Remembering David Hakken

Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University

1st September 2016, 19:30


In May of this year, Professor David Hakken, a vibrant and longtime member of the 4S community, died at his home from cancer. Along with his lifelong partner and collaborator Barbara Andrews, David contributed in a myriad of ways to research and teaching at the intersection of STS and informatics. This gathering will afford an opportunity for those of us who knew David to share memories of him as a valued colleague and as a friend – please join us with your stories.

This panel has no papers.


Ethnografilm Barcelona

Wesley Shrum, Louisiana State University

1st September 2016, 12:30


Ethnografilm Barcelona" will consist of a single session of short films from the Ethnografilm festival held in Paris in April 2015.

This panel has no papers.


EASST Meeting

Fred Steward, University of Westminster; Estrid Sørensen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum; Harro van Lente, Maastricht University

2nd September 2016, 12:30


EASST members' meeting with brief reports from the President, Secretary and Treasurer. Members' opportunity to find out what EASST has been doing and contribute to our future strategy and activities. All members encouraged to attend.

This panel has no papers.


4S Business Meeting

Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University; Stephen Zehr, University of Southern Indiana

3rd September 2016, 12:30


This is the annual Business Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science. All 4S members are invited to participate.

This panel has no papers.


Editorial Board Meeting: New Genetics and Society

Richard Tutton, Lancaster University; Adam Hedgecoe, Cardiff Unviersity

2nd September 2016, 12:30


This panel has no papers.


Demonstrations and Mattering Press: Discussing Recent Changes in the STS Publishing Landscape

Laurie Waller, Technical University of Munich

1st September 2016, 12:30


This panel has no papers.


Meeting of the Science as Culture Advisory Panel

Les Levidow, The Open University

2nd September 2016, 12:30


(for members only)

This panel has no papers.


6S professional development lunch: Defining STS Careers Across Borders: How and Why to Navigate an International STS Career

Erika Szymanski, University of Edinburgh

2nd September 2016, 12:30


STS is a uniquely international field. How can junior scholars take advantage of this as they build their careers? What are the opportunities and challenges of pursuing postdoctoral work or permanent positions outside of your home country? Even if you plan to do your training and take a job in your home country, how can you take advantage of STS's international scope through visiting positions, collaborations, and other opportunities? In this professional development session, organized by the Student Section of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (6S), we invite junior scholars to think about and discuss their options with an international group of senior scholars who will offer insights from their own experiences of crossing borders and boundaries in pursuit of their own careers. Our goal is to facilitate an active conversation about how to form a professional identity that crosses national boundaries while also considering the practicalities of early career decisions. This is not a lecture! Bring your questions, thoughts, concerns, and experiences around forging an STS career.

This panel has no papers.


6S business meeting

Erika Szymanski, University of Edinburgh

3rd September 2016, 12:30


The Student Section of 4S (6S) welcomes all post-graduate students and early career scholars to an informal business meeting to discuss shared interests, concerns, goals, and plans for the upcoming year. All students and early career scholars are welcome, whether members of 4S or not.

This panel has no papers.


Editorial board meeting: Social Studies of Science


1st September 2016, 12:30

Hotel Barcelona Princess

This panel has no papers.


National STS networks meeting

Pablo Santoro, Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Arthur Arruda Ferreira

1st September 2016, 12:30


An informal meeting in which national STS networks and associations (and especially those recently founded) can share experiences and start a dialogue

This panel has no papers.


Making Sense of our 4S Experiences: An hour for Connecting and Reflecting Together (I)

Peter Taylor, University of Massachusetts Boston; Elizabeth Simpson, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

1st September 2016, 12:30


New England Workshop on Science & Social Change invites 4S/EASST participants to join one or both of its hours for "Connecting & Reflecting Together." The processes will be explained in the sessions. 1st session will address: "How have I come to be someone who would attend 4S/EASST at this time?"

This panel has no papers.


Making Sense of our 4S Experiences: An hour for Connecting and Reflecting Together (II)

Peter Taylor, University of Massachusetts Boston; Elizabeth Simpson, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

2nd September 2016, 12:30


New England Workshop on Science & Social Change invites 4S/EASST participants to join 2nd "Connecting & Reflecting Together" hour to address: "What would support me to move in new directions as a result of connections being made at 4S/EASST?" The processes will be explained in the session.

This panel has no papers.


Public Event: The present and future of the EASST Review

Ignacio Farias, Humboldt University of Berlin; Vicky Singleton, Lancaster University; Tomás Criado, Humboldt University of Berlin; Andrey Kuznetsov, Volgograd State University; Josefine Raasch, Ruhr University Bochum; Niki Vermeulen, University of Edinburgh

1st September 2016, 12:30


A public event with the EASST Review Editorial Board: Ignacio Farías, Vicky Singleton, Tomás S. Criado, Andrey Kuznetsov, Josefine Raasch and Niki Vermeulen

This panel has no papers.


Presentación del Libro: "Postfenomenología y Tecnociencia: Conferencias en la Universidad de Pekín"

Eurídice Cabañes, ARSGAMES

2nd September 2016, 12:30


Presentación del libro “Postfenomenología y tecnociencia: Conferencias en la Universidad de Pekín“ en su versión en español traducida por Eurídice Cabañes y David García Olivares y publicada por SELLO ARSGAMES. En la presentación del libro estarán presentes el autor del libro (Don Ihde) y una de las traductoras (Eurídice Cabañes), de modo que tras la presentación se podrán transmitir dudas a cerca del mismo o tener un debate con el propio autor.

This panel has no papers.


Book launch event: Urban Cosmopolitics: Agencements, Assemblies, Atmospheres

Ignacio Farias, Humboldt University of Berlin; Anders Blok, University of Copenhagen

2nd September 2016, 12:30


In this recently published volume, STS scholars, human geographers, anthropologists and others together explore how the notion of 'cosmopolitics' may open up cities as privileged sites for studying the contested composition of common socio-technical world of cohabitation.

This panel has no papers.


The Handbook of Science, Technology and Society, 4th Edition: Where We've Been; Where We're Going

Kelly Moore, Loyola University Chicago

1st September 2016, 12:30


This panel introduces the 4th Edition of The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. Editors discusses the themes that shaped the volume, and select authors share their perspectives on the important accomplishments of STS to date and the next frontiers for STS researchers.


Ulrike Felt, University of Vienna


Laurel Smith-Doerr, University of Massachusetts


Ignacio Farias, Humboldt University of Berlin


Maja Horst, University of Copenhagen


Javier Lezaun, Oxford University


Logan Williams, Michigan State University


Brian Rappert, University of Exeter


Rachel Carson Prize 2016: Author Meets Critics

Claire Waterton, Lancaster University

2nd September 2016, 14:00


This Author Meets Critics Session honours the winner of this year's 4S Rachel Carson Book Prize - the historian and STS scholar Gabrielle Hecht. Four STS scholars will examine and discuss Hecht's prize-winning monograph, 'Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade' (2012 MIT Press).

Participant 1

Sulfikar Amir, Nanyang Technological University

Participant 2

Vanessa Agard-Jones, Columbia University

Participant 3

Andrew Barry, University College London


Author Meets Critics Session: 2015 Fleck Prize Winner

Jenny Reardon, UC Santa Cruz

3rd September 2016, 14:00


Author Meets Critics Session: 2015 Fleck Prize Winner

Banu Subramanium, Ghost Stories for Darwin: The Science of Variation and the Politics of Diversity (University of Illinois Press, 2014)

In this panel, we will discusses the winner of the 2016 Ludwik Fleck Prize, Ghost Stories for Darwin: The Science of Variation and the Politics of Diversity (University of Illinois Press). The Fleck prize is named after microbiologist Ludwik Fleck (1896-1961), author of The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Each year it honors the best book in the area of science and technology studies.

As ‘science and technology studies’ is an interdisciplinary field, so the range of eligible books is very broad. It includes, but is not limited to, the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, economics, education, geography, and psychology as well as works combining or outside of the traditional academic disciplines. It includes studies of knowledge, policy, government, R&D, the uses of expertise, feminist and gender studies, technological controversies, technology transfer, rhetorical and literary analyses, and studies of specific technologies. Further, it includes works addressing science and technology for the public and for educational audiences. The main criterion is that the substantive content of the work be framed by a social science or humanities perspective of science and/or technology.

Participant 1

Banu Subramaniam, UMass Amherst

Banu Subramanium, Ghost Stories for Darwin: The Science of Variation and the Politics of Diversity (University of Illinois Press, 2014)

Participant 3

Evelynn Hammonds, Harvard University

Participant 3

Participant 4

Stefan Helmreich, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Participant 4


Open Dialogue Session: A Critical Conversation about Science, Technology, Innovation and Social Progress

Saurabh Arora, University of Sussex; Eden Medina, Indiana University; Ulrike Felt, University of Vienna; Johan Schot, University of Sussex; Andy Stirling, University of Sussex

31st August 2016, 16:00


A large group of Science, Technology Studies scholars is making a significant contribution to the report Rethinking Society for the 21th Century produced by the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP; see http://www.ip-socialprogress.org/). The Panel seeks to answer the question whether we can hope for a better society in the context of a very challenging context of a series of system crises, growing inequality and climate change.

This panel has no papers.


To what extent is embodied knowledge a form of science and technology by other means?

Madeleine Akrich, MINES ParisTech; Michelle Murphy, University of Toronto

31st August 2016, 18:00


This plenary session will inquire on the practices of concerned and affected groups and their embodied technoscientific politics. For this, we will have two presentations by Madeleine Akrich (Mines ParisTech) and Michelle Murphy (University of Toronto), whose empirical work has monographically been revolving around different collectives trying to politicise their experience in order to produce different forms of embodied knowledge. Following them, we seek to open up a discussion to focus on the particularities of these forms of embodied knowledge production, validation, and circulation and to what extent they might entail a science and technology by other means.

This panel has no papers.


Catastrophes and promises of science and technology by other means

Isabelle Stengers, Université Libre de Bruxelles

2nd September 2016, 18:00

115 114 113

The second plenary will put together a keynote dialogue with Isabelle Stengers (Université Libre de Bruxelles) around “Catastrophes and promises of science and technology by other means”. Grounding on her philosophical work on the transformations of the ecologies of practices of contemporary forms of knowledge production and the roles of user groups, she would engage in a dialogue with the reporters/translators from the three subplenaries taking place in Thursday 1st.

This panel has no papers.


Presidential Awards Plenary

Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University; Fred Steward, University of Westminster

3rd September 2016, 18:00

113 114 115

The Presidential Awards Plenary is an opportunity for our two societies to recognize those colleagues who have made significant contributions to the field of STS. As the number of our joint awards is large, we have worked to develop a format for the plenary that is both celebratory and substantive, and that invites the recipients not only to enjoy the community’s recognition of their own outstanding work, but also to engage with each other in conversation. This event will also provide us with an opportunity to express our gratitude to those whose labours have brought this conference into being.

This panel has no papers.



Tomás Criado, Humboldt University of Berlin; Carmen Romero Bachiller, Universidad Complutense, Madrid

1st September 2016, 18:00


This subplenary explores the work in, with, and alongside collectives as a form of STS by other means.

This panel has no papers.



Nerea Calvillo, University of Warwick; Daniel Lopez Gomez, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Francisco Tirado, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

1st September 2016, 18:00


This sub-plenary explores how doing STS by other means has displaced research out of the laboratory into other types of spaces. There will be a conversation between three researchers involved in three different environments: digital, outdoors, and intimate, to share and discuss how their practices are intertwined and depend on the physical, social, political and cultural conditions of those spaces.

This panel has no papers.



Vincenzo Pavone, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas; Miquel Domènech, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

1st September 2016, 18:00


This sub-plenary aims to discuss on the effects of the neoliberal model on the future of science and technology. We want to set a discussion on its consequences on labour conditions, evaluation practices, its relation to the world of business, politics and the wider civil society.

This panel has no papers.


Materializing governance by information infrastructure

Annalisa Pelizza, University of Twente; Francesca Musiani, CNRS - Centre national de la recherche scientifique; Stefania Milan, University of Amsterdam

1st September 2016, 16:00


Governance by technology", "governance by design", "politics of technology", "de-facto governance": this panel investigates similar conceptualizations as an attempt to frame the need to uncover regimes of inclusion/exclusion nested in technical details of information infrastructures.

Algorhythmic governance: regulating the city heartbeat with sensing infrastructures

Claudio Coletta, Maynooth University

The paper aims to account for actual forms of “algorhythmic governance” in cities looking at cases and practices of configuring, deploying and retrieving data from sensing devices for sound and air quality monitoring in Dublin.

Big (meta) data and surveillance targeting practices post-Snowden

Andrew Clement, University of Toronto

Pursuing ‘total information awareness,’ state security agencies have given meta-data a prominent and problematic role. Drawing on Snowden documents, we find that the de facto blurring between meta-data and content calls into question the innocence of meta-data as a form of sociotechnical governance.

Protocol practice and materiality: TLS and the organization of trust

Paul Gebelein

The protocol Transport Layer Security (TLS) enables secure communication on the Internet. It uses an arrangement of certificate authorities to validate client/server communication. This talk focuses on how TLS is used in practice and carves out the protocols materiality.

'Find, Fix, Finish': Big Data Analytics, Targeting and the Politics of Databases

Jutta Weber, University Paderborn

Using insights from technoscience and software studies, I want to show how the underlying logic of data mining algorithms and databases foster the production of possible future targets for data-driven drone warfare.

Masses, Crowds, Communities, Movements. Collective Action and its sociotechnical Foundations in the Internet Age

Ulrich Dolata, University of Stuttgart

In my presentation I examine the newness, or distinctive traits, of online-based collectives as an interplay between technological infrastructures and social processes of coordination and institutionalization.

Rethinking privacy: alternative networks as a resistance to online surveillance

Anne-Sophie Letellier, Université du Québec à Montréal

By addressing infrastructure as a form of discourse, we analyse the ideological construction of privacy and anonymity in the interface and infrastructure of the I2P network andexplore how the technical activities of hacker communities challenge dominant narratives regarding online privacy issues.

Ownership by Other Means: The Infrastructure of Open Source Software

Tomas Karger, Tomas Bata University in Zlin

In this paper, I draw upon data I gathered during ethnographic research to explain the involvement of corporate actors in popular FOSS projects. I argue that high knowledge requirements create barriers that substitute ownership and that allow governance practiced by a narrow group of actors.

"The Wisdom of Bots:" An ethnographic study of the delegation of governance work to information infrastructures in Wikipedia

Stuart Geiger, UC-Berkeley

Wikipedians rely on software agents to govern the ‘anyone can edit’ encyclopedia project, in the absence of more formal and traditional organizational structures. Lessons from Wikipedia’s bots speak to debates about how algorithms are being delegated governance work in sites of cultural production.

Online Tools in Conflict and Governance of Voluntary Communities - A Case from Syria

Ammar Halabi, University of Fribourg; Basile Zimmermann, University of Geneva

We discuss how the design of Internet technology related to the way members of VOCI (a voluntary community in Syria) shared ownership during a situation of conflict, and to the way they blocked out each other from online spaces. To explore an alternative, we engage in a design controversy with VOCI.

Regulating (un)solicited communications in the European Union - Spam versus cookies

Elinor Carmi, Royal Holloway, University of London.

This paper examines the politics behind Internet governance of definitions and standards in the European Union context. It focuses on the conflicts between European legislation and private companies when trying to regulate behaviours online, while looking at spam and web-cookies as a case study.

Governance capabilities in the food-energy-water nexus and the role of information technologies

Timothy Karpouzoglou, Wageningen University; Laura Pereira, City University of London; Samir Doshi, USAID

The use of information technologies in the food-energy-water nexus is growing with uncertain implications for governance. In this paper we draw upon governance capabilities scholarship to better conceptualise the role of information infrastructures and governance in the food-energy-water nexus.

Materializing Regulation of Autonomous Driving

Magnus Eriksson, Lund University

This paper traces the regulatory processes around the emerging technological zone of autonomous driving, looking at how law and technology are co-producing each other.

Domesticating Standards: Environmental Policies and Dataspace Governance in China

Matteo Tarantino, University of Geneva; Valerie November, Ecole nationale des Ponts et Chaussées; Basile Zimmermann, University of Geneva

The paper focuses on the role of standardization processes within Chinese environmental disclosure in shaping the "fragmented datascape" of environmental governance, and software objects (databases, websites, algorithms, apps) designed to leverage it to foster environmental transformations.

Digital infrastructure as a regulatory technology

Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Leiden University

This paper compares current initiatives to build digital infrastructure for the humanities in Europe and the US. Conceptually, I propose that infrastructure functions as a regulatory technology, i.e. an interface through which the actor groups in a science system rearticulate their mutual relations.

Governing the Infrastructures of Global Mobiles Devices: Mobile Standards as Technoscientific Imaginary

Toluwalogo Odumosu, University of Virginia

Drawing upon recent work on standards, information infrastructures and technoscientific imaginaries, this paper examines the rise of the Global GSM standard, and examines the complex politics of governing mobile standards.

Managed Mobility: The Transformation of Time in Name Data Networking

Britt S. Paris, University of California Los Angeles

This paper explores the political and technical dimensions of users’ temporal experience online, which sets the metronome for contemporary life. I highlight the findings mixed methods study to uncover how time is considered in history of the development of Name Data Networking (NDN).

Design by other means. The use of infrastructures in computing design and development practices.

Alessandro Mongili, Università degli Studi di Padova

Designers and developers in software testing are not conventional users. However, they spend many time using infrastructures, essential for their work. The paper analyzes connections between the testing of a designed application of a social network architecture, and two testing infrastructures.

Together apart. On the entanglement of intranet software in merger processes.

Katja Schoenian, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder

This paper contrasts managerial expectations and actual use of intranet software in the context of a company’s merger. While company management aims at installing a unified corporate culture, the intranet runs contrary these attempts and enables employees to maintain pre-merger and departmental divisions.

Governance by technology in teams of transnationally distributed software development

Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer, Technical University of Berlin; Matthias Bottel, Technical University of Berlin

Our empirical research on projects of distributed software development focusses on software development methodology and on how the software tools and organization techniques it provides structure and govern the communication, coordination and collaboration in distributed teams.

Doing Governance in Figurations: Proposal of an analytical framework

Markus Oermann, Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research; Wolfgang Schulz, Hans-Bredow-Institute; Tobias Mast, Hans-Bredow-Institut for Media Research

A „Doing Governance“ approach allows us to take the practices into account, in which norms and their materializations are constructed. But this research is in need of proper analytical instruments. Our framework, which understands Governance as an achievement of figurations, can provide them.

Finnish elite culture in 1640-1910: approaches to digitalized mapping and theorizing of powerful actors in the Finnish public debate

Seppo Poutanen, University of Turku; Hannu Salmi, University of Turku

This paper analyzes the idea and concept of ”Finnish elite culture” as it is expected to emerge in the recently launched interdisciplinary research project ”The consortium Computational History and the Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland, 1640–1910".

Relocating Science and Technology. Traveling technologies and the conceptualization of global health infrastructures in Rwanda

Norman Schräpel, University of Halle/Wittenberg

This paper conceptualizes traveling technologies through an ethnographic case study of Rwanda's health infrastructure. I argue that by tracing the transfer of new technologies the shifts of existing global political, economic and societal orders can be described and analyzed in novel ways.

Embedding rules and values in information technology infrastructure: A reflection

Francesca Musiani, CNRS - Centre national de la recherche scientifique; Annalisa Pelizza, University of Twente; Stefania Milan, University of Amsterdam

This paper takes stock of the work presented in track 001 and on the authors’ own fieldwork to provide a reflection on governance *by* information infrastructure: its perimeters, definitions, potential as an analytical tool.


The Lives and Deaths of Data

Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter; Brian Rappert, University of Exeter

1st September 2016, 14:00


This track investigates the relational constitution of data: how stages in the life of data articulate to one another and the challenges involved in storing, moving, classifying, manipulating and interpreting them.

Journeys and Deaths of Scientific Data

Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter

This paper discusses the idea of data journeys and its implications for the conditions under which objects can cease to be treated as scientific data. It is grounded on an ongoing empirical study of the movements of data across a variety of situations.

A new life abroad: the portability of racialized data.

Andrew Smart, Bath Spa University; Kate Weiner, University of Sheffield; Catherine Will, University of Sussex

We examine the life of data on the effectiveness of treatments for hypertension, in particular how racialized data circulates internationally. The paper explores how data that is encoded by national-ethnic labels can be decoded and re-labeled, giving it a new life abroad.

Key Issues in Social Studies of Disclosure Control

Andrew Turner, University of Bristol; Madeleine Murtagh, Newcastle University; Paul Burton, University of Bristol

We highlight the complex and changing contexts in which sensitive health data live, focusing on disclosure control methods that seek to create data, or to create specific contexts for data, that allow it to be considered low-risk, anonymous, and useful.

Creating Infrastructures: The Rise and Imaginary of Microfilm (1920-1950)

Estelle Blaschke, University of Lausanne

The paper investigates the history of microfilm as a missing link between the materiality of paper and the immateriality of the digital.

Data birth, transformation and use in complex systems sciences

Fabrizio Li Vigni, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Data are supposed to talk about the study objects. What's their origin, transformation and use in complex systems sciences? Three different cases will allow us propose a classification of a different relation to study objects in this interdisciplinary field of research.

When are data? Reflections on the making (possible) of research data

Jutta Haider, Lund University; Sara Kjellberg, Lund University

A study of how research data is approached in the building of big science facilities. A focus on temporal aspects makes visible how the meaning of data is contingent to when they are approached, to the possibilities of support infrastructures’ materiality and to strategic roles data are assigned.

How not to get scooped

Goetz Hoeppe, University of Waterloo

This paper traces how members of an astronomical research collaboration achieved agreement on a digital astronomical dataset as they navigated the changing context of other projects and the dangers of being scooped by competing teams.

The Limits to Data Sharing in Low-resourced Research Environments

Brian Rappert, University of Exeter; Louise Bezuidenhout, University of Oxford

Based on fieldwork with (bio)chemistry laboratories in sub-Sahara Africa, this presentation examines the global inequalities in research capabilities that lead scientists opt not to share their research data with other scientists.

The shaping of an e-research infrastructure: drawings as equipped data

Dominique Vinck, Lausanne University; Pierre-Nicolas Oberhauser, University of Lausanne

The paper accounts for a research project aimed at studying children’s representations of supernatural agents. The project team is going through the set-up and analysis of thousands of drawings made by children from various regions of the world. Our study documents the process of equipping these data.

Linkage, Exploration and Gatekeeping: The Role of Information Security In Biomedical Data Journeys

Niccolo Tempini, University of Exeter; Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter

The paper explores how information security strategies and solutions affect the trajectories and directions of data journeys and data-intensive discovery, on the basis of the ethnographic study of two linkage infrastructures for biomedical and environmental data based in the UK.

Epistemic Data Cultures

Clifford Tatum, Leiden University; Alex Rushforth, University of Oxford; Sarah de Rijcke, Leiden University

In this study we shift focus from concerns of open data to a stratified account of data sharing practices. Through in-depth case studies, the aim of this approach is to develop a better understanding of established data practices as a means to inform the challenges and opportunities of the Open Data movement.

The role of samples in the "birth" of data

Gregor Halfmann, University of Exeter

This paper explores the role of samples and materiality in the creation of long-term, oceanographic plankton data. In my case study, the “birth” of the plankton data crucially depends on the creation, handling, and manipulation of samples, which I aim to consider as epistemic things.

Data and natural history: Do museums dream of digital insects?

Tahani Nadim, Humboldt University Berlin

Based on ethnographic work at the Natural History Museum Berlin, I attend to questions of loss in the mass-digitization of natural history collections. Combining the sociology of data and infrastructural studies, I query the nature of digital specimens and the hopes and promises pinned on them.

Data friction and the power dynamics of meteorological data infrastructures

Jo Bates, University of Sheffield; Paula Goodale, University of Sheffield; Yuwei Lin, University of Stirling

We compare three cases in which people are engaged in efforts to reduce and/or maintain “friction” in the movement of meteorological data between different sites, and explore the role of data friction in the emerging power dynamics of meteorological data infrastructures.

New energy data in the making: meaning, value and governance

Mette Kragh-Furbo, Lancaster University; Gordon Walker, Lancaster University

New ‘smart’ metering technologies and associated software enable a more dense, spatially and temporally differentiated view of patterns of energy use. Yet, what does it take to make this ‘smart’ energy data meaningful? Preliminary thoughts and research findings are discussed.

Hidden Cooperative Specialization in a High Energy Physics experiment

Emiko Adachi, RIKEN; Yasunobu Ito, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST)

In this case study, we examine collaborative work of a high energy physics experiment and demonstrate the divisional cooperation scheme.

Data Analysis and the Perceived Value of Data

Jessey Wright, University of Western Ontario

Data often requires significant analysis to be used as evidence. Distinguishing between perceived and actual value, I use the interpretation of a meta-analysis of neuroimaging data to show that the intuition about an analysis technique determines the perceived value of data.

Molecular Tumor Boards: data interpretation in the age of sequencing

Alberto Cambrosio, McGill University; Pascale Bourret, Aix-Marseille Université / SESSTIM; Sylvain Besle, INSERM

Based on the comparative analysis of the activities of Molecular Tumor Boards in North America and Europe, the paper explores the co-production of data and their interpretation within these collective forums devoted to the discussion of the results of the genomic analysis of patient tumors.

Spurious Categories: A study of data-model symbiosis in the Human Brain Project

Christine Aicardi, King's College London; Tara Mahfoud, King's College London

We question the data-model boundary: When does data become model and model, data? How is data made strategic in this lifecycle? How has the data-model separation in the Human Brain Project fostered a human infrastructure where power/knowledge relations are disputed across the data-model divide?

Preconditions, Procedures and Potentials: Data in Post-Genomic Cancer Research

Imme Petersen, Technical University Braunschweig; Regine Kollek, University of Hamburg

The variety of omics data and their large volume require bioinformatics approaches in data handling and processing. This paper discusses the impact of bioinformatics on cancer research and the consequences it may have for the process of knowledge production in biomedicine.

The Life and Death of Big data in Education

Assunta Viteritti, University Sapienza; Orazio Giancola, Sapienza - Università di Roma

The paper aims to investigate the constitution of data in education at international level and analyze how different configurations, articulations and extensions of the two macro-actors, IEA and OECD, contribute to create living or dead data.

Data Phantoms: The Uncanny Lives of Data Assets

Mary Ebeling, Drexel University

Health data are collected and made "useful" in medical marketing. I explore how data brokers make assets out of health data. These assets are unleashed by marketers and become "data phantoms" that haunt patients, primarily through personalized health marketing.

(Re)making data: A case study of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)

Judit Gárdos, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Natasha Mauthner, University of Aberdeen

Using the Data Documentation Initiative as a case study, this paper explores how data archiving classification systems and standards are (re)making data, and the social sciences more generally, in historically- and culturally-specific ways.

Beyond the deluge. Data and its invisible work.

Jerome Denis, Mines ParisTech

Both advocates and detractors consider data as powerful entities. Beyond such obviousness, the history of the emergence of data in organizations and the ethnography of data work foreground the richness of such work, the conditions of its invisibilization, and the fragility of data enactments.


Mundane Market Matters: On the ordinary stuff (and actions and sometimes people) that make markets

Daniel Neyland, Goldsmiths, University of London; Véra Ehrenstein, Goldsmiths, University of London; Sveta Milyaeva, Goldsmiths, University of London

2nd September 2016, 09:00


This session will explore the ordinary, taken for granted stuff that goes toward making markets. Abstracts are invited which explore mundane market matters through: methodologies; empirical studies; new theories; experiments; the challenges of drawing together distinct approaches to markets.

The ordinary and profound in market-based interventions to solve public problems

Daniel Neyland, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper offers a comparative analysis of the ordinary and profound stuff that enable market interventions to happen. It compares attempts to solve public problems in online data and children at-risk of going into care.

The 's' in markets

Christian Frankel, Copenhagen Business School

Markets have become naturalized as an object of research and also as an object or a tool with which specific collective concerns can be handled. Both rely on the ‘s’ in markets. But how is the ‘s’ put there? What (mundane) stuff allows markets to be singled out, studied, intervened in … and made mundane?

Eating versus Treating: U.S. FDA regulation of diet foods

Xaq Frohlich, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

This historical case, regulatory challenges posed by new diet foods in the U.S. in the 1960s, explores the ways law, science, and markets invest certain objects (in this case foods) with an embodied normativity that in turn shapes or enlists consumers in particular political economic movements.

Contentious interfaces: exploring the junction between collective provision and individual consumption

Elizabeth Shove, Lancaster University; Alain Nadai, Centre national de la recherche scientifique; Magali PIERRE; Catherine Grandclement, EDF R&D

This paper analyses the production of boundaries between collective provision and individual consumption. It does so by investigating two critical and contentious junctions: the home charging point of electric vehicles and the data-display of smart meters.

On the digitization of price tags: looking at the mundane fingers of the invisible hand (1922-2015)

Franck Cochoy, University of Toulouse / CERTOP; Johan Hagberg, University of Gothenburg; Hans Kjellberg, Stockholm School of Economics

Based on the etymology of term “digital” (from digitus, finger or toe), we show that the display of prices in retail settings rests on a mundane digitization process (retailers’ handwriting practices, consumers’ “sticky fingers”, “trigger fingers” of price guns, “digits” of electronic devices).

Devising Wellbeing Markets: how wearables track, marketise and financialise movement

Liz McFall, Open University; David Moats, Linköping University

Over the last decade tracking of individual movement has become a heavily hyped new market. Insurers and employers see ‘quantified self’ data as a new way of pricing health, wellbeing and risk. This paper considers the consequences of the marketisation of wellbeing for the provision of healthcare.

My Story Has No Strings Attached": Credit Cards, Market Devices, and a Stone Guest

José Ossandón, Copenhagen Business School

This paper conceptualises credit cards by combining stories gathered at two fieldwork sites, credit transactions carried out by the inhabitants of low income areas in Santiago de Chile and risk and marketing strategies of consumer credit lenders in Chile.

It's only a matter of time: automated queue management and the constitution of market in post-socialist mass services

Zsuzsanna Vargha, University of Leicester

How do queues constitute markets if they symbolize socialism? The operation of queue management systems in post-socialist banking configure mass service as mundane market order, without customers' visual policing but as rationalized performance control for employees.

Missing Matter: Rain and Risk in Micro Markets

Marc Boeckler, Goethe-University Frankfurt

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in West Africa, the paper explores how mundane devices and economists in the wild intervene in the design, setup and eventual failure of an insurance market at the borderlands of global finance

Sensitive interventions? Germs, fridges, and forms in the regulation of global vaccine markets

Véra Ehrenstein, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper explores the notion of sensitivity to analyse a ‘global health’ market intervention (the large-scale purchase of pneumococcal vaccines for low income countries). In particular it examines the dynamic of attention whereby mundane stuff becomes the focus of (re)action.

The Skin of Commerce: Establishing the Ontonorms of Plastic Food Packaging

Gay Hawkins, University of Western Sydney

How did plastic food packaging became mundane? Thévenot’s account of ‘reality testing’ is used to trace various ontologies of packaging. A key focus is how the functional agency of plastic is enacted in markets, and how this functionality is both technical and moral - and often contested.

Potato Movements: market matters and the Greek crisis

Andreas Streinzer, Institute for Social Research Frankfurt/ Main

The paper present ethnographic material on the making of a market by the activist Potato Movement in Volos, Greece. It explores the "breeding and looking after" the relational arrangements that connect stuff, people and ideas as matters of the market.


STS and Planning: Research and practice intervening in a material world

Marko Marskamp, Institute for Geography and Sustainability- Université de Lausanne; Jonathan Metzger, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Julio Paulos, ETH Zurich; Monika Kurath, ETH Zurich

2nd September 2016, 16:00


By way of paper contributions, the track brings together STS inspired research on planning issues that looks beyond the ready-made plan or the planned territory, and instead enquires into the socio-material and situated practices of planning as a technical and political project of city-making.

Environmental assessment at work in translating sustainability into planning

Shula Goulden, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

This paper investigates planning for sustainability, considering how expertise, values and politics are cast into environmental assessment tools used by planners, and how the technical attributes of these tool go on to determine future material structures as part of a hybrid practice of planning.

Urban planning and techno-science: Exploring knowledge asymmetries and future imaginaries--The case of self-driving cars

Rider Foley, University of Virginia; Michael Bernstein; John Harlow, Arizona State University; Lauren Keeler, Arizona State University

Only 4 of 68 US cities address self-driving cars in their urban transportation plans. Many cities lack capacity to assimilate knowledge of emerging technologies. We interrogate if responsible innovation can address knowledge asymmetries to inform shared future imaginaries.

Practices and material arrangements in urban planning - a practice theoretical perspective

Anders Buch, Aalborg University; Anne Katrine Harders, Green Building Council Denmark

This paper studies an urban development project in Copenhagen. Using a practice theoretical approach, the paper shows that the realization of visions is contingent on the involved practices and the prefiguration of the dominant practice architectures by material arrangements.

The Mathematization of Daylighting: architects' use of the daylight factor

Alan Lewis, University of Manchester

This paper explores British architects’ use of the daylight factor, considering how this metric shaped architectural practice. It shows architects did not routinely quantify daylight when designing dwellings, but knowledge of how to do so enhanced architects’ understanding of daylighting principles.

Following the Code: Studying the hybrid zones of land-use planning in Vancouver (BC)

Marko Marskamp, Institute for Geography and Sustainability- Université de Lausanne

This paper is a methodological reflection on ethnographic field research on zoning in Vancouver (BC) that puts forward to follow the zoning code and decenter the planner when studying land-use planning with STS. It extends this reflection to the politics of zoning as a 'parliament of zones'.

Assessing the Noise: Urban Soundscapes and Livability in Singapore

Sulfikar Amir, Nanyang Technological University

This paper presents a qualitative approach to examine complex neighbourhood urban soundscapes in Singapore. It also discusses possible remedies and abatement measures for noise, and relates these to urban planning, policy, design and regulatory trends.

Planning resistance: exploring forces of resistance through everyday planning work.

Pim Peters, Technische Universität München

Planners encounter ‘resistance’ not ‘stability’ when doing everyday planning work. Drawing from 4 months of ethnography in Munich’s traffic planning department I will explore material, technical and social forces of resistance transforming plans and projects throughout a planning process.

Postcolonial Planning: How Histories of Technology and Planning can help re-shape Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies

Kavita Philip, University of California, Irvine

This paper explores the politics of planning in late twentieth-century India. It closes with methodological reflections on the ways in which my research questions and methods in post-colonial histories of science and technology have been altered by an engagement with histories of planning.

Voices for Nature: an STS approach to Planning Hearings on Off-shore Wind Farms

Yvonne Rydin, University College London

This paper considers how nature was represented and given voice in the case of an off-shore wind power project. It adopts an STS perspective but departs from the Latourian proposition for a Parliament of Things. It suggests a more open form for giving voice, open to uncertainties and contingencies.

Assembling BRT: Planning controversies of the material and operational

Malve Jacobsen, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Planning projects are controversial processes, performed by diverse (non-)human actors in hybrid practices. Taking the case of the planning and implementation process of an intra-urban bus system, this paper discusses controversies of models being assembled and put into socio-material practice.

The Sense of Snow: Visual disability enacted in urban space

Helena Leino, University of Tampere

We focus on the enactment of visual disability in urban space. Our data consists of walking interviews with visually impaired people. We illustrate the multiple ways in which visually disabled people sense the city and how they interact with other dwellers and material elements in urban space.

De-centring the planner: on fragmentations, expectations and demonstrations in urban politics

Julio Paulos, ETH Zurich

The focus of the proposed paper discusses and compares the technologies, modalities and trajectories of planning in Zurich and Vienna. To do so, it rethinks the performative logics of the planning exercise by portraying the situated, allocated and enacted framings of the city in the displacement of politics.

Urban design controversies: Unlocking representation and multiplying the possibilities of public spaces

Brais Estévez-Villarino

The recently proliferation of performative and relational approaches in Human Geography are reanimating urban studies which, lately, have shown signs of exhaustion, predictability and repetitiveness.

Race, Water and Displacement in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Erin Collins, American University

This paper theorizes urban topographical augmentation as a key modality of governance that has produced racialized and classed difference from the colonial period to the present in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Networks "on the RUN": networks of cities and retiology

Luc Tripet, University of Neuchâtel

This paper discusses a project of networking of cities in Switzerland, the RUN, and argues that the network operates as a retiology, in other words as a progressive ideology that overcodes relations between cities.

BREEAM Communities: evaluating a new sustainability standard for master-planning

Lewis Sullivan, University College London

This presentation describes the (often unsuccessful) attempts by BREEAM Communities (a neighborhood sustainability assessment tool) and associated actors to intervene in the master-planning of 5 developments in the UK. The effectiveness of STS in studying marginal cases and actions is also discussed.

Expert knowledge and lobbying tactics: the politics of participation in urban planning in Hackney Wick, London

Isaac Marrero-Guillamon, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper discusses the 'expertification' of community participation in the planning process in Hackney Wick, London. It considers how the deployment of expert knowledge and lobbying tactics resulted in the enactment of 'para-democratic' structures of participation.

After informality: policy experts and the urban technopolitics of rehousing interventions

Marco Allegra, University of Lisbon; Antonio Ascensao, University of Lisbon; Roberto Falanga, Institute of Social Sciences; Ana Ferreira, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

How are sets of policy expertise assembled? To what extent policy experts make a strategic use of their professional status? This paper addresses these questions through an observation of the technopolitics underlying the development of a large Portuguese program for the eradication of slums.

Neighbourhood Planning: inversions and reversions

Andy Yuille, Lancaster University

“Neighbourhood Planning”, introduced by the Localism Act 2011, promised to partially invert relations of power and expertise in English land use planning. I explore how social and material orderings are (re)produced through this new process, and to what extent this promise is being delivered.

Strategic, Tactical or Operational: Three Cultures in Zone Based Urban Planning

Monika Kurath, ETH Zurich

Based on an empirical study of zone based urban planning in five Western cities, this contribution reframes the zoning code as a culturally framed norm that is continuously re-assembled at different places of urban change.

Marble and Portuguese rocks: spot-making practices in brazilian street skateboarding

Pedro Ferreira, UNICAMP - Universidade Estadual de Campinas

This paper proposes a reflexion on the socio-material and situated city-making practices of Brazilian street skateboarders – with special attention to the agency of marble and Portuguese rocks as skateboarding surfaces –, as presented in the published specialized media.

Planning ecologies: issue publics and the reassembling of urban green trajectories

Anders Blok, University of Copenhagen

This paper deploys a case study into ecological controversies over the Kai Tak harbor-front site in Hong Kong to suggest that a pragmatist issue-centered approach to politics - as developed around actor-network theory (ANT) - brings the contested trajectories of urban planning into focus for STS.


Turning Things into Assets

Kean Birch, York University; Fabian Muniesa, Mines ParisTech

1st September 2016, 09:00


An increasing number of STS scholars are engaging with assets as objects of inquiry. An asset is a thing that can be owned, traded and capitalized as a revenue stream, often involving the valuing of discounted future earnings in the present. One key question emerges: how do things become assets?

Turning uncertain disasters into risks and assets : the case of catastrophe-bonds.

