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STS Italia Summer School

September 05 2017 to September 09 2017 | Catania, Italy

Deadline: June 25 2017

Updated: July 09 2017

STS Italia, the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies – in collaboration with the Department of Political and Social Sciences and the Department of Mathematics and Informatics of the University of Catania is organizing its 4th Summer School, “Almost Human: Robotics, Healthcare and STS”, to be held in Catania (Italy) from September 5th to 9th, 2017.

Goals and main topics Robotics in its various applications and research fields (work, leisure, medicine, care, education, military use, etc.) emerges as a set of technological innovations designed to have a disruptive impact on the economy, politics, and society. Technological artifacts pervasively permeate different spheres of personal and professional life, reconfiguring the relationship between humans and humans and artifacts. Robots, in their various forms, are a “presence” which calls/solicits our attention. After colonizing factories and research laboratories, robots, humanoid or animal, “dispersed” in our technological environments as meta-media (the chatbot, for example), or as professionals of care, are already living among us, populating our cities, inhabiting our homes, taking care of us, and even observing what we do. Consequently, the development of robotics raises new questions in a great number of ethical, legal, social and anthropological issues.

The STS Italia Summer School aims to address the challenges posed by recent developments in robotics and artificial intelligence through a variety of approaches, theoretical frameworks and methodological insights. PhD students and early career researchers in Science and Technology Studies (STS) are invited to participate in a joint reflection that will try to trace some interdisciplinary interpretative frameworks and to propose a space of exchange between social sciences and scientific research. A particular attention will be given to the role of robotics in the field of health and care. We would like to question the relationship between technological innovation and new practices, or relationships, of care; to question the professional reconfigurations and skills modified by the introduction of assistive technological devices to the cure gesture (surgery, for example) and care practices (in homes and hospitals); to highlight the different concepts of care receivers and care givers that emerge in the contexts of innovation and in always singular and specific contexts of practices andeveryday life (prosthetics, assistive robotics, etc.).

These issues can be addressed more politically and institutionally (issues of surveillance, infrastructures, social, economic and research policies); at an intermediate level, in the boundaries between private and public sector (in particular as regards the transfer of skills and practices between place of cure – hospital - and place of life - home); at individual level in familiar and professional relationships of care. A question that surely crosses the technological, sociological, institutional and ethical aspects is the concept of autonomy (of person, of patient, of devices, of familiar or professional collectives), which increasingly includes the human and non-human relationship in its definition, in particular in the healthcare field.

This summer school introduces participants to major approaches, exploring new research frontiers and emerging themes under ethical, cultural and socio-technical perspectives:

- Autonomy (of technological devices, of person, of systems), which includes the notion of enable/disable, empowerment, accessibility, dependency; - Robotics in work’s contexts (in particular in healthcare); - Human/non human relationship (in particular in healthcare, which includes non human animals); - Imaginaries of the body, the machine, the hybrid (cyborg); - Ethical and legal approaches; - Technological innovation in healthcare: state of the art, perspectives, problems; - Epistemological and theoretical approaches to robotics and AI; - Technological innovation in healthcare and disabilities and gender studies; Confirmed speakers - Nathanael Jarassé (ISIR Paris) - Louis Neven (Avans University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands) - Giovanni Muscato (University of Catania, Italy) - Fiorella Operto (Scuola di Robotica and CNR, Genoa, Italy) - Michael Schillmeier (University of Exeter, GB) - Bruno Siciliano (University of Naples, Italy) - Guglielmo Tamburrini (University of Naples, Italy) How to apply The application form is available here.

After space for personal details, the form includes a place to upload a short scientific CV (maximum 2 pages) and a statement of interest (maximum 500 words), which should describe the applicant’s current research and its relevance to the aims of the summer school. Finally, a statement of purpose (maximum 500 words) is mandatory only for scholarship applications. Applications must be submitted electronically to the Summer School Organizing Committee at:summerschool@stsitalia.org. Applications deadline is June 15th. *Deadline extension: June 25th* Important dates June 15th, 2017: Applications deadline. *Deadline extension: June 25th, 2017.* June 25th, 2017: *June 30th, 2017: *Notification for participation and for scholarship eligibility. July 10th, 2017: Registration deadline. For any further questions regarding the school not hesitate to contact the Organizing Committee via email at summerschool@stsitalia.org.