Community Engagement 2.0?: Dialogues on the Future of the Civic in the Disrupted University
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What are the implications when citizen scientists choose to align or not their data and methods with existing regulatory standards? How is the field of citizen science governed? How do citizen science practices encourage or inhibit politicized actions by volunteers? In alignment with the conference theme of innovation, this session also explores how citizen science helps innovation in regulatory science, advocacy strategies, legal arguments, and government policies. Classics might be papers recognized as such. Or, they might be papers that are not part of standard narratives of the field but should be incorporated or re-incorporated into these narratives—recognizing that while narratives can celebrate the collective and cumulative nature of scholarship, they can also marginalize or exclude.
In remembering earlier moments in STS, we ask presenters to explore how those moments can be usefully or interestingly recalled today. We hope that presenters will not only engage with their chosen paper, but will also devote some of their time to freshly delivering parts of it. Such re-enactments might commemorate the contributions of particular scholars, or be performances intended to trouble existing categories or narratives in STS.
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By engaging with past scholarship through re-enactment rather than citation alone, we aim to foreground the performative aspects of citational practices, making clear how the meaning of a classic paper shifts as it is read aloud by a different speaker, in a different venue, in a different historical moment. We invite papers that address the following questions, among others:.
The privatization of public knowledge has become endemic to 21st century times. From corporate battles over drug patents to seed wars, knowledge produced in many forms, sites, spaces, and communities is increasingly enclosed — that is, separated from its knowledge-makers and commodified for the accumulation of capital.
Science and technology are at once driving and experiencing the effects of many contemporary enclosures. We welcome papers that explore the multiple dimensions of both knowledge commons and how knowledge is being used to create or support all varieties of commons. Some potential topics include: What are the potential contributions of commons to helping regenerate and democratize the everyday practice of science and technology?
How does knowledge-making enable and sustain the formation of commons, and whose knowledge matters?
What sorts of knowledge are produced within commons, and how might these play a role in the identity and governance of commons? How might new technologies update and reinvigorate commons practices? How might it disrupt them? The importance of social innovation has increased because it represents an alternative to the conventional top-down assistance approach of some governments to face the social, economic, political and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
Unlike such an approach, social innovation implies the active participation of society in the solution of its own problems. That is to say, we understand social innovation as the intentional change of social practices aimed at the solution of collective problems, through the active participation of a community. In other words, social innovation means social change, especially that intentional change of social practices.
Despite its known relevance and conceptualization, several authors point out that social innovation still lacks a coherent theoretical structure and that more empirical research is necessary to understand and promote it. In response to this concern, through this panel we invite STS scholars to join a conceptual discussion on social innovation, helping to define its actors, conditions, potentials and possibilities. Likewise, an additional purpose of the panel is to present results of empirical investigations that show evidence of social innovation processes of particular cases.
If the progress of nations requires not only technological innovation, but also social innovation, those who study innovation within the field of STS are the ones indicated to provide a better conceptualization on innovation, involving both concepts in processes that affect the welfare and sustainability of our societies. Meanwhile, given the urgency of climate change, many other practitioners argue that closed systems present an inevitable path for future food production.
This panel invites papers that explore the complex human-plant-technology-economy relations that are emerging across a variety of settings. We seek contributions that critically interrogate how plant science and innovation in growth systems work together, and how they in turn co-constitute new plant epistemologies, moral economies, forms of care, and broader human-plant relations, among other possible topics. The influence of corporate interests — most notably from the cigarette, chemical, pharmaceutical, and food industries — on science and on health and environmental regulation has attracted a growing media and public attention.
STS research has explored this issue in different ways, for example through the analysis of the impact of industry-funding on scientific publications, the study of corporate-biases in the production regulatory standards, or more broadly by questioning the commercialization of science. This panel wants to bring together researchers taking on board the question of corporate influence on science and public regulation, and proposes to do so by following three lines of research: 1 first, by opening up a discussion on the notions and theoretical frameworks used to analyze industry or business influence including, but not limited to: regulatory capture, conflict of interest, bias, production of ignorance, hegemony ; 2 second, by studying the social mechanisms it involves for instance, funding strategies, revolving-door dynamics, ghostwriting, lobbying, or threats and retaliations ; 3 third, by analyzing production of policies aiming at controlling corporate influence, and the social mobilizations it triggers.
More generally, the panel aims at helping the development of inter-sectoral and international comparison, and consequently welcomes papers that analyze the aforementioned corporate strategies in various industrial sectors and in various geographical areas of the global North and South. Resistance to dominant modes of thinking, knowing, and doing can take a variety of forms— and often results in the production of new epistemological communities of practice.