Sara Angeli Aguiton, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Working at the intersection of sociology of risk and social studies of finance, this communication propose to investigate catastrophe-bonds and to document the process by which uncertain disasters are turned into both calculable risks and profitable assets.

Recidivists, Rough Sleepers, and the Unemployed as Financial Assets: Social Impact Bonds and the Creation of New Markets in Social Services

James Williams, York University

This paper examines the emergence of social impact bonds (SIBs) as a unique market in social services and a new way to create value from human assets. The forms of evaluation and monetization that underlie this market are explored and SIBs are conceived in terms of a different kind of ‘bio-economy.’

Strata of ignorance in the securitization of natural catastrophes

Emmanuel Kypraios, University of Lugano; Dror Etzion, McGill University; Bernard Forgues, Emlyon Business School

Securitization of natural catastrophes into catastrophe bonds makes risk explicit but ends up increasing opacity as strata of ignorance are sedimented when deals move from one realm of expertise to another, from geology to engineering to insurance to finance.

Making Violence and Sex Consumable: Industry Microcosms, Corporate Flaneurs and Invisible Bodies at the Modern Expo

Shimrit Lee, New York University; Shelly Ronen, New York University

This paper examines the exposition as a capitalization device through which industries can transform unseemly products into assets. We investigate the Israel Defense Exhibition (ISDEF) and the Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo (ANME) as sites in which technologies of death and pleasure are made consumable.

Through competition to assetization: The entrepreneurial alignment of machines, samples, papers and researchers

Marcela Linkova, Czech Academy of Sciences

This paper builds on an ethnographic study at a bioscience research institute in the Czech Republic during which time the institute underwent what I term ‘entrepreneurial alignment’. I will explore how machines, samples, clusters, papers, students and postdocs turned into assets in the process.

A theory of rentiership and rent-seeking for science and technology studies

Kean Birch, York University

I develop the beginnings of a theory of "rentiership" as it relates to (technoscientific) knowledge. Drawing on the intellectual history of ‘economic rent’, I conceptualize how knowledge (considered as a social process) is (1) turned into an asset, and (2) understood as capitalized property.

From commodity to asset and back again. Property in the capitalism of varieties.

Veit Braun, University Frankfurt

Products are never fully commodified and never fully assetisized. As the example of wheat varieties shows, a product is composed through a specific arrangement of commodity-shaped and asset-like valuation processes.

Turning Inventions into Assets: Double Immateriality and Speculation in Patents as Securities

Hyo Yoon Kang, University of Kent

This paper identifies and problematises the increasing financialisation of patents from legal conceptual and STS perspectives. It argues that patents as securities effect a doubling of immateriality and speculation: namely that of an invention’s potential and the patent’s financial value.

Testing Asset Values: Financialization, Organization and the Emergence of Asset Impairment Rules

Andrea Mennicken, London School of Economics and Political Science; Yuval Millo, University of Leicester

Inherent to assets being realized is the issue of their valuation. The ability to generate a legitimate knowledge claim about asset valuation depends on successfully relating a body of knowledge to a would-be asset. How do organizations develop and justify calculations through which assets are valued?

Is capital some sort of a semiotic syndrome and if so how and how come?

Fabian Muniesa, Mines ParisTech

The paper speculates on the potentials of considering capital as a "semiotic syndrome" (i.e. a regime of signification that propels a particular state of reality), with specific attention to science-related "value creation".

English Higher Education: From a Public Good to an Impaired Asset

Sveta Milyaeva, Goldsmiths, University of London

The paper focuses on accounting techniques for UK student loans to analyse how their monetary value is constructed based on them viewed as a measure of a public good or financial assets, thus addresses questions of the conceptualisation of difference between goods and assets.

Assets by Legislation: Stranded Cost Securitization as a Politico-financial Technique

Daniel Breslau, Virginia Tech

Stranded-Cost Securitization was developed as a way of compensating electric utilities whose assets were rendered worthless by the introduction of markets. An examination of this financial innovation shows how the requirements of assetization impose a limit on governmental authority.

Spanish High-Speed Rail: from infrastructure to markets and the contradictions of liberalization

Natalia Buier, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

This paper analyzes the historical evolution of the Spanish high-speed rail project, also known as AVE. Converting rail transportation into an asset presents a specific set of contradictions the response to which can only be understood by analyzing competing claims of economic expertise.

Cost benefit analysis - turning (hypothetical) assets into (material) things?

David Hawkey, University of Edinburgh; Janette Webb, University of Edinburgh

EU directives require cost-benefit analysis of energy efficiency as a means to create material ‘things’ on the basis of their potential status as ‘assets’. Indeterminacy in the way such assets are valued lead to significant differences in what things states identify as worth trying to create.

Performance indicators to unfold the assetization of drinking water

Laurent Beduneau-Wang, Ecole Polytechnique - Université Paris-Saclay

Our paper deals with the process of assetization of water. Based on empirical case study, it aims at defining and categorizing which kind of value(s) and assets are brought through water service delivery and its set of performance indicators.

Investing in energy system flexibility - A risk or uncertainty?

Ronan Bolton, University of Edinbrugh

The energy transition is creating demand for new sources of energy system flexibility. The paper analyses how flexibility is being constituted as an asset suitable for investment. The redesign of markets for flexibility in Europe is a political negotiation largely conducted in national contexts

Mineral deposits to money mines: capitalization and investment climate rankings

Paul Gilbert, University of Sussex

This paper traces the imaginative, calculative and legal work undertaken to transform a mineral deposit into a profitable ‘money mine’, following the processes by which investment climate rankings and political risk imaginaries are folded into the ritual of capitalization, via the discount rate.

Turning sunlit rooftops and windy sites into energy assets

Alain Nadai, Centre national de la recherche scientifique; Béatrice Cointe, University of Oslo

Our contribution analyses the work of turning things (sunlit rooftops, windy sites) into productive assets (solar roof, wind power site) which is at the core of renewable energy development. It discusses on this basis notions used in the critics of capitalism (asset, rentierhsip).

Making New Assets from Old: Future Cities

Janette Webb, University of Edinburgh; David Hawkey, University of Edinburgh

Concepts from sociology of technology are used to examine contemporary struggles between Glasgow city council and energy utilities to transform old things, constituted under public ownership, into new "future city" energy and carbon assets with currency in a neo-liberal political economy and society.

Hungry Capital: Financial Actors & the Governance of Global Food Security

Lise Cornilleau, LISIS / Sciences Po

The article describes the role of financial actors and technologies in the renewed governance of global food security since the 2008 world food crisis. As in the case of biotechnologies, policy design and metrics are coproduced between private actors and international organizations.

The Placenta Economy: From Trashed to Treasured Bio-Assets.

Charlotte Kroløkke, University of Southern Denmark

This paper is about the emergent placenta economy and the ways that placentas circulate and become a valuable commodity.

Cure as Asset? The Contradictions of Valuing a Therapeutic Breakthrough

Victor Roy, University of Cambridge

I investigate the making of a cure for Hepatitis C as a rare instance in which a medicinal asset ‘eliminates its market’, and the contradictions faced in attempting to value both its population health promise as well as financial return.

The Capitalisation of Electronic Patient Records in Data-Driven Economies: Overcoming Privacy Expectations

Paraskevas Vezyridis, The University of Nottingham; Stephen Timmons

To assetise data from electronic patient records and financialise economic growth, the state and the private sector are developing a new techno-legal framework of shared investment and risk for recipients and commissioners of healthcare so as to overcome privacy concerns.

Making Bio Economy Happen: on the commodification of bio-medical research

Bernhard Wieser, Graz University of Technology; Luka Jakelja, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt; Michaela Mayrhofer, BBMRI-ERIC

What is the knowledge basis deployed in the attempt to create a supportive environment for the commodification of bio-medical research? The ways in which intermediary actors integrate tacit and codified knowledge will be discussed.

Datassets: assetizing and marketizing personal data

Kevin Mellet, Orange Labs; Thomas Beauvisage, Orange Labs

Big data technology seems to have achieved the transformation of personal data into a commodity. In this contribution, we wish to question this (common) vision of assetization-as-commodification by paying attention to the actual status and uses of personal data in markets and within firms.


Infrastructures in practice and in flux

Elizabeth Shove, Lancaster University; Tim Schwanen, University of Oxford; Matt Watson, University of Sheffield; Nicola Spurling, Lancaster University

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track builds on established STS traditions of infrastructural studies, but departs from them in emphasising infrastructures-in-use and in practice. We aim to explore dynamic relations between multiple infrastructures, appliances and resources at different spatial and temporal scales.

Experiments with elemental infrastructures

Derek McCormack, Oxford University

Discussing the Google Loon project and ongoing efforts to develop carbon free air travel, this paper explores recent experiments with infrastructures in order to show how they draw together in novel ways three senses of the elemental: the physico-chemical, the meteorological, and the ontological.

Sociotechnical Infrastructure and Knowledge Production in Antarctica's U.S. Research Stations

Luke Bohanon, UCLA

This work synthesizes a sociotechnical understanding of infrastructure with concepts such as Goffman’s “total institution” and Gieryn’s “truth-spot” to explicate the unique nature of knowledge production in U.S. research stations in Antarctica.

'Pukka'/'kutcha': obduracy, infrastructure, and the Indian city

Justin Pickard, University of Sussex

Drawing on ethnographic material from the presenter’s doctoral fieldwork in urban Gujarat, this paper explores the value and utility of ‘obduracy’ (Hommels, 2005) as a way of extending analyses of infrastructure beyond the Western, modernist ‘infrastructural ideal.’

What to rebuild? Updating and developing installed infrastructure

Katherine Lovell, University of Sussex

Highlighting the importance of local conditions and a greater range of system-builders, including local operators and users, for performance and development of long-established infrastructure systems, this paper extends Hughes’s theory of infrastructure system change to examine mature systems.

Infrastructures in use: fixity, flexibility and flux

Elizabeth Shove, Lancaster University

This paper brings together concepts from social theories of practice, and from STS writing on infrastructures to develop and explore methods of analysing the temporal and spatial patterning of transport, energy and communications infrastructures in use.

Infrastructures of the office: the socio-technical construction of workspace.

Noel Cass, Lancaster University

Office infrastructures interlock flow and storage networks (of data, electricity, gas, hot/cold water and air) that facilitate the smooth use of devices and appliances in spaces optimised for work. The paper explores the changing socio-technical construction of the normal, quality office in the UK.

Bloody infrastructures!: Exploring the challenge of umbilical cord blood collection maintenance

Ros Williams, University of Sheffield

This paper looks at umbilical cord blood banks, and argues that a Derridean archival lens instead of a ‘bank’ logic helps us to understand the infrastructural flux of maintaining such tissue collections in the context of changing clinical requirement and increasingly exacting scientific standards.

The Self-Extending Internet? Wireless Infrastructures and Systems of Practice

Janine Morley, Lancaster University

To understand the mechanisms by which the internet is growing this paper examines the ongoing development of Wi-Fi. It argues that, as part of the internet infrastructure, the roles of wireless connectivity flex and stabilise in relation to evolving systems of practice in which they are embedded.

Infrastructures in flux: Plug-in Health Care

Marcello Aspria, Erasmus University Rotterdam

I borrow the concept of 'plug-ins' from my empirical observations in the development of a regional health portal to propose an alternative mode of theorizing integration processes in e-Health that combines a sociotechnical approach with insights from the figurational sociology of Norbert Elias.

Automobility in practice: road capacity, congestions and radio traffic reports

Marith Dieker, Maastricht University

This paper examines radio traffic reports as medium for sustainable traffic management by reflecting on the interrelations between increased automobility, road network capacity, and developments in the presentation of radio traffic information in the Netherlands since the 1960s.

Co-production of the Bicycle City: Infrastructure and Cycling in Copenhagen

Martin Emanuel, Uppsala University

This article treats the long-term historical co-production of cycling practice and cycling infrastructure in Copenhagen, and highlights in particular an important feature of infrastructure: its obduracy and capacity to preserve habits and cultures of the past.

Infrastructures and places within the city

Torik Holmes, Lancaster University

This paper considers the development of two places within Manchester’s city centre and their relationship with the electrical infrastructure. The aim of the paper is to show how infrastructures are used in the constitution of different places and how local governance affects such constitutions.

'Loungification' and The Boredom of Infrastructure

Damian O'Doherty, University of Manchester

We know that airports are implicated in the making of multiple subject positions - passengers, security threats, and consumers - but less well known are the implications of 'loungification' as a new mode of infrastructural use.

Infrastructure's allure

Tim Schwanen, University of Oxford

Interventions in infrastructures are currently popular means for regulating mobilities. This paper analyses why this is so for people’s everyday mobility, locating infrastructure’s allure in the challenges of communicating experiences and understandings of comfort, convenience, speed and efficiency.

The Peripheral Nerves of the Network of Power in Japan

Hiroki Shin, Birkbeck College, University of London

This paper explores the history of electric wires, meters and sockets in homes. In Japan, from the 1910s to 1950s, energy providers and users focused on this equipment in regarding legitimate electricity use. Using case studies, this paper traces changing practices and ideas of ‘proper’ energy use.

Parking Space as Interface: rethinking histories and futures of automobility

Nicola Spurling, Lancaster University

The paper conceptualises parking space/car parking as an interface of infrastructure and systems of practice. It argues parking space/car parking were critical elements in making car use what it is today. Retelling the history of automobility through parking space can help us think forwards too.

Circulation in relation to infrastructure: Keeping things cool in Southeast Asia

Jenny Rinkinen, Lancaster University; Mattijs Smits, Wageningen University

Drawing on our study of social practices around refrigeration in urban Thailand and Vietnam, we explore dynamic relations between infrastructures and elements of practice. We discuss infrastructures as vectors for demand and use this idea to help explain increasing energy consumption in the home.

Material governmentalities of urban infrastructures: how matter matters for traffic regulations?

Tauri Tuvikene, Tallinn University

Infrastructures are not only producing or lived but also governed, with the governing linked to the materiality of governed objects and subjects. The paper investigates the difference between regulating cars and walkers in urban infrastructures and makes a gesture towards material governmentality.


Before/after/beyond breakdown: exploring regimes of maintenance

Jerome Denis, Mines ParisTech; Fernando Domínguez Rubio, UC San Diego; David Pontille, MINES ParisTech - CNRS

2nd September 2016, 14:00


The aim of this panel is to explore the theme of "STS by other means" by focusing on different practices of maintenance and repair. In so doing, the panel aims to open a way to rethink how we investigate the material politics and vulnerability of different expert and mundane sociotechnical systems.

Holding on and letting go - temporal regimes of infrastructure care work

Marisa Cohn, IT University of Copenhagen

The time of long-term maintenance comes to stand for stasis. Systems that persist exceed the purity of design, associating repair with pathos. Yet the lived experience of infrastructure care work disrupts this opposition, revealing the mutually configured temporalities of design and repair.

A Matter of Dust. From Infrastructures to "Infra-thin" in Museum Maintenance

Tiziana Beltrame, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

The daily thick work of museum maintenance and repair tells us stories of blurred substances and unavoidable breakdowns. Following ambient dust allows us to see conservation spaces as places of flows, where heterogeneous entities cohabit in different scales.

"Can you give its soul back?" Mobile Phone Repair Practices

Nicolas Nova, HEAD – Genève

This paper reports the results of a field study about mobile phone repair practices conducted in three Western countries. It describes the mundane type of maintenance and fixing tactics deployed by users, as well as the operations routinely undertaken by mobile phone repair shops.

"Objections": dissolving bonds in objectual ecologies

Blanca Callén, BAU, Design College of Barcelona; Laurence Rassel; Soledad Gutiérrez Rodríguez; Linda Valdes, Fundació Antoni Tàpies

This paper explores the conditions and reasons that weaken and break the linkages that bond us with our everyday objects. Inspired by archaeological method, we compile and analyse interviews and objects thrown away by their owners in order to comprehend the moments before and around breakdown.

Infrastructures of preservation: continuity and maintenance for Media Arts

Vanina Yael Hofman, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Daniel Lopez Gomez, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Pau Alsina, Open University of Catalonia

Media arts points to a bundle of diverse projects that share the challenge of their preservation. This paper explores different relational infrastructures of maintenance and repairing -both inside museums and artists studios- that lay the base of media arts (im)permanence.

Repairing Optimism in the Face of Routine "Failure"

Christo Sims, University of California, San Diego

This paper explores how optimistic feelings and idealistic yearnings are maintained and repaired in well-intended sociotechnical interventions that routinely “fail.” The paper also examines the material-political orders that these morally-sanctioned repair practices help sustain and advance.

Exploring the routine grounds of artworks' maintenance : an ethnomethodological perspective

Yaël Kreplak, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Drawing on the analysis of data collected through a videoethnography in a contemporary art museum, I wish to offer an ethnomethodological perspective on the study of maintenance routines, which should open on a discussion of EM and STS’ distinctive inputs about art as a collective action.

How contemporary legal and policy regimes contour infrastructures of repair

Lara Houston

This paper explores the legal and policy conditions that shape and constrain contemporary repair infrastructures in the computing and wider ICT industries, particularly the legal mechanisms that frustrate repair, as well as the fixes that have been proposed or implemented to enhance it.


Smart eco-cities: experimenting with new urban futures

Rob Raven, Utrecht University; Matthijs Kouw, Maastricht University; Simon Marvin, University of Sheffield; Philipp Späth, Freiburg University; Andres Luque, Durham University

1st September 2016, 14:00


Smart eco-cities' are increasingly part of urban discourse. Urban scholars highlight new risks and social and political implications and criticize its techno-optimism. We invite empirical and conceptual papers building upon perspectives in STS, socio-technical transition studies and urban studies.

Smart City Construction: toward an analytical framework for smart city experimentation

Frans Sengers, Utrecht University; Philipp Späth, Freiburg University; Rob Raven, Utrecht University

This paper mobilizes insights from the field of Sustainability Transitions to provide a fresh analytical perspective on ongoing smart city developments

Tensions and contradictions behind the Smart City in Barcelona: from liberals (2011-2015) to New Municipalism (2015-)

Hug March, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

The paper focuses on the case of Barcelona to contrast how the Smart City concept has been implemented by two radically different administrations: liberal center-righ wing (2011-2015) and New Municipalism (2015-onwards).

From Sustainable to Smart Cities: Complementary or Contradictory Agendas?

Andrew Karvonen, University of Manchester

This paper analyses the convergence of the smart and sustainability agendas as they relate to urban development. It reveals their complementary and contradictory aspects and argues for an emancipatory politics of the city to challenge the uncritical embrace of technological innovation.

Smart and eco cities in China and India

Johanna Hoeffken, Eindhoven University of Technology; Agnes Kneitz, Renmin University

The development of smart and eco cities in both China and in India has gained high political attention and momentum on the national policy agendas. Following a comparative approach we explore the meaning of smart and eco by analyzing public discourses around eco and smart cities in China and India.

Environmental hacking in the smart eco-city: A road to empowerment?

Sanneke Kloppenburg, Wageningen University; Ingrid Boas, Wageningen University

Smart eco-city projects often include digital tools for monitoring and visualising urban environmental issues. Through an analysis of different modes of ‘environmental hacking’ by citizens, this paper critically engages with questions of transparency and inclusion in the design and use of such tools.

Emerging computational forms of knowing urban environments: Digital citizenship and municipal sensing

Simon Marvin, University of Sheffield; Andres Luque, Durham University

This paper looks at the use of digital environmental sensors within smart city configurations, examining transformations on how we interact with resource flows, novel urban subjectivities associated to sensing capacities and implications for how ‘smart’ citizenship is constituted and experienced.

Performativity of visions in assembling a climate-smart city district

Darcy Parks, Linköping University, Sweden

This paper analyses how the vision of a “climate-smart” city contributes to urban change in Malmö, Sweden. I use assemblage urbanism and the sociology of expectations to follow how actors create visions and how visions become performative. I show how actors struggle to maintain the credibility of visions.

From Tidal Flats to a Smart City: Reassembling Songdo Using ANT Approach

Chamee Yang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This paper traces a recent history of Songdo, South Korea, where an ambitious "global, smart, and sustainable" city-making project/discourse has been prevailing. Using ANT as the main framework, this paper weaves together the relationships among multiple actors involved in this project/discourse.


Future Knowing, Future Making. What Anticipation does to STS.

Celine Granjou, University of Grenoble-Alps (IRSTEA); Juan Francisco Salazar, Western Sydney University

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track addresses the reconfiguration of techno-scientific agendas toward anticipatory goals and future-related expertise. It aims to account for the various assemblages of practices, infrastructures and imaginaries enabling experts and lay people to anticipate, foster and pre-empt the future.

Construction of a "climate change problem" in forest modelling studies

Antoine Dolez, Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture

Modelling practices have a key role in how scientists foresee and anticipate the responses of forests to climate change. This paper aims to identify the network of technological knowledges, research practices, and collaborations, by which scientists assess the future of French forests.


Timothy Neale, Deakin University

This paper analyses a pilot in Victoria, where practitioners have utilised a model to measure and intervene in wildfire risk. The pilot presents this calculative collective device at a moment of what I label ‘calculative rearticulation,’ wherein figurations of the future are rebooted or recalibrated.

When space research meets composting. The future of Melissa.

Celine Granjou, University of Grenoble-Alps (IRSTEA); Jeremy Walker, University of Technology Sydney

Melissa is a European Space Agency project of micro-ecological plant for spaceflight, providing crew with air, water and food and recycling waste using microbes. We unpack the eco-futurist politics of anticipation at stake in this vision of a minimal, earthless, and thoroughly human-controlled biosphere.

Shaping the future through flood risk: EPS and the politics of anticipation

Sebastien Nobert, University of Leeds

The paper pays attention to the temporal modalities generated by EPS and highlights what kind of futures this new technology produces, but perhaps more crucially, what kind of relationship to time is created and maintained through those new forecasting capacities.

City futures: Speculation, urban planning, and the anticipatory gaze

Rachel Weber, University of Illinois at Chicago

Drawing from a study of downtown development in Chicago, I compare the concepts of speculation and planning. Statistical and visualization practices validated both, providing experts with the confidence to predict future trends while simultaneously manipulating those same trends.

Making future sustainable cities - the importance of collectively held visions in guiding the work and avoiding conflicts

Lina Ingeborgrud, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology

In this paper I address Norwegian national and local government's visions of the future sustainable city, expectations regarding responsibilities in order to make these cities, and visions of the future citizen - and how to manage and mobilize these.

Embedding futures in public policy: why does foresight become institutionalized?

Maxime Petit Jean, Université Catholique de Louvain; Catherine Fallon, University of Liege; Christian DE VISSCHER, Université catholique de Louvain; Jean-Luc Guyot, IWEPS

Following a socio-historical institutionalist approach, this paper retraces how foresight has been institutionalized within energy policy and health policy in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom. It then highlights factors of institutionalization of foresight within public policy.

Evidence, Future, Accountability

Richard Rottenburg, University of Halle

This paper addresses the paradox that projects to increase predictability and accountability reduce ontological multiplicity, while in the long run this reduction raises the risk to become locked in one version of reality that might turn out to be erroneous and have radically unpredictable consequences.

Back to the Present. Anticipating the unexpected via ICT?

Antonia Langhof, Leibniz Universitaet Hannover

Despite continuing enthusiasm for preparedness for unexpected events they strike society regularly with severe damages. ICT is regarded as adequate tool to anticipate potential future events. The adherence to the myth that future unexpected events can be managed via the use of ICT will be analysed.

Future Conceptualization and Practice: Scenarios, Uncertainty, and Preparedness

Limor Samimian-Darash, Hebrew University

In this paper I analyze how scenarios work as technologies of uncertainty, both in their conceptualization of the future and, especially, in their enactment. I further argue that in their execution, scenarios generates uncertainty as a form of knowing and practicing the future.

Not if but when: calculating, imagining, and performing pandemic preparedness

Meike Wolf, Goethe University Frankfurt

Pandemics are represented as a threat to health, and to economic and political wellbeing on a global scale. By drawing upon the examples of London and Frankfurt, the paper looks at how a not-yet future of virological emergence is calculated, imagined, and performed through pandemic preparedness.

Imagined futures: Anti-aging technology and the technoscientific mappings of the ethical ageless subject

Kirsten Ellison, University of Calgary

Examines the discursive construction of technoscientific futures of agelessness in seven North American popular science and technology magazines surrounding the discovery and invention of new forms of age intervention. The discursive assemblages of new forms of ethical self-government are outlined.

Mapping uncertain, contested terrains for navigation - anticipation and interventions in design

Ulrik Jørgensen, Aalborg University Copenhagen

Anticipation is an integral part of designing raising the question what type of knowledge is involved. Building on an arenas of development approach the article explores how design interventions are elements of navigating ordering processes.

Anticipating data artifacts for future archeologists: A collaborative intervention project

Annette Markham, Aarhus University

A ‘reflexive anticipation’ epistemology fosters experimental research design that intervenes as it explores possible trajectories. This framework is based in ongoing experiments training youth to be critical auto-phenomenologists of social media to speculatively intervene in their own data futures.

Future Emerging Technologies: Shaping the future through futuring, visioneering, and anticipating possible impacts of techno-scientific innovation

Petra Schaper-Rinkel, Austrian Institute of Technology

We will analyse 3 ways of creating techno-scientific futures. 1. futuring as exploring, predicting, and forecasting futures. 2. visioneering as the normative dimension of future technologies, 3. anticipating as the process & governance dimension.

Contesting Futures Different from the Past. Futuring in History Classes

Josefine Raasch, Ruhr University Bochum

Based on the ethnographic research, this paper provides insights in how the future of the past is negotiated for a History high school curriculum in Berlin. It reveals how future histories are currently negotiated.

Intervention by imagination - Towards an STS based futures approach

Bruno Gransche, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI; Philine Warnke, Fraunhofer Institute of Systems and Innovation Research ISI

STS could help futures thinking to re-align imagination and intervention while recognizing the complexity of social systems. In particular STS could underpin a better understanding of the performativity of “the future” and the durability of socio-technical configurations.


Stakeholder engagement in smart city (re-)development

Tally Hatzakis, Open University; Susan Winter, University of Maryland

3rd September 2016, 09:00


We invite interdisciplinary insights, methods and best practices on citizen and informal social networks engagement on smart city (re-)development.

Challenges in introducing IT in participatory urban planning

Kari Kuutti, University of Oulu

The paper discusses on challenges of facilitating citizen engagement in participatory urban planning by the means of experimental IT systems. The facilitation is possible but far from easy and simple. The experiences from three different cases are used to illustrate the challenges and problems.

Co-design of smart city infrastructures - Towards an agenda

Claudia Mendes Bernhard, Technical University of Munich; Hannah Varga, Humboldt University of Berlin

This paper aims to identify guidelines for successful co-creation of smart city infrastructures. It is based on the evaluation of a series of techniques and methodologies to enable collaborative design within the smart neighborhood development of Neuaubing-Westkreuz in Munich, Germany.

Between Smart surveillance and military urbanism: the case of Aerostatic Balloons in Santiago de Chile.

Martin Tironi, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Matías Valderrama, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Militarized urbanism, smart city, controversy, surveillance technology, Santiago, criminality.

A taxonomy of Smart City participation

Merel Noorman, Maastricht University; Dorien Zandbergen, University of Amsterdam

In this paper we will develop a taxonomy of different forms of participation in Smart City creation, based on overview of relevant literature and comparative ethnographic research conducted in three different Smart City settings of innovation.

Smart Technologies, Smart Governance and Smart Cities: The Role of Community Involvement in Local Governance

Ravi Shukla, Netvision Corporation

This paper suggests that use of "smart" technologies in itself may not result in smart or effective governance. Involving local communities in the conceptualization and design of these systems opens up the possibility of having more effective systems of governance.


Digital fabrications amongst hackers, makers and manufacturers: whose 'industrial revolution'?

Johan Soderberg, Göteborg University; Adrian Smith, University of Sussex; Maxigas ., Lancaster University

1st September 2016, 11:00


Digital design and fabrication tools (3D printers, etc.) are said to create agency, community and work. Yet they stem from numerical control machines, whose conflicted history deskilled workers and stole their livelihood. What does this contrast tell us about the promised future of "making"?

How Fab Labs materially realize their imaginary (or not)

Cindy Kohtala, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture

'Fab Lab’ makerspaces in the global north appear to struggle to enact the ideology of democratizing technologies. The paper details how material elements in Labs symbolize successes and compromises in everyday practice, based on longitudinal empirical study and Symbolic Interactionist analysis.

Openness and Closure in Distributed Innovation Processes

Tobias Drewlani, Technische Universität München; David Seibt, Technische Universität München

Digital technologies hold two conflicting promises: On the one hand a democratization of the innovation process, on the other hand an ever growing efficiency for companies extending their control over a large number of individuals. We argue that these two futures might be two faces of the same coin.

Does one size fit one?

.ginger .coons

Mass customization is served by arguments like those supporting the emancipatory power of digital fabrication: giving consumers more choice mitigates the alienation of industrialisation. I argue that choice has little benefit if parametrically-customized goods are tied to systems of mass production.

Makers of the World, UNITE!

Christopher Csikszentmihalyi, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

“Maker spaces” are an old brand in a new wrapper, designed to create a discursive rupture with older forms of material production. What would it take to redesign them as spaces for local mētis-centered approaches to research, development, and production?

Sharing, makerspaces and the new industrial city

Ramón Ribera - Fumaz, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) - Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Makerspaces are becoming the iconic architectural and institutional space of the sharing economy. However, what kind of sharing/industrial city do they prefigure? This paper unpacks the role of makerspaces in prefiguring prefiguring urban futures and whose city is produced.

Fablabs: The institutionalization of "soft hacking" in third places

Evelyne Lhoste, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés; Marc Barbier, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

We describe the emergence of the fablabs in France. They appear as third places where collaborative forms are tested at the interface between the academic world and advocacy movements. Brokering and intermediary agents seem essential to both their establishment and their longevity as third places.

Institutionalizing Making. How Making is translated into organizational practice

Klara-Aylin Wenten, Technical University Munich; Sascha Dickel, Johannes Gutenberg University; Anton Schröpfer, Technical University of Munich

Based on ethnographic data collected from a makerspace affiliated with a University Entrepreneurship Center, we show how established organizations translate ‘making’ into their organizational reality.

Digital fabrication in Brazil: can we make it work for social inclusion?

Rafael Dias, University of Campinas; Adrian Smith, University of Sussex

The paper seeks to explore the actual and potential role of Brazilian makerspaces using digital fabrication in promoting social inclusion, based on empirical evidence collected from interviews and visits to makerspaces in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

Hacking the museum together: Historiographies of space, from hackspaces to shared machine shops

Kaitlyn Braybrooke, University of Sussex

Inspired by community hackspaces, European cultural institutions are opening shared machine shops. This paper explores user experiences at both hackspaces and institutional spaces, asking whether power, access and ownership are challenged or reinforced when introducing new commons-based practices.

Souvenirs of Place and Time - Using in-situ 3D Printing as a tool for Audience Engagement with Local Heritage

Sam Forster, Edinburgh Napier University; Katharina Vones, Edinburgh Napier University

This paper demonstrates how technological innovations in design and personalization, through in-situ 3D printing, offer opportunities to escape the serial reproduction of culture by using creative processes that engage the visitors to heritage sites in the creation of meaning.


The Event of the Public: Convolutions of Aesthetic and Epistemic Practice

Mike Michael, University of Exeter; Alex Wilkie, Goldsmiths, University of London; Gay Hawkins, University of Western Sydney; Kane Race, University of Sydney

1st September 2016, 16:00


This track aims to explore the role of the aesthetic in epistemic practices with particular reference to the ways in which 'publics' or 'scientific citizens' are enacted.

Aesthetics and the Making of Technoscientific Publics

Mike Michael, University of Exeter

The paper discusses a number of approaches to ‘aesthetics’. Drawing on various case studies, a typology is developed which tentatively describes the means by which aesthetics might illuminate the social, epistemic, affective, etc elements entailed in the eventuation of ‘technoscientific publics’.

Queer Counterpublics in the Digital Context

Kane Race, University of Sydney

This paper reformulates the problem of queer counterpublics from a topographic register to one that attends to the unfolding of events. The latter may be more suited to figuring the queer world-making possibilities of digital technologies.

Rationality and Ritual: Public Randomization Ceremonies as Aesthetic and Epistemic Objects

Margarita Rayzberg, Northwestern University

Researchers conducting randomized controlled field experiments convene “public randomization ceremonies” to make randomized resource allocation appear fair to retain research participants. I draw on theories of ceremony to examine this practice as both an aesthetic and an epistemic object.

›Artivism‹ - a new form of politics?

Nora Rigamonti, Technical University Berlin

Contemporary debates on social issues are accompanied by various enactments of publics and their aesthetic practices, experimental interventions and materials. Do these forms of collective knowledge and participation by activists and artists contain specific possibilities of democratic politics?

Provoking Animal Publics: the case of wildlife documentary

Ben Dibley, Western Sydney University; Gay Hawkins, University of Western Sydney

Using examples from the history of wildlife documentaries on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, this paper develops the concept of ‘provocative containment’ to investigate the internal workings of these representations and the kinds of animal performances and publics they generate.

Proof and Beauty: On the aesthetics/forensics/politics/technics of surveillance and ornithological images.

Rocco Bellanova, University of Amsterdam; Ann Rudinow Saetnan, Norwegian Institute for Science & Technology

Starting from differently valued wildlife photos and CCTV images, we compare the two sets of imaging practices and values across the two fields, using tensions within and between the fields to highlight theoretical perspectives on concepts such as truth, authenticity, proof ... and beauty.

The Form(ation) of Insterspecies Aesthetics

Li Jönsson, Kakd; Tau Lenskjold, University of Southern Denmark

In this paper we explore the event as an inventive (design) method that sparks interspecies relations into being through speculative artefacts. Furthermore we describe a set of different aesthetical conceptualizations of environmental concerns.

Energy and Aesthetic Experience: Engaging Communities of Despair

Alex Wilkie, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper reflects on a one-day engagement workshop with UK-based energy communities to examine the occasioning of novel aesthetic methodological techniques as a means to reformulate the ‘problem’ of energy-demand reduction practices as the ‘aesthetic experience’ of energy.

A Step towards Infrastructural Esthetics

Masato Fukushima, The University of Tokyo

The pioneering works on infrastructure in STS have adopted the relational definition of it, failing in addressing such issues as politics of visibility in terms of urban landscape. This presentation reexamines the role of esthetic visibility as the legitimate part of the infrastructural dynamics.

Shiny, stinky, interesting!? Professional practices of dis/engaging citizens

Nona Schulte-Römer, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ

This paper explores the aesthetics of public engagement and ignorance in the context of urban techno-scientific tests and demonstrations. The empirical focus is on street lighting and water management – two ‘techno-scientific assemblages’ with important but very different aesthetic and environmental effects.

'There is a township growing in your backyard': exploring a chief's entanglements in processes of 'issue making'

Eva Riedke, University of Mainz

How do semiotic and aesthetic qualities of infrastructures feature in processes of ‘issue making’? In South Africa, a chief who is said to have ‘lost his land’ becomes entangled in a variety of political practices, with other actors, aimed at defining matters of concern pertaining to land.

Art-and-energy convolutions

Lea Schick, IT University of Copenhagen

In this presentation I analyze a big art and energy project – the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) – and discuss how art and aesthetics may offer not only other means for engaging in the making of energy futures, but also other means for STS researchers to intervene in the field.


STS-CAM: Science and technology studies on complementary and alternative medicine

Pia Vuolanto, University of Tampere; Jenny-Ann Danell, Umea University; Caragh Brosnan, University of Newcastle

1st September 2016, 16:00


This traditional track with standard papers focuses on the processes associated with the knowledge production, professionalization, standardisation, integration and globalization of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Negotiation and translation of complementary and alternative medicine in the political domain

Jenny-Ann Danell, Umea University

This paper is focused on how CAM is translated and negotiated in Swedish politics. How are boundaries of CAM and conventional medicine drawn in the political debate? What is defined as problems or in need of political intervention? What goals are suggested? If and how is scientific knowledge used?

The 'S-word' in chiropractic education: exploring the paradoxical relationship between standardisation and professionalisation

Caragh Brosnan, University of Newcastle

This paper contributes to unpacking the complex and sometimes paradoxical relationship between standardisation and professionalisation, through a study of the role of educational standards in the evolving status of the chiropractic profession.

"Hiding in the corridors, fearing the Sceptic" - Inside the social world of integrative medicine

Pia Vuolanto, University of Tampere

Integrative medicine attempts to merge different therapies, for example, traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy with evidence-based medicine. I present results from a multi-sited ethnography which looks at knowledge production practices of Finnish researchers in integrative medicine.

Neo-colonial turf wars and traditional medicine regulation: a case study

Nadine Ijaz, University of Toronto; Heather Boon, University of Toronto

Analysing a Canadian case of acupuncture regulation, we use postcolonial theory to examine the privileging of biomedical and non-immigrant practitioners using traditional medicine-rooted therapies. We propose a series of regulatory strategies aimed at prioritizing traditional knowledge protection.

Modes and moves of Chinese Medicine in post/socialist Europe

Tereza Stockelova, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Jaroslav Klepal, Czech Academy of Sciences

Together with ongoing (geo)political, socio-material and economic changes, Chinese medicine (CM) has been enacted in multiple and sometimes conflicting versions in the Czech Republic. Inspired by Mol, we ethnographically follow four different modes and moves of CM and their relations to biomedicine.

Self-Responsibilization and Self-Actualization: CAM as Neoliberal Governance and Embodied Wellness

Ana Ning, King's University College at UWO

This paper will draw upon documentary and ethnographic research data to support its main argument that contemporary developments of CAM in local (e.g. Canada) and global settings simultaneously embody self-responsibilization and self-actualization of individuals in their use of CAM.

Acupuncture, Science and Higher Education: negotiating competing paradigms and professional autonomy within British Universities

Assaf Givati, University of Portsmouth; SHelley Berlinsky, London City College

This project is designed to investigate the tensions that emerge as traditional acupuncture is taught within the University sector in Britain and is aligned with biomedical, scientific methods and knowledge.

Institutional challenges in the medical evaluation of CAM in the U.S.

Geoffroy Carpier, Université de Rouen / NYU; Patrice Cohen, University of Rouen

Drawing on inductive socio-anthropological approach and focusing on "federal making of legitimizations towards cancer CAM" by a plurality of agents, this research analyzes challenges of an integrative model at stake in the different modalities of the medical evaluation of cancer CAM in the U.S.

Alternative Methods in Anaesthesia: Mesmerism in 1840s Britain and Hungary

Eszter Pál, Institute of Sociology, ELTE

The paper uses a case study to illustrate how different factors create contingency in the history of science. As the analysis shows, the battle between professional groups to control anaesthetics by advocating either mesmeric or ether pain relief was intertwined with wider socio-cultural issues.


Considering the performativity of our own research practices

Juliane Jarke, University of Bremen; Lisa Wood, Lancaster University; Lucas Introna, Lancaster University

3rd September 2016, 09:00


What happens if we take Barad's call for ethico-onto-epistemology seriously? How can we perform STS 'by Other Means', open the black box of ethnographies, and participate in their performative enactment more reflexively and creatively? Paper presentation and discussion facilitated by a respondent.

