(Techno)science by other means of communality and identity configuration
Karen Kastenhofer (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Sarah Schönbauer (Technical University of Munich)
Niki Vermeulen (University of Edinburgh)
Friday 2 September, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

By analysing the formation, performance and transformation of (techno)scientific identities and communities, we aim to deepen the understanding of change, stability and difference related to 'newly emerging sciences and technologies'.

Long abstract:

While there is up to now plenty of evidence for new socio-epistemic configurations in technoscience (including analyses of the synthetic biology iGEM competition, DIY or citizen science) and general analyses of the changing nature of (techno)science have been put forward (see for instance Shapin 2008, The Scientific Life), the question of whether and how contemporary scientific communities and identities are subject to change on a meta level is largely underexplored. How are (techno)scientists' identities formed and performed in potentially new ways (e.g. iGEM competitions adding to or even replacing the enculturating role of university curricula)? How are contemporary (techno)scientific communities structured and performed (e.g. are new transdisciplinary research fields, collaborative research projects and clusters of excellence adding to or replacing disciplinary structures)? What role do (global) communities and (local) institutional structures play in the emergence of contemporary (techno)sciences? What is the role of funding programmes and media representations in these institutional re-arrangements (e.g. have hypes replaced the role of disciplinary structures in pre-defining technoscientific problems)?

This session focuses on analyses targeting phenomena of stability and/or change in the sciences and technologies on this meta level. Invited contributions address and discuss (trans)disciplinary, patchworked, networked and (trans)national identity and community within newly emerging sciences and technologies. In the concluding discussion, we will compare the findings of the different case studies and re-address the meta level of whether we have to conceive of identity and community in a fundamentally different way.