Professor of Health Economics and Health Services Research at the University of California, San Francisco, and Founder/Director of the UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS)
Updated: November 12 2016New book by David J Hess, Undone Science: Social Movements, Mobilized Publics, and Industrial Transitions (2016, MIT Press)
As the fields of social movement studies (SMS) and science and technology studies (STS) have diversified in topical focus, they have moved closer to each other. SMS has turned toward the study of nonstate targets and institutionalized repertoires of action, just as STS has turned to expertise and publics. In Undone Science, David Hess argues that a theoretical integration of core concepts in the two fields is now possible, and he presents just such a synthesis. Hess focuses on industrial transition movements—mobilized counterpublics of activists, advocates, entrepreneurs, and other agents of change—and examines several areas of common ground between the two fields relevant to these movements. His account reveals the problem of “undone science”—areas of research potentially valuable to the goals of industrial transition movements that have been systematically ignored.
Each chapter begins with a problem in SMS, discusses the relevant STS literature, describes new concepts and findings that have emerged, and offers applications to examples that range from nanotechnology and climate science denialism to conflicts based on race, class, and gender. Topics include the epistemic dimension of the political opportunity structure, networks of counterpublic knowledge, and regime resistance in industrial transition.
Updated: October 31 2016Description:
In 2005, beekeepers in the United States began observing a mysterious and disturbing phenomenon: once-healthy colonies of bees were suddenly collapsing, leaving behind empty hives full of honey and pollen. Over the following decade, widespread honeybee deaths—some of which have come to be called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)—have continued to bedevil beekeepers and threaten the agricultural industries that rely on bees for pollination. Scientists continue to debate the causes of CCD, yet there is no clear consensus on how to best solve the problem.
Vanishing Bees takes us inside the debates over widespread honeybee deaths, introducing the various groups with a stake in solving the mystery of CCD, including beekeepers, entomologists, growers, agrichemical companies, and government regulators. Drawing from extensive interviews and first-hand observations, Sainath Suryanarayanan and Daniel Lee Kleinman examine how members of each group have acquired, disseminated, and evaluated knowledge about CCD. In addition, they explore the often-contentious interactions among different groups, detailing how they assert authority, gain trust, and build alliances.
As it explores the contours of the CCD crisis, Vanishing Bees considers an equally urgent question: what happens when farmers, scientists, beekeepers, corporations, and federal agencies approach the problem from different vantage points and cannot see eye-to-eye? The answer may have profound consequences for every person who wants to keep fresh food on the table.
You can get a brief sense of the book in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k8p6P0zDgU
If interested, you can order the book from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Vanishing-Bees-Science-Politics-Honeybee/dp/0813574587/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476892033&sr=8-3&keywords=vanishing+bees) or Rutgers University Press (http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/pr…/Vanishing-Bees,6099.aspx).
Updated: September 23 2016Dear Colleague Letter: Robust and Reliable Research in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
“With this Dear Colleague Letter, the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) announces its interest in stimulating research and other activities to enhance the robustness and reliability of research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. … Reproducibility refers to the ability of a researcher to duplicate the results of a prior study using the same materials and procedures used by the original investigator. Replicability refers to the ability of a researcher to duplicate the results of a prior study if the same procedures are followed but new data are collected. Generalizability refers to whether the results of a study apply in other contexts or populations that differ from the originals. Robust and reliable research is the foundation of all scientific development and progress, which depends critically on the ability of investigators to build on prior work.”
Document Number: nsf16137
Two special issues on ‘Science and Science Fiction’ by the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Updated: September 19 2016Two special issues on 'Science and Science Fiction' by the academic journal Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, guest co-edited by Alexander I. Stingl and Sabrina M. Weiss, have been published.
The first special issue was published a few months back as:
Bulletin of Science Technology and Society June-August 2015; 35 (3-4) Special Issue: Science and Science Fiction - Volume 1: Technologies and the Political Guest editors: Alexander I. Stingl and Sabrina M. Weiss (http://bst.sagepub.com/content/35/3-4.toc)
The second special issue has been published as:
Bulletin of Science Technology and Society February 2016; 36 (1) Special Issue: Science and Science Fiction - Volume II: Subjectivities Guest editors: Alexander I. Stingl and Sabrina M. Weiss (http://bst.sagepub.com/content/36/1.toc)
Updated: September 15 2016The new book, Boundary Objects and Beyond: Working with Leigh Star, edited by Geoffrey C. Bowker, Stefan Timmermans, Adele E. Clarke and Ellen Balka (MIT Press, 2016) has won the 2016 Best Information Science Book Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T).