Un/Re-making method: Enacting a posthumanist performative social science

Natasha Mauthner, University of Aberdeen

This paper suggests that enacting a posthumanist performative social science requires un-making humanist representationalist, and re-making posthumanist performative, social research methods. The argument is illustrated through a case of a feminist method of narrative analysis.


Lisa Wood, Lancaster University

In this paper I present both a traditional ethnographic and an autoethnographic case study relating to the expansion of medical visualisation. In juxtaposing the two, I explore questions relating to knowledge production and perception to uncover how subject and object are produced through method.

Interviews and Focus Groups as Ethnographic Sites for Studying the Enactment of Bodies and Selves

Michael Penkler, Technical University of Munich

Arguing for a performative reading of interviews and focus groups, I show how they can be analyzed as experimental sites for ethnographic studies of the enactment of bodies and selves. As model public spaces they offer insights into how such processes play out in public settings more generally.

Displacing Meanings of Early Childhood Literacy: A Praxiographical Fieldwork?

Lena Aronsson, Stockholm University

What are the methodological implications of the concepts of 'researcher' and 'fieldwork' when conducting a praxiography? Drawing on a thesis project fieldwork in preschools the concepts will be discussed as theoretically extended when used in addition to the traditional ethnographic context.

Ethico-onto-epistemology: some reflections on performative epistemic practices

Lucas Introna, Lancaster University

What exactly does it mean for epistemic practices to be performative? We tend to do the same epistemic practices as in the representational paradigm—observing, describing, and narrating. How are they different; what do they enact; and, what constitutes good/valid performative epistemic practices?

Considering the performativity of our own research practices: diffraction in practice and as practice

Davide Nicolini, University of Warwick; Annouchka Bayley, Warwick University

We discuss how the notions of apparatus and diffraction can be operationalised in practice using example form video research (camera angle and movement as a performative apparatus) and performance-as-research (generating diffraction through theatre performance in an institutionalised settings).

Manifold roles in researching, doing and promoting Technology Assessment

Benedikt Rosskamp, University of Liège

This paper reflects on the ambiguities and shifting subjectivities of doing research within and besides a European Science-in-Society project.

Touch as ethico-onto-epistemology

Eva Svedmark, Umeå University

Strongly influenced by feminist technoscience this paper suggests touch as method in a ethico-onto-epistemology taken seriously. Using empirical cases of emotional dirt and digital life narratives touch - as method - turns out to lead the way for a new critical understanding of our posthuman becoming.

Performing sociomaterial research, enacting sociomateriality?

Juliane Jarke, University of Bremen

This paper discusses ethico-onto-epistemological commitments of and for sociomaterial research. I argue that we need to consider the performative conditions of our methods and attend to the limitations of terms such as observation that distally suggest that we are looking at something.

The "Breaching Question" as a Performative Research Method

Meritxell Ramírez-i-Ollé, University College London

The "Breaching Question" is an ethnographic method that I initially used to generate sociological knowledge about science; however, it inadvertently affected the very same epistemological practices I sought to study and the relations with my research subjects.

Writing research as ethico-onto-epistemic practice

Mariacristina Sciannamblo, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

This paper seeks to unfold the performative character of research and the ethical concerns such character implies. Drawing upon 2 years of ethnography in a telecommunication company, I will present two versions of one particular story to underline the process of writing as onto-epistemic practice.

Science out of Comfort: Slow Science, Contact Zones and Intra Activism

Anna Croon Fors, Umeå University

The call for ethico-onto-epistemologies in STS research generates new ways of knowledge and reality production. Slow Science, Contact Zones and Intra Activism are here explored in order to shift into a different register where the performativity of research are articulated, sensed and questioned.

Resonance Momentum: Mobilities of Making and Social Research

Samuel Thulin, Concordia University; Jen Southern, Lancaster University; Monika Buscher, Lancaster University

This paper develops the concept of methodological resonance in interdisciplinary practice-based research. We draw connections between physics and the social world, focusing on how methods amplify and productively interfere with one another as understandings are negotiated and performed collaboratively.

Reconsidering the performativity of methods in STS research from a constructive design research perspective

Sissel Olander, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; Tau Lenskjold, University of Southern Denmark

This paper discusses the performativity of methods in STS research from the position of material-experimental practices in constructive design research. The paper seeks to highlight and reconfigure what seems to somewhat underexposed relations between ethics, knowing, and becoming in much STS research.


Urban Climate Experiments: A Para-Site

Friederike Gesing, University of Bremen; Michael Flitner, Bremen University

3rd September 2016, 16:00


Amidst increasing standardization of transnational climate governance, collective urban experiments challenge the normaliziation of climate change in the city. The track explores collaborative approaches to the coproduction of transnational spaces in localized experiments and networked structures.

Epistemic communities, professional expertise and the city: The case of global ecological problems in large Canadian cities.

Louis Guay; Julie Hagan, Laval University

The purpose of the paper is to focus on the part experts and epistemic communities play in the urban policies with respect to global ecological problems such as climate change and biodiversity. This is based on a case study of large Canadians cities.

Research in the wild for the city and with the citizens: The climate game and other actions

Josep Perelló, Universitat de Barcelona

How can we act collectively on climate issues? We combine a self-reflection experience, collective relevant scientific results and civic actions in a research in the wild located at the city of Barcelona.

Experimenting with cities and citizens' responses to climate change

Lucía Liste, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Sara Heidenreich, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

How are Norwegian cities and citizens responding to the pressing challenge of climate change? By dialoguing about two different climate change governance initiatives we aim to engage with innovative co-presentation formats and examine lessons for the governance of urban transitions.


Technoscience and Transformation of the State

Sulfikar Amir, Nanyang Technological University; David Galbreath, University of Bath

1st September 2016, 16:00


This track sets out to examine how technoscience has allowed many developments that are changing the pattern of social relations and political governance. We look at this transformation in spatial politics to examine the impact of technoscience on the state.

Will the smart city challenge how governments do policy making?

David Galbreath, University of Bath

This paper looks at how the notion of the 'smart city' has the potential to alter how governments do policy-making on the basis of the complexity and data management that governments will need control if it is aiming at optimisation.

Targeted therapies, genomic and the challenge of their costs for Welfare State

Pierre-André Juven, IFRIS - Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société

Medical innovations in cancer constitute a challenge for the future of the Welfare States. This communication explores how health innovations imply new political economy of cancer and how the British State try to render accessible drugs that are extremely expensives.

Digital Empire and the Politics of Online Solidarity Activism

Meryem Kamil, University of Michigan

This paper centers the materiality of ICT in Gaza and the aesthetics of images circulated from Gaza to the Global North during the 2014 Gaza Massacre to think through levels of mediation (actor, device, network, and platform) regarding online activism.

Internet Platform Governance and Democracy

Ingrid Schneider, University of Hamburg

The paper highlights the interaction between governance by and of internet platforms. It explores the current state of the "Californian Ideology" (Barbrook/Cameron 1995; Turner 2006) and how it has become materialised in technical infrastructures, products, and economic mechanisms (Morozov 2015).


STS for pharmaceuticals and public health policy

Conor Douglas, Maastricht University; Courtney Davis, King's College London; John Abraham, King's College London; Stuart Hogarth, King's College London

2nd September 2016, 09:00


What is the relationship between pharmaceuticals and the policies that govern them? How can societal challenges in this area be addressed to achieve health outcomes? We seek papers exploring the dynamics through which pharma technoscience has been, could be, and should be, shaped by other means.

Scenario studies with coverage decision-makers for drugs for rare diseases

Conor Douglas, Maastricht University

When futures are uncertain, and technological developments stand to have large impacts, scenario studies can be used as a tool for strategic foresight. This paper reports on an intuitive logic scenarios study with drug coverage decision-makers in Canada on the issue of drugs for rare diseases.

Blockbuster diagnostics? The pharmaceuticalisation of the IVD industry.

Stuart Hogarth, King's College London

This paper discusses a number of trends in the diagnostics industry which are worthy of sociological analysis and which collectively might be understood as constituting a form of pharmaceuticalisation.

Knowledge management in multi-site clinical trials in Latin America.

Sara Valencia, University of Edinburgh; Alessandro Rosiello, University of Edinburgh

Production of knowledge in clinical trials in Latin America is reshaped by the alliance with public health organizations, the meta-coordination of research activities between actors working in the trial, and their ability to learn, introduce, and transfer information through the network

What do they know? On patients reporting drug safety issues

Jasmin Engelhart, University of Vienna

Knowledge production about drug safety increasingly takes place outside of clinics and labs. I examine how the role of patients as formal reporters of adverse drug reactions is enacted in parliamentary discussion, data processing at a drug regulation authority and in newspaper coverage.

Benzodiazepines trajectory in Uruguay: implications for public health

Andrea Bielli, Universidad de la República, Uruguay; Gabriela Bruno, Universidad de la República, Uruguay; Nancy Calisto, Universidad de la República, Uruguay; Santiago Navarro, Universidad de la República, Uruguay; María Pilar Bacci Mañaricua, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

This paper analyses the trajectory of benzodiazepines in Uruguay's health system, where recently these drugs have been deemed a public health problem. We trace the evolution of local academic discussions and regulatory measures from their introduction to this Latin American country up to the present.

The politics of rare diseases and orphan drugs in Europe

Rob Hagendijk, Universiteit van Amsterdam

A co-productionist analysis of EU health policies for rare diseases. How scientific, political, ethical and economic concerns get reconfigured in ways that may affect future EU public health systems and societies writ large.

Research Ethics Committees and the 'club regulation' of pharmaceutical research

Adam Hedgecoe, Cardiff Unviersity

This paper explores UK RECs as form of hybrid 'club regulation'.

Access driven networks for therapeutic goods production in Brazil

Marilena Correa, State University of Rio de Janeiro; Maurice Cassier, CNRS; Koichi Kameda, CERMES3 and IMS/UERJ

This paper is based on research (Cassier & Corrêa 2003; 2014; Kameda, 2012) on the political economy of social-technical arrangements that boosted the local production and circulation of medicines and tests in Brazil, focusing on laboratorial work and technological development in the name of access

The Politics of Knowledge Production in Carcinogenic Risk Assessment

John Abraham, King's College London

Building on realist theoretical frameworks in STS and drawing on fieldwork in Europe and the US spanning over a decade, this paper examines how political, economic and institutional interests have reshaped definitions of pharmaceutical carcinogens, and considers the implications for public health

Pricing orphan drugs, prizing rare diseases

Vololona Rabeharisoa, MINES ParisTech; Liliana Doganova, Mines ParisTech

This communication looks at the emergence of orphan drugs markets, the intricacies between their testing and pricing, and debates on how to make rare diseases matter.

Prenatal Genetic testing as instruments of governementalisation of public health

Catherine Fallon, University of Liege

Genealogy of production of technical and financial regulations for prenatal genetic tests show how power and knowledge develop as entities intertwined within a dynamic relationship, supporting the emergence of socio technical networks and forms of resistance in this sector of public health

Boundary work in the regulatory evaluation of pharmaceuticals

Jarno Hoekman, Utrecht University; Wouter Boon, Utrecht University

We present a longitudinal case-study of a European policy instrument that facilitates early patient access to pharmaceuticals that address unmet medical needs. We focus on the boundary work of companies and regulators to delineate levels of evidence for market access and define unmet medical need.

FDA Approval of Flibanserin for Female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: A Rhetorical Study

Judith Segal, University of British Columbia

The presenter attended FDA meetings on Female Sexual Dysfunction, ahead of an application for approval of flibanserin as a treatment. The paper analyzes the rhetoric leading to approval, and asks why arguments persuasive to the FDA have been unpersuasive to women who might be candidates for the drug.

Pharmaceutical wholesaling and its regulation, an important stage to explore

Daniel Arhinful, NMIMR, University of Ghana; Jean-Yves Le Hesran, IRD; Carine Baxerres, IRD/ Université Paris Descartes/CNE

Based on ethnographic study of a large pharmaceutical wholesale market in Accra, Ghana, we analyse the links between state and market regulation and how they influence consumption by people and public health concerns.

Developing a Canadian Orphan Drug Policy: A Stalled Initiative

Carlos Novas, Carleton University

This paper will explore the political-economic, patient advocacy and policy nexus that has contributed to the absence of a Canadian orphan drug policy from the mid-1990s to the present.

An examination of the development of the HPV vaccine

Shaun Geer, UC Davis

This paper looks at the development of the HPV vaccine, and particularly the interaction between corporate, state, and academic actors in developing an epistemic thing and commodifying it.

"The most generous statement justifiable": Analytic capabilities and investigative norms in the regulation of the anti-influenza drug Relenza

Shai Mulinari, Lund University

Relenza was launched in the late 90’s. This paper investigates why FDA and European regulators came to divergent interpretations regarding Relenza efficacy, and why the FDA approved the drug despite an overwhelmingly negative opinion in its Antiviral Drug Products Advisory Committee.

Health Fiction, Performativity, and Pharmaceuticalzation: A Preliminary Remark on "Fictitious Health" in contemporary Biomedicalization

Kan-Lin Hsu, Tunghai University

The author proposes the concepts of health fiction and fictitious health inspired by Karl Polanyi and Michael Callon to characterize the role of epidemiological studies in policy campaigns and pharmaceutical marketing as well as in reinforcing the tendency of pharmaceuticalization.

Primary healthcare and biotechnology innovation: developing cancer immunotherapy in Cuba

Nils Graber, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Since recently, clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy drugs are conducted in Cuba at the level of primary healthcare. We analyze the role of primary healthcare actors in the innovation process, with the attempt to show how it is linked to both public health policies and export strategy.


Markets versus commons? What relationships? What roles for STS?

Les Levidow, The Open University; Luigi Pellizzoni, University of Pisa

3rd September 2016, 09:00


There has been a long-standing debate over 'markets versus commons', yet they intermingle in various ways. The session aims to shed light on this contested area, especially the role of STS concepts.

Communities and Markets on the Geoweb - How Do Open Data Web Maps Compare With Proprietary Ones?

Valentina Carraro, Hong Kong City University

This research considers the debates around market/commons in connection with web-cartography. Once the appanage of the State, maps are now often produced either by corporations or by user communities. How do these two models play out on the map?

Remaking the Commons: open access movements and the deprivatization of scientific publications

Didier Torny, INRA- Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

Open access movements have raised the tension between a conception of scientific publications as a common good and another one based on legally defined rights. I trace the genesis of the OA movements and analyze how public policies rearticulate public goods and private rights in contrasting ways

Pe(e)rformativity: Narratives of social change in Commons-based peer production

Bruno Chies

Performativity theory is almost exclusively concerned with markets. Can theories on commons governance also be performative? Are they necessarily antagonistic to how markets are organized? This paper rehearses some answers by considering the theories and practices advocated by the P2P Foundation.

The ambivalence of openness: Online education as an expression of converging and conflicting reform programs in the university

Edward Hamilton, Capilano University

This paper examines open educational resources, open source learning systems and MOOCs as expressions of converging and conflicting reform programs in higher education.

Understanding the role of Digital Commons; The making of HTML5

Raúl Tabarés, Tecnalia

The last version of Web´s hypertext standard called HTML5 is also a new digital commons developed in order to stop the proliferation of proprietary software that takes place during the “Web 2.0” period. Understanding the role of this kind of standards is of outmost importance in digital economy.


Science and Technology through Critical Art Practice

Lisa Cartwright, Univ of California at San Diego; Merete Lie, Norwegian Uni of Science and Technology

3rd September 2016, 11:00


Science and Technology through Critical Art Practice is devoted to considering new ways of making and doing in science and technology and in STS informed by sci-artists and engagement with feminist and critical theory.

Visualising the Laboratory: Choreography, Photography and (Nano)technology

Kerstin Hamilton, University of Gothenburg

How can the practice based artistic researcher approach complex questions in territories of science and technology? Discussing my own film Zero Point Energy, I will address these issues drawing on Karen Barad, also addressing ethics of photographic representation through a quantum physics lens.

The Art of Extended Bodies: Cells, Microbes, and Future Visions of (Post)Human Bodies

Nora S. Vaage, University of Bergen

The proposed paper will discuss the concept of the "extended body" in relation to artworks featuring human cells and microbes propagated external to the body, particularly considering how such artworks play upon ideas of what it means to be human, and what it might mean in the future.

Medicine in Neoslave Geographies

Cristina Visperas, University of California, San Diego

This project presents objects reconstructed from photographs of decaying prison walls within which dermatological experiments were performed during the postwar period. It comments on the limits of understanding the intersections between the prison space and the laboratory site.

Portraiture in Cell Imaging

Merete Lie, Norwegian Uni of Science and Technology

The paper will discuss ways in which medical imaging contribute to transforming cells into individual matter attributed personality and potentiality. The approach is to study effects of cultural conventions of western art in science imaging and the paper will analyze cell images in the style of portraiture.

Instruments and Sensors in Critical Land Use Interpretation: The Camera, The MET Tower

Lisa Cartwright, Univ of California at San Diego

Drawing from the project Kansas Wind and Power by Lisa Cartwright and Steven Rubin, this talk considers the range of tools and instruments, from the camera to the meteorological evaluation tower, that may be engaged for hybrid research-based art and ethnography doing land use interpretation.

Polar Environmental Discourses: Film, Politics, and Oil in the Anthropocene

Lisa Bloom, UCLA

How do filmmakers resist familiar forms of representation and come up with new ways of representing climate change in the Arctic that takes into account increased development by the oil industry, local knowledge, and the survival of communities?

"smART cities and waste": arts-led interdisciplinary approaches to urban waste innovation and public engagement

alexandra plows, Bangor University UK

This interdisciplinary network of European artists, academics, scientists and practitioners is exploring how arts based approaches can inform waste management innovation including better citizen participation; and how place (local context, culture, governance) makes a difference .

Social. Critical. Practical. Modeling a Post-Digital Design Lab

Matthew Wizinsky, University of Cincinnati

Case studies, working models plus digital and post-digital techniques from a variety of student- and community-engaged collaborations are used to model a vision for the contemporary design lab.

Hand on Heart: Performing Tender Surgery

Christina Lammer, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

In Hand on Heart I focus on a 16 mm short movie of an operation on the open heart. I produced the film in the frame of the arts-based research project Performing Surgery that compares gestures of surgeons in various clinical fields.

Analytical montage and the 'absent presence' of race

Ildikó Plájás, University of Amsterdam

In my research I use analytical montage to evoke the (in)visibility of race in a European context. Evocative montage is used not only as a scholarly-artistic intervention but also as ‘haptic creativity’ to bring about the ‘absent presence’ of race.

Making a mess of dance through Feminist STS

Margaret Westby, Metropolitan College of New York

Dance plays a significant part in the imaginings and manifestations in STS theories; how could a focus on the moving body in art practices provide alternative methods into STS interventions? To unpack this question, I make a mess of dance through feminist STS in an analysis of three artistic works.

Improvising Technology and Power: Long live use-value and Cyborgs

Felicity Heathcote-Márcz, Alliance Manchester Business School

This paper will explore ontologies & lived experiences of power & use-value that exist in one unique UK technology-arts organisation. Improvised makings, cyborg tech, open source bricoleur & ‘making-other’ are discussed via ethnographic fieldnotes and the concept of ‘exterior concentric’ relation.


Governing Excellent Science

Sarah de Rijcke, Leiden University; Tjitske Holtrop, AISSR- University of Amsterdam; Ruth Müller, Technical University of Munich; Laurens Hessels, KWR Water; Thomas Franssen, Leiden University; Alex Rushforth, University of Oxford; Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Leiden University

1st September 2016, 09:00


As science policies have increasingly oriented themselves to fostering 'excellence' we are looking to unpack this notion in the governance of science through four themes: 'funding for excellence', 'the rhetoric of excellence', 'managing and evaluating excellence' and 'comparing excellence'.

Tales of excellence in an accelerated culture

Carter Bloch, Aarhus University; Sarah de Rijcke, Leiden University; Mitchell Young, Charles University in Prague; Mads P. Sørensen, Aarhus University; Thomas Franssen, Leiden University

The objective of this paper is to examine how breakthrough research accomplishments are created under these accelerated conditions. Through interviews with researchers behind breakthrough results, we will seek to characterize research processes and how the breakthroughs came about.

Do excellent researchers ever fail? Comparing academia and biotechnology companies

Maximilian Fochler, University of Vienna; Lisa Sigl, University of Vienna

In competitive excellence, is failure becoming a taboo? How does this affect research? We compare cultural ways of dealing with uncertainties in the academic life sciences and biotech companies and ask which role the chance of failure plays in epistemic, organizational and career decisions.

Valuating Academic Worth

Anne Slootweg, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

This paper discusses how practices of evaluation in Dutch law schools perform ‘academic quality’ and mediate research practices. Based on interviews with researchers and administrators and observations of evaluation practices, this paper contributes to the study of the social lives of indicators.

Maintaining Fictions of Consensus: The Rhetoric of Scientific Performance

Christine Schwarz, University of Hanover; Meike Levin-Keitel, Leibniz Universität Hannover

The contribution will unpack notions of scientific governance in analysing the rhetoric in academia about ‘performance’ based on case studies about performance measurement. This contributes to STS in unwrapping rhetoric of performance as something that merges old symbols and new master terms.

Working the Excellence: Foreign Scientists in Japan's Research Institutions

Ieva Puzo, Riga Stradins University

Focusing on the experiences of foreign scientists in Japan’s research institutions, the paper examines excellence discourses from the perspective of labor, highlighting the lived realities and the human cost of excellence-oriented science policies.

Exploring the effects of quantifying scientific excellence in a small scientific community

Toni Pustovrh, University of Ljubljana; Anuska Ferligoj, University of Ljubljana

In Slovenia, quantitative indicators are increasingly used to evaluate scientific excellence. We use bibliometric analysis and interviews with excellent scientists to explore the effects such a trend is having on the research performance and practices in the small Slovenian scientific community.

Competitive versus block funding and creativity in Japan: status contingency effects

John Walsh, Georgia Institute of Technology; You-Na Lee; Jian Wang, KU Leuven

This paper empirically tests for differences in the novelty of funded outputs between internal block and competitive project funded papers. Findings suggest competitive project selection procedures are less receptive to novel ideas from researchers with low academic status.

Professional evaluation of research excellence: case study of the Netherlands

Sabrina Petersohn, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

The paper studies how the national evaluation system of public research in the Netherlands developed in the context of science policy and university governance. It puts a specific focus on the use and relevance of bibliometric indicators as a tool for measuring scientific quality and excellence.

Fostering Excellent Science in the Irish Research Center through Institutionalized Entrepreneurism

Jennifer Kutzleb, University of California, Davis

Interviewing staff from an Irish scientific funding agency, I explore how they use formal and informal mechanisms to foster engagement between universities and industry, to define the meaning of “excellent science” in Ireland and to push university researchers to act and think like entrepreneurs.

Narratives of excellence as predictors of change in the architecture of research fields

Marija Brajdić Vuković, University of Zagreb

Coherent narrative stories based on 14 narrative biographical interviews with young researchers vividly describe disciplinary, institutional differences related to excellence polices, and the evolution of such policies that is uneven and produces different results in different settings.

Scientific Impact, Social Relevance and Excellent Science: An Isosceles Triangle?

Irene Ramos-Vielba, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV); Richard Woolley, INGENIO (CSCI-UPV); Pablo D'Este; Ana Fernandez-Zubieta, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

A focus on scientific impact seems to be predominant both in the rhetoric and the evaluating practices of excellence, neglecting the social relevance of research. Using a qualitative approach, we compare researchers’ opinions and experiences on these matters in the Spanish context.

Science Excellence on the Move

Anne Kovalainen, University of Turku; Seppo Poutanen, University of Turku

Focusing on the national programme of Centres of Excellence in scientific research, this paper outlines the patterns and distribution of the centre of excellence programme in Finland.

Funding excellent science: implications for Dutch research practices

Wout Scholten, Rathenau Institute; Laurens Hessels, KWR Water; Leonie van Drooge, Rathenau Institute

This paper aims to gain insights into the possible implications of excellence policies on the degree of differentiation in a science system and the effects of these policies on research practices and epistemic content. To this end, we analyze Dutch funding data and interviews with 16 Dutch research groups.

Re-imagining excellence for research policy indicators

Federico Ferretti, Joint Research Centre; Ângela Guimarães Pereira, European Commission; Sjoerd Hardeman

We try to assess the co-production and promotion of research indicators at the science-policy interface, with particular focus on the Research Excellence in Science & Technology indicator developed by the European Commission. We offer ways to re-imagine such indicators from a STS perspective.

Comparing conventional excellence: moral and technical features of "good research"

Nathan Charlier, University of Namur

My paper proposes to map the different ways to frame the notion of excellence in four institutions. It will compare how “good research” is valued in different settings, pointing out four conventions that convey distinct technologies and moral principles to govern research practices.

Excellence policies; a user's perspective

Jessika van Kammen, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam

In recent years, concerns have been raised about excellence policies in science leading to unfruitful competition and the accumulation of scientific credits in the hands of few. But what is the role of excellence policies within the entire range of science policies? Policymaker talks back.

Are funding policies about nurturing excellence or rewarding past performance?

Philippe Mongeon, Université de Montréal; Vincent Lariviere

The scientific system works optimally when excellence as potential or performance is rewarded. We discuss the role of research funding in this system, current trends in research funding and their potential effect on funding policies’ ability to turn potential into excellence.

Towards understanding 'collaborative excellence' and its implications for science policy

Inga Ulnicane, De Montfort University

While science policy often focusses on individual excellence, majority of research today is collaborative. This paper suggests concept of ‘collaborative excellence’, explores practices and governance mechanisms supporting it, and discusses implications for science policy, funding and evaluation.


Bioinformation management in data driven medicine

Ilpo Helén, University of Eastern Finland; Karoliina Snell, University of Helsinki; Aaro Tupasela, University of Copenhagen

1st September 2016, 11:00


This track focuses on practices and challenges of collection, circulation and uses of masses of bio- and health information in biomedical research, clinical work, administration or personal health care, and on the ways bioinformation management shapes medical practices and institutions.

Epistemological Networks in Cancer Medicine

Bernhard Wieser, Graz University of Technology; Luka Jakelja, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt; Michaela Mayrhofer, BBMRI-ERIC

New sequencing technologies change our understanding of cancer and hold the promise of better diagnosis and treatment. However, considerable parts of clinical decisions are delegated to technological means. As a result, drug selection becomes increasingly opaque for the treating physician.

Information management meets 'data hugging' in the digital age

Aaro Tupasela, University of Copenhagen

This presentation will look at 'data hugging' practices as a challenge for data driven medicine.

Outlining a medical future through visions of biomedical data architectures

Karoliina Snell, University of Helsinki

The paper deals with visions, plans and blueprints of data management ‘architectures’ in biomedicine and personalized health. The focus of the analysis is how a ‘national genome server’ has emerged in to architectures and how it shapes the visions of health care.

Proposing and recalling a bioinformatic solution

Donald Everhart, University of California - San Diego

This talk will discuss the process of quality control in a cellular and molecular medicine laboratory. It investigates this process as it emerged in laboratory meetings, an interactional ‘shop floor’ of bioinformation.

Negotiating uniqueness of national population in biobanking and data driven medicine

Heta Tarkkala, University of Eastern Finland / University of Helsinki

The relationship between biobanks as bioinformation depositories and narratives that are used to make sense of biobank activities is problematic in Finland. The new ways of organizing medical research challenge the usefulness of the well known narrative of population’s unique genomic heritage


Refugee technologies and mobility into Europe

Lino Camprubi, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

2nd September 2016, 14:00


European countries offer technological solutions to the "immigrant crisis", from fences to the EuroSur system. Refugees and migrants have their own technologies of mobility, such as cell-phones and maps. This track explores the mutual adaptations of the technologies used in each side of the border

From Waves to Walls: Imagining the Mediterranean Sea as a Humanitarian Space

Eva van Gemert, University of Amsterdam / Erasmus University Rotterdam

This paper looks at the humanitarian imagination of the Mediterranean Sea as a spatial technology. In the humanitarian borderscape, existing borders are transcended in the name of humanity, and in- and exclusion takes place on the basis of compassion, making the ‘human’ a contested concept.

Some thoughts on barbed wire in Fortress Europe

Jaume Sastre-Juan, Universidade de Lisboa; Jaume Valentines-Álvarez, NOVA.ID.FCT NIF: 513 010 661; Ferran Aragon

Despite the fact that electronic systems of surveillance are being implemented, old technologies such as barbed wire are still core elements of Fortress Europe. This paper draws reflects on the role barbed wire is playing today in the borders of Europe.

Lampedusa: Picture stories from the edges of Europe

Estelle Blaschke, University of Lausanne

The artistic research project "Lampedusa: Picture stories from the edges of Europe" aims at looking beyond media stereotypes of the current refugee crisis and investigating image circulation and image politics.

With facebook through the Balkan: Social media and the autonomy of migration

Maria Elisabeth Ullrich, University of Bonn

On their way to Europe, refugees use facebook for communication and information. This paper explores how STS helps to conceptualize the role of social media within critical migration research, specifically with respect to the “autonomy of migration”.

Detection systems: Submarine surveillance, environmental monitoring and immigration management.

Lino Camprubi, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

This paper is about the many lives of detection systems in the Mediterranean from the Cold War to the present. Looking at the evolving uses of sonar and satellites puts technology at the center of current migration issues.

A compassionate border: hospitality and the asylum procedure.

Maja Hertoghs, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Based on an ethnographic study of the asylum process I argue that a liberal humanist compassion for ‘the refugee’ is translated into a set of legal practices performed in a detention centre for ‘asylum seekers’. I focus on practices of conditional entrance and on the enactments of a national border.

Smart borders: re-making borders through technology

Gemma Galdon Clavell, Eticas research and Consulting

This paper explores how social values and guarantees for fundamental rights can be designed into technological solutions, while at the same time identifying what will be the crucial choices that will shape not only the future of our borders, but also the permeability of our societies.

Mobile phones and other information practices among undocumented migrants at the US-Mexico border

Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington; Verónica Guajardo, University of Washington; Bryce Newell; Sara Vannini, University of Washington

Information is critical when embarking on migration journeys, particularly for irregular or undocumented migrants. To complement the picture of migration into Europe, we explore the use of mobile phones and other information practices among undocumented migrants at the US-Mexico border and in the US.


Science Is Politics by Other Means Revisited

Eve Seguin, Université du Québec à Montréal; Dominique Vinck, Lausanne University

1st September 2016, 09:00


Latour’s claim that “science is politics by other means” has become the underlying creed of the STS field. Yet it raises a number of fascinating questions such as the many interpretations given to it, its articulation with other approaches, its reception in different disciplines, etc. This track aims at revisiting it.

Science is Politics by Other Means between Politics and Ontology

Eve Seguin, Université du Québec à Montréal

In this paper, we will show that over the years Latour’s thinking on science has increasingly moved away from politics and closer to ontology

Public Policy Analysis, the co-production idiom and the symmetry principle

María Belén Albornoz, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO-Ecuador)

This paper aims to debate power through Latour’s and Jasanoff’s theoretical lenses. It will address the rol of the material and the inanimate in constituting social order, the production hybrids and the creation of new languages in which to speak of the and new ways of visually representing them.

Why Political Theorists Ignore Science

Stephen Turner, University of South Florida

Political theorists ignore science because science holds itself to be outside the normal definitions of “the political,” which are in terms of enmity and the possibilities of radical democracy.

Is Science the new Politics of the Anthropocene?

David Chandler, University of Westminster

Latour argues that the politics of the Anthropocene depends upon the science of intricate tracing of feedback loops and their sensing, this paper explores both the meaning of science and politics in these conditions.

Conceptions of the good life, by other means

Sergio Sismondo, Queen's University

Science is politics by other means not only in the forming of collectives but when conceptions of the good life are at stake. In pharmaceutical companies’ uses of science to market its products, science is often a resource to change views of health, vitality and disease.

On Latour's abundant use of militaristic rhetoric

Lee Nelson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

“Science is politics by other means” is a play on the words of Prussian military strategists Carl von Clausewitz. This talk argues that this is just one example of militaristic influences in Latour's work, and that by attending to such instances we come to better understand Latour's politics.

Proposing a dialogue between Latour and critical theory

Stefan Klein, Universidade de Brasília (UNB)

The presentation aims to discuss the dynamics under which science and politics are interwoven, by taking up contributions presented by critical theory specially on technoscience, departing from and problematizing the statement by Bruno Latour that "Science is Politics by Other Means".

Constitutional Ecology of Practices. From Network to Process

Niels van Dijk, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

A philosophy of common standing is developed by extracting a constitutional ecology from Latour’s Politics of Nature. A reinterpretation as ‘epigram’, a model for ordering roles of practices, renders it mobilizable in collaborative settings. This installs a mirror for STS and opens links with law.

Enacting anti-contextualism: excessive relationality and problems of historical continuity

Reuben Message, London School of Economics

Dissolving object (science) and context (politics) distinctions and replacing them with excessively relational, anti-contextualist assumptions privileges synchrony in research and guarantees novelty in findings. Origins, possible consequences and examples are explored with reference to trends in STS.

Latour on Politics: Political turn in epistemology or Ontological turn in politics?

Noemí Sanz Merino, University of Balearic Islands

Some authors sustain that Latour’s shift implies two considerations about politics whose simultaneous maintenance is problematic. I argue that both are coherent within the development of the same project to attend to sociotechnical practices, while they are not with a political turn in epistemology

The Politics of Science in the GM Controversy

Aristeidis Panagiotou

If science is politics by other means, then how objective is the role of scientists in policy debates? This presentation aims at identifying the ways that broader interests and personal idiosyncrasies affect scientific findings and also suggest ways that this can be mitigated in policy making.

A laboratory of one's own: desire of social change and professional path among young life scientists.

Sara Tocchetti, University of Lausanne

Drawing on sociology of professional identities and STS works, in particular Bruno Latour (1983) and Kerry Holden (2010), this paper questions how young life scientists problematize their professional experience and which desires of social change underlies their socio-technical projects.


Nuclear futures - how to govern nuclear waste?

Karena Kalmbach, Environmental Policy Research Centre, FU Berlin; Clemens Walther; Peter Hocke, KIT; Klaus-Jürgen Röhlig

2nd September 2016, 09:00


The aim of this track is to look at the issue of nuclear waste governance from multiple disciplinary perspectives while particularly focusing on questions of time, space and changing affected and concerned collectives within these scales.

A Community-based Risk Governance Framework for Decommissioning of Nuclear Power

Naoki Yamano, University of Fukui

Authors have developed a new community-based risk communication for three years concerning health effects of low-dose ionizing radiation. It is discussed how the method works in the framework of risk governance in decommissioning process of nuclear that takes beyond 30 years.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Dose Limits in Radioactive Waste Management

Karena Kalmbach, Environmental Policy Research Centre, FU Berlin; Klaus-Jürgen Röhlig

This paper presents the ENTRIA project and selected aspects of ENTRIA's interdisciplinary work on dose limits related to the different roles such limits play for different societal actors as well as to the specific case of deep geological disposal of nuclear waste.

« Right to shape » decisions: the closing up as new strategy to move forward with high-level radioactive wastes.

Céline Parotte, University of Liège

This paper compares how critical publics have been integrated in institutionalized nuclear waste management processes in Canada, Belgium and France. Findings reveal a common ‘closing up’ strategy to move forward with nuclear wastes.

Time-binding, Trust, and Nuclear "Waste Confidence" in the United States

William Kinsella, North Carolina State University

Following a legal rejection of a key regulatory principle, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission enacted a two-year effort to create a new governing rule. Public trust, confidence in technical/institutional capacity, and technocscientific governance are examined in the “waste confidence” controversy.


Imaginaries and Materialities of Accountability: Exploring practices, collectives and spaces

Dawn Goodwin, Lancaster University; Vicky Singleton, Lancaster University

3rd September 2016, 14:00


This track considers the sociotechnologies of accountability. We ask:

• How is accountability being done, challenged and remade?

• How do practices of accountability variously distribute responsibility?

• How might accountability be done differently and what circumstances are necessary to do so?

Layers of accountability and surveillance in a foundling room

Dara Ivanova, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Iris Wallenburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Roland Bal, Erasmus University Rotterdam

We analyze the existence of a foundling room in Holland, where anonymous child abandonment is illegal. The room is a social experiment, where different accountabilities are enacted in the public eye. We show how this public enactment creates and legitimates new ontologies and practices.

Accountability and Emotions in Public Sector Organizations

Cecilie Glerup, University of Copenhagen; Lise Justesen, Copenhagen Business School

This paper shows how new accountability ideals in public sector organizations create feelings of discomfort such as blame, anxiety, guilt and shame among public servants. We suggest that the new ideals may endanger both the professional judgement and the work environment in the public sector.

Healthcare 'scandals', inquiries, and new and old enactments of accountability

Dawn Goodwin, Lancaster University

Inquiry reports into healthcare ‘scandals’ repeatedly point to culture as a cause of healthcare failures. I examine how such reports aim to make culture visible and accountable and reflect on the forms of accountability they enact; transformative, conservative, individualising, and collectivising.

Shading the Maps of Responsibilities

Peter Fuzesi, Lancaster University

My presentation explores how becoming a user implicates specific maps of responsibilities (Akrich, 1992). Tracing the work of adapting users and artefacts in personalised assistive technologies, can unsettle the naturalised figure of user and relations of use and valuation.

Surfacing 'Surfing': Accounting for Digital Practices Within the Home

Murray Goulden, University of Nottingham

This talk examines the implications of a technology of accounting within the home - a tool which logs and visualises Internet use. Ostensibly a means of empowering individuals with knowledge and control of their data, such tools potentially establish a new set of conditions for accounting work.

Counting on Others or Counting Incidents? Practices of Accountability in a Nuclear Research Center

Nicolas Rossignol, University of Liège

Drawing on a 40-months ethnographic research stay at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center, this paper empirically situates practices of accountability and questions the ‘managerialization’ of safety via the use of an Incident Reporting System.

Shaping accountabilities for erroneously enacted environmental evidence

Ingmar Lippert, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

I present ethnographic vignettes of carbon accounting practices in which members categorised some of the environmental evidence as erroneous. I analyse the enactment of erroneously evidence in terms of ontological/ontic politics, wondering how these politics shaped abilities to account and respond.

Turning Scientific Authorship into an Accountability Technology: the Rise of Contributorship in Biomedicine

David Pontille, MINES ParisTech - CNRS

Considered as mere “units” to be counted in scientometrics circles, authors’ names are simultaneously a powerful technology of accountability in science. I investigate how authorship in biomedicine has been reframed so as to restore forms of individual responsibility in collaborative projects.

The Knowing/Accounting Disjunction: The Case of Public Management Account-Making

Oz Gore, University of Leicester; Chris Mclean, University of Manchester

Highlighting the divergent concerns provoked when analysts value a project, the paper problematizes the equation of ‘knowing’ and ‘accounting’. Drawing on Deleuze, it proposes to see accountability work as a process of morphogenesis rather than an input-output procedure of production.


Human rights "in the making": on restitution, expertise and devices for denunciation

Lindsay Smith, University of New Mexico; Oriana Bernasconi, Universidad Alberto Hurtado; Fredy Mora-Gamez, University of Leicester

1st September 2016, 09:00


The panel explores the role of expertise and technical devices participating in institutional responses to collective violence. We open up rights restitution "in the making" to gain a better understanding of these controversial dynamics considering particular issues of power, knowledge and truth.

