The development of digital tools in STS and digital humanities: Watching, muddling through and reflexivity
Dominique Vinck (Lausanne University)
Marc Barbier (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)
New methods in STS
C. Humanisticum AB 1.07
Thursday 18 September, 15:00-16:45, 17:00-18:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Digital humanities, digital platform, cybersience

Long abstract:

Both Social Sciences and Humanities have access to a deluge of digital data, which overloads the capacity of enquiry and analysis with traditional methods. Concomitantly new methods of information extraction and graph analysis have heavily refreshed this capacity. In the Humanities, this situation has already led to the emergence of a new interdisciplinary domain labeled "Digital Humanities", which STS could watch and study as one more domain of cyberscience. Proliferation of digital methods and computerization of data analysis also represent an instrumental challenge for STS. But abundance of information does certainly not equal abundance of knowledge. This could explain why many STS scholars keep bound by a foundational sense of skepticism. Definitely, STS are confronted to the development of a digital turn, which also convokes reflexivity. In this session, we thus propose to deal with three issues: STS investigations looking at what is going on in Digital Humanities. How could we track and trace the circulation and assembling of tools and objects in this newly created area of the Humanities?; Muddling through investigations thanks digital platform How to design such platform in collaboration with IT and what are the technical empowerments and outputs proposed for the extension of interpretative strategy in STS?; Reflecting on the use of equipment lead STS researchers to critical discussion of epistemic problems. To what extend the constructivist approach of data is changed when large corpora are analyzed with machines and what is the possible redistribution of relations with our stakeholders?

The papers will be presented in the order shown and divided 4 - 3 between the 2 sessions.