This panel attends to multi-perspectival discursive spaces, specifically those engaging with ethically problematic life science technologies. Papers and discussions will explore the contributions of empirical bioethics to STS work in such spaces for research and deliberation.
STS frameworks have helped open up knowledge and innovation practices by analysing the social construction and organisation of sciences and technologies. More recently, STS has engaged increasingly with technosocial innovation, and with the public dimension via deliberative democracy and public engagement. This panel engages with the growing interest in multi-perspectival discursive societal spaces in which ethical, social and policy aspects of science and technology can be discussed. In particular, the panel attends to contributions of the emerging field of empirical bioethics to STS interests and debates. By bringing ethical concepts such as justice, responsibility, care and dignity, and related knowledge-making practices to STS debates, empirical bioethics provides a methodological avenue to combine (1) the empirical study of values in the social construction and organisation of science and technology with (2) the normative exploration of the 'bigger picture' questions of being human and being social, towards (3) developing value- and practice-informed policy. The field addresses bioethical questions of complex and ethically problematic life science technologies by engaging with different stakeholder groups including those whose voices may not be heard otherwise. This panel invites proposals for two sessions, a paper panel and a roundtable: For the paper panel we invite delegates to submit abstracts discussing case studies in which empirical bioethical work has been applied to science and technology practices and their governance. The roundtable will consist of panellists, and we invite other delegates to submit their abstract for a 10-minute provocation (of which there will be 2-3) to kick off the discussion.