Memory and Scientific Knowledge Production: Chilean Forensic Identification in the Aftermath of the Pinochet Dictatorship

Eden Medina, Indiana University

This paper focuses on the identification of skeletons exhumed from the General Cemetery in Santiago where the Chilean military buried bodies anonymously during the Pinochet dictatorship. The paper explores how memory of human rights violations shapes the perceived legitimacy of scientific work.

Scientists enforced disappearances at the CNEA during the last military-civilian dictatorship in Argentina, 1976-1983.

Paula Erica Matuz, Universidad de Buenos aires; Irene Veronica Beyreuther, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Analysys of the enforced disappearances of scientists at the Nuclear Energy National Committee (CNEA) during the last military-civilian dictatorship in Argentina 1976 - 1983. Despite the strategic relevance this institution gained during this period, it didn´t remain aside from State Terrorism.

State terrorism in Chile: the devices of registration and denunciation of the Disappeared Detainee

Oriana Bernasconi, Universidad Alberto Hurtado

Through archival research and interviews with the workers of the Chilean NGOs that assisted victims of State terrorism I analyze the device of registration and denunciation of political violence in the case of people’s force detention and disappearance

Classifying pain, recognizing victims: towards an ethnographic critique of the process of victim´s registration in post-TRC Peru

Laura Tejero, Complutense University of Madrid

Drawing from extensive fieldwork, this paper will critical examine the encounters that take place between the victim and the expert in the context of implementation of the Integral Reparation Program in post-conflict Peru.

Experts All the Way Down: Dewey, Latour and Everyday Peace Indicators

Pol Bargues-Pedreny, Institute for Development and Peace (INEF)

This article examines the shifting understanding of the role of international experts: from privileged wise people that knew more than anyone to actants that face the unknown, measure the incalculable

Rights restitution in post-conflict Colombia: on recognition as sociotechnical border

Fredy Mora-Gamez, University of Leicester

This paper interrogates the role of technologies (such as forms and protocols) within rights restitution as a sociotechnical arrangement enacting official recognition and post-conflict statehood.


Data-driven cities? Digital urbanism and its proxies

Claudio Coletta, Maynooth University; Laurie Waller, Technical University of Munich; Liam Heaphy, Maynooth University; Sung-Yueh Perng, Tunghai University

1st September 2016, 09:00


The track explores the digital, data-driven and networked making of urban environment. We welcome contributions in various formats: presentations, audio, video and photographic accounts, as well as performances and live demonstrations of public interfaces and software tools for urban analysis.

One Country, Two Datasets: Smart City Politics in Hong Kong

Rolien Hoyng, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Discussing Hong Kong, this paper integrates the politics of data—including critical issues regarding connectivity, computation, access, re-use, surveillance —with a politics of knowledge involving struggles around distributions of the visible, knowable, sayable, and actionable.

ISO 37210:2014: Making city data commensurable

James White, Maynooth University

ISO 37120, a set of 100 indicators representing a range of urban systems and practices, makes cities more amenable to circulating policies and technical systems. In order to achieve this the standard's certifying body must act to draw the spatial and temporal extent of city data towards an ideal.

The choreography of people and code in the city through Real-Time Passenger Information and traffic control systems

Liam Heaphy, Maynooth University

Taking the case of real-time passenger information, this papers analyses how protocols and standards are being reconciled and negotiated with various transport operators in Dublin, arguing that the integration of smart mobility technology is dependent upon successfully grafting code onto the city.

Crime as data: The move from predictive to prescriptive policing and the empirical underpinnings of police reform

Aaron Shapiro, University of Pennsylvania

Predictive policing programs harness the data-infrastructural components of police records and arrest data to produce geospatial risk profiles that are utilized by police departments. How are these software programs changing how crime is understood as a data-generative encounter?

Spaces of prescription or of negotiation? Control rooms and the government of urban crime in the age of "predictive policing"

Sarah Widmer, University of Neuchâtel

The paper looks at how predictive policing software shapes the practices of crime prevention. By using ANT concepts of “script” and “de-scription” to grasp the relations between algorithms and police officers, the paper aims to stress ANT contribution to the “power in algorithms” discussions.

Sensing the city; a sociotechnical approach to environmental sensing.

Darren Reed, University of York

This paper analyses of the stabilisation of an urban environmental sensor system called ELM as a sociotechnical system.

DIO: a mobile game to map surveillance cameras

Tiago Chagas Soares, University of São Paulo; Felipe Lavignatti; Sarah Costa Schmidt; Rafael de Almeida Evangelista, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

DIO is a playable platform for mobile phones which aims to collaboratively map surveillance cameras scattered in urban space. It promotes the visibility of cameras in urban areas and discusses the informational surveillance.

From concrete to data: how digital services reframe accessibility for the disabled

Clément Marquet, Télécom ParisTech

This communication focuses on the representations of accessibility embodied in the prototypes conceived by the participants of a digital innovation contest organized by a French railway company and the production of the informational infrastructure required for such services.

Re-imagining the city through participatory open data

Juliane Jarke, University of Bremen; Herbert Kubicek, Institute for Information Managament Bremen; Ulrike Gerhard, Universität Bremen

Our paper examines different approaches to participatory open government data initiatives, their claims to increased citizen participation, transparency and accountability. In particular we are interested how such initiatives re-imagine their cities differently to more traditional e-participation projects.

The Public and Private Interests in Open Government Data

Margaret Young, University of Washington

By considering state law, municipal policy, third-party contracts and data formats through a critical lens, I explore ways that municipal government data is no less by and for commercial actors as it is the public. I argue that commercial actors are often written out of open data discourse.

Civic Hacking and Testbedding as Alternative City Making

Claudio Coletta, Maynooth University; Sung-Yueh Perng, Tunghai University

The aim of this paper is to account for alternative processes of city making through hacktivism and testbedding, observing how they actually engage with smart cities transformation processes and create specific regimes of change and innovation.


Futures in the making and re-making

Richard Tutton, Lancaster University; Nik Brown, University of York

2nd September 2016, 09:00


This track invites STS scholars to critically reflect on their conceptual and empirical approaches to futures, imaginaries and the promissory. It encourages contributors to think about 'our' own place in the academic literature on futures.

Habitus and prospectus: a socio-technical history of business futures in the Dupont de Nemours family (1797-1802)

Martin Giraudeau, London School of Economics

The paper explores the social origins of futures, and more specifically of so-called rational business plans. It focuses on the relations between personal habitus structures and prospectus production practices, through the conjoint study of the Dupont de Nemours family’s social trajectory and plans.

Science fiction as a path to explore ecological futures and worlds in preparation: representations and imaginaries of the habitability of the (technologized) planet

Yannick Rumpala, Université de Nice

The contribution will show how science fiction deals with ecological dimensions and planetary habitability. It will especially seek out adaptation pathways that appear closer to the register of hope.

Towards a visual sociology of expectations: the case of Mars One

Richard Tutton, Lancaster University

Using the case study of Mars One, this paper explores how to do a visual sociology of expectations and to think further about how visual experience is embedded in social and cultural practices of futurity in contemporary societies.

'Are we just giving patients more years of anxiety?' Time, futures and expectations and an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease

Julia Swallow, University of Leeds

This paper examines how diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at earlier stages, affects the construction of a future with AD in the present. Early diagnosis produces uncertainties around patient futures, and for healthcare practitioners when there is a lack of treatment options and cure for the disease.

Co-Constructing Futures of Care-Crisis And Techno-Fix

Leo Matteo Bachinger, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Gerontechnologies are increasingly considered as potential solutions to the looming “care crisis”. Promotional videos, portraying a future of technologies stepping in and improving care, serve as case to exemplify how crisis and techno-fix get co-articulated in the making of “the future of aging”.

Parkinson's disease, biomedicine, and hope in contemporary Germany

Ingrid Metzler, Vienna University

This paper explores how narrative of hope sustained by the "regime of promising" surrounding stem cell research in Parkinson's disease (PD) enters into conversation or conflict with other narratives of hope in the field of PD in Germany.

Future invocation - economic and immunitary imaginaries in anti-microbial resistance (AMR)

Nik Brown, University of York

The paper examines the way AMR is made to perform certain 'economic imaginaries' (Jessop & Oosterlynck 2008) and 'imagined immunities' (Wald 2008) for envisioning future markets, for the reform of healthcare, for the control of national borders, and for the securitisation of the body politic.

Packing the Past to Anticipate the Future: The Science of Resilience Post-War Communities

Kelly Moore, Loyola University Chicago; Nathalia Hernandez Vidal, LUC

This paper examines the temporal logics of the psychological science of resilience, which teaches participants to develop a set of ongoing actions on memory and body in which future suffering is anticipated, and past harms cannot be laid to rest.

After science: Consumerist populism in the hype and controversy around the crowdfunded GoBe glucose/calorie monitor

Paula Saukko, Loughborough University

Presentation on the hype and controversy around the crowdfunded GoBe wristband, allegedly measuring glucose/calories, discussing how backers were addressed as consumers and tech and consumer reviews became evidence. It is a case of erosion of scientific authority giving way to consumerist populism.

Imagining a Genetic Community of the Future: The Establishment of the Taiwan Biobank and National Identity.

WanJu Lee, Academia Sinica; Yu-Yueh Tsai, Academia Sinica

please see long abstract.

Doing the future in smart imaginaries and infrastructures

Willem Schinkel, Erasmus University Rotterdam

In this paper, I look at smart imaginaries and infrastructures in the context of smart cities and the Internet of Things. I ask how time is configured in such imaginaries, particularly in the entanglement of imaginaries and infrastructures.

Futures in the making:'Vernacular future' in smart technology makers

Debora Lanzeni, RMIT; Elisenda Ardèvol, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Embracing that ethnography, in its way to produce knowledge, is an active part of world-making, we propose that instead of thinking of future as a consequence of technology development, we can grasp the ‘vernacular future’ by thinking with the smart technology makers and the things that they do.

Repairing the grounds of future imaginaries: Transition Towns and the 'end of useless'

Nicholas Beuret, University of Essex

This paper explores repair as a practice that acts as a means of creating the grounds for imagining other futures. In exploring repair as a practice of thick justice (Papadopoulos 2010) I contend that repair offers a means of making futures in an era of imaginal scarcity.

Beyond proaction and precaution: nondualist ontologies and the reframing of future

Luigi Pellizzoni, University of Pisa

The paper addresses an emergent approach to future based on nondualist ontologies, showing how the emancipatory import usually ascribed to the latter is unwarranted and how the classic proaction/precaution opposition is replaced by a new scientifically and politically pre-emptive polarity.

Care and STS: re-embedding socio-technical futures

Christopher Groves, Cardiff University

An approach equal to the imaginary & material aspects of socio-technical futures, it is argued, must take seriously a wide range of links between futurity & care, set out in phenomenology, care ethics, and objects-relations theory, thus enabling reappraisal of the implicit normative aspects of STS.

Flood Futures: hopeful plans and policy paralysis

Maggie Mort, Lancaster University

Research with children affected by floods uncovered fragmentation in UK policy. For survivors flood futures are visceral, relived when it rains heavily. They identified measures to address flood risk to find these falling into complex and contested jurisdictions and policy neglect of flood futures.

Climate Stalemate as Crisis of the Imagination An Analysis of Cultural-Political Techniques of Futuring

Peter Pelzer, Utrecht University; Maarten Hajer, Urban Futures Studio

‘Deep decarbonization’ of the economy is a widely supported societal future, but this transition is slow in coming. This paper analyzes this as a crisis of imagination. It applies the concepts ‘imaginaries’ and ‘techniques of futuring’, to analyse the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.


Coordination mechanisms in new constellations of responsibility in science and technology

Simone Arnaldi, University of Padua; Toni Pustovrh, University of Ljubljana

1st September 2016, 09:00


The notion of responsibility is gaining importance in shaping S&T in Europe and beyond. The track explores more formal intermediary mechanisms, such as TA bodies, ethics committees, etc, but also less formal ones, such as stakeholder forums, engagement exercises, etc, that coordinate responsibility.

Old wines in new bottles? Societal Engagement under the terms of RRI

Anja Bauer, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt; Alexander Bogner, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Daniela Fuchs, Austrian Academy of Sciences

We discuss the requirements for societal engagement under the RRI paradigm. Based on empirical analysis of public participation in neuro-enhancement and synthetic biology we ask how these requirements are met and how co-responsibility and responsiveness is strived for in emerging technology areas.

Dynamics of Responsible Innovation Constituents along Innovation Processes: Explaining the Variations from a Network Theory Perspective

Jolita Ceicyte, Kaunas University of Technology; Vincent Blok, Wageningen University; Monika Petraitė, Kaunas University of Technology

In our paper we argue that the firms’ collaboration (knowledge & technology) network is the main mediator for the implementation of RI activities in the innovation process, and that network as a platform is the quickest way to disseminate the integration of RI activities into the business practices.

The mediating role of objects in university-industry collaboration

Esther de Wit-deVries, ESRIG, University of Groningen; Henny van der Windt, University of Groningen

Objects do not mediate knowledge or goals by themselves. By studying two collaborations we show what practices actors use to establish and change objects' mediating roles over time and how objects increase credibility, salience and legitimacy in university-industry collaborations as a form of RRI.

Barriers for Responsible Innovation in food companies and the role of intermediaries

Jilde Garst, Wageningen University; Vincent Blok, Wageningen University; Onno Omta; Léon Jansen, Dutch Choices Foundation

The framework developed in this study is the first step for empirical research on barriers for RI in commercial settings, which is at the moment theoretically underdeveloped, and the intermediary role of third-party certification programme in food innovation for non-communicable disease prevention.

Non-Mandatory Ethics Bodies at Austrian Universities. Objectives, Work and Experiences.

Erich Griessler, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna

The paper presents results of an explorative, qualitative study on non-mandatory ethics committees at Austrian universities. It looks at tasks, set-up, modes of operation, experiences and factors that promote or inhibit the work of university ethics committees.

Ethical review of animal experimentation: '3Rs' as boundary object

Kathleen Job, Cardiff University

Local ethical review of animal experimentation coordinates responsibilities of researchers and regulators. Ethnographic research reveals mobilisation of the 3Rs construct of Replacement, Reduction & Refinement as a boundary object in the construction of ethical science through this review process.

Intervening, interrogating, and coordinating responsible research and innovation through policy immersion programs for graduate students in the USA and Canada

Matthew Harsh, Concordia University; Eric Kennedy, Arizona State University

Through a policy immersion program, participants better understand the complicated sociotechnical factors that make it so difficult to foster innovation that leads to more just and sustainable outcomes. The program also works to overcome those barriers through building capacities and relationships.

Dissapearing Mangroves: expertise and climate adaptation in Guyana

Sarah Vaughn, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

This paper explores what happens to a concept of performativity within contexts of climate adaptation policy. The paper draws on ethnographic research with technoscientific experts affiliated with the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP).

Boundary Organizations and the Coordination of Responsibility. The case of the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Parliament

Simone Arnaldi, University of Padua

Based on a case study from Germany, the presentation explores the role of Technology Assessment bodies in shaping the responsible governance of science and technology across science and policy making. The notion of boundary organization is applied to explore these coordination mechanisms.

Science museums as suitable agoras for experimenting new public engagement practices in biology innovations in the light of RRI: the example of synthetic biology workshop at MUSE

Lucia Martinelli, Museo delle Scienze (MUSE); Federico Neresini, Universita degli studi Padova; Patrizia Famà, MUSE - Science Museum of Trento

How can science museums launch effective processes of public engagement in the light of RRI? We report the concept of an interactive workshop on socio-scientific issues related to Synthetic Biology applications.


STS and Climate Change: Perspectives on/from the Global South

Tiago Ribeiro Duarte, University of Brasília; Marko Monteiro, State University of Campinas; Raoni Rajão, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais; Myanna Lahsen, Brazilian National Institute of Space Research (INPE)

2nd September 2016, 09:00


This track seeks to bring together STS researchers who study climate science and climate policy in the Global South. We are particularly interested in empirical studies that privilege developing countries and their perspectives on climate change.

Who are the IPCC authors from the Global South?

Kari De Pryck, University of Geneva; Tommaso Venturini, École Normale Supérieure Lyon; Audrey Baneyx, Sciences Po / Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques

Our research is interested with both quantitatively and qualitatively exploring the participation of scientists from developing countries in one of the largest international expert organizations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Authorship inequalities and the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change

Tiago Ribeiro Duarte, University of Brasília

In this paper I present quantitative data that indicate disciplinary, gender, and regional, inequalities in the authorship composition of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change. I make suggestions on how these inequalities could be reduced in the PBMC making it more inclusive and pluralist.

Performing climate justice and (post) coloniality at the UN climate negotiations

Raoni Rajão, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Based on an ethnography of the UNFCCC negotiations this study attempts to understand how climate justice and postcolonial relations are reframed and performed. It is argued that climate justice is being instrumentalized discursively and politically.

"Edgeball" climates: science and low-carbon politics in China

Sam Geall, University of Sussex

Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork among contemporary Chinese journalists, this paper explains how reporters addressing the non-linear complexities of climate change find stable enough realities to generate political positions.

Power and Process: Shaping Knowledge Landscapes for Adaptation in Tanzania

Lisa Dilling, University of Colorado Boulder; Meaghan Daly, University of Colorado Boulder; Mara Goldman, University of Colorado-Boulder; Eric Lovell, University of Colorado

We outline an approach in the context of climate adaptation in Tanzania to bring together an understanding of how multiple knowledges are produced, articulated, and represented with the study of relations of power across scales.


Topographies of clinical translation: charting novel sociotechnical landscapes within and around biomedical research.

Erik Aarden, University of Vienna; Dustin Holloway, MCPHS University; Alessandro Blasimme, University of Zurich; Luca Marelli, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

1st September 2016, 14:00


In this panel we seek to explore the sociotechnical reconfigurations in biomedicine propelled by clinical translation, as a step toward consolidating a robust scholarly network focused on the social, political and ethical dimension of the so-called translational turn in biomedicine.

Treatment algorithms: a new clinical tool for oncology's genomic-driven trials

Etienne Vignola-Gagné, McGill University; Pascale Bourret, Aix-Marseille Université / SESSTIM; Sylvain Besle, INSERM

In order to make therapeutic inferences, genomic-driven cancer clinical trials resort to treatment algorithms that establish meaningful connections between genomic, drug, and other datasets. Algorithms redefine the epistemic significance of translational processes and entities.

The Power of Social Media in Advancing Cutting-Edge Science

Mianna Meskus, Tampere University; Luca Marelli, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; Giuseppe Alessandro D'Agostino, European Institute of Oncology

Through a recent case of scientific misconduct in Japanese stem cell research (STAP cells), this paper suggests we have entered an age of accelerated ‘virtual witnessing’ in biomedical discovery. We argue that this affects the sociotechnical expectations but also the traditional moral economy of science.

Mapping the landscape of translational research

Anne K. Krueger, Humboldt University Berlin

Although translational research (TR) is an omnipresent topic, there exists no commonly shared definition of it. Based on a qualitative content analysis, we map the landscape of TR by correlating the justifications of the need for TR with the understandings about TR procedures.

Bodies in translation: the shaping of epistemological congruence in bioresearch

Stefano Crabu, Politecnico di Milano

This paper contributes to the on-going debate on the emergence of translational biomedicine, introducing the notion of technomimicry to theoretically capture the cognitive, social and material strategies involved in the translation of materials and information across laboratories and clinics.

Translating Exome Sequencing from the Bench to the Bedside: How Physicians and Parents Negotiate the Uncertainty of Genomic Test Results

Stefan Timmermans, UCLA; Tanya Stivers, UCLA

Exome sequencing is transitioning from laboratory to clinic to diagnose patients. Geneticists exert epistemic authority by going beyond the laboratory report while offering parents insight into their judgment. We relate these findings to the literature on standardization, uncertainty, and big data.

From models to patients: Understandings of translation in systems medicine

Regine Kollek, University of Hamburg; Imme Petersen, Technical University Braunschweig

Systems medicine is seen as the translation of knowledge from systems biology into clinical practice. Up to now it is still disputed what the term translations means and comprises. This paper presents and discusses empirical findings on how researchers in systems medicine conceptualize translation.

Integrating genetic diagnostics in European health care provision - some comparative insights for translation

Erik Aarden, University of Vienna

This paper considers discourses on biomedical translation by discussing the incorporation of genetic diagnostics in European health care. While not explicitly framed in terms of translation, the contextual specificity and stakes of this case provide important insights for positioning translational rhetoric.

Developing point-of-care diagnostics for tuberculosis and HIV: attuning to local contexts of use

Nora Engel, Maastricht University

This paper examines how notions of ‘attuning-to-local-contexts’ are articulated in global innovation practices for TB and HIV point-of-care tests and to what effect. How do innovators perform/enact the translation of scientific and clinical knowledge and local settings into diagnostic technologies?


Science Communication

Maja Horst, University of Copenhagen; Sarah Davies, University of Copenhagen

1st September 2016, 09:00


We focus on critical inquiry into the 'deficit to dialogue' narrative (a move from one-way PUS to more dialogic approaches). We also explore the boundaries of STS scholarship on science communication and invite papers on formats which might appear more as one-way communication.

Science communication: Culture, Identity, Citizenship

Sarah Davies, University of Copenhagen; Maja Horst, University of Copenhagen

We outline a framework for studying science communication, suggesting that Stuart Hall’s parsing of a ’circuit of culture’ involving representation, identity, production, consumption and regulation may help develop tools for analysing science communication as a rich and complex ecosystem.

Celebrity Science: How Does Ancient DNA Research Inform Science Communication?

Elizabeth Jones, University College London

I argue that the history of ancient DNA research is a history of celebrity science. Through interviews with over fifty scientists, I reveal the intricate relationship between science and the popular press to enlighten the process of science communication in a world of modern media.

Le Geek, C'est Clique? Meanings of science in online science forums

Oliver Marsh, University College London

I examine a corpus of online conversations from science-based forums with varying levels of scientific expertise, using concepts from STS literature and studies of fan groups. I aim to relate what is counted as 'scientific' within talk to themes of personal identity and emotional relationships.

Perspectives on Reliable Sources When Co-Producing Knowledge Online

Noriko Hara, Indiana University; Emma Frieh, Indiana University - Bloomington

On Web 2.0 platforms, both experts and laypeople contribute to debates on contentious scientific topics, including vaccination. We content analyzed source citations users presented when making knowledge claims in three online communities. Our results reveal an emerging form of science communication.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using YouTube for Science Communication Purposes

Joachim Allgaier, RWTH Aachen University

Many people are using YouTube for getting informed about science, health and technology. Various pros and cons of using YouTube as a tool for science communication are discussed and illustrated with results of a study that investigates climate science and climate manipulation topics on YouTube.

Science@YouTube Platform Infrastructures and Production Processes

Andrea Geipel, Technical University of Munich

Science webvideos on YouTube add a new dialogic format of science communication and illustrate the increasing importance of visualized communication for the popularization of science. In contrast to the often claimed importance of ‘authenticity’ this project supposes a more professional production process.

Sounds of science: Translating Science and Technology Projects with TED

Heidi Gautschi, EPFL -École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne; Gianluigi Viscusi, EPFL

TED has become a powerful vector for disseminating information. This paper focuses on the TED talk’s ability to translate complex research related to science and technology (S&T) projects to a large, non-specialized audience and its influence on traditional institutional structures and functions.

Science as Religion? Representations of Science in British Science Television Programmes

Will Mason-Wilkes, Cardiff University

Science television plays a role in shaping public understandings of, attitudes towards and engagement with science. Some BBC science programmes present science using the language and iconography of religion. The portrayal of science as religion perpetuates a misleading, asocial view of science.

Defending Research by Doing Masculinities: Is Autonomous Driving the 'emasculation of the German car-driver'?

Goede Both, University of Cologne

In my paper, I analyze two disparate strategies of a group of scientists in legitimizing their commitment to fully automated driving.

Bearing witness to climate change. The creation of an icon for climate change communication in popular science magazines.

Dorothea Born, University of Vienna

Within climate change communication, polar bears serve as icons to stir emotions and raise awareness. In this paper, I trace the process of the iconization of polar bears within popular science magazines, comparing German GEO and US National Geographic.

An Analysis of Public Engagement in Sustainability within the Built Environment

Amy Gray; Erik Stengler, University of the West of England, Bristol

This investigation into the communication of sustainability in the built environment, finds a clear need for improved communication within the sector, which currently appears fragmented, with an unbalanced perception of sustainability.

Environmental communication in coast wetland communities: The case of Taiwan

Ming-Ying Lee, Providence University

In Taiwan, one of intensively debated was the settlement of Kuokuang petrochemical plant in the western coast wetland. This study argued that local communities were now showcasing the tradition as distinctive tourist attractions. This reproduced local knowledge and promoted citizen science.

COP21 and Koko the Gorilla: how do YouTube and Twitter shape topical issue spaces?

Warren Pearce, University of Sheffield; Nicolas Baya Laffite, Université Paris-Est

Using the case of COP21, we show how social media platforms effect issue presentation and issue exploration. We use the example of Koko the Gorilla to demonstrate dynamics of issue climatisation and issue drift, and consider how the curation practices of users and algorithms shape these phenomena.

Opening Up Media Accounts of Climate Change

Stephen Zehr, University of Southern Indiana

Three forms of plurality in newspaper accounts of climate change across four nations from 2000-2015 are considered.

Informal science communication: researchers and citizens travelling through ecosystems and biodiversity

Alessandra Pugnetti, Institute of Marine Sciences - Italy; Alba L'Astorina, CNR Italian National Research Council

A group of Italian ecologists in 2015 undertook a itinerant tour along three naturalistic trails, aiming to transfer and share the research results among citizens. We report results of this informal science communication that generated change in participants, stimulating critical considerations

Communicating and Displaying Complicated Objects: Imaginative Methods from STS

Alan Richardson, The University of British Columbia

Taking UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum as its topic, this talk discusses the complicated object the museum is and the one that it seeks to display (biodiversity). It argues that STS can offer science communication more than critique or assistance; it van offer imaginative rethinking.

Museums and the challenge of promoting skeptical attitudes toward science

Belen Laspra, University of Oviedo

This paper explores boundaries and challenges of Science Museums and Centers, specifically in Spain, in promoting more skeptical attitudes in public understanding of science, where this kind of attitudes seems more suitable to achieve a better dialogue among science and society.

Science as a Shield: The Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade

Mirjana Uzelac, University of Alberta

The paper examines science communication in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade and the way it reflects politics in post-socialist Serbia. The paper demonstrates how perceived objectivity of science can be used as a shield against controversy and opposing political views.

The trial of visibility: Academic communicative device in an artistic-commercial context.

Alexandre Camus, University of Lausanne

A research project unfolds during a jazz festival with a communicative device designed to demonstrate the university new expertise in Digital Humanities. The paper focuses on the articulation of this academic device into the ecology of the festival where academic content is prone to be reformulated.

The role of Women Magazines in the Healthy LIfestyle revolution

Erela Ben Shachar, Bar Ilan University

Understanding the role of women's magazine in the formulation of the medical concept: Healthy Lifestyle – as a result of the similarity between it's ideologies.

On Science and Fiction: The Case of Population Genetics and Belonging

Venla Oikkonen, University of Helsinki

My paper explores how fiction can shed light on key theoretical questions in feminist STS. I show how a novel that invokes ancient DNA provides insights into the gendered and racialized dynamics of temporality and belonging that underlie the materiality of population genetic practices.

How GM issue has been told at Chinese newspapers? Comparative Analysis of National and Local Newspaper Coverage of GM issue in China, 2000--2014

Xiao Zhang, The University of Tokyo

This study examined news coverage of GM issue published at 718 newspapers from 2000 to 2014 in China. Our results showed interesting differences between national and local newspaper coverage and implied possibilities for future of science communication practices for developing countries.

Cultural Practice and Lay Knowledge: Communicating GMOs in International Contexts

John Lunsford, Cornell University

I examine international lay practitioners’ interaction with science communication practices with respect to GMOs. I find lay practitioners’ knowledge of cultural and situational nuance could facilitate adaptation and application of broad approaches to science communication for use in local contexts.

Defining public expertise: scientists and field experts on public dietetic expertise

Sampsa Saikkonen, University of Helsinki; Janne Huovila, University of Helsinki

Presents how scientists and field experts come to construct public expertise in healthy eating, and its boundaries. The performativity of drawing on the concept of experience in defining expertise is demonstrated, and an argument is made for the notion of public expertise as a form of expertise.


Who is in, who is out? Exploring collectives in health research

Elise Paradis, University of Toronto; Mathieu Albert, University of Toronto

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track will explore the different manifestations of the collective in academic health research (incl. interdisciplinarity, private/public partnerships, community-based participatory research, etc.) and their impact on patterns of inclusion and exclusion of historically marginalized communities.

University-industry commercial collectives? The shifting meaning of 'responsibility' in biomedical research

Matthew Herder, Dalhousie University; Kelly Holloway, St. Michael's Hospital

Interviews with health researchers at a Canadian university reveal an appetite for sustained university-industry collectives. Participants articulated a ‘responsibility’ to commercialize research; we query the implications for what/how research is pursued and researchers’ critical thinking capacity.

Exclusion through evaluation: Social scientists working in faculties of medicine

Mathieu Albert, University of Toronto; Elise Paradis, University of Toronto

While Canadian faculties of medicine promote interdisciplinarity, they predominantly assess social scientists and humanities scholars (SSH) with criteria suited for clinical research. This misalignment create frustration among SSH and have the effect of marginalising them.

Oncology Research - Looking for the core-set

Alexandre Hannud Abdo, LISIS - INRA; Alberto Cambrosio, McGill University; Jean-Philippe Cointet

We provide an analytical description of the network of actors, drugs and institutions involved in the field of oncology by resorting to quantitative tools in association with a qualitative investigation, in order to characterize the heterogeneous core-set that drives the field.

Knowing how to talk to medical doctors in a 'professional way': practices of in- and exclusion in elderly participation in health collectives

Lieke Oldenhof, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Rik Wehrens, Erasmus University

This paper examines elderly participation in a Dutch health collective. We explore how frail elderly are being socialized into participatory citizens and what consequences this has for elderly people (who’s ‘in’ and who’s ‘out’) and the reconfiguration of medical expertise.

The history of orphan drugs and the development of a collective of rare diseases

Koichi Mikami, University of Tokyo

This paper engages the history of orphan drugs, and based on its analysis, I demonstrate the work of some main actors, who gradually formed what can be recognized as ‘a collective of rare diseases,’ and discuss how this collective made rare diseases an important public health issue in our society.

Center and periphery in the production of knowledge in human genetics - view from Brazil

Mariana Toledo Ferreira, Universidade de São Paulo

The presentation aims to discuss the integration of Brazilian research on human and medical genetics in the global context, analyzing processes of international division of scientific labor among Brazilian laboratories, accounting for it through the analytical framework of center/periphery dynamics.

Power: statisticians, authority and the genetics of common complex diseases

Catherine Heeney, University of Edinburgh

Lack of replication of gene/phenotype associations in the early 2000s threatened funding for research into common complex diseases. Frustration with existing approaches coupled with technological optimism opened the door to a different type of statistical expert to enter the genetics community.

Brazilian and Chilean psychiatric reforms and management for freedom

Jimena Carrasco, Universidade Austral do Chile

Since the middle of the 20th century, a series of movements contesting traditional psychiatry. We explore actions of the movement regarding its political aspects, to analyse elements of the psychiatric reform processes in Brazil and Chile and discuss the concept of freedom in these practices.


Revisiting bio-objects and bio-objectification: Categories, materialities and processes central to the (re)configuration of "life".

Andrew Webster, University of York; Ingrid Metzler, Vienna University; Bettina Bock von Wülfingen, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Aaro Tupasela, University of Copenhagen

3rd September 2016, 14:00


We invite papers that use the bio-objects conceptual tools as heuristics for understanding the (re)configuration of "life", which can be seen as the articulation of collectives that do not fit within traditional dichotomies, actors and institutions in life-sciences and health technologies

Generating Bio-Objects and Bio-Subjects through Next Generation Sequencing

Stefan Timmermans, UCLA; Tanya Stivers, UCLA

Exome sequencing generates molecular objects of various causalities tying together kin and clinical networks in new configurations

Life at Risk: the EDC-MixRisk Project and the Reconfiguration of Risk across Societal, Epidemiological and Molecular Scales

Giuseppe Testa, European Institute of Oncology / University of Milan; Nadav Even Chorev, European Institute of Oncology

We present the first results of the H2020 EDC-MixRisk project that integrates STS into a research design aimed at defining, through the integration of epidemiology with expeirmental biology, policy-relevant thresholds for endocrine disruptive chemicals, a class of compounds at the peak of public salience.

Tracking mitochondria as a bio-object: blurring and reconfiguring reproductive frontiers

Nolwenn Bühler, University of Neuchâtel; Cathy Herbrand, De Montfort University

Drawing on two research projects, one on reproductive ageing and the other on mitochondrial disorders, we track the bio-objectification of mitochondria, revealing new conceptualisations of embodiment, ageing and inheritance, and the traffic between regenerative and reproductive concerns.

Practices involving genetic resources: exploring ontologies in the bio-objects world

Fabien Milanovic, Sup'Biotech; Etienne Verrier, AgroParisTech; Andre Charrier, SUPAGRO; François Lefèvre, INRA

This text addresses several issues related to the life-forms that are produced by biotechnologies or-and used in biological sciences. In particular, it raises questions regarding the nature of the ordered world and the ontological variability of the world’s constituent entities.

Eggs as condensations: frames of intelligibility within Biology of Reproduction

Sara Lafuente, CSIC (Spanish National Research Council)

Drawing on ethnographic observations of Reproductive Biology courses and reflecting on concepts of bio-objects/bio-subjects and their relation to agency, this paper studies the discursive-material entanglements through which biologists learn what oocytes are-can, and what is to be expected from them

Translating regenerative medicine: Fetal cells between drugs and transplants

Paul Just, University of Vienna

This empirical paper explores the bio-objectification of human fetal cells in translational regenerative medicine. Drawing on interviews, document analysis and focus groups with PD-patients two modes of ordering are identified that stabilize the emergent bio-objects between drugs and transplants.

"Stay Tuned" - Understanding citizens' connections to donated bio-objects in biobanking

Johannes Starkbaum, University of Vienna; Melanie Goisauf, University of Vienna; Anna Durnova, University of Vienna

Based on empirical data gathered from several discussion events in Austria, this paper elaborates on how citizens enact their “connection” to bio-objects in the context of biobanking and how their understandings are related to actual debates on consenting practices.


ICT and STS knowledge diffusion: actor's (publishers, authors, editors) strategies, critics and trends

Sergio D'Antonio Maceiras, Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Angel Gordo López, Universidad Complutense; Celia Díaz-Catalán, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

1st September 2016, 09:00


Main objective is to explore different collectives participating in STS diffusion to analyze strategies editors and authors lead to cope with metrics pressure. A second purpose is to generate a network where sharing experiences and ideas to produce new actors in the publications debate.

The role and effects of metrics in the scholarly system

Thed van Leeuwen, Leiden University

In the era of NPM, metrics have entered the science policy landscape. We will show the effects these metrics have, and the pressure this creates on academics to publish in internationally oriented journals, against a background of fundamental changes in the scientific communication system.

Scientific communication networks. Analysis of journals and International Bibliographic Indexes.

Yuiruban Hernández, Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Jorge Márquez, UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE COLOMBIA

SCI use as objetive tool to represent science is controversial. Here we assume papers as technoscientific object in the context of ANT. We propose three networks tracking of scientific communication: manifested, underlying, and associative, to rethink both positives and negatives arguments about SCI.

Performance-based allocation of funds, pressure to publish and publication strategies

Jörg Neufeld, German Centre for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies (DZHW); David Johann, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)

We contribute to the strand of research by systematically investigating which role the performance-based allocation of funds plays for the criteria researchers use to choose journals to which they submit their work. The analysis draws on unique data by the 2016 DZHW Scientists Survey.

Scientific knowledge and social impact on Biotechnology

Beatriz Barros, Universidad de Malaga; Raul Fidalgo Merino, Universidad de Malaga; Ana Fernandez-Zubieta, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

We aim at analyzing how new research areas are born and perceived by society. We use automated data collection and data mining techniques for analyzing scientific and social information (articles and tweets). We find that its crucial to pay more attention to the social perception of scientific research.

Co-word Maps and Topic Modeling: A Comparison from a User's Perspective

Loet Leydesdorff, University of Amsterdam; Adina Nerghes

The results from co-word mapping (using two different routines) versus topic modeling are significantly uncorrelated. Whereas components in the co-word maps can easily be designated, the coloring of the nodes according to the results of the topic model provides maps that are difficult to interpret.


Social Studies of Politics: Making Collectives By All Possible Means

Nicholas Rowland, Pennsylvania State University; Jan-Hendrik Passoth, Technische Universität München; Jan-Peter Voß, Berlin University of Technology

2nd September 2016, 09:00


The challenge: to explore new ways of studying "politics as usual" by taking inspiration from the conceptual repertoire developed in STS for scrutinizing "science as usual". We invite proposals for papers which mobilize STS concepts, methodologies, and practices in studying with "politics as usual".

Realizing governance: epistemic and political performativity

Jan-Peter Voß, Berlin University of Technology

What’s specific about epistemic and political means of making collectives? I translate the performativity concept, as developed in STS for practices of epistemic representation, to practices of political representation. Governance can be studied as a co-production of epistemic and political order.

Bringing together STS and studies of governmentality: Mapping contemporary apparatuses of government

Thomas Lemke, Goethe Universität

The talk proposes the concept of “apparatus of government” to bring together STS and an analytics of government following Foucault. The guiding idea is to provide a posthuman and performative understanding of the apparatus that also attends to power relations and political strategies.

Baroque Ontology and its Ambivalence. Political Form of Catholic Church Rizomatic Ontology

Andrzej Wojciech Nowak, Adam Mickiewicz University

In STS/ANT we observe ‘baroque turn’ within ontological turn (Kwa, Law). Following STS-State analysis and STS approach to governmentality (Guzik) I will show ambivalence of “rhizomatic” opportunistic, baroque un-modern ontology of catholic church as alternative to “container” ontology of State.

Modelling the State: The Ontological Politics of "Politics as Usual"

Nicholas Rowland, Pennsylvania State University; Jan-Hendrik Passoth, Technische Universität München

How do we understand the ontological politics of “politics as usual”? Of the many possible and plausible answers, we look to literature on modelling from the sociology of science, and reframe the foundational question of state theory (i.e., what is the state) by modelling (not theorizing) the state.

Spatial assemblages and the enactment of politics in local authorities

Bettina Grimmer, University of Siegen

This paper analyses the spatial assemblage of a German Job Centre. Architecture, interior design and staff practices create a hidden and non-negotiable infrastructure that relegates the clients to an inferior and passive position within the organizational order.

The policy domain as a production site: Studying the emergence of policy domains from an STS-perspective

Julia Pohle, Berlin Social Science Center; Jeanette Hofmann, Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)/Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG

The paper proposes to study “politics as usual” by analysing emergent policy domains from an STS perspective. Policy domains are viewed as “sites of production” which create collective orders by linking issues, actors, decisions, and inscribing them into policy texts and organisational structures.

From Nuclear States to Renewable Democracies?

