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Accepted Contribution:

Transforming #MeToo and STS via #WeDoSTS: precarious and empowering movements between me’s and we’s  
Claudia Gertraud Schwarz (Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences)

Short abstract:

I tell you about my journey as an activist in STS advocating for institutional reform to support survivors facing harassment and discrimination. This journey is made of dynamic, transformative movements between individual and collective identities, full of challenges and empowerment.

Long abstract:

In this presentation, I reflect on my journey as an activist in STS to create (inter)personal healing, public awareness, and institutional reform to support survivors and vulnerable community members facing (sexualized) harassment, discrimination, and abuses of power. I narrate this journey as a series of precarious and empowering movements between multiple me’s and we’s. With the simultaneous creation of the hashtag pair #MeTooSTS/#WeDoSTS I aimed to contribute to the existing #MeToo movement and to leverage its momentum to initiate a reflexive socio-scientific movement within STS. #WeDoSTS cares about addressing and improving working conditions in the field by emphasizing integrity, safety, and fairness. I will perform several artistic vignettes to demonstrate and get feedback to the various movements between individual and collective identities I experienced on this journey. And I will explore the potential of transformative justice processes in/for scientific communities. Transformative justice entails creating safe community spaces for both survivors and those responsible for harm, moving out of fixed victim-perpetrator roles. The framework goes beyond merely repairing interpersonal relationships to generate knowledge that can change system dynamics. Transformative justice in the context of #MeTooSTS/#WeDoSTS could assist our community to rise above polarization, victim blaming, and the divisive nature of cancel culture, which is still prevalent within the #MeToo movement. Transformative justice for #MeTooSTS survivors could thus not just help to change STS for the better but to positively contribute to progressive societal movements.

Combined Format Open Panel P265
Transforming STS via #WeDoSTS
  Session 1