Accepted Paper:

The dis-eases of secrecy: Remembering and forgetting the past  


Brian Rappert (University of Exeter)
Chandre Gould (Institute for Security Studies)

Paper long abstract:

The presentation examines the historical erasure of the South African Apartheid era biological and chemical weapons programme. It will offer an account of the processes associated with limiting the regard for the programme within international diplomacy as well as by life scientists and professional science associations in South Africa. In relation to both, consideration will be given to how this offensive programme has been set aside within historical memory; a story that raises questions about the productive lures of secrecy and the ways in which attempts to reveal result in concealment to form a complex dynamic over time. A goal will be to ask how the recognition of such absences today through STS can be translated into analysis that is practically relevant. The presentation draws on twenty years of experience of Chandre Gould investigating this programme (including through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission) as well as a set of interviews conducted in 2013-14 through a UK Economic and Social Research Council funded project.

Panel C4
Non-concerns about science and technology and within STS