Andreas Folkers, Goethe-University Frankfurt

I will analyze the contestations of the democratic or authoritarian character of energy systems in West-German energy policy from the 1970s to the present as an instance of technopolitics understood not simply as „politics by other means“ but as an explicit politicization of these means.

Fact-making in permit markets: document networks as infrastructures of emissions trading

Arno Simons

How did 'capntrade' become re-produced and circulated as a dominant policy blueprint for environmental governance. My focus is on how this was achieved as a result of materially inscribing and stabilising the cap and trade blueprint as authoritative governance knowledge in cross-referencing documents.

Black-boxing sustainable development: Environmental Impact Assessment on the River Uruguay

Nicolas Baya Laffite, Université Paris-Est

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) scripts collective action through black-boxing the politics of governance. The case of pulp mills on the River Uruguay, allows showing how the EIA authoritative governance script is reinforced rather than undermined by opponents to controversial projects.

Translating participation across situations and contexts

Linda Soneryd, University of Gothenburg

This paper discusses processes of translation when participation instruments travel from one institutional setting and application context to another. It critically discusses the institutional prerequisites for participatory governance.

Making labels - How to bring politics in the market by other means

Aurélie Tricoire, CSTB - Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment; Brice Laurent, Mines ParisTech; Alexandre Mallard, Mines ParisTech, Université PSL

The contemporary economy increasingly mobilizes labels supported by specific collectives. This paper examines the history of a French label for sustainable building to explore the agencements of labelling and characterize the way it brings politics into the markets.

Landscapes of democracy: cultures, systems, and the politics of movement

Endre Danyi, Goethe University Frankfurt; Michaela Spencer, Charles Darwin University

We examine two parliamentary settings: the plenary hall of the German Bundestag and a ceremony ground of the Yolŋu Nation’s Assembly in northern Australia. These settings bring to life particular landscapes of democracy, which point at differences beyond political cultures and legal systems.

Do Parliaments have Artifacts? Shaping French National Assembly since 1789

Delphine Gardey, University of Geneva

What differences to previous narratives if we perform a « thick description » of one major western contemporary political institution? Based on unknown archives, I will give an account of the embodied dimensions - material, social, legal - by which the French Assembly took its form and did persist.

A parliament of paperwork

Bård Hobæk, University of Oslo; Kristin Asdal, University of Oslo

Parliaments are arenas for debates and political struggles, but are at the same time sites that work by way of documents and paperwork. Documents are core to what we label ‘assembling-practices’, as this paper shows in an analysis of a whaling controversy in the Norwegian parliament.

Constitutive Invisibility: Exploring the Invisible Work of MPs staff

Stefan Laube, Technische Universität Dresden; Jan Schank, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/M.

Research on parliaments puts the spotlight on members of parliament (MPs) and neglects the invisible work of their staff. Based on ethnographic research we analyze the invisibilization of the work of MPs staff not only as practically accomplished by participants but also as constitutive for democracy.

Democracy as usual: scientific capacity building and the epistemic orders of the Ugandan parliament

Kerry Holden, Queen Mary University of London

This paper examines scientific capacity building programmes and the drive for evidenced based policymaking in the context of the Ugandan parliament.

Cutting and calculating political authority

Anne Kathrine Pihl vadgaard, IT University of Copenhagen

In this presentation, I explore the counting of a Danish election and discuss how heterogeneous and messy bureaucratic practices simultaneously construct an uncontested result and create the imaginary that nothing is being added to the link between voters’ will and political authority.

Bot for President: The Role of Social Bots in the 2016 US Presidential Elections

Samuel Woolley, University of Washington

This paper mobilizes STS theories of autonomy, affordance, and the actor in order to build understandings of the role of social bots in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Build it and they will (not) come: ICTs and democratic innovation in Serbia

Ivana Damnjanović, University of Belgrade

The paper explores the relationship between technological and democratic innovation by comparing three projects from Serbia which focus on the use of ICTs to improve communication between the government and the citizens and increase citizens’ participation.

Since 15M: the (contentious) technopolitical reassembling of democracy in Spain

Antonio Calleja-López, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute/ Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

The talk analyzes and critically assesses the experimentation with technopolitics and alternative forms of democracy in key projects of the 2011-2016 cycle of contention in Spain (the most relevant one in the country since its re-democratization in the 1970s), opened by the 15M social movement.

Social studies of publicity media? An issue-oriented perspective.

Andreas Birkbak, University of Aalborg, Copenhagen

The media are today considered a key part of politics “as usual”. But so far, STS has not engaged in a substantial way with publicity media. The paper proposes that such an engagement can build on issue-oriented perspectives on politics and takes steps towards exploring this potential.

Mapping Publics: Production of Public Interest Spatial Knowledge

Paul Manson, Portland State University

Public engagement has been explored in STS research to understand public values and science. This paper examines the role of public engagement as a 'science of the public' and its role in the production of state authority. A marine spatial planning process provides a case study in these dynamics.

Making publics with digital artifacts? The case of the Los Angeles Times' "Homicide Report"

Sylvain Parasie, University of Paris Est; Jean-Philippe Cointet

This paper tackles the political dimension of the collectives that emerge from digital artifacts. Using dedicated lexicometric tools, it investigates the collectives produced by an American news project that consists in a database of every homicide committed in Los Angeles county since 2010.

Connected crowds: networks and politics of anybody

Guiomar Rovira-Sancho, Metropolitan Autonomous University

Connected crowds build common spaces both on line and in situ. The centrality of communication and networks in collective action has lead to distributed ways of participation, open to anybody.

Collective Intelligence: Politics and Citizenship in the 'More-than-Human' City

Casey Lynch, University of Arizona

How does the implementation of smart city technologies and their related discourses and policies reshape the practice of politics and citizenship in urban space? This paper considers how expanding technological infrastructure leads to the emergence of new publics in Barcelona.

International Policy Orthodoxy and the Coordination of Multiplicity: Translating Reform Agendas at the World Bank

Patrick Coupar, Birkbeck, University of London

This paper proposes an Actor-Network Theory-inspired understanding of a shift in international development policy orthodoxy. It argues for the need to reinvent received notions of political rationalism by looking to STS.

Binding Responsibility in DRR - "Documenting" the Sendai Framework

Christie Oh, University of Toronto; Gabby Resch, University of Toronto; Gabby Resch, University of Toronto; Gabby Resch, University of Toronto

Disaster risk reduction has emerged as a systematic bridge between sustainable development, civic resilience, and disaster preparedness. We present a “document biography” of the Sendai Framework to consider multiple meanings of “binding” with regard to questions of responsibility and authority.


STS and Artistic Research

Peter Peters, Maastricht University; Henk Borgdorff, Leiden University; Trevor Pinch, Cornell University

1st September 2016, 11:00


This track explores STS research on the arts and Artistic Research. It covers studies of artistic practices; reflexive practitioners at the boundaries between the arts and science, technology, and medicine; arts-based research methods; and enhanced modes of publication.

Reasoning through Art

Henk Borgdorff, Leiden University

Artistic research operates with a specific understanding of discursivity. It highlights the methodological relevance of things and practices, and promotes enhanced forms of peer review publication. It is time to associate these aspects of artistic research to research in other areas.

What is an instrument? Artistic Research and Natural Science

Esa Kirkkopelto, University of the Arts Helsinki

Scientific instruments translate processes of non-human appearing into human terms. Staging of this relationship and researching it is research of the techniques of appearing, artistic research. The presentation focuses on the question of the unit of measurement as an empirico-aesthetic entity.

A thought experiment on the craft of artistic research

Ruth Benschop, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences

How can we understand the craft of artistic research without resorting to dichotomous positions of autonomy vs. discipline, making or thinking? My thought experiment elaborates artistic research as an experimental ethnography in which appropriate forms of rigour emerge along the way.

Material Systems as Art Practice and Method

Jon Pigott, Cardiff Metropolitan University

This paper will report on an art practice based research project that takes the idea of ‘material systems' as both art practice and research method to explore electromechanical sound art.

Alternative Historicities

Michael Schwab

Based on Rheinberger's 'experimental systems', the presentation proposes an alternative space for knowledge in the imaginary, which impacts on the historicity of epistemic things in artistic research.

'Trust me I'm an Artist': exploring the world of BioArt as a boundary object

Afke Betten, VU University Amsterdam; Frank Kupper, VU University Amsterdam; Jacqueline Broerse, VU University Amsterdam

This paper addresses epistemological tensions around BioArt by approaching it as a boundary object. Drawing from a collaborative BioArt project called Trust Me I’m An Artist, we argue that tensions are inherent to BioArt as a boundary object and that attention should be given to explore their origin.

Everything will be screen

Claude Draude, University of Kassel

This performative talk explores art as research practice analyzing the materiality and enactment of computer screens/displays in their daily use. Its aim is to find an enriching way of addressing the prevalence of screens beyond the dichotomy of the human user – computer interface.

Emerging Post-Digital Methods of Artistic Production

Michelle Kasprzak, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

In this paper I use two bodies of politically critical artwork to examine how 3D scanning and printing technologies utilised in artistic research contribute to STS dialogue on the backstage and practical technical concerns around the production of art, as well as material outcomes of digital processes.

The catastrophe of the encounter - experimenting with arts, sciences and climate change

Carolina Rodrigues, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)

The purpose of this presentation is to politicize the relationship between arts and sciences, from an experimental communication project (http://climacom.mudancasclimaticas.net/), which brings together artists and scientists, developed under a Brazilian network of research on global climate change.

The Eye Doesn't Click - Eyetracking and Digital Content Interaction

Onur Ferhat, Computer Vision Center; Dan Norton, Computer Vision Centre; Fernando Vilariño Freire, Computer Vision Centre, UAB

Multidisciplinary research (science, technology, arts) investigating visual interaction with digital content using ‘low-cost’ computer cameras for eye-tracking. The research is engaged in visual and technical development, and with public installations in open arenas for citizen feedback.

The Technology of New Year Paintings and Its Consumption Culture: A case study on An Inter-construction Perspective

Chen Xiang, Tsinghua University

This article examines technology changes and consumption culture changes in New Year Paintings in late Qing dynasty. It comes to the conclusion that neither technology determines social structure, nor social structure shapes technology. They are inter-constructed.

Botanizing Belgrade Asphalt: Ethnographic Sensibility Training as Delicate Empiricism

Marko Zivkovic, University of Alberta

This paper uses pedagogy combining arts-based research methods and enhanced modes of presentation developed in the Belgrade Fieldschool for Ethnographic Sensibility to explore affinities among training methods in arts, sciences and ethnography, and trace them back to Goethe’s “delicate empiricism.”

The Observatory: An approach to the interpretation of landscapes and embodied geographies.

Alexandra Draghici, Trent University

This paper and short video presentation articulates my artistic research and approach to the interpretation of landscapes and embodied geographies alongside resonant intersections with Victorian science and ideology.

Incubations: Research between Art and STS

Michael Guggenheim, Goldsmiths, University of London; Bernd Kraeftner; Judith Kröll

Incubations are processes to experimentalize the relationship of lay people and experts. We discuss crucial features of incubations and how these negotiate the boundaries between STS and artistic practices: 1. experimental setup. 2.Pressure and containment. 3. mixing of materials 4.consumption contexts.

Representing Infrastructure: Labor, Distribution and the Intermission in South Asian Cinema

Karl Mendonca, University of California, Santa Cruz

This paper will focus on experimental research methods that combine the concerns of software studies and participatory art used to study the intermission in South Asian cinema. It will also discuss aesthetic strategies used to represent a broader understanding of the infrastructure of cinema.

Authorship as a Lens in Technology and the Arts

Vygandas Vegas Simbelis, Mobile Life / KTH

In terms of authorship as conceptual lens to understanding what the digital interactions and machines are doing in our time and age. The work attempts to deal more explicitly with aesthetics and interaction, where participants are invited to share their creative skills.

On becoming precarious. Approaching the interface in new artistic practices

Desiree Foerster, University Potsdam

Desiree Foerster investigates artistic strategies of contamination of those established categories that serve the classical humanist understanding of the self, mediated by the technological interface.

Alchemical Craft: The use of Smart Materials in Contemporary Jewellery

Katharina Vones, Edinburgh Napier University

This paper analyses how the recent emergence of terms such as alchemical craft hints at a paradigm shift in the field of contemporary jewellery, describing practices and practitioners who have used craft methodologies to work with novel materials and processes towards realising the crafted Posthuman body

Art, Science and Technology: action and perception within interactive systems

Andreia Machado Oliveira, U.F.S.M.; Gabriel Kolton, ESPM; Félix Rebolledo-Palazuelos, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

We examine how interactive art offers the underpinning of continuity to empirical questions that integrate art and life, using interaction as medium for its exploration. Interactive art is an art of action, not of vision: its goal is to experience the immediacy of information in real time.

Sounding Funk: Experiments with Aural Representations of Fieldwork

Alexandra Lippman, UC Davis

Funk carioca (Rio funk) musicians liken themselves to scientists and re-invent technology for unintended purposes. I experiment with producing “sound ethnographies” and sonic montages to explore relationships between art, technology, and ethnographic representation.

The (un-)sound public experiment: on the artifice of research exhibitions

Laurie Waller, Technical University of Munich

In what ways is sound an experimental object for STS? Drawing on ethnographic research, this paper discusses how the exhibition of an early synthesizer provided an occassion for research experiments between historians of technology, computing researchers, sonic artists and their publics.

Digital Baroque: Pipe organs as Instruments of Artistic Knowledge

Peter Peters, Maastricht University

This paper presents ethnographic fieldwork on the design and building of a new and hybrid baroque pipe organ at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam. It follows the organ builders in their attempt to turn the organ sound from the time of Bach into a starting point for new music in the era of digital performance.

Listening on Display. Exhibiting 'Klangkunst' 1980s-2000s

Linnea Semmerling, Maastricht University

This paper examines how the rise of 'Klangkunst' has challenged the existing curatorial strategies at German museums and other contemporary art venues (1980s-2000s), and how research into the experiences of artists, curators and visitors may inform new strategies for the display of sounding artworks.

Aesthetics of patenting lives

Tzung-wen Chen, National Cheng-chi University

Patent drawings in the domain of regenerative medicine are analyzed from perspectives of pragmatist aesthetics and theory of disposition. The drawings depend on inventors' dispositions and experiences. They are signals of inventors' positions in a social space.

Visual art and engineering design visualizations - a cross-disciplinary project

Yvonne Eriksson, Mälardalen University; Ulrika Florin, Mälardalen University; Gunilla Sivard, School of Industrial Engineering and Management

Digitalization and automation are key words in contemporary manufacturing contexts, including simulation and visualizations. By using artistic experiences it is possible elaborate with, from the perspective of manufacturing and engineering, unconventional ways to present future scenarios

Drawing and the 'depictive turn' in science

Sarah Casey, Lancaster University; Gerry Davies, Lancaster University

The paper will take the notion of the ‘practice turn’ to develop the idea of the ‘depictive turn’ in scientific research. Examining contemporary art practice, we present a case for drawing as an innovative strategy through which observed, embodied and haptic phenomena can be made tangible and communicated.

Reenactment as a research strategy: video art, video analysis, and vice-versa

Philippe Sormani

This contribution probes the heuristic, if not subversive potential of video art for video analysis in STS, and vice-versa. For this purpose, the contribution reenacts and reexamines a promotional video of a big science project – the so-called “Human Brain Project” (HBP).

Doing research by other means: the example of artLAB

Regula Valérie Burri, HafenCity University Hamburg

Building on Law (2004) and Lury & Wakeford´s (2012) quests to invent new methods in STS and the social sciences in general, and drawing on the example of a research and teaching format called artLAB, this paper shows how the inclusion of art may add to conventional ways of doing research.

Collective making: Explorations of actor-network theory, ants, and art

Kristian H. Nielsen, Aarhus University

This paper explores relations between actor-network theory (ANT) and the bio-art project Symbiosity of Creation. Consisting of ant colonies kept in “incubators”, the project challenges viewers (and scholars) to consider the implications of employing ANT (and ants) as part of artistic practices.

The role of boundary objects in artistic research. An analysis of their epistemic potential and structuring function in research environments

Johanna Schindler, Zeppelin University

This paper looks at two boundary objects developed in artistic research contexts. It examines the boundary objects’ potential in knowledge transfer between the involved researchers and explores the objects' influence on the structure of the ongoing research processes.


Antagonists, Servants, Companions: the Sciences, Technologies and Politics of Microbial Entanglements

Sujatha Raman, University of Nottingham; Catherine Will, University of Sussex; Shirlene Badger, University of Cambridge; Kate Weiner, University of Sheffield

2nd September 2016, 16:00


How are microbes and antimicrobial technologies represented, erased, engineered or (re)imagined in scientific work, technological interventions and public and policy developments today and in the past?

What is 'good doctoring' in the perspective of antimicrobial resistance?

Inge Kryger Pedersen, University of Copenhagen

The objective is to contribute new insights on the intra- and inter-professional responses to, and dynamics within, an emerging jurisdiction of the medical profession, related to not only individual patients’ health problems but also global health problems such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

How do UK media sources and the public frame Antimicrobial Resistance?

Stephanie Begemann, Liverpool University

This paper explores the co-production of knowledge on Antimicrobial Resistance between the media and the public in the United Kingdom. The aim is to better understand the ‘scientific’ knowledge uptake by the media and the public and how to deal with public controversies and public learning

A problem of attachment? Engaging people with antibiotic stewardship

Catherine Will, University of Sussex

The paper focuses on public health initiatives to reduce antibiotic use among different publics, exploring the ways such initiatives work on people’s attachment to or desire for medication, and the possible contradictions in encouragement to value antibiotics and to avoid them.

Anticipating Antimicrobial Resistance Futures: Follow the Problem or the Object?

Sujatha Raman, University of Nottingham

What could we learn by following antimicrobials as objects that might not otherwise be considered in the core knowledge-collectives emerging around antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? Social scientists can help make collective sense of the challenge of AMR by anticipating potential future controversies.

The Microbiopolitics of the Mundane Bacterium: Part of the Normal Flora or Flesh-Eating Enemy

Hedvig Gröndal, Uppsala University

The paper aims to investigate conflicting enactments of the bacterium Streptococcus group A and risk in a medical debate on the national guidelines for management of throat infection in Sweden. It is argued that these conflicting enactments draw on different microbiopolitics, which makes the conflict endure.

The 'second genome': Individualisation, innovation, and inequalities in microbiome science

Andrea Núñez Casal, Goldsmiths, University of London; Waleska Sanabria, Pontificial Catholic University, Ponce, Puerto Rico

Drawing on ethnographic data of a transnational microbiome study and contributing to debates within medical anthropology and decolonial studies, this paper examines how human microbiome science is individualising bodies and personalising medicine, producing innovation and reproducing inequalities.

Entangled with (synthetic) yeast

Jane Calvert, University of Edinburgh

Yeast has been our domesticated servant for millennia, but how might we be differently entangled with a radically re-engineered synthetic yeast genome?


Cybersecurity & digital territory: Nation, Identity, and Citizenship

Winifred Poster; Norma Möllers, Queen's University

2nd September 2016, 11:00


The aim of this session is to explore cybersecurity as it configures and touches upon intersecting issues of national (in)security, national economy, and citizenship. We particularly welcome feminist, critical race, and post-colonial perspectives on cybersecurity.

Proximate Evil: Algorithmic Detectives and the New Digital Surveillance of Child Abuse

Mitali Thakor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This paper uses feminist STS and queer studies to explore the politics of algorithmic software to detect child pornography online, and how such digital efforts mobilize a global surveillance agenda in the name of "child protection."

Cybersecurity, America's 'War on Terror' and the Disappearing Citizen

Victoria Bernal, University of California (UCLA)

This paper explores the rise of cybersecurity from a critical securitization perspective that asks how threats are constructed and who or what is to be protected.

Cybernetics, Technology, and Nation-Making in the U.S. Borderlands

Iván Chaar-López, University of Michigan

Cybernetics was an imperial drive to digitize territories; it imagined the material world and human social life as information systems for capture. In 1970, the U.S. Border Patrol created a “cybernetic border” that was central to nation making and the management of racialized non-citizen bodies.

Collective online trolling: The "Diba Expedition"

Shengnan Yang, Indiana University; Pnina Fichman, Indiana University

We aim to unpack the concept of collective online trolling in the “Diba Expedition” and its potential impact on the existing conflicts in ideology and national identity between mainland China and Taiwan, focusing on the boundaries of the digital territory made by Great Firewall.

Cybersecurity, Borders, and Gender

Winifred Poster

Focusing on cybersecurity, this paper explores how everyday employees create, manage, and rework national borders in virtual spaces for state governments and industry. It notes how women are entering these professions, and the transforming contradictions of gender, technology, and militarism.


Biosocial futures: from interaction to entanglement in the postgenomic age

Aryn Martin, York University; Megan Warin, University of Adelaide; Maurizio Meloni, Deakin University

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track seeks to bring together diverse empirical and theoretical approaches that defy the biology/society dichotomy.

The human microbiome at the intersection of culture and biology

Gabriela Sheets, Emory University

The human microbiome is a pathway by which culture becomes biologically embodied. Drawing from a biocultural study of infant development in El Salvador, the author illustrates the field’s potential to imagine a more complete picture of humanity's cultural and biological variation, origins, and futures.

Eating in Relation to Others: Digestive Entanglements of the Human Microbiome

Stephanie Maroney, University of California, Davis

This paper examines the discursive landscape of nutrition and human microbiome science, with attention to how knowledge about microbes is expressed in and through concerns about the modern diet and how dietary 'rules' are changing in response to conceptualizing bodies as multi-species ecologies.

The Naturecultures of Lyme Disease in North America

Aadita Chaudhury, York University

This paper seeks to explore how the phenomenon of Lyme disease in North America challenges nature-society dichotomies through exploration of patient narratives from contact, diagnosis and treatment.

Human-microbe relations in the clinic: antibiotics, immune hypersensitivities and asthma

Jennie Haw, University of Guelph; Kieran O'Doherty

Microbiome science disrupts the biology/social dichotomy. In the clinic, human-microbe relations are multiple; bacteria are now both symbiont and pathogen. We examine clinicians’ views on microbiome science and asthma care to consider microbiome science and biosocial futures in biomedicine.

Collaboration as object and method in the study of epigenetics

Eugene Raikhel, University of Chicago; Stephanie Lloyd, Université Laval

Drawing on ethnographic research with an epigenetics research group, we consider collaboration as object of study and as method. We trace the styles of reasoning which allow for collaborative practice, and ask how this practice engenders or challenges engagement between the life and social sciences.

The uterus as a social space: epigenetics and the reproduction of environments

Aryn Martin, York University; Megan Warin, University of Adelaide

This paper takes a critical lens to the concept of 'the environment' and its differing spatio-temporal scales in postgenomic landscapes of developmental origins of health and disease and fetal microchimerism.

Parental Responsibility, Epigenetics and DOHaD. Emerging imaginaries of reproduction in the age of epigenetics

Luca Chiapperino, University of Lausanne; Umberto Simeoni, CHUV; Francesco Panese, University of Lausanne

This talk shows how developments in epigenetics, under the aegis of the so-called Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, partake to an imaginary that rewrites normative, epistemic and social orders of parenting and reproduction.

Epigenetics and the Morbidity Gap. Imagining Biosocial Futures in Aging Research.

Ruth Müller, Technical University of Munich

In science and policy, aging is increasingly debated not only in terms of life span, but also in terms of health span. Epigenetics points to early life experiences as key factors for health span. I explore how such insights shape notions of aging as biosocial and milieu-specific in aging research.

"The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living"- an epigenetic reinterpretation

Maurizio Meloni, Deakin University

This paper aims to widen the notion of biopolitics to the new scenario of twenty-first century bios, by incorporating the key epigenetic notion that injustice can be temporal and not merely spatial (Guthman and Masfield, 2013; Kabasenche and Skinner, 2014).

Ordering biosocial life. Political ontologies of solidarity and responsibility.

Kim Hendrickx, KU Leuven; Ine Van Hoyweghen, KU Leuven

In this paper, we propose to approach the ‘biosocial’ from a pragmatist angle, by asking how the notions of responsibility and solidarity are at stake in a biosocial world. How does biosociality require us to rethink solidarity and responsibility?

Undoing Colonized Bodies: Leveraging Biosocial Understanding of Health Disparities for Future Generations

Chikako Takeshita, University of California, Riverside

This paper explores how biosocial understanding of health disparities in minority populations might be used to generate a new discourse of "undoing" the effects of colonization in future generations.

The 'Glasgow effect': a political laboratory for localised biologies

Maria Damjanovicova, European Institute of Oncology and University of Milan; Giuseppe Testa, European Institute of Oncology / University of Milan; Luca Chiapperino, University of Lausanne

This paper explores the configuration of biosocial entities in the fields of social and environmental epigenetics. Based on fieldwork data from Glasgow we advance the notion of localised biology as a further analytical tool for describing the cultural and political situatedness of epigenetics.

Bees and Biosocial Becoming: Biology, Politics and the Social in Entomology

Richie Nimmo, University of Manchester

This paper critically examines a confluence of neo-Darwinism, game theory and neoliberalism in recent developments in entomology, before drawing on new materialism and relational ontology to problematise this and outline a way of thinking human and apian forms of life as complex biosocial becomings.

Post-genomic medicine and the remaking of race/ethnicity in Asia

Shirley Sun, Nanyang Technological University

This paper attempts to contribute to this growing body of literature on the problematic and fluid construction of reference populations in genome medicine by raising the question of “why the interest in ‘Asians,’ what is at stake and ‘who is an Asian’?”


Unravelling craft, technology and practical knowledge

Anna Harris, Maastricht University; Ruth Benschop, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences

3rd September 2016, 11:00


This hands-on session addresses the re-conceptualisation of craft practices in contemporary life. Through creative contributions bringing together craftspeople/practitioners/artists and academics it will explore intersections of craft and thought, making and knowing, tradition and innovation.

Counting stitches: alternative practices of measurement to build with a changing world

Ester Gisbert Alemany, Universidad de Alicante

How can the architect, the engineer or the surveyor understand and work within a world in movement if his practices keep fixing the world? Alternative practices of measurement, templates, practical geometry and patterns will be explored.

Co-therapeutic and co-diagnostic objects within psychiatric occupational therapy

Julie Sascia Mewes, Humboldt University Berlin

Psychiatric occupational therapy aims to support patients regaining their ability to function in everyday life through the use of objects. Crafting turns into a therapeutic practice, the produced objects develop co-therapeutic and co-diagnostic agencies within the process.

Fabricating Empirical Prints

Kasper Ostrowski, Aarhus University

In this performance lecture I investigate and showcase how a handheld printing technique can be utilized as an interesting way of exploring materialities within STS. Deploying the theatrical notion ‘Verfremdung’, this session unfolds how Empirical Prints might be considered dramatic fabrications.

Dismantling Design's Social Boundaries with Craft and Making

Yana Boeva, York University

This paper investigates how craft-like practices and participatory making technologies dismantle specific social boundaries between designers and users by drawing upon a description of projects and preliminary practice observation of makers and designers at work.

Arts, Crafts, Anachronisms

Gert Verschraegen, University of Antwerp; Wim Wauman, AP Hogeschool

This contribution is set up as a reflection on an artistic installation by visual artist Wim Wauman, within a woodworker’s showroom. In the installation, the artisan’s workshop – and the artist’s studio - is conceived as a laboratory for the creation of objects crossing boundaries of crafts and arts

Obduracy and taciticity: Embodied knowledge and innovation

Annapurna Mamidipudi, University of Maastricht

Using the case of handloom weavers in South India, this paper addresses obduracy and taciticity in embodied craft practices to conceptualize innovation that is applicable in contexts where obduracy and negotiation are more valued than change and disruption.

Knowing, making, engaging. Insights from the case of tasting

Anna Mann, University of Copenhagen

STS scholars have brought out how tasting is a way of knowing and used for making objects. The presentation investigates how food archaeologists cook ancient receipts in front of tourists: tasting in a hybrid space. It, thus, sheds light on the relations between knowing, making and engaging.

Hands and plans: achieving dialogue between traditional crafts and technological systems at a high-tech building site

Håkon Fyhn, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Jøran Solli, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Roger Andre Søraa, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology

This paper investigates how the practical skills of crafting professionals interact in dialogue with technology and planning in a high-tech building project. Through dialogue, a new relationship between doing and thinking is sought in the building.

Urban soils with a sideway glance

Germain Meulemans, Centre Alexandre Koyré

Both the soil sciences and anthropology are growingly turning towards open-ended making practices. I interrogate how the two fields can resonate, and present an art-science experiment that explores the intertwinement of human and soil becomings in cities through direct engagement with them.

The Maker's Chain: recognizing craft in making

Andreas Lund, Umeå university; Mikael Wiberg, Umeå University

The paper introduces the Maker's Chain as a conceptual tool to recognize craft in making with digital fabrication combined with traditional techniques. The extent to which something is an object of craft is determined through interpretation of each link in the chain and of the chain as a whole.


By Other means: On Complementary or Alternative Medicines (CAM)

Maria Wemrell, Lund University

3rd September 2016, 14:00


Medical knowledges and technologies complementary or alternative to biomedical ones have so far received limited attention in STS. This track welcomes papers on various aspects of construction, translation, collaboration, co-existence or conflict of CAM in biomedical and/or other medical settings.

Miscarriage Prevention: Point of Contact between Biomedicine and Traditional Medicine

Wen-Ching Sung, University of Toronto

Doctors in Taiwan, China and Vietnam tend to overuse progesterone as miscarriage prevention without clinical evidences. Based on fieldwork in Taiwan, the researcher found that this medication is an object linking modern medicine with the traditional view of the fetus.

A comparative analysis of formalising acupuncture and homeopathy training in the UK and Portugal: the localised dimension of professionalisation

Assaf Givati, University of Portsmouth; Joana Almeida, Royal Holloway, University of London

This investigation compares the formalising of acupuncture and homeopathy training in the UK and in Portugal while emphasising another, often overlooked, dimension - the role of the local setting with its distinctive cultural-political make up.

Hearts at Risk: risk and prevention of heart disease in Scandinavian conventional and Chinese Medicine

Maria Wemrell, Lund University

In Sweden, acupuncture methods have entered conventional health-care, while discussions of complementary ontologies have generally not. This project looks at notions of prevention, health and disease, related to the heart, expressed in courses in Chinese (TCM) acupuncture and in biomedical training.

Alternative medical devices: Rendering meridians, parasites, toxins and other invisibilities

Jaroslav Klepal, Czech Academy of Sciences; Tereza Stockelova, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences

We focus on alternative medical devices using electricity as their diagnostic or therapeutic agent that thrive on the margins of the Czech healthcare system. Following Mol, we discuss how these devices enact entities such as living bodies, pathogens, and diseases with(out) respect to biomedicine.

The proponents of Master Mineral Solution and the ineffectiveness of anti-MMS information campaigns

Michal Stevove, University College London

The paper compares online communication strategies of proponents and opponents of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in Czech and Slovak Republics and provides an explanation as to why pro-CAM communication is more successful.

Reflexivity, tinkering, and good care: How CAM expertise is negotiated in runners’ (self)care practices

Patricia Campbell, Red Deer College

Through an ethnographic study of running communities, this paper uses the concept of tinkering to examine the role of CAM expertise in laypersons’ negotiation of multiple medical realities in their (self)care practices.


New Collective Practices of Measurement, Monitoring and Evidence

Evelyn Ruppert, Goldsmiths, University of London; Daniel Neyland, Goldsmiths, University of London; Jennifer Gabrys, Goldsmiths, University of London

1st September 2016, 16:00


While techniques of measurement and monitoring and the evidence they generate are often the monopoly of dominant institutions, this track will address the ways in which they are being challenged and reshaped by the distributed practices of numerous new actors and collectives.

Ranking the 'Goods' of Care

Roland Bal, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Iris Wallenburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Hospital rankings have evoked calculable spaces of measuring performance. Valuation encapsulates both quantitative representation and qualitative evaluation of the numbers presented, revealing distributed ‘goods’ of care.

Evidence-informed policy networks and the making of knowledge in Uganda

Nele Jensen, Goldsmiths, University of London

Drawing on a study of the WHO’s Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) activities in Uganda, this paper examines the contestations over who, how, and where decides what counts as legitimate knowledge to inform healthcare policy.

Performing compliance: The work of local policy workers during the implementation of national health promotion guidelines

Camilla Wimmelmann, University of Copenhagen

While local health departments often seem to comply with national health promotion guidelines, this case-study of the Danish health promotion guidelines illuminates how the local policy workers, secretly, reshape the guideline monitoring tools to perform ‘guideline compliance’.

Certified Risk: Brain-Mapping, Model-Building, and Stroke-Measuring

Doyoung Lee, Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science; Buhm Soon Park, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

This research explores the process of making a ‘certified risk’ for the brain, particularly in the area of stroke risk assessment, by examining the ways in which a national standards reference data system or brain-mapping is developed in Korea.

Biopolitical bordering: Enacting populations as intelligible objects of government

Stephan Scheel, Goldsmiths, University of London

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in statistical offices in EUrope, this paper studies the multiple practices, decisions and negotiations that are involved in the delineation of the population that is to be enumerated into being as an intelligible object of government in register-based censuses.

Between fait accompli and failure: tracing the contested socio-technical emergence of the EU's Smart Borders Package

Simon Sontowski, University of Zurich

This paper traces the contested socio-material emergence of the EU’s Smart Borders Package for biometric border control and shows how its political negotiation, technical development and practical implementation – far from depoliticising border struggles – has opened up new spaces of contestation.

Technolegal realities in the wake of the Srebrenica genocide

Victor Toom, Goethe University

While practices of listing, forensics, and identification established how many people were killed in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, they also produced very different outcomes. By articulating, juxtaposing and contrasting these practices, the paper analyzes technolegal realities after Srebrenica.

Disruption or continuity? Emerging Big Data practices in official statistics

Ville Takala, Goldsmiths, University of London

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork across multiple national statistical institutes, this paper argues that rather than radically rupturing previous ways of data collection, Big Data re-raises older concerns around the question of who determines how social data is collected, analysed and disseminated.

The algorithm/data thing: Four metaphors for unpacking new methods in official statistics

Baki Cakici, IT University of Copenhagen

I use four definitions of the thing—as object, as assembly, as superhero, as assimilating parasite—to investigate the entanglements of algorithms and data. Based on ethnographic research at national statistical institutes, I argue that the "algorithm/data thing" reshapes what counts as evidence.

Measuring Danish pupils' well-being: An emerging numerical expertise and its contestations

Helene Gad Ratner, University College Metropol; Christopher Gad, IT-University of Copenhagen

Danish pupils’ well-being is an emerging object of governance in Denmark. We explore three different measurements and techniques of calculating. All contribute to factualise ‘well-being’, but they also enact different versions of well-being, publics, and the problem-solution nexus.

The Challenging Measurement of Gender Equality in the Academia

Anne-Sophie Godfroy, Université Paris Sorbonne

Based on the experience of the GenderTime EU-funded project, the paper will reflect on the multiple tools tested to monitor and measure gender equality. It will question their relevance and the paradoxical outcome they produce: being at the same time drawn in data and lost in terra incognita.

The Struggle to Measure 'Teacher Quality'

Radhika Gorur, Deakin University

This paper explores contemporary US and global struggles to quantify ‘teacher quality’ and the trials being faced by these efforts in a range of arenas, including the media and the courts. It contributes to understandings of how numbers are being made and unmade in contemporary education policy.

Monitoring pollution with local communities and lichens in the Fos-sur-mer industrial area (France)

Christelle Gramaglia, Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture; Philippe Chamaret, Institut Ecocitoyen pour la Connaissance des Pollutions

This paper examines the work completed by a citizen organization so “undone science” about pollution in the Fos-sur-Mer industrial area (France) gets done. We discuss the epistemological and political qualities of participative biomonitoring data so as their ability to challenge current regulatory practices.

Instruments and Instrumentality: Citizen Sensing and the Entangled Operations of Environmental Change

Helen Pritchard, Goldsmiths, University of London; Jennifer Gabrys, Goldsmiths, University of London

Citizen sensing involves monitoring and measuring environments to generate new forms of evidence. Yet how do the instruments of citizen sensing give rise to, or complicate, instrumentalist approaches to environmental citizenship?

Radiation measurement movement by citizen after Fukushima Accident in Japan.

Nozomi Mizushima, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

Following the Fukushima Accident in 2011, citizen’s measurement movement of radiation gained prominence in Japan. I explore how the local groups, as a new actor, engaged in the measurement of radiation level of the air, food, water and soil, and affect to the monitoring activities of the government.

Measuring Disasters: from context to distributed interactions

Katrina Petersen, Trilateral Research, Ltd

This paper explores what it means to measure disasters in a way that moves concerns away from the complexity of disasters over time and in specific locations, towards shareable information and communication to provide insight into how acts of knowing, measuring, and sharing are interwoven.

Crisis Mapping, Participatory Monitoring, and the Problem of Perceptual Indeterminacy

Greg Siegel, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Worldwide Hum Map and Database operates as an agent of participatory environmental monitoring and sensing, as well as an instrument of risk assessment and communication. It aims to demonstrate not merely the Hum’s incidence and extent but also its scientific intelligibility and very reality.

The qualities of imperfection: Experimental practices in official statistics

Francisca Grommé, Goldsmiths, University of London

National statistical institutes experiment with new data sources to cut costs and produce more timely statistics. I contend that, based on imaginaries of the creative and tech sectors, they reshape what counts as evidence in statistical practice and produce new professional identities.

Data Infrastructure Literacy: Reshaping Practices of Measurement, Monitoring and Evidence

Jonathan Gray, King's College London; Carolin Gerlitz, University of Amsterdam; Liliana Bounegru, Uni. of Groningen / Uni. of Ghent

This paper addresses the call to explore collective practices to reshape measurement, monitoring and evidence by advancing the concept of data infrastructure literacy and illustrating it with examples of interventions to recompose data infrastructures from journalism, activism and social research.

The Politics of Small Numbers: emergent forms of collective evidence production and "data activism" among people with rare diseases

Trenholme Junghans, University of Cambridge

This paper documents new collective practices of measurement and regimes of justification employed by patients suffering from rare conditions, treating them as prefigurations of new evidential regimes and constructs of “small data” that are likely to gain salience with the advance of personalized medicine.

Open Source Intelligence as a form of data activism

Lonneke van der Velden, University of Amsterdam

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) refers to the gathering of data from sources that are publicly available. This presentation focuses on activist examples of OSINT. It aims to understand OSINT empirically and conceptually and how these new methods are learned and shared.


New Technologies, social practices and social conflict - sustainable energy transitions as a field of contention

Gerhard Fuchs, University of Stuttgart

3rd September 2016, 09:00


Papers dealing with cases of contention, cognitive frames underlying the conflicts, processes of coalition formation, the analysis of forms of protest related to electricity transitions are being solicited.

Multi-level analysis of German and UK low-carbon electricity transitions (1990-2014)

Frank Geels, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research; Gerhard Fuchs, University of Stuttgart; Nele Hinderer, University of Stuttgart; Florian Kern, University of Sussex

Using the multi-level perspective, this paper compares low-carbon electricity transitions in Germany and the UK. In Germany renewable electricity technologies (RETs) are mainly deployed by new entrants (e.g. households, farmers). In the UK RETs are mainly deployed by incumbents (e.g. utilities).

