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Human actions both imperil and promise to save the oceans. How do technoscientific enterprises contribute to transforming human-ocean relations? This panel invites contributions which explore the more-than-human, technoscientific and ethicopolitical dimensions of knowing and relating to the ocean
The world’s oceans are in peril. Phenomena such as acidification, eutrophication, temperature increase, and pollution put many marine ecosystems, and the diverse creatures and processes that compose them, under massive strain. Faced with this conundrum, many societal actors argue for a radical transformation of our relationship with the ocean, away from current models of over-extraction and damage towards futures of mutual care and respect. Such transformation requires subverting existing narratives of economic growth and colonization of marine environments while developing a new set of technoscientific devices for the exploration, scaling, and regulation of new modes of more-than-human relating. The backbone of marine transformations is formed by myriad technoscientific enterprises and cross-sectoral collaborations that can both raise ambitious amounts of funding and establish broad consensus among stakeholders. Furthermore, many of such enterprises remain highly speculative and their actual contribution to preserving the future of marine ecosystems is still a matter of debate. This session will contribute to the rapidly developing area of marine STS by bringing together scholars interested in critically exploring the novel epistemic and technical features required to transform ways of knowing and relating to the ocean.
Potential themes include, but are not limited to:
• Theoretical and methodological advancements in the social study of more-than-human marine relations.
• Investigations of the cross-sectoral collaborations involved in marine transformations: public administrations, industry, civil society, academia, indigenous and marginalized communities, and/or the public(s), among others.
• Analyses of the different approaches to technoscientific intervention in marine environments (e.g. conservation, restoration, geoengineering, but also extraction, exploitation) and the ethicopolitical engagements they enact.
• Analyses of novel productive engagements with the seas and its inhabitants, from biomaterials (e.g. cosmetic products, build new reefs) to regenerative aquaculture.
• Explorations of initiatives centering on expanding engagement with the sea, its current perils, and future promises