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Scientists - agents under construction 
Sarah Schönbauer (Technical University of Munich)
Rosalind Attenborough (University of Edinburgh)
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Discovery, discussion and decision
Welcome Centre Lecture Theatre 4
Start time:
27 July, 2018 at
Time zone: Europe/London
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

As ways of being a scientist have changed vastly across past centuries, so have scientists' identities. We therefore invite critical explorations of the forms and formats that identity might take in modern research environments and reflections upon the scientist as an agent under construction.

Long Abstract:

Ways of being a scientist have changed across past centuries. Today's scientists form identities at a meeting point of overlapping yet divergent personae, such as: the traditional academic and the entrepreneur; the basic and the applied scientist; the independent genius and the team worker; the closed and the "open" scientist, etc. Additionally, societal transformations (e.g. latent individualization processes) and recent political events (e.g. Brexit, the increase in right-wing tendencies) expose the role of scientists and knowledge production processes to tensions and uncertainties. Hence, understanding how scientists build and tinker an identity through the frictions and uncertainties of today's demands and transformations is a core concern of our times.

Many transitions of the academe have been researched extensively. Yet there is a scarcity of contemporary research focusing explicitly and critically upon the identity of the scientist - not only as a constructor of knowledge but also as agent under construction. We invite papers that empirically explore and reflect on the forms and formats that identity might take in modern research environments and ask:

- How do researchers form identities and what are the practices, norms and values that these are based upon? And what role does identity play for researchers, their communities, their institutions?

- How are researchers negotiating and making sense of their identities, and how are they thereby accommodating to or resisting the conditions of research environments?

We aim to collect a diverse set of contributions related to these and related questions that critically unpack scientific identities.

Accepted papers:

Session 1