The contestation of wind energy in Germany and the discursive construction of a 'people's movement': Analysing local conflicts about wind energy use

Bleta Arifi, Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg; Georg Winkel, European Forest Institute

This paper approaches wind energy conflicts in the Soon and Taunus forests (Germany) through a discourse-analytical lens, focussing on the discursive strategies and processes of subject-formation of competing discourse coalitions.

Social contention in Denmark over alternative wind power development paths

Sophie Nyborg, Technical University of Denmark; Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, Technical University of Denmark; Laura Tolnov Clausen, Copenhagen University; Michael Soegaard Joergensen, Technical University of Denmark; David Rudolph, Technical University of Denmark

Through a case-study on the development of a contested wind farm project in the Northern part of Jutland in Denmark, this paper builds on an STS-approach to shed light on the contested acceptability of wind farm development, which has produced controversy and social contention over energy justice.

Unraveling contention in transition framings in Finnish energy discussions

Kamilla Karhunmaa, Helsinki University

The article analyses how the concept of energy transition has been framed in media and parliamentary energy debates in Finland. The aim is to open up the storylines of energy transitions and examine the contingent processes through which transition discourses are contextualized.

A Workbook for a Rational Debate and Sustainable Energy Transition

Ariyoshi Kusumi, Chukyo University

It is my perspective that a Habermas-style debate by rational citizens is important to achieve a social agreement on nuclear power. Toward this end I developed an easy-to-use workbook to facilitate the decision-making process and contribute to a resolution of this social conflict.

Conflicts about a local wind energy project - Emergence,causes and impact

Ulrike Fettke, Universität Stuttgart

A case study of a project in northern Bavaria illustrates the conflicts, that can occur within the realization of a wind energy project, and their causes and impacts.

Exploring the transformative potential of renewable energy initiatives

Antonia Proka, Dutch Research Institute for Transitions; Matthijs Hisschemoller, Erasmus University Rotterdam; derk Loorbach, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This paper examines the role of business models, described as narratives/stories of how organisations work, in articulating the underlying conflicts between niche and regime, as well as, how business models can contribute to coalition building for the acceleration of the energy transition.

The technopolitics of the energy transition in Taiwan: The case of power shortage

Chihyuan Yang, Lancaster University

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, an outcry breaks in Taiwanese society demanding a sustainable energy transition. However it is deeply trapped by the question: can renewable energy satisfy the nation's need? This article explores the technopolitics of the 'perennial' power shortage in Taiwan.

16000 feet under: territories and meanings of deep geothermal energy

Philippe Chavot, Université de Strasbourg; Yeny Serrano, University of Strasbourg; Anne Masseran, Université de strasbourg

This paper explores how stakeholders are constrained by and invested in different territories (physical, legal or rhetorical) during socio-technical controversies. It examines the debates on deep geothermal energy projects taking place within the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg in 2015.

Visions of interconnectedness or disconnectedness- tracing emerging social tension and coalitions in the transition towards new electricity systems

Kristina Hojckova, Chalmers University of Technology; Björn Sandén, Chalmers university of technology

The electricity system is in transition, but whereto? To global or regional super grids or to self-sufficient disconnected prosumers? This paper aims to identify tensions and new coalitions that emerge among actors in efforts to support the transition in a certain direction.


The field and the farm in the production of biomedical knowledge

Miguel Garcia-Sancho, University of Edinburgh; Dmitriy Myelnikov, University of Edinburgh

2nd September 2016, 14:00


Experimental breeding fields and farms are unexplored sties of biomedical research. In them, animals and plants interact with humans in the production of knowledge applied to health and agriculture. We welcome contributions on any aspect of animal and plant research, from genetics to biotechnology.

The "Inheritance Coefficient:" Harry Laughlin and the Eugenics Record Office's Obsession with Thoroughbred Horses

Brian Tyrrell, University of California, Santa Barbara

Harry Laughlin, the superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, USA, developed a mathematical model of inheritance in the 1930s. Calling his model the "inheritance coefficient," Laughlin used thoroughbred horse pedigrees and race results as his data.

What do these cattle do in a biomedical research center?

François Thoreau, University of Liege

This paper suggests ways of problematizing human health genomics departing from the practice of bovine genomics. In the situated context of the University Hospital in Liege, it questions question the boundary between medical practice and the sector of bovine industry.

Emerging markets of 'genomic knowledge' within livestock breeding

Annika Lonkila, University of Eastern Finland

Genomic knowledge production is increasingly taking place on farms and within livestock breeding networks, motivated by market-making and commodification and increased control over non-human life.

Wheat as a scientific object: experimental breeding in transit

María J Santesmases, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

I present a history of wheat as a seed from agriculture to the cytogenetic laboratory, that includes the work in plant heredity and cytogenetics as the origins of the co-production in the 1960s of a hybrid of wheat and rye at Aula Dei experimental station in Zaragoza, Spain.

Cuts and the cutting edge: the making of agricultural biotechnology in 1980s Edinburgh

Dmitriy Myelnikov, University of Edinburgh

This paper examines the introduction of genetic engineering at the Animal Breeding Research Organisation in Edinburgh in the 1980s under government pressure and financial uncertainty, and shows how ABRO adopted the laboratory and social worlds of molecular biology on an experimental farm.

Testing for Bovine Tuberculosis: Farm Realities or Convenient Untruth?

Jess Phoenix, Lancaster University

Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) is a disease faced by Britain’s cattle industry that UK Government attempts to trace through the use of skin tests. I expose Government’s convenient untruth that bTB is knowable, in contrast to on-farm realities of the indeterminate disease and the uncertain skin test.

Biosecurity and aquaculture in Singapore

Delfinn Tan, Nanyang Technological University

Biomedical knowledge was used to implement biosecurity practises in food farms to limit disease. These practises were applied in Singaporean ornamental koi fish farms. I ask how biosecurity has come to be used with koi and how it has impacted the industry & production of biomedical knowledge.


Back to the future: STS and the (lost) security research agenda

Elvira Santiago, Universidade da Coruña; Vincenzo Pavone, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas

2nd September 2016, 11:00


The STS community has a circumscribed interest in security. While STS scholars have focused on privacy and surveillance research, this panel addresses neglected areas of security, such as security as a practice, alternatives to techno-security, the security industrial complex and (in)security.

Teargas Epistemology

Brian Balmer, University College London; Alex Spelling, UCL; Caitriona McLeish, University of Sussex

We explore how multiple epistemic constituencies contribute to make a weapon and its uses. The historical characterization of CS tear gas inter-twined different forms of epistemic authority (scientists, lawyers, diplomats, military, police etc), each licensed to make specific claims about CS gas.

The Median Estate. Breaking down boundaries and reconstituting rights

Kjetil Rommetveit, University of Bergen; Niels van Dijk, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Legal rights and moral principles are becoming matters of engineering. Dissolving institutional and disciplinary boundaries is turning the making of trading zones into imperatives. This shifts innovation away from traditional legitimacy centres and tests the critical currency of STS concepts.

Formation of the War on Terror: Reflexivity between International Legal Discourse and Security Expertise

Ken Kawamura, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

How was the Bush Administration’s War on Terror formed? I shed a light on the reflexivity between the legal arguments in the UNSC and the strategic arguments in the USNSC. I clarify how UNSC’s legal argument for the Afghanistan War rewrote NSC’s threat formulation and posited the target.

Innovating to Manage an Never Occurred security issue: Plant Pathologists and Their Assessment of Agro-Terrorist Threats

Vincent Cardon, University of Amiens; Marc Barbier, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

Agro-terrorism refers to the deliberate introduction of plant pathogens in crops to scare or starve the people. Such an attack has never succeeded. However it as become a matter for a new security agenda. We study how plant pathologists assess that risk and manage its dual-nature.

High-tech versus old-fashioned: Nairobi security practices and their threatening subjects

Francesco Colona, University of Amsterdam

In Nairobi, intensely marketed high-tech security solutions exist alongside everyday unsensational and low-tech security provision. While in these dissimilar practices different types of villains are enacted, I focus on the latter and the unsophisticated and often racialized threat it suggests.

Days of Future Present? Socio-Technical Imaginaries of Future Catastrophes in Austrian Critical Infrastructure Protection

Nina Witjes, Technical University of Munich; Sarah Ponesch, Austrian Institute for International Affairs

Drawing on the concept of socio-technical imaginaries this paper addresses how Austrian stakeholders in the field of Critical Infrastructure Protection relate technological devices to perceptions of future catastrophe and present (in)security in regard to possible terrorist attacks.

Imagining, Reimagining, and Performing National Security: the Sociotechnical Imaginary of Evil

Natalie Baker, Virginia Commonwealth University

Findings of a comparative study of the Islamic State and Mexican drug cartels through the lens of a sociotechnical imaginary are presented. The processes by which evil is constructed, performed, and perpetuated within 'security' institutions are examined here.

The social and political construction of security technologies: The case of drones

Clemens Binder, Austrian Institute for International Affairs

Drones have become crucial elements of military and civil security. This paper will describe the growing importance of drones and the changing nature of security technologies from a constructivist perspective and how the construction of security shapes the construction of technology and vice versa.

Security Studies Borderlands

Linda Madsen, University of Freiburg

Scholars of security-, securitization- and risk studies as well as STS based security- and bio(in)security- studies tend to create borderlines around our respective fields. This paper aims to creating borderlands; sites for productive encounters between various strands of security and risk studies.

Contemporary relations between surveillance devices, violence and public safety

Irme Salete Bonamigo, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Rosa Pedro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

It broaches the association of surveillance devices with the public security production, discusses the question of its effectiveness by the population and analyzes the (in)security as a result of multiple elements that connect, figuring socio-technical relations and complex practices


STS and normativity: analyzing and enacting values

Jeannette Pols, Amsterdam Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam; Dick Willems, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam; Mette N. Svendsen, University of Copenhagen

2nd September 2016, 09:00


Recently, normativity-in-the-making has emerged as a concern in STS research. This track invites papers on empirical studies on values and/ or on the normativity that STS researchers produce when writing about these practices.

The potentially fit - enacting value in old age

Malene Bødker, University of Copenhagen

This paper explores how the notion of potential unfolds in enabling care for older people in asking how value is enacted in enabling care policy and practice through the definition, identification and realisation of potential and with what implications for eldercare workers and older citizens.

Valuing Life's Ends: Old Age in Postsocialist Poland

Jessica Robbins-Ruszkowski, Wayne State University

Gerontological and popular visions of aging oppose a normative “third age” of health and independence to a “fourth age” of illness and dependence. However, ethnographic research in Poland that attends to practices of care, relatedness, and memory shows that other values emerge at life’s ends.

Institutional Technologies: Studying and Shifting the "Value" of Elderly Persons

Lillian Prueher, University of Washington

This paper analyzes how the act of studying technologies connected to institutional interventions around enacting personhood in eldercare institutions in Chengdu, China can, by influencing forms of sociality within these spaces, also contribute to shifting the nature of these institutional acts.

"But the robot cannot refill the plate like a hostess normally does"

Maja Hojer Bruun, Aalborg University

This paper discusses the valuation practices and research and implementation ethics related to a real-life testing of a social robot in a Danish rehabilitation centre.

Friendship at the Margins: Practicing Value and Personhood in the Face of Dementia

Janelle Taylor, University of Washington

How are personhood and the worth of life practiced in the context of everyday life? This paper draws on interview-based research to explore how friends respond to the onset of dementia. At stake are the making and unmaking of persons, relationships, and the worth of life at the margins of aging.

Making and Doing: Engagement and Reflexive Learning in STS

Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, Linköping University; Gary Downey, Virginia Tech

STS making and doing builds on linked practices of engagement and reflexivity by calling attention to the two-way–or multiple-way–travels of knowledge production and expression. What are the return flows–the normative and conceptual learning–that making and doing activities generate?

Unruly bodies and palliative care: presencing selflessness

Bernike Pasveer, Maastricht University

Institutionalized palliative care (PC) has continuously opened up its ways of providing a good death to newly presenced, unruly, body-categories. But the discrete self of the dying person has remained a cornerstone of PC. I presence selflessness as a way of (re)situating palliative and hospice care.

The quantification of the good life

Dick Willems, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam; Erik Olsman, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam; Marga Nieuwenhuijse, AMC

In health care and politics nowadays, value in the sense of 'the good life' is turned into a quality of life score. We study a practice where 'quality quantification' seems impossible: caring for people with severe multiple handicaps. In doing this, the study sheds light on the normativity of STS approaches.

Ethics by neurological means: moral repertoires of a plastic brain

Ties van de Werff, Maastricht University

The notion of brain plasticity plays a key role in popular neuro-interventions. This paper shows how the plastic brain is made valuable in three discursive practices of a brain-inspired good life, and argues that values and ideas of the good are part and parcel of the diffusion of neuroscience to society.

Judging genomics: The role of STS critique in an era of complexity

Nicole Nelson, University of Wisconsin Madison

This paper will examine normativity both empirically and reflexively, focusing on the value attributed to genetic explanations for behavioral disorders both in animal model research and in STS work.

Life with a View: Worth, Temporality and Substitution across Species and Spaces

Mette N. Svendsen, University of Copenhagen; Laura Navne, University of Copenhagen; Mie Seest Dam, University of Copenhagen; Iben Gjødsbøl, University of Copenhagen

This paper places itself at the margins of the self-evidently human and compares negotiations of life’s worth in a neonatal intensive care unit, an animal laboratory, and a dementia nursing home in Denmark.

Being-with-incontinence. Exploring relations between skill and values in care practices

Maartje Hoogsteyns, AMC - University of Amsterdam

In this paper I will explore the relation between values and skill in care practice. I will use existing notions about skill in STS, developed in relation to practices of science and passion, and then translate them to the specific values of people trying to live a good life with incontinence

Diagnosing Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder with Normative Uncertainties

Fan-Tzu Tseng, Academia Sinica

Diagnosing ADHD involves normative practices with different levels. Besides differentiating mental health and disorder, the diagnosis process reshapes and is shaped by the norms and worth socially ascribed to the child and childhood, as well as reconfigures the aim and task of psychiatry itself.

The morality of knowledge claims: negotiating motherhood and expertise in discussions on ADHD

Hedwig te Molder, University of Twente; Wytske Versteeg, University of Twente

This paper focuses on the hidden morality of knowledge claims in radio phone-ins on ADHD. It shows how parents of children with ADHD, refrain from providing details of their children's problematic behaviour in order to build their child's condition as 'doctorable' instead of being 'mere naughtiness'.

Nursing telecare practices craft new nursing knowledge

Annemarie van Hout, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences

Technology turns nursing care into an absent profession with new skills in new practices. Technology has brought on opportunities for good care, which are not habitually reflected on or debated between nurses. We want to explore situated nursing knowledge that represents new skills and nursing practices.

STS goes normative. Exploring values, crafting the good.

Jeannette Pols, Amsterdam Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam

In this presentation I will explore how ‘the turn to normativity’ might provide a vocabulary to develop more symmetry between STS and the knowledge practices of our colleagues, by arguing that how normativity of STS is not pre-given, but develops in the course of doing fieldwork and collaborative research.

Economic Inequality: Science and/or Morality

Raphael Sassower, University of Colorado

The economic model of "the commons" is examined in scientific and moral terms so as to clarify that frames of reference determine the views we accept and adopt. This is highlighted both in the Digital Age and in an age of wealth and income inequalities.

Modulating values by managing human and animal faces: Considering technologies of (ef)facement

Sophia Efstathiou, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology

I argue that a key component for shaping and managing the normativities of animal research are, what I call, ‘technologies of (ef)facement’: tools, rituals, techniques or architectures whose engagement results in a loss of face (and often in the creation of a new one).

Non-innocent norms: Normativity within activist, research and theoretical conceptualisations of care within the primate laboratory

Eva Giraud, Keele University

This paper explores how care’s ‘darker’ side is articulated within research, activist and media narratives about primate research, elucidating how normative, politically inhibitive, understandings of care persist within both formal ethical frameworks and critical STS analyses of these frameworks.

Being a skilled human. The values enacted by accreditation agencies who evaluate internationalisation in higher education

Antoinette de Bont, Erasmus University Rotterdam

In this paper I analyse the values enacted by accreditation agencies by the way they evaluate internationalisation in higher education. The method is an analytical auto-ethnography. I describe how accreditation is formatted to understand which values internationalisation brings in.


Conceptualizing transformational change in energy systems and the built environment

Harald Rohracher, Linköping University; Jenny Palm, Linköping University; Thomas Berker, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Michael Ornetzeder, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Eva Heiskanen, University of Helsinki

2nd September 2016, 11:00


This session brings concepts of transformational socio-technical change in the energy system and built environment in conversation with each other. How are transition studies, practice theory or assemblage theory differing in questions of agency, governance or the collectives they are articulating?

Categorizing translation strategies for smart eco-city development

Maj-Britt Quitzau, Aalborg University Copenhagen; Jens-Phillip Petersen, Technical University of Denmark

This paper provides a categorization of translation strategies applied by local authorities in order to implement energy strategies locally. The paper provides insight into the dedicated work aimed at translating generic concepts related to energy strategies into community-engaging local projects.

Rethinking transformation to face climate change. Insights an energy grassroots experience

Victoria Pellicer Sifres, Universitat Politècnica de València; Sergio Belda Miquel, Universitat Politècnica de València; Alejandra Boni, Ingenio (CSIC-UPV)

The paper explores how socio-technical transitions to confront climate change occur and presents an empirical case on energy production and consumption. The analysis is connected with elements coming from human development, as agency or governance, and with questions of learning in social action

Community-based intermediaries and the local embedding of energy technologies

Jake Barnes, University of Sussex

The paper examines the agency of community ‘intermediaries’ to locally embed market-ready energy technologies. Using three literatures – sustainability transitions, domestication studies and research on innovation intermediaries – a model is constructed and then refined through four case studies.

Building urban sustainable green niches - multi-level niche development in Vancouver, Canada

Kirstie ONeill, University of Hull; Julia Affolderbach

Green building is increasingly being seen as a core approach to reducing cities' greenhouse gas emissions. Using Vancouver as a case study, this paper draws on transitions theories to explore how niches co-exist at a variety of scales within the city, and beyond.

Creating useful data input in building energy models

Maria Eidenskog, Department of Thematic Studies

This study shows how energy modeling affects the construction process and how the professionals handles the situation when the simulation programs shows different results. This leads to discussions about what is considered as acceptable data.

Long-winded UK zero carbon building transition: From acceleration to halt?

Paula Kivimaa, University of Sussex; Mari Martiskainen, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand

We describe the UK zero carbon building transition since the 1970s until the present day based on qualitative data analysis informed by the multi-level perspective and strategic niche management. We particularly explore the last decade from the perspectives of changed policies and intermediary space.

'Cost-optimality' in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: policy controversies

Johan Niskanen, Linkopings University

This paper analyses governance of socio-technical change through the translation of the 2010 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive into Swedish policy conditions. It follows and unpacks the seemingly neutral concept of 'cost-optimality' and so highlights controversies and political strategies.

The connectivity of innovation in sustainable building construction - what roles for wood?

Kjell Tryggestad, Hedmark University College; Kristin Stevik, Hedmark University College; Erik Bjurström, Hedmark University of Applied Science; Per Soeberg, Hedmark University College

The paper uses actor-network theory to study the connections that condition innovation in a case of sustainable building construction. The study shows what roles wood play in negotiating the sustainability ambition for the project as well as for sustainability standards for buildings.

Analysis of transition to sustainable biojet-fuel by actor-network-theory

Nobuko Ueno, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

This study examine the global relation among actors and non-actors in the process of the transition to the aviation biofuel (biojet) by actor-network-theory. The purpose is to visualize the global network of RD&D of biojet including Japan and indicate the key triggers for the transition to biojet.

Redesigning the Pathway - Power and politics of the German Energy Transition

Mario Neukirch, University of Stuttgart

The paper analyzes the socio-technical restructuration of the German energy transition. During the 1970/80s the pioneers did not only aim for new technologies, but also a democratization of the energy system. Now, the old paradigm is being reestablished and the pioneers’ ideas are losing influence.

What do outsiders learn from experiments?

Eva Heiskanen, University of Helsinki; Kaisa Matschoss, University of Helsinki

We investigate experiments in the built environment that develop technologies for distributed and intermittent energy production and consumption. We examine learning by relevant social groups: we critcally explore the notion that experiments re eal competence gaps in their context.

The politics of energy pilot projects

Harald Rohracher, Linköping University; Anna Wallsten, Technology and Social Change; Thomas Berker, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Pilot projects can be testbeds for learning about new infrastructure development but they can as well monopolize and impede learning. Based on case studies of smart grid and zero emission building pilot projects, we analyse this ambivalence.

Energy transitions: Arenas, agency and processes

Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology

The aim of this paper is to propose a research agenda for the study of transitions in the energy sector, with a focus on what I call transition agency and transition processes across different arenas of development (AoD)

Transformative Change - Sociological Perspectives on the Emergence of New Structures and the German Electricity Transition

Gerhard Fuchs, University of Stuttgart

Sociology has become increasingly interested in studying the question how new structures evolve. It will be discussed whether these approaches are useful for studying socio-technical change. As an empirical example the transformation of the German electricity system will be analyzed

Towards a framework for energy system transformation research

Michael Ornetzeder, Austrian Academy of Sciences

The paper proposes a framework to systematically explore socio-technical implications of energy transitions, and applies the framework on a case study of plus-energy buildings.

Towards a negotiation between disciplines in the development of electrical grids

Grégoire Wallenborn, Université Libre de Bruxelles

The paper explores how electrical grids are defined and performed by distinct scientific disciplines into partial ontologies, and suggests that an effective transformation of electrical infrastructures requires an ontological negotiation between these disciplines.


Feminist Postcolonial STS

Anne Pollock, Georgia Tech; Sandra Harding, UCLA; Laura Foster, Indiana University

2nd September 2016, 09:00


We invite empirical and theoretical contributions feminist, postcolonial, and STS analysis. This track seeks to generate new networks and conversations to interrogate the dis/connections across these three fields and to establish what might loosely be called a feminist, postcolonial, STS approach.

Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Biologies

Banu Subramaniam, UMass Amherst

The paper explores the contestations around Section 377 and how the histories of science and religion in India can help us understand the enduring power of colonial legacies of sexuality.

Decolonizing methods in transdisciplinary projects of (Bio-)Diversity?

Marion Mangelsdorf, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Following the theoretical approach of 'situated knowledge' regarding the interdisciplinary 'manufacture of knowledge' I want to discuss the transfer of this approach in transdisciplinary contexts of (Bio-)Diversity – asking how varieties of knowledge practices can be taken equally seriously.

Modern Cosmologies: Postcolonizing STS through Magical Realism

James Malazita, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Magical Realist literature can strengthen new materialist movements in Feminist STS. STS's strength in critiquing epistemic cultures can be applied reflexively to STS itself, and transform STS understandings of the role fetishism, social construction, and the world play in the creation of meaning.

Studying Down to Study Up, Sideways and Through: Positionality and Power in Feminist Postcolonial STS

Logan Williams, Michigan State University

Attention to Nader's call to Study Up leads a feminist postcolonial STS scholar to consider her multi-dimensional positionality when conducting a multi-sited global ethnography in the global south.

Biogenetic Belonging: Genetic Ancestry Testing in South Africa

Laura Foster, Indiana University

This paper argues for a feminist postcolonial understanding of genetic ancestry testing in South Africa through a politics of belonging where simultaneous and contradictory narratives of biogenetic sameness, difference, and relatedness are deployed in the re-fashioning of the nation.

Rethinking the "Nature" of Sexuality: The Scientific Evidence for Homosexuality in Uganda

Jia-Hui Lee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This paper examines key reports on homosexuality published by the Ugandan Ministry of Health before passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Considering the production of scientific knowledge about sexuality in Uganda offers theoretical insights for feminist science studies of the global South.

How are Asian Indian faculty members perceived in the US? Examining Stereotypes and Cultural Values

Meghna Sabharwal, The University of Texas at Dallas; Roli Varma, University of New Mexico; Elissa Colich, University of Texas at Dallas

Given the increasing presence of Asian Indians in US academia, a question of importance is: What cultural values do these groups of people bring to their work and what stereotypes are they faced with?

Monitoring immigrant integration: the reproduction of 'European Others' and imagination of national societies

Sanne Boersma, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This paper is an ethnographic study of the monitoring of 'immigrant integration' at social scientific institutions and networks in various West-European nation-states and shows how 'European Others' are reproduced and consequently a national society is imagined.

Women and the Urban Sanitation challenge: A technofeminist approach towards urban infrastructure planning in cities of East Africa

Anshika Suri, Technical University of Darmstadt

Sanitation infrastructure is often determined by engineering, environmental and public health concerns that are often far removed from women’s needs. Hence a technofeminist perspective within urban infrastructure planning can be used to understand technologies as immersed in systems of power.

A Synthetic Chemistry Site for Feminist Postcolonial Theorizing

Anne Pollock, Georgia Tech

This paper combines empirical ethnographic attention to a specific site of postcolonial science -- a synthetic-chemistry based drug discovery company in South Africa -- and theoretically-driven feminist analysis attentive to technoscience materialities.

Tiny Feminisms: Decolonizing Building Sciences in the Do-It-Yourself Tiny House Movement

Evangeline (Vange) Heiliger, Oberlin College

I argue that tiny house builders would benefit from a greater engagement with feminist / decolonial /STS knowledge production, not only in the building sciences, but also in histories of racism, genocide, sexism, ableism, classism, and dispossession that inform their larger social justice goals.

When gender and technology matter in a data journalism startup

Candis Callison, University of British Columbia; Mary Lynn Young, University of British Columbia

Drawing on ethnography and grounded theory, this paper explores how professional journalists’ systems of knowledge, power, and expertise are interrupted and re-articulated in a digital journalism collaborative startup owned and operated by women.

Health at her fingertips: development, gender and empowering mobile technologies

Marine Al Dahdah, Paris Descartes University - IFRIS

This communication examines health programs that are using mobile phones to improve maternal health in the developing world. Thanks to gender, post-colonial and STS studies, we would like to offer a critical analysis of those new devices using mobile phones to “empower” women in the Global South.

Germline Ruptures: Methyl Isocyanate Gas and Transpositions of Life, Death, and Matter in Bhopal

Deboleena Roy, Emory University

As MIC continues to exert reproductive health effects in Bhopal, the surrogacy market is growing in this city. Tracing the breakdown of Bhopali survivors’ reproductive bodies due to MIC exposure, this paper explores MIC as a catalyst for the placental migration of transnational biopolitics.

The Politics of Reproductive Rights and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in South Korea

Sunhye Kim, University of Maryland

This paper examines how the feminist postcolonial STS approach can be a valuable tool to analyze the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in South Korea through legal and social discourse analysis and in-depth interviews with infertile women, medical professionals, and governmental personnel.

Reproducing Inequalities: Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Promotion and the Urgency of Feminist Postcolonial STS

Patrick Grzanka, University of Tennessee; Jenny Brian, Arizona State University

Though celebrated as the magic bullet solution to unplanned pregnancy, long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) promotion represents a complex social problem that necessitates an integrative feminist postcolonial STS critique and intervention.

Nourishing relations: feminist postcolonial STS approaches to global health

Ramah McKay, University of Pennsylvania

Drawing from feminist STS approaches to care, and postcolonial theorizations of medical governance, this paper explores the forms of distribution, expertise, and relation that emerge out of global health circuits in Mozambique.


Digital subjectivities in the global context: new technologies of the self

Luke Stark, Dartmouth College; Beth Semel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Marisa Brandt, Michigan State University, Lyman Briggs College

3rd September 2016, 11:00


This track explores digital tools for subject formation in a global context. It interrogates the transnational histories, present and futures of digital media as means for shaping individual and collective subjectivity, and complicating global divisions and inequalities of wealth, access, and power.

Self-management and quantified-self: how diabetes apps foster monitoring

Barbara Morsello, Roma Tre University; Veronica Moretti, University of Bologna

This study aims to describe how technological tools change and shape self-management among patients. We seek to demonstrate this by analyzing diabetes apps that use features of gamification and quantification to help patients suffering from type 1 diabetes to more easily control their parameters.

There's an ENTJ For That: The Meyers-Briggs Personality Scale and Convergent Digital Subjectivities

Luke Stark, Dartmouth College

This paper explores the contemporary digital mobilization of the Meyers-Briggs Personality Scale in North America and Southeast Asia. Though not well supported scientifically, the test provides a compelling frame for self-narration in digitally mediated systems that value emotional classificability.

Digital technologies and the reconfiguration of health experiences and practices

Benjamin Marent, University of Brighton

The implementation of a mHealth platform to enable self-management of HIV is investigated across five clinical sites. We focus on new modes of control, triggered by digital care innovation, and their impact on identities and relationships between different actors in the health field.

Happiness as a Measure of Progress: Digital tools of policy making

Anat Noa Fanti, Bar Ilan University

Statistical measures are being used in the Western world to manage and control populations. In recent years Indicators that measure happiness and well-being as part of public policy gained immense popularity. My presentation will review the current trend and its contribution to subjectivity.

The Digital Revolution in Financial(ised) Inclusion

Sally Brooks, University of York; Daniela Gabor

This paper examines financial inclusion as a development approach involving networks of state institutions, donors and ‘philanthropic’ fintech companies. Couched in language of including the excluded, it offers global finance new ways to ‘profile’ poor households into generators of financial assets

We Are Anonymous: Genealogy of a Transgressive Digital Subjectification Platform

Pedro Jacobetty, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

This paper explores the connections between technique, design, and space in the formation of digital subjectification systems. It traces a genealogy of Anonymous by analyzing digital artifacts and their social, cultural, semiotic, and infrastructural connections.

Reaching the Next Billion: the case of Free Basics in India

Noopur Raval, UC, Irvine

Free Basics, a Facebook initiative to bring people online in the Global South was recently banned in India. The paper examines implications of corporate-led infrastructure projects like Loon and Free Basics in determining future global digital subjectivities because of their role in shaping Internet access.

Tracking a Self-tracking device: expectations and practices of a bicycle support project in the city of Santiago of Chile

Matías Valderrama, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Martin Tironi, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

We examine the socio-technical design and practices of engineers and users on a bicycle self-tracking device in the city of Santiago. Studying the prototyping process and the daily life of cyclists, this paper problematize the “correctly” and “representative” way of view of digital devices and data.

"There might be someone who is monitoring you": Enacting privacy boundaries in a mobile health intervention

Kristin Dew, University of Washington

This case study explores privacy questions raised while designing a mobile health intervention for HIV-serodiscordant couples in Thika, Kenya. We show how the intervention unsettles the notion of privacy as boundary negotiation and highlights the ethical implications of knowledge making practices.

Bye, fantasmeur!: Minitel's animateurs and the prehistory of cyborg affective labor

Jeff Nagy, Stanford University

This paper examines the genderbending animateurs of Minitel’s sexchat sites, whose work linked postindustrial attention economies, cyborgized digital microwork, and the commodification of digital selves, as a counterpoint to other paradigmatic figures in the theorization of digital affective labor.

Intimacies in Collaborative Survival: Gay Geolocative Dating Apps in Manila

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

This paper explores gay Filipino call-center workers collaborative survival strategies through Manila’s uneven sociotechnical infrastructures. Tracking practices of gay dating app users in Manila, this empirical study demonstrates how digital technology mediates queer world-making.

Quantifying Sex: Technology, Capital, and Self in Live Cam Performances

Marika Cifor, University of California, Los Angeles; Kristin Way, University of California, Los Angeles

Within pornography’s live cam sector we examine the sociocultural implications of quantifying sex and self through wearable technologies, apps and the regulation of performer behavior, questioning technologies’ revolutionary potential for democraticizing sexual expression that has been much touted.

Digital Subjects in the Graphical Interface of Pornography

Patrick Keilty, University of Toronto

The graphical interface of online pornography websites is an artifact of processes and protocols that is not only a zone in which our behaviors and actions take place but also a cultural value system.


Socio-technical Futures Shaping the Present - Empirical Examples and Analytical Challenges in STS and Technology Assessment

Martin Meister, TU Berlin; Andreas Lösch, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; Armin Grunwald, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT; Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer, Technical University of Berlin

1st September 2016, 14:00


In our track we want to provide a forum for mutual inspiration for different strands of research in STS and TA that address the different roles of socio-technical futures in shaping the present. As possible contributions we address empirical examples as well as analytical proposals.

Shaping the present by creating pictures of the future?

Armin Grunwald, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT

What does it mean to shape the future? We only can intervene into the present by action, or by decisions which then might have consequences for future developments or events. This loop from the present to futures and back to the present is regarded as an exemplification of the ‘hermeneutic circle’.

Socio-Technical Futures for Parliamentary Research: Building a Foresight Service for the European Parliament

Philip Boucher, European Parliament

The Scientific Foresight Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service delivers research on science and technology futures to inform action at the European Parliament. We present our experience in providing this service with reference to projects on cyber-physical systems and assistive technologies.

Science, State and Citizen in Visions of the Bioeconomy

Tess Doezema, Arizona State University; J. Benjamin Hurlnbut, Arizona State University

Shifting citizen-state-market subjectivities are emergent with imaginations of a future bioeconomy. Efforts to update U.S. biotechnology regulation shed light on commitments in policy, law and public investment that are framed as indispensable to bringing this imagined future to fruition.

Reflexive hermeneutics against closing down TA discourses: a case of synthetic biology

Go Yoshizawa, Osaka University

A hermeneutic discourse analysis of TA documents on synthetic biology revealed a tendency to close down future spaces under hermeneutic imperialism of science against opening up sociotechnical futures and the outputs of TA.

How engineers derive requirements from situational scenarios - the basic mechanism

Martin Meister, TU Berlin; Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer, Technical University of Berlin

One important role of situational scenarios is to guide engineers in developing new technology. We propose that the basic mechanism behind this is a cognitive drive for mutual specification of technical and social requirements.

A Typology of Socio-technical Futures: Performativity of Scenarios, Simulations, Prototypes

Mariya Dzhimova, Munich Center for Technology in Society

This paper investigates the different roles and functions of three types of socio-technical futures in the innovation process – futures projected in narratives and scenarios (1), futures projected in computer simulations (2), and futures projected in prototypes (3).

How Smart City futures are shaping urban planning today - and what urban studies can tell us about the impacts of (past) urban futures

Philipp Späth, Freiburg University

Empirical findings from interviews/ document analysis in 4 large German cities, which are said to be currently turned into smart cities, are juxtaposed with the rich literature on how ‘urban futures’/ ‘urban imaginaries’ influence urban planning today and influenced it in the 20th century.

Managing the Future: The Special Virus Leukemia Program

Robin Scheffler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Presents a genealogy of the development of human cancer viruses as “administrative objects” at the US National Cancer institute, emphasizing the important role of management theories and technologies in constituting these viruses as objects, and their influence on the growth of cancer research.

The Function and Implications of "Future" in Robotics Research

Andreas Bischof, Chemnitz University of Technology

Fictional futures are part of the culturally shaped identity of robtics researchers. Notions of "future" areused to legitimize research and to symbolize the ability to resolve societal problems. The promise of helping robots thereby becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Visions as socio-epistemic practices shaping the present

Andreas Lösch, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; Reinhard Heil, ITAS/KIT

The talk develops a concept for analysing the efficacy of visions of the future as socio-epistemic practices in current processes of innovation and transformation. This is needed for a real-time technology assessment of heterogeneous technologies.

The organizational enactment of socio-technical futures. The case of "Industrie 4.0" in Germany.

Uli Meyer, Technische Universität München

Socio-technical futures shape and are shaped by organizations. This paper explores this interrelation in the case of “Industrie 4.0” in Germany. It combines concepts from STS and organizational theory to develop a more elaborate understanding of how imagined future technologies affect the present.

Visions of In Vitro Meat: Shaping the Future of Food

Inge Böhm, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT); Arianna Ferrari, ITAS/KIT; Silvia Woll, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

This paper will explore the imaginaries and visions of different innovators and stakeholders of in vitro meat on the basis of semi-structured interviews.

Proposal of Applying Constructive Technology Assessment to the Autonomous Car

Keita Sugihara, Nanzan University

I propose actor-network theory (ANT) based constructive technology assessment (CTA) for the autonomous car. I discuss the utilization CTA from the perspective of ANT in order to realize a socially desirable autonomous car. Further, I discuss a plan for hosting an autonomous car workshop in Japan.


Non-conforming bodies: an exploration of public health knowledge, practice and technologies beyond 'the body'

Fay Dennis, Goldsmiths, University of London; Emma Garnett, King's College London

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track invites presentations which explore non-conforming bodies in public health knowledge, practice and technologies. We are interested in opening up dialogue on how bodies get enacted beyond their boundaries and thereby confront normative imaginings of 'the body'.

The embodiment of conflict. Signing and non signing practices in Dutch elderly deaf people

Anja Hiddinga, Unversity of Amsterdam

In this visual project two images are shown at the same time: 1. edited interviews with the two main Dutch protagonists in the controversy over the use of Sign Language in deaf education, 2. footage showing the embodied communicative practices of elderly deaf people in signing and non-signing hands.

Science as 'not-violence': Producing multiple understandings of addicted bodies

Joseph Guisti, Northwestern University

By opposing "science-based" care to violent care, collaborations between the Mexican government and mutual-aid based treatment providers are producing multiple understandings of drug addiction and black-boxing the content of treatment science.

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury as multiple: Privileging practice over bodies

Emily Kirbyson, University of Lethbridge

The self-wounded body, as in the case of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), is oft produced as pathological. Studying multiple enactments of NSSI might place some versions of it it outside the pathological/healthy binary, decreasing rates of intervention and making needed intervention more flexible.

Producing the drug-addicted neonatal body

Amy Chandler, University of Lincoln; Anne Whittaker, Edinburgh Napier University; Sarah Cunningham-Burley, University of Edinburgh

This paper analyses the social and clinical production of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). The construction of a ‘NAS baby’ is shown to be contingent on understandings of (mother-infant) embodiment; narratives of addiction and stigma; and practices of health and social care.

Between Desert and Tundra: Nutritional Realities of the Svalbard Vault

Lilah Leopold, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This paper explores the first withdrawal of seed samples from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as an example of engaging the lenses of feminist STS scholarship and the artwork installed in the vault’s entrance in order to understand public health through non-conforming seed and human bodies.

Nonconformity in the Face of HIV

Annette-Carina van der Zaag, Goldsmiths, University of London; Ulla McKnight, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper explores how a traumatised HIV-positive pregnant patient negotiated HIV, war, trauma, foetus, possible deportation, gender relations and her future baby in the space of the clinic: a non-conforming phenomenon that critiques the biomedical body and STS’ neglect of human speech/silence.

No Heroics, Please: Renderings and Disruptions of Bodies in Organ Donation Medical Practices

Sara Bea, Linköping University

An ethnographic exercise to advance alternative ways of theorising the body that circumvent the subject/object dualism. It presents a different set of inclusions and exclusions that disrupt reified conceptualisations of bodies as objects, owned and defined by subjects as autonomous individuals

Deconstructing diagnostics: a critical epidemiology of sleeping sickness in Uganda

Shona Jane Lee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Sleeping sickness manifests in hotspots of zoonotic configurations where multiple human, animal, insect, and public bodies become together in flux. This paper explores disease dynamics, diagnostics, and the data emerging at the interfaces between and beyond bodies through an ethnographic lens.