The Jury wrote: The work of Susan Leigh Star, the late critical thinker, spans multiple fields, among them sociology, computer supported collaborative work, and informatics writ large. This book of essays honors her legacy, and yet is not merely an homage. This edited volume also reflects on the social context of library and information science, as well as other socio-technical-scientific disciplines. Leigh Star’s work continues to profoundly impact the field of LIS. This volume is an exceptionally good “reader” for use in introducing this canonical work to newcomers, as well as providing deep scholarly reflection and perspective. Organized around four thematic areas that Leigh Star’s work explores—ecologies of knowledge, boundary objects, marginalities and suffering, and infrastructure, each section begins and ends with a key selection from Leigh Star’s work, followed by well-written essays that explore the theme. Carefully edited, this collection serves as an inspiration to take the time to look at the invisible, the marginalized, and the problematic –and an exhortation to be more fully human in our research.
Deadline: December 31 2016
Updated: September 05 2016The Society for Applied Anthropology sponsors an annual research competition for students (graduate and undergraduate) in the social and behavioral sciences.
Three cash prizes will be awarded:
First prize: $3,000
Second prize: $1,500
Third prize: $500
In addition, each of the three winners will receive travel funds ($350) to attend the annual meeting of SfAA (in Santa Fe, NM, in March, 2017). A Baccarat crystal trophy will be presented to the first place winner.
The competition and award honors the late Peter Kong-ming New, a distinguished medical sociologist-anthropologist. The deadline for receipt of submissions is December 31, 2016.
Please go to the SfAA web site (https://www.sfaa.net/about/prizes/student-awards/peter-new/) for additional information on the New Competition and Award.
Updated: February 04 2016The Fukushima Effect: A New Geopolitical Terrain (2016, Routledge)
Edited by Richard Hindmarsh, Rebecca Priestley
The Fukushima Effect offers a range of scholarly perspectives on the international effect of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown four years out from the disaster. Grounded in the field of science, technology and society (STS) studies, a leading cast of international scholars from the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States examine the extent and scope of the Fukushima effect. The authors each focus on one country or group of countries, and pay particular attention to national histories, debates and policy responses on nuclear power development covering such topics as safety of nuclear energy, radiation risk, nuclear waste management, development of nuclear energy, anti-nuclear protest movements, nuclear power representations, and media representations of the effect. The countries featured include well established ‘nuclear nations’, emergent nuclear nations and non-nuclear nations to offer a range of contrasting perspectives.
Updated: May 11 2015Todos os Olhos: videovigilancia voyerismos e (re)producao imagética, by Bruno Vasconcelos Cardoso, edited for UFRJ, Brazil.
Todos os olhos: videovigilâncias, voyeurismos e (re)produção imagética, livro de Bruno Vasconcelos Cardoso, acaba de ser lançado pela Editora UFRJ e aborda o fenômeno cada vez mais comum da vigilância por câmeras no espaço público urbano. Com enfoque na prática da vigilância eletrônica policial no Centro de Comando e Controle da Polícia Militar do Rio de Janeiro e na sala de monitoramento do 19º Batalhão da Polícia Militar, em Copacabana, a obra é resultado de uma pesquisa de doutorado, defendida como tese em maio de 2010.O autor, contudo, não para por aí, e analisa também o fenômeno da produção e disseminação das imagens captadas pelas câmeras privadas, como celulares e smartphones, imediatamente publicizadas nas redes sociais e nos programas de compartilhamento de imagens.No livro, Cardoso se debruça especialmente sobre as transformações na maneira como os humanos se relacionam com as imagens, com os meios técnicos que possibilitam essas relações e as estruturas de poder em que se inserem. Assim, policiamento, (in)segurança, tecnologia, imagem, comunicação, poder, crime, violência, espaço público, controle, flagrante, voyeurismo, criação e exibicionismo são os grandes temas que, inter-relacionados, perpassam o livro. A descrição rica e reflexiva que Cardoso faz de seu trabalho de campo, realizado em 2008, nos revela as surpresas, os disparates, os deslocamentos, os conflitos e os contrastes que se dão entre o projeto ideal e o efetivo trajeto da videovigilância policial em sua atividade. A pesquisa mostra também que a estética, o gozo e o prazer muitas vezes ocupam o lugar das funções de controle e segurança visados na videovigilância policial e constituem uma outra visão, denominada pelo autor de “videovoyeurismo”. Por fim, o livro mostra que enxergar pode ser não ver, e o olhar pode ser tanto mostrar quanto esconder. Ainda que transformações tenham ocorrido nesses anos que separam a publicação deste livro do início de sua pesquisa, ele permanece extremamente atual. A aquisição de um arsenal expressivo de novas tecnologias de vigilância, monitoramento e segurança (de drones a óculos com câmeras acopladas e transmissão de imagem em tempo real) para a realização da Copa do Mundo no Brasil meses atrás revela como a obra levanta e explora um campo de problemas cuja importância se intensificou. Os megaeventos são hoje uma das principais portas de entrada de dispositivos de vigilância e segurança do espaço urbano.