Accepted Paper:

The intersection of STS and innovation studies through a scientometric analysis of EASST conferences  


Athena Piterou (University of Greenwich)
Fred Steward (University of Westminster)

Paper long abstract:

STS is a relatively small, interdisciplinary field of study which is linked to a diverse number of sub (disciplines) such as history and philosophy of science, sociology and management. Innovation studies (IS) are also perceived as an academic field rather than as a distinct discipline. Both STS and IS have not reached the level of institutionalisation and consensus more commonly associated with established disciplines. The interdisciplinary nature of both STS and IS are fundamental to understanding their development. Although both fields address common questions, they have largely developed independently as indicated by citation analysis of the core texts in each field (Bhupatiraju et al., 2012).

The abstracts of EASST conference papers over a 30-year period (1983-2012) provide the data to examine the cognitive interaction between STS and IS. Although conferences have been rather neglected in scientometrics studies, they act as "field configuring events" that help to demarcate the boundaries of academic fields and the development of "invisible colleges" as networks of informal communication among scholars with shared research interests. Conference data can be used to analyse the cognitive, social and institutional dimensions of academic fields, however, this paper focuses on the cognitive dimension. Content and co-word analysis are applied to the titles of the EASST conference papers to identify the relative popularity of IS related terminology over time. The resulting co-word networks, which place terms in context, demonstrate the co-evolution of theoretical approaches and empirical areas of application for STS and IS.

Panel K2
Cross-breeding science and technology studies and innovation studies