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STS & ethics: encounters on common ground 
Margarita Boenig-Liptsin (ETH Zürich)
Jim Dratwa (European Commission and Woodrow Wilson Center)
Karen Huang (Georgetown University)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

STS has worked alongside and grappled with the theories, practices, and scholarly identities of ethics. This panel examines encounters between STS and ethics across time with the aim to build common ground between these traditions in the making of just human-technology futures.

Long Abstract:

Since its earliest days, STS has worked alongside and grappled with its relationship to the theories, practices, and scholarly identities of ethics. Expanding the understanding of ethics' role in the context of science and technology, STS scholarship has contributed to the analysis of S&T ethical practices as modes of expertise and forms of governance. Meanwhile, central STS concepts and frameworks such as co-production, sociotechnical imaginaries, and ANT have contributed to empirically more nuanced understandings of the central concerns of moral philosophy, such as human agency, responsibility, and visions of the good. This panel invites papers that investigate relations between STS and realms of theory and practice known as "ethics" broadly construed (including: traditions of Western moral philosophy, critical ethical theories such as feminist care ethics, narrative ethics, and post-colonial and cosmopolitan ethics, empirical modes of ethical inquiry in moral anthropology and moral psychology, institutionalized modes of distributive justice, and applied ethics initiatives disseminated in technoscientific practice and pedagogy). What are the formative sites of encounter between ethics and STS across time? How do we characterize the contemporary relationship between STS and ethics? How can encounters between STS and ethics generate experimental modalities of normativity? How might these encounters engage in both critical inquiry and construction? How can STS and ethics, recognizing and respecting their differences, contribute towards the contemporary need—amidst urgent challenges—to foster situated encounters on common ground? How might these modes of inquiry make the move from spaces of situated, interpersonal encounters to normative political projects of transformation in technoscientific societies?

Accepted contributions:

Session 1
Session 2