The counter-hegemonic epistemologies of conspiracy theorists, self-experimenters, citizen scientists, marginalized and oppressed communities, and members of many other knowledge domains frequently embody narratives and ways of knowing that run against the dominant paradigms of their social and historical contexts.
In many cases, critical or disruptive epistemologies are met by those in power with skepticism and even fear. This open panel calls for case studies addressing counter-hegemonic epistemologies in the fields of history of science and technology, as well as STS, information studies, education, media studies, and other relevant disciplines. We are particularly interested in research that brings a comparative historical perspective to bear on the continuously contested nature of dominant knowledge systems. Some points to consider could be: how have specific counter-narratives affected the dominant discourses in the fields that they challenge?
Alternatively, how do dominant discourses overpower counter-hegemonic epistemologies? What kinds of contexts does this happen in, and what are the social, political, and historical implications of such contestation? We welcome submissions that address communities including but not limited to alternative education, decolonial science and technology, clandestine chemistry, whistleblowing, harm reduction, and radical politics.
By bringing such disparate ways of knowing into contact, our panel aims to build towards a robust account of the innovation and contestation that prevail among counter-hegemonic epistemological communities. Feminist STS scholars have stressed the importance of including engagements with creative life including literary and visual media as entry points into analysis of technosocial infrastructures, processes, and relations. Concepts like cyborgs and monsters also emphasize the boundary-crossing, embodied, and material aspects of knowledge creation by which subjecthood and world come into being together.
We invite papers that explore the generative frictions and interruptions to relations of power that engaging with non-normative bodyminds and experiences entail. We are particularly interested in how disabled identities are shaped by, and in turn influence creative practices, from online fan-fiction communities to graphic medicine.
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From web accessibility protocols to novel technologies, how are structures and processes created that make innovative representations possible? How might analysis of creative practices highlight the relational aspects of materiality as identity- and knowledge-building? Cryopreservation has given way to a new scientific ice age: The ability to freeze and bank biological material is today a pivotal technological practice in animal breeding, conservation biology, and human reproduction.
This panel invites transdisciplinary, empirical as well as theoretical papers related to the ways that cryobanking is imagined and animated in scientific, commercial, popular culture, and user accounts. This includes, but is not limited to: 1. How the cryobanking of human and animal reproductive bits becomes imagined as a type of cryo-insurance, 2.
How the cryobanking of human and animal wholes becomes imagined and animated as a type of cryo-optimism, 3. How the cryobanking of multiple species and seeds engage a type of cryopolitics, and 4.
The cryo-aesthetics of cryobanking. Dancing is a ubiquitous form and a powerful expression for thinking about bodies, energy, ecology and temporalities. At the same time dance is performed at different scales and intensities while also affected by experiences, improvisations and evocations.source site
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Dancing, as performative mode, draws our attention to two issues of ongoing importance to STS: 1 movements, fluidities and meanings and 2 relationality and materiality. Dance may thus be simultaneously literal and metaphorical, structured and spontaneous, producing situations that may lure knowing but render it beyond words. Here, dancing becomes an interesting focal point for exploring the Anthropocene. This panel considers dancing as both a lens and a site for understanding social life and naturecultures. We ask: how can STS scholars explore dancing as epistemic practice in the Anthropocene, both in its own terms and in conversation with more conventional academic ways of knowing?
STS scholars have long been interested in the assorted and diverse devices that equip markets, from market infrastructures to mundane marketing tools like shopping carts, knowledge devices, and measuring instruments. As markets are digitized, data are a key element in the operation of markets in a variety of forms: consumer records, scoring and targeting instruments, customization engines, algorithmic pricing, vending and trading machines. Hence, data act as a versatile, yet vital, apparatus for markets, through the construction of data as a device, a valuation tool, an infrastructure, or an asset.
This panel aims to explore these various facets of data, and how these help to achieve markets. What lies behind these data doubles, and what are their lived and experiential effects on consumers? Secondly, with big data technologies, marketing knowledge is increasingly produced from the analysis of large databases that combine a diverse array of information on consumers, products, firms, and market operations.
These data are then stabilized through metrics, dashboards and standards. How do these new knowledge devices reconfigure practices? Third, data fuels market automation mechanisms, such as algorithmic pricing, recommendation engines, programmatic advertising, high-frequency trading.
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How do algorithmic markets and digital platforms take place in practice, and how do they reconfigure market agencements? The global trajectory of scientific innovations seems to be both interrupted and regenerated by the rise of the Rest. A heightened and widened awareness to decolonise science among both the Global South and the Global North has led to genuine attempts at reshaping the production and delivery of knowledge.
Yet such efforts and their impacts cannot be taken for granted.