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Second Colombia National Colloquium in STS: MAKING PEACE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD

September 21 2017 to September 23 2017 | National University of Colombia, Bogotá

Updated: September 17 2017

Social studies of science and technology (STS) through the study of the co-production of contemporary technoscience and its hybrids can and should contribute to the construction of a reflexive and inclusive society. The question as to how technoscience and society co-produce themselves in multiple ways, in different places, following matters of public interest that assemble heterogeneous actors, has broadened the scope of inquiry in the contemporary social sciences. The current proliferation of controversies over complex issues involving and mobilizing knowledge, technologies and societies has been a central field of action and inquiry for understanding the dynamics of the production of society, democracy and technoscience that today are specific to this field of study. Concerns about water security; the aerial spraying of glyphosate; public transport systems and mobility; the standardization of seeds and crops; the regulation of pharmaceutical industries, health delivery systems and alternative therapies, and even the redefinition of the boundaries between life and death in contestations around abortion and euthanasia are some examples of the objects of interest that are well understood from the perspective of STS.

In contemporary society risk seems to be everywhere and controversies proliferate around the experiences that contribute to its production, management and communication. While there are those who wonder why people resist the calls that are made from experts to evacuate an area at risk from some ‘natural disaster’, we in STS seek to understand how the collaborative production of risk- knowledge can be fostered to take into full account the lay expertise of those who do not have accreditation, but know well the lifeworld that they inhabit. Our essential tasks are to understand the formulation of scientific and technological policy and the dynamics of the production, democratization, communication, and social appropriation of knowledge; of course, with reference to technoscientific knowledge but also to enable critical reflection which questions the more traditional "methods" and explanatory policies in the contemporary social and human sciences. Genders, bodies, and sexualities, along with the different instruments involved in their practices, have been a specific object of reflection from the perspectives of feminist theory and STS that converge to understand these complex phenomena of contemporary societies. All the topics mentioned are important and have been part of our field. However, there are other issues that are interesting and require our attention. In the Colombia of today we also need to ask about other agendas of knowledge, as indicated in the title of the colloquium. Is the effort of peace- making a more difficult project in a world in which the old certainties are disappearing? Is ‘Peace’ compatible with a condition of ‘Post-truth’?

We call on those who are interested in these and other matters that are part of the agenda of our field, and that pose for us the project of the reassembly of our society, to participate in the Second National Colloquium on the Social Studies of Science and Technology, which will be held at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá, from 21 to 23 September, 2017.

The Second Colombian National Colloquium of Social Studies of Science and Technology will include the participation of 8 prominent local, 5 national and 3 international speakers, who will help us to discuss new debates, perspectives and research agendas.