Malaria multiple: bodies, practices, and public health knowledge

Luciane Machado Freitas de Souza

Ribeirinhos are frequently afflicted by malarial infections. While malaria is characterized as a single disease, in real life, it is enacted in plural ways. Each way evokes one version of malaria; hence it is a multiple object defined through networks of people, techniques, and environment.

Fluid Bodies

Julie Laplante, University of Ottawa

Anchoring my thoughts in fieldwork done with women becoming-plant in preparing daily fresh healing elixirs in Yogyakarta on the Island of Java in Indonesia, I would like to tease out how working upon open-bodies or body multiple figures what people do to stay healthy.

Aligning population knowledge with care of fat bodies

Patricia Thille, University of Toronto / University Health Network

The present study analyses two Canadian texts meant to improve the health of adults living in fat bodies. Both build upon statistical knowledge of populations, but enact notably different fat bodies - differences that are consequential for care.


Biorisk Intelligence otherwise: Scenarios, Visual Knowledge and new Mechanisms of Surveillance

Francisco Tirado, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Enrique Baleriola, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Swen Seebach, UAB (Autonomous University Barcelona); Jose Cañada, University of Helsinki

2nd September 2016, 11:00


Fictional scenarios, visual knowledge and new technologies have changed epidemiology and preventive medicine.All three dimensions show that a new intelligence and a new form of governmentality about biorisk and future threats.

Standby governance and empty networks: preparedness for global biological threats

Jose Cañada, University of Helsinki

Global health policies have embraced preparedness as prevailing approach. Through this paradigm shift, threats have become uncertain and timeless. This translates into new governance modes which attempt at forming empty networks that will allow for quick response in case of emergency.

Images and State of Emergency in Biological Treats

Enrique Baleriola, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Marco Maureira, Autonomous University of Barcelona; Pedro Torrejón Cano, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona; Clara Méndez Hernández, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

Images have accompanied the social from its origin.We want to reclaim their original status throughout the concept of State of Emergency. We will show some images from recent epidemics (zika, ebola...) understood as scenarios in order to unfold what is an state of emergency and their implications.

Between Panic and Panic - Fear as a Dangerous Balance in Epidemic Governance

Swen Seebach, UAB (Autonomous University Barcelona); Marco Maureira, Autonomous University of Barcelona; Pedro Torrejón Cano, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona; Clara Méndez Hernández, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

This paper argues that a regime of pandemic preparedness can only be installed in the form of fear balancing two forms of panic, controlling present and future. Observations from focus groups will shed light on the construction and management of fear under a horizon of global pandemic threats.

Scenarios as modes of existence in knowledge about biological threats

Francisco Tirado, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Marco Maureira, Autonomous University of Barcelona; Enrique Baleriola, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Mariana Gavris, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Scenarios to think biological threats are modes of existence. They are truth-making procedure. So, they operate building states of exception; they produce images of exception and; life is considered the subject and the object of its monitoring. Ebola pandemics will be our empirical work.

Biosrisk Interventions as creative ontoecologies.

Mara Dicenta, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The killing of a dog in Spain during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 ignited questions of biosecurity and multi-species encounters. My analysis of the case shows that biorisk and biosecurity studies provide a prism for understanding how the ethical and ontological status of nonhumans are negotiated.

Western cities and the framing of pandemic risk

Elisa Pieri, University of Manchester

This paper is based on ongoing research that investigates how cities in the West securitise against global pandemics, and the social implications that arise. It explores how the risk of pandemic contagion is constructed, and how cities prepare to avert and respond to threats of infection.

Biopolitical surveilance and acceleration: the case of Explicit Health Guarantees Regime (GES) in Chile.

Jorge Castillo-Sepúlveda, University of Santiago de Chile; María Isabel Reyes Espejo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

This paper discusses some implications of the Explicit Health Guarantees Regime (GES) in Chile as an epidemiological surveillance system and biopolitical vector. From a material-semiotic approach it analyses the biopolitical effects of the protocols for the management of time in health scenarios.

Alternative actors and their relevance for emergency warning systems

Mariana Gavris, Autonomous University of Barcelona; Swen Seebach, UAB (Autonomous University Barcelona); Pedro Torrejón Cano, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona; Francisco Tirado, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The paper propose to debate on the performance by other means of alternative actors during an emergency crisis; focusing on the warning system's, on the moment before design proposal and on uses given to content (incl. visual) on virtual platforms through co-design in (open)knowledge proposals.

Bio-objectifing air through technoscientific practices

Attila Bruni, Trento University

The contribution is inspired by the direct observation of the activity of a university laboratory, pioneering for the analysis of Particulate Matter (PM) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The paper focuses on the practices through which air is bio-objectified.


Making Worlds: Feminist STS and everyday technoscience

Kara Wentworth, University of California San Diego; Monica Hoffman, University of California San Diego

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track invites papers informed by feminist science studies scholarship on how worlds are made through everyday and more-than-human practices. We welcome both traditional and experimental presentations exploring the processes and uneven consequences of technoscientific world-making.

Disciplining the Observer: Implications of Eye Tracking Software on Legal Reasoning

Kelli Moore, New York University

Eye tracking software measures what differently raced spectators attend to when watching videos of white police interactions with black people with implications for “legal science,” or, jurisprudence on race.

Integrating Feminist Science Studies into STEM fields De-Gendering Technoscience

Petra Lucht, Technische Universität Berlin

Referring to intersectional perspectives of Feminist Science and Technology Studies I suggest how to teach the question „How artifacts do gendered politics?" to bachelor, master and doctoral students in STEM fields in exploratory teaching-research seminars.

Re-viewing Aliens: Watching The X-Files during the Global War on Terror

Katherine Chandler, Georgetown University

This experimental papers considers race, gender and "alien" others in the X-Files to reflect on national security in the United States during the Global War on Terror and experiences researching this issues, given the X-Files provocation "The Truth is Out There."

(Mis)matches between sex education and needs of youth

Marijke Naezer, Radboud University; Els Rommes, Institute for gender studies - Radboud University

In this paper we interrogate the political practice of online and offline sex education in the Netherlands. Our question is: to which extent do politics in sex education match young people’s needs for information about sexuality?

The Romanian Assisted Reproduction Industry: Failing Attempts at Professionalisation

Alexandra Gruian, University of Leeds

The Romanian assisted reproduction industry fails to gain momentum due to various actors who, consciously or not, impede on its professionalisation. I will explore the medical and administrative technicalities and the political interests that prevent the standardisation of fertility treatments.

Which Risks, for Whom? Electronic fetal monitoring in American childbirth

Kellie Owens, Northwestern University

Why are electronic fetal monitors common in childbirth despite weak evidence? Interpreting the monitors is not simply a medical decision, but a judgment about which bodies should be susceptible to risks. I highlight the consequences of how providers weigh risks for babies against risks for mothers.

Seeing Inside: A Critical Study of Fetal Ultrasound in Medicine and Law

Jennifer Denbow, California Polytechnic State University

This paper examines medical research on fetal ultrasound and how legal actors in the US employ that research. I argue that legal actors often rely on this research to increase surveillance of pregnant women. The paper highlights the political stakes and uneven effects of a particular technology.

New Heights: Shoes as Technology of the Self

Chris Hesselbein, Cornell University

Footwear is an important technology with which gendered, ethnic, and class identities are created, maintained, and destabilized in Western society via the interaction of bodies and artifacts at the intersection of fashion, consumption, and the commercial classification and standardization of sizing

Milieu therapy, Identity Formation and Rehabilitation Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Nuri Erkut Kucukboyaci, NYU Langone Medical Center

This paper explores how new identities are formed during intensive group rehabilitation, where patients with TBI acquire critical self-awareness skills. It argues that the objects used in therapy both nourish and help control the “new selves” that are defined collaboratively within Western norms.

Moving past reductionism through biological research on mental illness

Anna Starshinina, University of California - San Diego

This paper examines how neuroscientific, genetic, and molecular biological research on mental illness challenges the idea that mental illness is solely a biological problem. I propose that the findings of basic science research can be mobilized to make a case for social interventions.

Making bodies and identities in everyday clinical work: caring practices as apparatuses of bodily production

Karolina Kazimierczak, University of Aberdeen

Engaging with the work of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad, this paper explores the everyday caring practices in the clinic, the ways in which they help materialize specific objects/bodies and their attributes/identities, and the consequences of these materializations for drawing (bodily) boundaries.

Controlled Acts: Caring for the Feeding Tube

Drew Danielle Belsky, York University

Regulatory regimes in Canada fail to encompass the economic, social, and affective dimensions of the unglamourous yet vital work of feeding tubes in home care. Starting from mundane materialities, I consider strategies for collective care at the intersection of different spheres of feminized labour.

Worlding the Globe: Feminist STS and the International Geophysical Year

Jessica Lehman, University of Minnesota

How does global science make worlds? I advocate for feminist STS attention to this question by analyzing an early attempt at global oceanography. I interrogate large-scale relations of geophysical observations for keys to the worlds that are made by ‘big science,’ especially synoptic geoscience.

Counting Mosquitoes: Reports, Maps, Surveys, and Engineering Projects during the Allies' Local, Multi-Species Malaria Control Practices in WWII

Monica Hoffman, University of California San Diego

This paper uses reports, maps, and surveys to engage the quotidian work of counting and controlling mosquitoes; and the work of translating and representing that work into useful information in the form of reports that circulated up and down Allied command hierarchies.

Of Baboons, Cadavers, and Dummies: Car Crash Testing in the 1970s

Renee Blackburn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In this paper, I examine animals, human cadavers, and anthropomorphic dummies as non-standard representations of human body types that shifted the interior of the automobile from a safe space for adult male occupants to a safe space for occupants of various genders, ages, and body types.

Multi-history for computation

Narrira Lemos de Souza, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Nayara Cristina Carneiro de Araujo

This paper aims to discuss the history of computer science focused on the exclusion of women on this subject and it also looks for new ways of making this scientific field.

Response-able Subjects: Shaping experiment from the inside out

Sarah Klein, University of California, San Diego; Tyler Marghetis, Indiana University

This paper describes an experiment in “response-able” experimental design: a collaboration between a cognitive scientist and an ethnographer of cognitive science, which inverted the agential structure of the cognitive psychology experiment, rendering it responsive to the impressions of its subjects.

Phenomenal Séances and Apparent Interdisciplinarities

Yelena Gluzman, University of California, San DIego

A séance, like theater and lab experiment, is a configuration of materials to encourage particular apparitions to manifest. This paper focuses on two related apparitions—empathy and interdisciplinarity—to inquire about the conditions allowing each to become sensible and thus actionable.

Inner Worlds and Material Capture

James Wilkes, Durham University; Holly Pester, University of Essex

In response to our participation in the experimental psychological method, Descriptive Experience Sampling, this paper figures the DES beeping device as a technology of experience capture. We will argue the device composes experience, and enact the drama of translating the material into data.

Fugitive worlds: psychology's attempts to capture daydreams

Felicity Callard, Durham University

The paper considers various ways in which psychology has experimentally investigated daydreaming, fantasy and mind wandering so as to explore the psycho-socio-technological circuits produced through bringing together experimenter, experimental subject, and the flotsam of quotidian life.

Living a collaborative life

Des Fitzgerald, Cardiff University

This paper shifts studies of collaboration from a bureaucratic focus on practices, and, drawing on feminist theory, re-thinks collaboration as a kind of inter-species relation; living a collaborative life, I argue, thus means learning to bear the conjoined intimacy and negativity of living-together.

Making worlds in animal slaughter

Kara Wentworth, University of California San Diego

Through a combination of video and live performance, this presentation explores how lives and worlds are made out of deaths in animal slaughter.

Queer technologies and rural world-making

Jean Hardy, University of Michigan

Using ethnographic methods, I show how discourses of technological world-making deployed by evaluators and creators of mobile apps targeted at queer men distort their effect on queer lives. I argue that a rural LGBTQ world is enacted dynamically rather than dictated by designers.

Hybrid bodies and the materiality of everyday life

Nelly Oudshoorn, University of Twente

Implanted technologies such as pacemakers transform everyday life. I argue that disentanglement work, i.e. anticipation to prevent specific entanglements between bodies and objects, is key to understanding how hybrid bodies can survive and intimacy is enacted in today’s technological landscapes.

Which Sustainability? On Practicing the Future

Emily Yates-Doerr, University of Amsterdam

I unpack challenges surrounding the translation of sustainability across languages and practices. I offer the feminist, decolonial platform of multi-object ethnography as an experimental technique for coordinating across similarity and difference.


Biodiversity by other (all?) means: a theatre for post-natural futures

Clemens Driessen, Wageningen University; Claire Waterton, Lancaster University; Tahani Nadim, Humboldt University Berlin; Esther Turnhout, Wageningen University

3rd September 2016, 09:00


This session seeks to convene a wide range of approaches to and interventions in the sciences, technologies and practices of biodiversity conservation. Including (but not limited to) forms of citizen science, public labs, DIY/biohacks, community/guerilla gardening, design, performance and ecoart.

Ode to the Sea Butterfly

Judit Hersko, California State University San Marcos

This performance lecture communicates climate change science and examines biodiversity conservation through the story of a fictitious, female explorer whose intimate relationship with two planktonic snails suggests alternative approaches to studying and relating to the nonhuman world.

Fungal infestation in social media: A visual analysis

Minna Santaoja, University of Tampere

In my presentation I will discuss tentative analysis of the visual content (photos uploaded by users) of the Facebook group of the Finnish mycological society. My question is what kind of human-fungus relationships can be identified in the social media content.

Artists as catalysts for biodiversity conservation: The art-academia culture clash

Paivi Abernethy

Both sustainability scientists and Art Ecology artists see themselves as catalysts for social change. What happens when they try to work together? I explore the promising potential of and challenges that arise in collaborations, e.g. when artists act as proactive agents in biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity by United Nations: the making and unmaking of biodiversity at IPBES

Esther Turnhout, Wageningen University

This paper discusses how biodiversity is made and unmade in the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services ( IPBES). The analysis suggests that IPBES may yet become a place where narrow definitions are resisted and multiple biodiversities can flourish.

SatNav for wolves: designing animal operated devices to rethink wildlife management

Clemens Driessen, Wageningen University

Building on existing devices and systems to track, monitor, optimize, control and confine wildlife, the product line launched here provides more user friendly tools for wild animals to navigate Anthropocenic landscapes and help them negotiate forms of living with others, including humans.


Open science in practice

Katja Mayer, Technical University of Munich; Natasha Mauthner, University of Aberdeen; Eduard Aibar, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; David Budtz Pedersen, Aalborg University Copenhagen; Marianne Noel, Université Paris-Est

1st September 2016, 09:00


Studying Open Science practices from STS perspectives is the focus of this track. We are inviting participants dealing with socio-technical dimensions of openness in sciences in general and Open Access, Open Research Data, Open Methods, Open Education, Open Evaluation, and Citizen Science in particular.

Innovative institutionalities for Open Science in development: a case study in Brazil

Henrique Parra, Federal University of São Paulo; Sarita Albagli, IBICT Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology; Maria Lucia Maciel, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Felipe Fonseca, IBICT

Understand the influence of socio-institutional issues in adoption of Open Science for sustainable development in Ubatuba/Brazil. Existing institutional logics is limited; innovative institutionalities are required to improve co-production among academia, affected communities and social groups.

Mapping Open Access/Science controversies: the case of the French "digital law" consultation

Constance de Quatrebarbes, IFRIS; Célya Gruson-Daniel, Centre Virchow-Villerme/Université Technologique de Compiègne/ Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires

This presentation will focus on a recent debate concerning “openness” in science throughout a French online consultation about a new “digital republic” law. During a hackathon, we developed digital methods to extract then analyze the “data” of this consultation and map the main stakeholders involved.

Tensions in creating discussion spaces in the French Open Access landscape: a necessary evil?

Marianne Noel, Université Paris-Est

This paper explores the behind-the-scenes work in building a law article on scholarly OA in France. Through a participant observation in a professional association, it traces arguments put forward by stakeholders in a year-long process and reveals frictional processes around impact studies.

Implementing Open Science in GMO Risk Research - Experiences and Challenges

Armin Spoek, Alpen-Adria Universitaet Klagenfurt-Wien Graz / IFZ Inter-University Research Centre; Sandra Karner, Alpen-Adria Universitaet; Greet Smets, PERSEUS; Joachim Schiemann, Julius Kühn Institute

The paper outlines an open science and public engagement approach implemented in a GMO risk research project conducting animal and laboratory studies. It will also report on possible gains, limitations, and challenges of practicing open science in a highly controversial and polarised area.

Beyond Citizen Science: Community science, civic technology and their implications on environmental decision-making

Shannon Marie Dosemagen, Public Lab

This paper challenges the boundaries of citizen science and the ways in which citizens have been expected to (not) participate in science, examining scientific settings in which notions of expertise, ownership and the use of science for critical objectives come to the forefront.

Abusing openness? Predatory publishing and the response of STS

Sally Wyatt, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences (KNAW)

The number and sophistication of so-called predatory publishers, working under the banner of open access, has exploded in recent years, with an estimated 400,000 such articles published in 2014. How should STS respond? Celebrate the diversity of publishing, or lament the decline of gatekeeping?

Wikipedia as Open Science: non-expert involvement in controversial scientific issues

Eduard Aibar, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Maura Lerga, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC

This study considers Wikipedia as a sui generis instance of Open Science and analyses how the non-expert or lay character of the average Wikipedia editor and the open and collaborative model of this free encyclopaedia are actually shaping the way controversial scientific issues are presented.

Openness in the material practices and performances of biohackers

Rosen Bogdanov, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

This study looks at the peculiar approach to open science by several biohacking and do-it-yourself biology groups. It analyses the co-construction of a digital microfluidics device and the open governance of possible futures in biology whereby entire ecosystems are digitally engineered or automated.

Pop-up, collective, public and urban experiments: New ways of understanding Computational Social Science Research

Josep Perelló, Universitat de Barcelona; Mario Gutiérrez-Roig; Oleguer Sagarra, Universitat de Barcelona

We present our experience in bridging gap between computational social science and the open science philosophy in the form of “pop-up experiments.” These are non-permanent, highly participatory collective experiments which transform the experiments into experiences aiming to propose civic actions.

Open Media Science

Kristian Martiny, University of Copenhagen; David Budtz Pedersen, Aalborg University Copenhagen; Alfred Birkegaard, Roskilde University

We argue that in order for Open Science (OS) to develop further it needs to move beyond open access and extend into an Open Media movement engaging with new media and formats of science communication. We discuss two case studies where experiments with open media have driven new OS collaborations.

Open Science: A technological fix for 'care of the data'

Juliet McMullin, University of California, Riverside; Kyle Harp-Rushing, University of California Riverside

Drawing on ethnographic observations of a lab intervention that uses Open Science Framework software to increase ethical scientific practices, we ask how Fortun’s concept, ‘care of the data’, can be used to describe the intervention’s impact on the socio-technical dimensions of Open Science.

Open Data, Reproducibility & the Reliability of Scientific Knowledge

Theresa Velden, Technical University Berlin

Based on a comparative, secondary analysis of case studies on the production of scientific knowledge and the role of replication this paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the dimensions of replication across different epistemic cultures and how they link to open data.

Epistemic and non-epistemic values driving data sharing in practice

Madeleine Murtagh, Newcastle University; Paul Burton, University of Bristol; Andrew Turner, University of Bristol

Epistemic and non-epistemic values driving data sharing (data access) governance and practice illustrate the complex orientations of data generators, researchers and others to open science; in particular, protecting the participant, protecting the study, and protecting the researcher.

Beneath Freely Accessible Data in the Humanities. Collaboration between Humanities Scholars and Computer Science Researchers in a Digital Humanities Research Project

Pierre-Nicolas Oberhauser, University of Lausanne

Based on an ethnographic inquiry inside a digital humanities research project, this study describes the construction of an international e-research infrastructure. It shows how collaboration is achieved between the humanities scholars and computer science researchers building that infrastructure.

From Open Access to Open Science - research policy in the making

Katja Mayer, Technical University of Munich

The paper examines terminological, strategic, and actual realms of Open Science as a multiple that calls for multifarious ways of reflexive policy making

Reflections on ethos and identity in an "open science revolution"

Rosalind Attenborough, University of Edinburgh

Communities of academic scientists occupy a cultural sphere in which openness has been valued for centuries – whether rhetorically or in practice. This paper reflects upon the re-shaping of scientific ethoses and identities as scientists encounter a new wave of "open science”.

Knowledge Sharing in Public-Private Partnerships in Life Sciences: an Open Science perspective

Óscar D. Sánchez-Jiménez, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe; Eduard Aibar, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

This paper presents an empirical study investigating barriers to knowledge sharing in research public-private partnerships in Life Sciences, which may prevent the implementation of Open Science practices, and contributes to the discussion on Open Science and Open Innovation convergence.

Benefits and obstacles of openness in science: an analytical framework illustrated with case study evidence from Argentina

Valeria Arza, National Scientific and Technical Research Council CONICET; Juan Mariano Fressoli, CONICET

We propose an analytical framework to relate dimensions of openness, benefits and obstacles. One dimension accounts for the characteristics of the collaboration, while the other for aspects of access and accessibility of shared outputs. We illustrate using case-study evidence from Argentina.


Care Innovation and New Modes of Citizenship

Daniel Lopez Gomez, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Jeannette Pols, Amsterdam Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam; Henriette Langstrup, University of Copenhagen; Juan C. Aceros, Universidad Industrial de Santander

1st September 2016, 16:00


Following the conference theme Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures, this track invites presentations (in traditional as well as other formats) that present work on practices of participation and emergent modes of citizenship associated with care innovation.

Co-governance in an ageing society: On pushing, biking and caring as active citizenship

Aske Juul Lassen, University of Copenhagen

Through an ethnographic study of two co-creation initiatives, wherein active older citizens help frail older people to get out and about, the paper explores how co-governance and active citizenship transform old age and the provision of care.

Care routines, feeding assistive robotics and the disabled body

Niels Christian Mossfeldt Nickelsen, Aarhus University, AU

Several feeding assistive robotics are described in the literature, but few studies have explored the reception. I report from an ethnographic study of the Neater-Eater robot in a housing institution for the disabled. Due to a number of values the implementation is something of a balancing act.

Telecare innovations, family configurations and citizenship

Hege Kristin Andreassen, Norwegian Centre for e-health research; Catherine Pope, University of Southampton; Carl May, University of Southampton

We reflect in this paper on the relation between care innovation, family configurations and new modes of community participation and citizenship. We argue that contemporary telecare innovations script new modes of citizenship not only for the patient herself, but also for the family and carers.

Dementia care infrastructures as citizenship practices

Ann Therese Lotherington, UiT, the Arctic University of Norway

The paper discusses encounters between new feminist materialism and dementia care infrastructures, and the potentials such encounters have for the enactment of new modes of citizenship.

Activating Care: Patient Participation and the Bioeconomies of Parenting

Pablo Santoro, Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Carmen Romero Bachiller, Universidad Complutense, Madrid; Carmen Romero Bachiller, Universidad Complutense, Madrid

We report on two case studies on childbirth and parenting in Spain: Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and mastitis. Though there are here no patient organizations, both imply practices of associating and sharing knowledge with others, and both lead mothers to participate in “circuits of vitality”

Care innovation and participation in mHealth development: the HIV 'app'

Flis Henwood, University of Brighton

This paper explores practices of ‘invited’ participation in mHealth innovation, arguing that understanding these as non- innocent ‘care practices’ enables a focus on new modes of care emerging alongside the mHealth platform and on how we are co-constructing these through our sociotechnical studies.

Implications of Introducing Robotics into Home Nursing Care

Knut Ovsthus, Bergen University College; Bodil Ravneberg, Bergen University College

An integration of personal service (shower) robotics into home nursing care implies individual and organizational changes, and challenges users and care providers. The paper discusses how the innovation rephrases human values and alter established forms of user participation and service organization.

Bioethical citizenship in France today, or the institutionalized autonomy of judgment on biomedicine.

Adeline Neron, IFRIS/IRD

This paper relates to current bioethics’ governance in France. It aims to highlight different modes of engagements implied by this form of regulation of biomedicine, in which participatory apparatus contribute to a centralized administration of moral judgments regarding health and care innovations.

Self-monitoring, PROMs and enactments of responsible citizenship.

Henriette Langstrup, University of Copenhagen

The paper explores how self-monitoring care infrastructures involving PROMs reconfigure responsible citizenship in an age of Value-driven-healthcare.

Inclusiveness of Participation in Precision Medicine Projects: a Comparative Analysis

Ilaria Galasso, European Institute of Oncology; Giuseppe Testa, European Institute of Oncology / University of Milan

Our paper investigates the participatory features of precision medicine through a comparative analysis of the “Precision Medicine Initiative” (PMI) in the US, and the “100K Genomes Project” in England.

A heroes' story; the entrepreneurial configuration of users and autonomy in the independent living programmes for people with intellectual disability in Spain

Joan Moyà-Köhler, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Israel Rodriguez-Giralt, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

This paper is an ethnographical reflection on the self-motivated and entrepreneurial configurations of usership and autonomy emerging from independent living programmes for people with intellectual disability in Spain.

Surveillant care for placed children

Lars Bo Andersen, Aarhus University; Peter Danholt, Aarhus University; Peter Lauritsen, Aarhus University

The Danish welfare system is interwoven with negotiated forms of surveillance enabling the provision of welfare to citizens. This paper explores one case: How social workers struggle to surveil the wellbeing of placed children and how placed children, in turn, struggle to relate to their social worker.

Reshaping Health Technology Assesment through public participation

Ana Toledo, Fundación Canaria de Investigación Sanitaria (FUNCANIS)

Health Technology Assesment is increasingly incorporating public participation in the evaluation of new technologies. This paper explores in which ways public is being involved in the assesment process.


Monitoring Circulation

Jess Bier, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Willem Schinkel, Erasmus University Rotterdam

2nd September 2016, 14:00


The papers in this track analyze the politics of counting and visualizing in efforts to monitor the global circulation of people, practices, and data. The goal is to further examine the relationships between circulation infrastructure and supranational efforts at regulation and surveillance.

Tools of legibility: Monitoring global trade flows

Julian Stenmanns, Goethe Universität Frankfurt

This paper traces the different tools of legibility that are meant to produce global visibility in supply networks. It thus discusses the reconfigurations of logistics and the infrastructures of state borders in a time of circulatory capitalism

The visual ecology of European migration politics: becoming visible in the movement of things

Rogier van Reekum, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Visualization plays is crucial to the politics of European migration. The concept of visual ecology reconstructs a terrain of circulating visualizations. Migrants are able to intervene in this continuous production of movements and help us see beyond the 'migration crisis'.

A Multi-dimensional Approach to (South) Korean International Research Collaboration

Sooa Lee, Georgia Institute of Technology

This study monitors a multi-dimensional aspect of social barriers associated with transnational knowledge circulation by examining policy reports and interviews with micro-level actors.

How to do your genes: transformations in a genetics lab

Colin Halverson, University of Chicago

This talk investigates how technicians in a molecular genetics laboratory manage to constitute a unified sample over the course of radical material transformations – from liquid blood to digital code – with a particular focus on the role of informatic ‘noise’ and its recognition and removal.


Valuation practices at the margins

Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, Linkoping University; Freyja Knapp; Francis Lee, Uppsala University; Kristin Asdal, University of Oslo; Steve Woolgar, LInkoping University

1st September 2016, 09:00


Studies of valuation explore a variety of practices where values are negotiated, ordered and established. One might say valuation is about the making of certain forms of hierarchy or importance. This track engages with the fringe practices that are situated in the shadow of more dominant techniques.

Valuation and the quantification of life: healthcare and correctional services

Peter Miller, London School of Economics & Political Science; Andrea Mennicken, London School of Economics and Political Science

Death and incarceration define the margins of society, and for long have been at the margins of valuation. This paper examines how both phenomena have been brought into the realm of calculation and valuation, with consequences for democracy and regimes of quantified personal accountability.

Situated differences in the valuation of human life: Comparing QALY and DALY

Oscar Javier Maldonado, Linköping University; Tiago Moreira, Durham University

By comparing the uses of QALY and DALY in Global Health, this paper discusses how differences in measurement of health organize, perform and reproduce geo-politically situated differences in the value of human life.

Marginalizing Hospital Work: Contesting Practices of Referring Patients to Beds

Amalie Martinus Hauge, Copenhagen Business School

Based on an ethnographic study of how Lean consultants work to optimize the practice of referring patients in a children’s hospital, this paper investigates the interplay between valuation and organization and shows how this has implications for the enactment of center and margin.

Fetal Values: On the Limits of Valuation in Reproductive Research

Francis Lee, Uppsala University

Fetuses are valued in many different ways. Often in terms of non-quantified scales such as emotional and ethical value. This paper asks how we can study how objects (such as fetuses) shift and meander (aborted-fetus-waste; fetal research saves the human herd) when they meet the limits of valuing.

Valuation Practices in Transition: From the Analogue to the Digital High-End Audio

Tsutomu Nakano, Aoyama Gakuin University

What will happen when quantum technologies hit markets? This investigates changes of the high-end audio market from the analogue to the digital music downloading. It poses problems to judge value of products. We employed network analysis and interviews as an empirical study to find transitions at the margins.

The Taste of Valuation

Fabian Müller, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Reinforcing the notion of valuation devices, this research analyzes the interdependency of multiple, co-existing valuation devices in one market. It argues that this interdependency has lead to the spread of a new culinary form in Scandinavia, which has formed a change in fine-dining.

Valuing marginal materials: Mouldy grapes at the limits of pricing

Jeremy Brice, London School of Economics

This paper explores the practices used by Australian wine producers to price diseased grapes. It explores the different understandings of what matters in market transactions, and which exchange relationships are to be valued, embodied in the ‘marginal’ valuation practices used by two wine producers.

Harvesting quality: practices of (re)valuation in rural networks of production

Alexander Dobeson, Uppsala University

Based on the case of the Icelandic coastal fisheries, this paper shows that ‘quality’ of raw materials such as fish cannot be understood as external from the materiality of the good, but must be viewed in the broader context of production in which it is materialised and reproduced.

Turning garbage into waste: Trash valuations and environmental knowledge

Talia Fried, Bar Ilan University

This paper explores the Israeli-Palestinian moral universe of waste-making through the lens of physical surveys of trash. These valuations co-constitute waste within broader environmental stories, but their influence on policy is limited.

Valuating Waste: Containers, Bins, Bags and Other Technologies of Dumpster Diving

Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen, University of Tampere; Olli Pyyhtinen, University of Tampere

This paper studies dumpster diving from the point of view of different technologies involved in it. Our claim is that the ways freegans valuate the food stuffs in supermarkets’ waste containers are dependent on the specific technologies that are used for storing food, moving it and classifying it.

Processing Electronic Waste, Re-Evaluating Limits. Ethnographic Insights from a High-Tech Recycling Company

Stefan Laser, University of Kassel

Professional recycling is said to be the remedy for the global issue of electronic waste. However, results from an ethnographic study reveal that the evaluation of such waste is a complex challenge. It calls for multiple machine setups and non-formalisable knowledge to sense the limits of its value.

Ridding as valuation mechanism in UK used goods markets

Emma Greeson, University of California, San Diego

Post-consumer goods are valued through different processes than those being valued for a first time. Ridding through various channels is central to those valuation process. This paper focuses on valuation in UK charity shops and recycling firms, and considers the role of ridding in primary markets.

Good shit: evaluating health at the margins of the body

Justine Laurent, University of Amsterdam

The guts have been under the spotlights recently, largely thanks to work on the microbiome. But bowels are also the site of mundane, daily evaluation practices that challenge the centrality of given understandings of the body to push excrements and digestion centre stage.

Defining the data that "counts": Consumer databases as practical accomplishments:

Tomás Ariztía, Universidad Diego Portales - Chile

This paper relies on an eight-month fieldwork to describe how consumer digital data assembled in data intensive financial business. By taking a pragmatic approach, we describe customer datasets as the outcome of multiple moments of qualification and valuation.

Real estate valuation in practice

Uri Ansenberg, University of Manchester

The sharp increase of valuation oriented studies has yet to include a similar increase in the studies of real estate valuation. This qualitative research aims to fill this gap while utilizing the current real estate valuation crisis into a more general understanding of valuations.

Making news of value: exploring valuation practices at Valor Economico

Tomas Undurraga, Universidad Alberto Hurtado

This article studies the multiple valuation practices in newsmaking at Valor Economico, an economic journal in Brazil. Valor promises to produce news that generates value. Different valuation practices compete within the newsroom to define value, reflecting diverse journalistic and economic visions.

The value of the negative

Rene Brauer, University of Surrey; John Tribe, University of Surrey; Nigel Morgan, University of Surrey; Mirek Dymitrow, University of Gothenburg

Contemporary evaluations of research emphasize positive impacts while marginalising negative ones. This paper uses Collins and Evans' (2007) notion of 'interactional expertise' to conceptualize a new approach that incorporates the value of negative impact.

Marginal Advantage: Seismic Energy and the Value of an Early Warning in Mexico

Elizabeth Reddy, University of California-Irvine

This paper draws on ethnographic fieldwork to address how the advantage time that earthquake early warning systems make possible comes to be more valuable or less so.I argue that this contested valuation articulates material energies with human practice.

Recording Indian fish: reports, records and administrative practices of valuation

Aarthi Sridhar, University of Amsterdam

The paper examines colonial valuation practices around fisheries, to recover the agential quality of reports in association with practices of catch estimation and administrative acts of record-keeping which in turn produce stable geographies of 'demand' and 'supply' in uncertain environments.

Weed or Value? Compensating nature at Frankfurt airport

Martina Schlünder, University of Toronto; Susanne Bauer, University of Oslo; Nils Güttler, ETH Zürich

This paper will examine the management of non-human lives and nature at Frankfurt airport, Germany’s largest international hub. We will show how economic, cultural, or legal values are not pre-given but emerge from practices that give rise to politics of compensation.

Valuating Molecules and their Risks. How Socio-Economic Analysis Has Transformed the Evaluation of Toxic Chemicals.

Henri Boullier, IFRIS / CERMES3

This paper shows how the introduction of socio-economic analysis in the course of their assessment by public experts transforms the practices of chemical (risk) valuation.

Resilience in the "technical dialogue" of French nuclear risk governance

Jérémy Eydieux, Mines Nantes; Stéphanie Tillement, Ecole des Mines de Nantes

This paper addresses the issue of articulation between anticipation and resilience strategies through the lens of valuation theory. We draw on the case study of the "technical dialogue" that governs nuclear risks in France, to qualify how resilience values are included in this dialogue.

Happiness as a valuation of nations: from margin to indicator

Gustaf Nelhans, University of Borås; Christopher Kullenberg

This paper traces how subjective measures of welfare were transformed from a marginal issue in the social sciences to a valuation of welfare of nations. The co-production of social science and politics is analysed in a case study of negotiations of subjective and objective indicators in Sweden.

The little tools of large-scale visions

Hilde Reinertsen, University of Oslo; Bård Hobæk, University of Oslo; Kristin Asdal, University of Oslo

Documents are key sites in which valuations are done. One example of this is the proliferation of policy documents articulating large-scale visions of a "blue growth" in the EU and Norway. How do these documents - the little tools of aquaculture policy - produce this desired future?

Locating Global Value: National Statistical Infrastructures and Multinational Banks

Jess Bier, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Willem Schinkel, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Global finance is often characterized as a realm that supersedes the nation-state, but multinational banking statistics produce specific geographies that are both national and gobalized. Attention to the infrastructural work of valuation can help to specify these spaces of global capital flows.

Social Return on Investment (SROI) as a new practice of (e)valuation in the built environment

Kelly Watson, University of Manchester

The implications of Social Return on Investment, a social impact methodology, as an alternative post-occupancy (e)valuation practice in the built environment are discussed. Rather than measuring technical building performance, SROI valorises the outcomes experienced by the end users of design.

Valuation as self-fulfilling prophecy? Fictionalising scientific metrics in the humanities

Alexa Färber, University of Vienna

The valuation regime of the sciences has reached the humanities and questions its marginality. The problematization of this “intrusion” articulates valuation’s fictional character in form of futurity (young scholars’ career-chances) and the capitalisation of inconsistencies (ranking system).

Negotiating Good Research Questions, Proper Methods and Trustworthy Results

Torben Elgaard Jensen, Aalborg University Copenhagen; Astrid Jespersen, University of Copenhagen

The paper examines how valuation is achieved when multidisciplinary research projects negotiate research questions, methods, data quality and results. It explores a series of cases and attempts to develop a typology of the ‘value added’ to valuation by social scientists.

"Scientists on stage". How social performances of biologists make values.

Sarah Schönbauer, Technical University of Munich

Stage performances of life scientists impact on the way scientific communities and their values are made. Through the analysis of theatre, orchestra and festival performances by biologists, this study shows how valuations are practiced and negotiated as part of newly emerging social performances.

Valuation - at the margins of research evaluation procedures?

Aline Waltzing, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Valuation practices have been enacted in institutionalised evaluations of research and higher education with different techniques and objects of valuation: two European case studies in the 1980s allow us to explore their marginality or centrality in the evaluation procedures.

Exploring a curious form of academic assessment: The case of blurbs on the back cover of scholarly books

Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, Linkoping University; Steve Woolgar, LInkoping University

This paper approach endorsements on the back cover of scholarly books as a serious and multifaceted phenomenon that say something about academic practice more broadly. Our examination of blurbs relies on interviews as well as through the detailed analysis of 150+ blurbs on books related to STS.


The Experimental Organization: Becoming by Doing

Iris Wallenburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Roland Bal, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Brit Winthereik, IT University of Copenhagen; Annemiek Stoopendaal, Erasmus University Rotterdam

1st September 2016, 09:00


Experimental organizations do not resist ambiguity and uncertainty, but rather embrace these by deliberately and recursively searching for reflexive responses or 'experiments'. We explore empirically and theoretically the doing of organizational experiments, and how organizations account for these.

Critique - in Organizational Experiment

Brit Winthereik, IT University of Copenhagen; Christopher Gad, IT-University of Copenhagen

In this paper we compare critical practices on the Danish fishery inspection ship The West Coast to such practices at the Nordic Folk Center for Renewable Energy. These cases are the ingredients for examining the role of critique in organizational experimentation.

The Experimental Zone, an experimental inquiry setting on interdisciplinary scientific work practices. Methodological issues

Séverine Marguin; Stefan Solleder, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

In one of the Clusters of the Humboldt University of Berlin an organizational experiment has been set up: the Experimental Zone, a space where the influence of spatial configurations on interdisciplinary work practices is observed. Which methodological issues are raised by such an research setting?

Experimenting for resilience - An inquiry into Civic Desire

Katia Dupret, Roskilde University; Peter Hagedorn-Rasmussen, Roskilde University

Focusing on how an experimental approach to organizing may pave the way for organizational resilience, we explore opportunities and barriers of experimental organizing by following a concrete social experiment in civil society and discuss its adaptability in traditional organizations. The social experiment is called Civic Desire. The founders explicitly call for new ways of organizing that can develop social sustainability. We discuss how these experiments may create platforms of new unforeseen goals that organizations may choose to follow. In conclusion we argue for organizational resilience through balancing a strategic and anticipatory strategy with experimental setups inspired by civil society organizing initiatives.

Experimental regulation: learning from mystery guests, systems and good governance

Annemiek Stoopendaal, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This paper explores how regulation is reformed through experimental projects. Organizations can become resilient by experiments that are inherently unpredictable, is this the case for regulatory organizations too? How does a regulatory organization, that has to be predictable, justify experiments?

Experimenting with accountability in Danish health care

Morten Bonde Klausen, University of Aarhus; Claus Bossen, Aarhus University; Peter Danholt, Aarhus University

Based on a study of quality indicator development and accountability in Danish health care, the paper discusses how institutionalized accountability relations lend themselves to experimentation, and how data works as both generative and inhibiting resources for organizational experimentation.

Experimenting with the Organization of Healthcare

Willemine Willems, Maastricht University

The paper focuses on a Dutch healthcare organization and one of its experimental projects. More specific, on justification repertoires deployed during the process of setting it up. How does its experimental character play out in the justification work required to bring unlikely partners together?

Experimentalist governance in action: uncertain valuations and valuing uncertainties in a Dutch collective for elderly care

Rik Wehrens, Erasmus University; Lieke Oldenhof, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Roland Bal, Erasmus University Rotterdam

We analyze the Dutch national elderly program as a form of ‘experimentalist governance’. We develop the notions ‘valuing uncertainties’ (uncertainty about how experimentation should be valued) and ‘uncertain valuations’ (how actors define success and outcome according to different valuation schemes).

Accounting and Producing Care: The Development of Experimental Infrastructures to Account for Good Care

Iris Wallenburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Roland Bal, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This paper aims to explore and conceptualize how hospital organizations have turned into measuring and accounting entities, and how this has set into motion an experiment of developing and enacting internal surveillance infrastructures, producing new notions of good care


Infrastructures of Evil: Participation, Collaboration, Maintenance

Christopher Kelty, UCLA; Joan Donovan, UCLA; Aaron Panofsky, UCLA

2nd September 2016, 11:00


Explores the dark side of infrastructure and how participation, collaboration and maintenance can be looked at from the perspective of illegitimacy, inequality, and evil. Papers will address under-researched, unintended or surprising aspects of science, engineering and infrastructures.

Do Silk Roads lead to Data Havens?

Adam Fish, Lancaster University

The data haven concept is troubled by extraterritorial power....

Brand and issue: the janus face of the computationally enhanced car

Noortje Marres, University of Warwick

This paper discusses controversies about computationally enhanced cars. Disruptive occurrences involving these entities, I argue, demonstrate their formative ambiguity, as both politically generative and perverse. I conclude that recognizing this ambiguity is only more necessary in times of crisis.

Metals of Concern in the Late Industrial City

Alison Kenner, Drexel University

This article discusses the messy entanglements, both evil and necessary, posed by scrapyards operating in a late industrial neighborhood; it explores how civic engagement technologies have been taken up to highlight the complexity of the issue as well as limitations in municipal governance.

Evil Energies

Dominic Boyer, Rice University; Cymene Howe, Rice University

This paper explores intersections between energy forms, infrastructures and evil. We live in an era in which the moralization of energy is increasingly common and necessary. We discuss here the secret and not-so-secret evils wrought by fossil fuel infrastructures and electricity grids.

Black Hat, White Hat: Ethicizing Participation in Search Engine Optimization

Malte Ziewitz, Cornell University

What counts as 'good' or 'bad' participation in search engine optimization (SEO)? This paper uses materials from an ethnography of SEO consultants to show how the day-to-day work of 'ethicizing' participation is not just an annoying side effect, but an integral feature of the scheme.

In the name of the collaborative economy: Digital intermediation platforms as a new material and ideological vanguard for capitalist expansion?

Jacob Matthews, Paris 8 University; David Pucheu, Université Bordeaux 3; Athina Karatzogianni, Universoty of Leicester

In this work, we enquire into how digital intermediation platforms contribute to legitimising contemporary capitalism and to redesigning processes of domination and exploitation of digital labor.

ArXiv or viXra? Doppelgängers and the Quest for the True Archive

Alessandro Delfanti, University of Toronto

viXra.org is the evil twin of arXiv.org, the centralized preprint archive used in physics and math. It mimics arXiv's design while claiming to serve "the whole community." Doppelgänger publishing venues question the rhetoric of openness that has become hegemonic in contemporary scholarship.

Evil media practices and the rise of an 'infrastructure of anonymity'

Paolo Magaudda, University of Padova

Moving from a STS perspective, the paper displays and analyses the rise of an ‘infrastructure of anonymity’ online, highlighting how this is emerging ‘in the wild’, from a highly differentiated and often conflicting array of networks, technologies, groups, institutions and ‘evil’ practices.

Learning to Labor or Liberate? The Infrastructure for Entrepreneurial Education

Daniel Greene, Microsoft Research New England

Fieldwork in an urban American charter high school reveals a conflict between the school's liberation pedagogy and its technical infrastructure. The intensive data-monitoring system and one-to-one laptop program became means to re-impose an institutional mandate to train new knowledge workers.

Surveillance as Accountability: Data-driven Public Education

Roderic Crooks, UC Irvine

This paper provides an ethnographic description of a one-to-one tablet computer program launched in 2013 in a Southern California charter school, focusing in particular on the emergence of a variety of surveillance practices that developed in the pursuit of accountability.

Dealing with the "evil" everyday. Combating hate in the Online World

Julia Fleischhack, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

My talk examines the work and role of activist groups and NGOs in Europe that are engaged in campaigning against online racism, sexism and hate.

It looks at the ways they appropriate the online infrastructure and “online rights“ by looking at the worlds of hate groups or other “malevolent forces”.

All Citizens are Bastards?

Joan Donovan, UCLA

“How is infrastructure politics by other means?” As police departments adopt and adapt technologies for crime reporting, citizens are not only on patrol, they are called into action by police who are experimenting with video evidence in order to surveil crowds.

Critical Civic Data: Examining Semantic Inconsistencies in Police Homicide Data

Irene Pasquetto, UCLA; Jennifer Pierre, University of California, Los Angeles; Britt S. Paris, University of California Los Angeles

This project investigates how police-officer involved homicide (POIH) data gaps relate to semantic inconsistencies in naming and classifying POIH homicides. Definitions and expressions by which these homicides are referred to greatly vary among agencies and activists groups.

When genetics challenges a racist's self-identity

Aaron Panofsky, UCLA

How do white nationalists interpret genetic ancestry tests?

All You Base Are Belong To Us: Infrastructures of Online Violence

Elizabeth Losh, College of William and Mary

Online harassment orchestrated by the #GamerGate campaign uses multiple rhetorical, algorithmic, demographic, and legal infrastructures to target feminist game developers, critics, scholars, and fans of independent gaming with very intense campaigns of online harassment.


Biobanks. The interdependence between forms of biovalue creation and donor participation

Lorenzo Beltrame, University of Trento; Christine Hauskeller, University of Exeter

3rd September 2016, 09:00


The track explores the interplay between different configurations of biobanks and the participation of individuals, focusing on the resulting variable forms of biovalue creation and the shaping of subjectivities and identities of the individuals involved

Practicing engagement: Participation in the UK BioResource

David Wyatt, King's College London; Christopher McKevitt, King's College London; Jenny Cook, King's College London

BioResource is a biobank that facilitates recruitment of research participants with specific traits. This paper explores how future (bio)value, community and social responsibility intertwine in the processes of planning and practicing engagement with different publics in a novel biobank.

Is ignorance bliss? The problem of legacy collection biobanks and findings from a spectrum of community engagement research activities.

Daniel Thiel, University of Michigan; Jodyn Platt, University of Michigan; Sharon Kardia, University of Michigan School of Public Health; Tevah Platt, University of Michigan School of Public Health

We draw on a body of original community engagement research to explore the phenomenon of being an “unwitting donor” to a legacy collection biobank. We explore how this collective reacted to learning of their involvement and policy implications in light of high profile biobanking controversies.

Rethinking the embeddedness of UCB banking in family relations

Lorenzo Beltrame, University of Trento

By analysing donor recruitment practices and how cord blood is materially processed both in public and private UCB banking, this paper develops a new and critical notion of social embeddedness of UCB biovalue exploitation in emergent forms of motherhood and family relations

Simplex Families, Complex Exchanges: Participation in an Autism Genomic Database

Jennifer Singh, Georgia Institute of Technology

This paper investigates the processes of participating in the largest privately owned autism genomic database. It examines the various subjectivities and collectivities shaped through participation and the anticipated biovalue generated through these emergent biosocial collectives.

Decision-making processes in matters of scientific nature: Cryopreservation of the stem cells of the umbilical cord

Inês Moura Martins, IPMA - Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera

A case-study involving first-time parents and their decision-making process on the preservation of the umbilical cord stem cells focuses on how they handle scientific notions, perceive private and public banks, project the decision in the future and ponder the uncertainty and the emotions attached.


Biomedical sharing economies

Lorenzo Del Savio, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel; Mauro Turrini, Université de Paris 1

2nd September 2016, 11:00


Empirical and theoretical perspectives on biomedical data sharing platforms, their participatory strategies and how they affect power and inclusion in biomedical research and health care.

Introduction. Biomedical sharing economies

Mauro Turrini, Université de Paris 1

Biomedical sharing economies: introductory remarks (with Lorenzo Del Savio). Empirical and theoretical perspectives on biomedical data sharing platforms.

Ethical issues in the Googlization of medical research. From data philanthropy to new power asymmetries

Tamar Sharon, Maastricht University

Companies like Apple and Google have recently entered the medical research space. This talk argues that the disconnect between the logics of philanthropy and commercial interest at work in the Googlization of medical research have implications for both research ethics and issues of social justice.

Health data cooperatives

Michele Loi, ETH Zürich

MIDATA.coops are an institutional innovation aiming to enable citizens to gain control over their data, especially health data. This paper analyses the mission and role of MIDATA.coops within the data ecosystem, highlighting the ethics and government questions that are currently under discussion.

Precision medicine. Self-understanding in a molecularised framework

Mira Vegter, Institute For Science, Innovation and Society

This paper argues that Precision Medicine promises a molecularly based openness affecting our identities in unprecedented ways. Can precision medicine be transformed into more emancipatory and empowering self-techniques? (Foucault 1986)

How a data-driven life fosters biomedicalization

Linda Lombi, Catholic University of Sacred Heart; Antonio Maturo, Università di Bologna

A research on the apps for mental health has been carried out. The hypothesis is that these tools are a new driver of pharmaceuticalization. The results show as the use of these apps strength the neoliberal idea of health as an individual responsibility, marginalizing any discourse on social justice.


Manufacturing Humans While Developing Social Robots, Smart Environments & Wearables

Diego Compagna, Technische Universität Berlin

1st September 2016, 11:00


The track aims to gather research and insights about the (re-)constructions of human beings as natural entities through engineers' practices. Within the scope of these insights, several critical attributes are reified as natural categories (sex, gender, race, physical fitness, etc.).

Reconceptualizing the Elderly through Social Robots in South Korea

Heesun Shin, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST); Chihyung Jeon, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Sungeun Kim, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

The robots designed for the elderly in South Korea rely on, propagate, and reinforce specific concepts of the elderly human. We analyze how the elderly-robot relationship is represented in design, enacted in real time, and connected to the shifting ideas about health, aging, and death.

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) technologies at work - a degraded reconstruction of human beings in socio-technical systems

Michael Bretschneider-Hagemes, Institute for occupational safety and health

The presentation brings the reconstruction of human beings in so called "ambient intelligence working systems" into focus. Suggestion will be made for supporting a humanitarian reconstruction of self-determined human beings in such working systems.


Eduardo Rueda, Universidad Javeriana; Raquel Diaz, Universidad Icesi

This paper presents the results of a case study conducted during a year focused to register the many ways in which young people, when they are exposed to new emergent technologies pictures such as eyeborgs and 3D Bionic ears, imagine specific futures while reshaping meanings of nature and culture.

Disturbingly Social

Petra Gemeinboeck, UNSW | Art & Design

The paper looks at the figure of the social robot through the material lens of my artistic practice. Rather than mirroring the human and desiring a servant, it asks what a social machine is as it emerges from its intra-actions with other machines, humans and the environment.

Heroes or Cyborgs? - Wearables in Emergency Medical Services

Andrea zur Nieden, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

The paper will outline how humans and social relations are manufactured in telemedicine using new audio-visual communication media and wearables such as data goggles and headsets.


Sensing, Walking and Embodiment With and By Technologies: A Track Away From The Desk

Christopher Wood, Queen Mary University of London

2nd September 2016, 12:30


A track interested in the complex relationship between location-aware technologies, the body and site. We propose experiments in presentation and discussion drawing on ideas of walking, embodiment and sensory methods. These will take place outside the venue. Critical art practices are also welcome.

Reading and making space through performative mapping

Naomi Bueno de Mesquita, KU Leuven

The capabilities of a location-based application is explored as a way to situate knowledge about a site specific public (space) issue. Participants are invited to take part in a collective and performative cartography, through which an array of story lines unfold and branch out to open-ended scenarios.

The Citizen Rotation Office: An immersive and speculative experience prototype.

Luke Sturgeon, Royal College of Art

An immersive experience that explores a socio-political alternative Barcelona, through a combination of site-specific audio recordings, voice actors, a mobile GPS performance, and artefacts from a fictional government service.

Traces of Waste - A Site-Specific Audio Walk

Flavia Caviezel, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland; Yvonne Volkart, University of Applied Arts, Basel; Adrian Demleitner; Anselm Caminada; Mirjam Bürgin

The audio walk based on a GPS-enabled recycled smartphone is dealing with cleaning and disposal processes of ‚waste’ in the Swiss-German-French border area. Topics of the walk regarding aspects of a smartphone’s life cycle will be presented at appropriate site-specific places in Barcelona.

Cartographies of Human Sensation

Jonathan Reus; Sissel Marie Tonn-Petersen

Cartographies of Human Sensation proposes a set of instruments that attune the wearer to her environment through metasensory perception of biometric signals and reconfigurations of body-environment relationships through radical body extensions.

When we perceive nature we experience a whole sea of relations: the wind touching our skin, bright and vibrant colors, odors and sounds that weave into an impression of the place. Within this project we use our instrumental devices to drive speculative field research methods for collecting, categorizing and mapping sensation in natural environments, thus proposing a more temporally and physiologically conscious approach to cartography.

Narrative Journeys: Mapping the Self in Place as a (Re)Vision of Design

Sarah Hitt, Colorado School of Mines; Toni Lefton, Colorado School of Mines

Understanding the self in place has profound implications for creating human-centered design that honors sociocultural journeys of the past while enabling today’s interactions with the built environment. This multidisciplinary activity involves an experiential journey and investigation of Poblenou.

Returning the Ear

Tim Shaw, Newcastle University; Jacek Smolicki, Malmö University

This proposal questions the diverse natures of listening through a performance walk within Barcelona. Drawing on traditions of soundscape research, soundwalking, DIY technologies and experimental musical practices, we hope to engage with listening as a disruptive, attentive act within public space.


Innovation: Discourses, politics, societies, and blind spots

Sebastian Pfotenhauer, Technical University of Munich; Benoit Godin; David Tyfield, Lancaster University

1st September 2016, 09:00


Innovation has become a leitmotif of policy-making and institution-building. Yet, innovation policy remains strangely apolitical. This track discusses the political, normative, deliberative, and culturally specific aspects of innovation policy and weighs them against current (mainstream) frameworks.

An exploration of innovation outside of the R&D lab

Caroline Stratton, The University of Texas; Diane Bailey, UT Austin

Innovation is no longer the sole possession of Silicon Valley or corporate research labs. It has become a watchword in everyday life and work. Our investigation asks the question: Is conceptual precision and clarity possible in the application of the term innovation outside of science and technology?

Tensions between discourse and practice in the EU industrial collaborations

Rui Durão, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

The national champions policy, absent in political discourses, is visible in the European instruments of support to industry. Moreover, an increasing share of the R&D of private companies is to be publicly funded, in spite of the minimalistic view of the role of the State in the economy.

Innovation as a loophole in the law: the legal high case

Johan Soderberg, Göteborg University

Presentation of a case study of users who innovate new methods for extracting controlled substances from plants in order to circumvent legislation and law enforcement. It suggests how the illegal greyzone serves as an incubator for innovation in the Schumpeterian-Shenzhen accumulation regime.

Towards a multidimensional study of innovation.

Apostolos Spanos, University of Agder

The paper proposes a study of innovation as (a) a content, (b) a process, (c) a historical situation, (d) a phenomenon, and (e) a concept. It also proposes a historical approach to innovation based on historical temporalities and a conceptual approach related to Sartori's "ladder of abstraction".

Disruptive Innovation: The History of an Idea

Darryl Cressman, Maastricht University

Following Benoît Godin’s (2015) conceptual history of innovation, I subject disruptive innovation to a similar analysis by tracing the history of this idea back to the Italian Futurists, drawing out a more concrete understanding of the biases and presuppositions that disruptive innovation implies.

Narratives of Innovation in Singapore

Gayathri Haridas, Nanyang Technological University

Challenging the notion of innovation as being solely dictated by the market, this paper looks at the impact of the dynamics between the state that defines innovation and academia that produces it, two key actors of the NSI machinery of Singapore.

Who are the Innovation Experts and where are their Blind Spots? Sources, Claims and Policy Implications of Social, Techno-scientific and Business Innovation

Kyriaki Papageorgiou, ESADE / Harvard Kennedy School

This paper examines the overlapping academic work on social, techno-scientific and business innovation and analyzes the different kinds of knowledge claims expressed by the experts in these areas. Of particular interest are the normative implications of this work, particularly for EU policy.

Stem cell tourism to China, the 'innovation imperative' and strategic blind spots.

Jane Brophy, Monash University

This paper presents empirical insights into how discourses around innovation are invoked strategically and, within commercial stem cell clinics, employed to obscure underlying power differentials in the context of stem cell tourism to China.

(Re)imagining the nation and its future: boosting pharmaceutical innovation in Russia

Olga Zvonareva, Maastricht University

In this paper, drawing on the case of pharmaceutical innovation policy in Russia, I consider how technologies matter in the formation of visions of the nation and its futures, and how these visions in turn frame governance of innovation.

The Politics of Inclusion in Science, Technology and Innovation for Regional Development in Colombia

Elisa Arond, Clark University

This paper examines the case of a new regional ST&I Fund in Colombia, exploring the conditions under which decentralization of ST&I enables inclusion of new, grassroots actors in ST&I, and what meanings, visions and expectations of ST&I and development unfold in these subnational contexts.

"A Solution Looking for a Problem?" Interrogating the Deficit Model of Innovation

Sebastian Pfotenhauer, Technical University of Munich; Erik Aarden, University of Vienna; Joakim Juhl, Harvard STS / Aalborg University

The call for innovation has become ubiquitous. As a result, policy-makers increasingly recast social problems as problems of (insufficient) innovation. Here, we interrogate and theorize this “deficit model of innovation” routinely used to generate diagnoses of defunct societies and institutions.

Spread as well as size matters: How UK innovation policy's focus on growth has created policy deficits elsewhere

Melanie Smallman, University College London

This paper argues that as UK innovation policy has become more aligned with economic growth over the last 30 years, it has overlooked other social goods, including the spread of benefits. This has created significant policy deficits in other areas, including taxation.

The biopolitics of innovation: remaking visions, practices and policies in stem cell therapy

Christian Haddad, University of Vienna

The paper explores the politics of innovation stem cell therapy as an emerging field of advanced biomedicine. The concept of “biopolitics of innovation” helps to analyze the struggles over desirable modes of innovation, and to critically examine the relationships between innovation and politics.

The Innovation Subject. Governmental Technologies in Vocational Orientation

Clelia Minnetian, TU Berlin

In vocational orientation in Germany governmental technologies promote an innovation imperative which has subjectifying effects on self-images and life-concepts. Combining a historical discourse analysis with participating observation I examine the powerful effects of this rationality.

Market-Driven Research: From Research to Receipt in Danish Science Governance

Joakim Juhl, Harvard STS / Aalborg University

Changes in Danish science governance at the turn of the century represent a new science governance model that I term: "market-driven research" where private industry has exchanged scientists’ democratic self-coordination and become the custodian of science's social purpose and value to society.

Adressing Grand Challenges: denovation policy as the logical next step following the normative turn in innovation policy

Gijs Diercks, Imperial College London; Rick Bosman, Erasmus University Rotterdam

The first decade of the 21st century has seen a normative turn in policy aimed at promoting innovations to tackle grand societal challenges. We argue that the logical next step is 'denovation policy' aimed at discouraging activities that contribute to exacerbating these grand challenges.

Beyond mainstream frameworks of technology qualification: TRL revisited

Vidar Hepsoe, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Marianne Ryghaug, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology

The Technological Readiness Level (TRL) framework builds on a linear and apolitical model of innovation. We propose an alternative framework and target some of the organizational and societal blind spots that that TRL and similar mainstream frameworks tend to reproduce.

Biotechnological innovation and politics in Burkina Faso

Caspar Roelofs, University of Groningen; Sjaak Swart, Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen; Idrissa Rachid Edouard Sanou, Gent University; Menno Gerkema, University of Groningen

This paper addresses the relations between biotechnological innovation and politics in Burkina Faso from a Multi-level perspective. It discusses two diverging discourses around the roles and drivers of stakeholders in the adoption of genetically modified cotton.


Sensory Studies in STS and Their Methods

Morana Alac, University of California, San Diego

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track brings together and exhibits current studies in STS on smell, touch, taste, and those focused on multisensory aspects of science and technology broadly conceived. Each presenter will dedicate a portion of their intervention to addressing the method adopted or experimented with.

Settling the senses: the how and why of taste-sensory evaluation in food

Jacob Lahne, Drexel University

STS has largely ignored taste sensations: meanwhile, food scientists have developed methodologies to quantify taste. I discuss these methods and their implications. With some case studies of opposing usage, I claim STS should explore these intersubjective methods to study smell, taste, and touch.

How to expand method by and for sensory: trials along and beside fieldwork.

Thomas Vangeebergen, Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique - FNRS

In a research with sensory analysts and flavourists, I tried other ways of interview (e.g. people auto-confrontations to their own registered activity) and other mediums to relate the ethnographical work, as graphic novel.

Deliciousness Added: Umami, Monosodium Glutamate & the Gut-Brain Axis

Sarah Tracy, University of Toronto

Among foodies, participation in umami as a hedonic and technical metric of food quality (like texture, lubricity, mouthfeel), has occluded critical discussion of glutamate’s central role in governing more complex processes like mood, satiety, and energy homeostasis.

Tasting 'Off Flavors': Sensory Knowledge in Food Science and Anthropology

Ella Butler, University of Chicago

This paper is a reflexive account of learning to taste ‘off flavors,’ a form of sensory learning that utilizes the scientist’s own body as an instrument. Methodologically, the paper explores taste as a mode of knowing both for scientists and for the anthropologist studying scientific practice.

Between Friction and Attunement: How Dogs Become Sensory Machines

Hélène Mialet, UC - Davis

Patients with diabetes type 1 manage their disease through humans and non-humans that have to attune constantly to the fluctuation of their blood sugar. I will focus on how dogs are transformed into instruments that become trustful and lovable sensory machines capable of detecting hypoglycemia.

"Go to the Bat," Thou Scientist: An Animal History of Ultrasound

Kathryn Wataha, University of Michigan

Exploring early 20th-century designs of ultrasonic machines, such as the ‘Ultra-Audible Microphone,’ this project focuses on the history of (ultra)sonic detection and (in)audibility in laboratories and uses bats and insects as organic windows into a sonic space that extends beyond the human world.

Walk, Sit, Breathe: Doing Fieldwork on Balance, Body, and Smell in East Timor

Prash Naidu, University of Michigan

This paper discusses three ethnographic field methods to investigate sensory perception among the Mambai of East Timor: (1) smell diaries and olfactory pollution mapping, (2) sensory stimulus-based elicitation, and (3) habitat walks. Preliminary data, reflections, and tweaks shall be presented.

Talking about smell, …

Morana Alac, University of California, San Diego

This talk engages ethnomethodology and semiotics of text to explore practical methods of non-professionals employed to articulate their experiences through olfactory talk.

Facial difference, the senses and passing

Gili Yaron, Maastricht University

People with facial limb absence do not only look different, but often also contend with various sensory impairments. This paper explores the face as a sensorial bodily structure as well as a visible, social one, and discusses various interplays and conflicts between these two bodily perspectives.

Sensors, senses, and sensory ethnography: developing robotic tools for cochlea implant surgery as sensed practice

Neil Stephens, Brunel University London

Reporting on laboratory ethnography of a team building robotic surgical tools for cochlea implants, this paper explores how multisensory material is rendered sensible - as in both perceptible and understandable - through the socio-material accomplishment of scientific practice.

Movement as sensory-technical assemblage: on the makings of prosthetic athletes in competitive sports

Hanna Göbel, University of Hamburg

In this methodological paper “movement” is used as an object of making an inquiry on the practical use of the senses (and especially of touch) by studying them as sociomaterial interactions between bodily and technological components in disabled sport athletes' practices.

Bodies and networks. Describing touch in relation to artefacts through ANT considered as a material semiotics.

Alvise Mattozzi, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

This paper intends to propose a descriptive methodology for touch and for the tactual relations between human bodies and artefacts bodies, by delving into the semiotics–Actor-Network Theory (ANT)’s dialogue.

Crafting Knowledge by means of Touching Bodies during Archaeological Excavations

Kevin Pijpers

This paper discusses the significance of haptics for crafting archaeological-scientific knowledge. It

involves an empirical method of following encounters between various bodies around field sites,

establishing archaeological fieldwork as an experimental and material craft.

Education architecture: (Learning) bodies of the posthuman material-semiotic-affective sensorium

Malou Juelskjaer, University of Aarhus

This paper explores data-production methods (such as psychogeography and the ipad app ‘explain everything’) as multisensorial data-technologies that evoke insights on life with/in education architecture as a posthuman material-semiotic-affective sensorium.


Epistemic Regimes - Reconfiguring epistemic quality and the reconstitution of epistemic authority

Stefan Böschen, RWTH Aachen University; Armin Grunwald, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT; Sabine Maasen, TUM School of Education; Andreas Lösch, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

1st September 2016, 09:00


Despite there was since years a close look on varying collectives of knowledge production within and outside of science, changes of epistemic quality and authority are not yet comprehensively understood. These dynamics can be interpreted as emergence of epistemic regimes to be explored in the track.

Epistemic cultures, communities or associations: Diverging paths to pursue

Markus Arnold, Universität Klagenfurt

Different theories, as to what constitutes a collective, underpin different types of STS-research. It is therefore necessary to evaluate the pros and cons of these concepts. A decision, how to refer to these alternate ways of practicing STS, is being called for.

Citizen Science and Making. Questioning Professional Jurisdiction, Reinforcing Scientific Authority

Sascha Dickel, Johannes Gutenberg University; Sabine Maasen, TUM School of Education

In our talk, we will discuss two cases of public participation: citizen science and making. While citizen science and making are questioning the jurisdictional claim of academic professions they reinforce the epistemic authority of (techno)science as a cultural practice.

Privileged Epistemic Actors, Epistemic Authority, and the Trust & Testimony Approach for Generating Knowledge from Technologies

Ori Freiman, Bar-Ilan University

I present a theoretical framework of analysis for STS scholars who engage with knowledge-related processes. I show how mechanisms for generating knowledge influence privileged and authoritative epistemic actors and argue for an ethical commitment to force transparency regarding sources.

Performing Expertise: The Epistemic Work of a Bottom-up Organised Privacy Advocacy Group

Marlene Altenhofer, Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna

This paper looks at the role of forms of expertise and their hybrids for the engagement of a bottom-up organised privacy advocacy group. It will show that institutionalised expertise alone is not sufficient for successful epistemic work of such collectives, but it requires the use of manifold resources.

Theoretizing Epistemic Regimes - transformative phenomena as reason for transformative theory?

Stefan Böschen, RWTH Aachen University

The paper suggest a field theoretical approach for analysing the form, structure and dynamic of epistemic regimes. This is relevant while the phenomena of transformation (epistemic quality and authority) cannot be analysed with the approaches established yet.

The Struggle for Epistemic Superiority in Medical Research

Alexander Christian, University of Duesseldorf; Christian Feldbacher, University of Duesseldorf

In this paper parts of the recent debate on defects in medical research are re-framed by help of the notion of knowledge regimes; with this notion also the socio-political perspective on changes in relevant collectives can be spelled out adequately.

Cultivating radiological vision through highlighting

Peter Winter, University of Sheffield

Using video footage, I explore highlighting practice in the early stages of radiological vision in the epistemic culture of medicine. My analysis contributes to discussion on the development of professional vision and embodied skill, while contributing insight to a regime of interpretive practice.

Making Sense and Use of Big Data: The Epistemic Challenge

Georgios Kolliarakis, University of Frankfurt

This paper examines a series of epistemic blinders in current BD analytics for security: 1) the empiricist conflation of data, information, and knowledge; 2) the commitment of serious inference errors by algorithmic processing, and 3) the distraction of BD R&D from 2nd-order non-intended effects.

Producing 'relevant knowledge' in transdisciplinary sustainability research - Researchers' sense-making of and coping with 'epistemic commitments' in heterogeneous projects

Andrea Schikowitz, University of Vienna

This paper investigates how researchers in a transdisciplinary research program make sense out of their ‘epistemic commitments’ and reconcile them with other understandings of ‘relevant knowledge’ they encounter in heterogeneous teams.

The ADHD subjectivity template: patient "activism" in the Internet era

Amelie Hoshor, University of Gothenburg

Exploring the ADHD “template for subjectivity” that patients present online, and drawing on fieldwork in Sweden, this paper discerns a rearrangement of the epistemic regimes within the domain of psychiatry as young patients actively appropriate and resist the expert category of ADHD.

Epistemic authority on government research agencies. The case of agricultural science

Axel Philipps, University of Siegen; Eva Barlösius, Leibniz University Hannover

The presentation shows how agricultural government research agencies have reconfigured their epistemic regime.

The experimental setting as an epistemic regime in the German energy system transition

Franziska Engels, WZB Berlin Social Science Center; Dagmar Simon, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

The presentation is an empirical investigation of the formation and functioning of an epistemic regime. Within the experimental setting of a regional real-world laboratory the generation of a common knowledge base happens through a selection of plural forms of evidence.

Testing Regulation: the European politics of animal experimentation from Victorian Britain to 'Stop Vivisection'

Pierre-Luc Germain, European Institute of Oncology; Luca Chiapperino, University of Lausanne; Giuseppe Testa, European Institute of Oncology / University of Milan

This paper identifies a common political struggle behind historically situated rhetorics on the ‘evil of animal experimentation’. In our view, animals and their interests are more the locus than the focus of the debate, revealing broader tensions around science and its democratic accountability.

A failed epistemic authority on unconventional hydrocarbons: A study of the European Science and Technology Network

Aleksandra Lis, Adam Mickiewicz University; Kärg Kama, University of Birmingham; Leonie Reins, Tilburg University

Based on ethnographic account as participating experts, we report on the initiation and premature closure of a particular expert network, called the European Science and Technology Network on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction (‘UH-Network’).

Contesting the Technological Zone: Local Responses to the Challenges of Knowing Impacts from Unconventional Gas Developments in Queensland, Australia

Martin Espig, University of Queensland

Unconventional coal seam gas (CSG) extraction in Australia has sparked controversies over its impacts. Knowing these risk is frequently dependent on technological devices and complex modelling. I explore locals’ contestations of these ‘technological zones’ and the politics of knowledge-making.

Classifying, Regulating, Breeding: Transnational Fractures in Epistemic Regimes of Toxicity

Lucas Mueller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Epistemic regimes of toxin control gained their authority not necessarily through neatly aligning sites of expert authority and research. Rather, the sites’ divergent histories underwrite the authority and persistence of such regimes, shown in a study of aflatoxins in the UK and India since 1960.

Openness in Global Advisory Groups

Sameea Ahmed Hassim, Université Libre de Bruxelles

This paper aims to highlight how openness is practiced in two global advisory groups. The case studies examined are the World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts in Immunization (SAGE) and UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee (IBC)

Organizing experts. IPBES and the construction of epistemic authority.

Karin M Gustafsson, Örebro University

IPBES was founded to become an international epistemic authority by organizing experts on biodiversity. This study explores IPBES organizational structure, through which expertise are determined and enrolled, showing how expertise and epistemic authority have important organizational preconditions.


Cosmopolitical Research and STS

Michael Schillmeier, University of Exeter

3rd September 2016, 09:00


This track contributes to a cosmopolitical research agenda in STS that draws attention to the questionability of the normal in social relations and how social normalcy is disrupted, questioned and altered by unforeseeable events, unexpected practices and uncommon actors and actor-coalitions.

Collective Cosmopolitics: Argentina's National Disruption of Trans* Health

Sonja Jerak-Zuiderent, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam; Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, Linköping University

We tried to understand the ‘issue’ of our new research project–on trans* health in Argentina–and failed. Focusing on the ‘issue’, we were unable to prehend that disruption of 'social normalcy' only worked as a collective cosmopolitical project. What cosmopolitics is issue-focused STS missing out on?

The Cochlear Implant and the Impositions of Hearing

Markus Spoehrer, University of Konstanz, Germany; Robert Stock, University of Konstanz; Beate Ochsner, University of Konstanz

The paper analyses the practices and process of mediatization of the cochlear implant, which link human and non-human actors and thus either dis- or enable socio-cultural participation.

Disrupting normalised forms of inequality: towards a cosmopolitics of care

Clare Shelley-Egan, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences; Jim Dratwa, European Commission and Woodrow Wilson Center

This paper centres on the way in which the Ebola and Zika crises have disrupted normalised forms of inequality and selective caring. It builds on key STS questions such as – “where are the others?” and proposes building blocks for a cosmopolitics of care.


Contributions of Gilbert Simondon to Science and Technology Studies

Pedro Ferreira, UNICAMP - Universidade Estadual de Campinas; Carlos Sautchuk, University of Brasilia

3rd September 2016, 14:00


This track aims to foster collaborations between researchers from different fields and with different research objects, but having in common some consistent engagement with the concepts and ideas of the increasingly relevant french philosopher, Gilbert Simondon.

An Internet at peace with itself? Concretisation's contribution to modularity theory

Jean-François Blanchette, UCLA

Modularity is a central design strategy in modern computing, allowing for both the management of technical change and the vertical desintegration of markets. This paper discusses the implications of Simondon’s concept of concretization for popular accounts of modularity (e.g., Lessig, Zittrain, Wu).

«We lack technical poets»: towards a techno-aesthetical education

Emerson Freire, UNICAMP and Centro Paula Souza

Simondon said that "we lack technical poets" in his interview on Mechanology. In a letter addressed to Jacques Derrida he inquires why not founding a techno-aesthetics. This study aims to explore the techno-aesthetics concept applied to education to provide technical poets to a metastable society.

Contributions of Gilbert Simondon to the social studies of the Permaculture's technologies

Evandro Smarieri, Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP

This paper aims to discuss the contributions of the Gilbert Simondon's concepts and theory to an ongoing research which has as object the Permaculture technologies. There will be presented the influence of Simondon's thought for the choice of object and the approach to the field research.


Enacting responsibility: RRI and the re-ordering of science-society relations in practice

Heidrun Åm, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Fern Wickson, GenØk Centre for Biosafety; Gisle Solbu, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Ana Delgado, University of Oslo; Knut H Sørensen, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology

2nd September 2016, 16:00


The need to embed responsibility into scientific R&D practices has become a key notion within governance discourses and funding programmes. This track invites papers that analyse the multiple ways in which these ideas and policies are enacted in the everyday practices of scientists.

Narrative infrastructures for addressing and silencing responsibility in Academic Practice

Ulrike Felt, University of Vienna; Lisa Sigl, University of Vienna; Maximilian Fochler, University of Vienna

How does the buzzword “responsible research and innovation” enter researchers’ practices? We develop the notion of narrative infrastructures to understand how Austrian life scientists address and silence responsibility in speaking about their practice.

Responsible Research is not Good Science: Conceptual, cultural and institutional barriers to enactment

Fern Wickson, GenØk Centre for Biosafety; Lilian Van Hove, GenØk

Presenting a study across five nanosafety laboratories on how responsibility was integrated into research practices, this paper describes a significant tension between ideas of responsible research and understandings of good science, with several cultural and institutional barriers to enactment.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) as decentered governance: Practices of governance and practices of freedom in researchers' daily lives

Heidrun Åm, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology

How do scientists enact RRI? We studied communities in bio- and nanotechnology in Norway required to integrate RRI in grant proposals, inquiring how they manage this. We argue that the current way of demanding RRI estranges scientists and potentially produces resistance towards enacting RRI.

Imagining publics, constructing responsibility. Scientists navigating Responsible Research and Innovation

Gisle Solbu, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Heidrun Åm, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Knut H Sørensen, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology

The paper analyses how bio- and nanotechnology scientists perceive the general public’s perceptions of their research and related social and ethical challenges, and how the scientists think about their responsibility when conducting research.

Lessons learned: Responsible Research and Innovation at the Lab Floor

Verena Stimberg, University of Twente; Kornelia Konrad, University of Twente; Bart Walhout; Haico te Kulve

The integration of RRI at the lab floor has been practiced in the frame of the Dutch research program NanoNextNL. We present our experiences from this program, the development of a toolbox that supports researchers to consider societal aspects, and the lessons learned from its practical application.

Performing responsibility in the everyday practice of synthetic biology research

Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, University of Exeter

The ways in which ‘responsibility’ was distributed across people and things, in the design, conduct and completion of a funded project is explored. The notion of ‘care’ is used to illustrate how we might gain an understanding of RRI in practice.

Wives of Synthetic Biology: Social Scientists in an Emerging Field

Andrew Balmer, University of Manchester

How social scientists negotiate roles within synthetic biology research projects shapes the enactment of responsibility in this field. I consider several ways in which we adopt the role of ‘wife’ within synthetic biology and examine how responsibility for implementing RRI practices is distributed.

'Sociotechnical Imaginaries of 'bottom up' synthetic biology: biocontainment as promise'

Alberto Aparicio, University College London

Bottom up synthetic biology has sought to incorporate built-in safety features in genetically modified micro-organisms (GMMOs), which prompts to ask through the lens sociotechnical imaginaries, how this debate has remained an object of contestation, embedding governance ideals in biological systems.

Enacting responsibility - challenges in science training

Maria Strecht Almeida, Universidade do Porto

“Science with society” is a key notion in current scientific agenda expressing both coproduction of knowledge and responsibility. The present paper focus on exploring these issues within undergraduate training and on the context of science training as major in that regard.

From the Lab to the City: Exploring Socio-Technical Integration Research within Broader Landscapes

Erik Fisher, Arizona State University; Jennifer Richter, ASU; Thaddeus Miller, Portland State University; Abraham Tidwell

The STIR Cities project comparatively investigates the development of smart energy systems beyond the lab, how they are imagined to create social and technological order, and whether engagements with diverse technical experts foster reflexive learning and deliberation over broader emerging contexts.

Biogas plants in rural India: responsible disruption

Govert Valkenburg, Leiden University

In conventional rice production, rice straw is left over as a by-product. This rice straw is usually burnt, which produces toxic smoke and wastes biomass. We investigate how straw can alternatively be made into biogas while preserving the social structures of rice-producing communities.

Responsible Innovation in an Indigenous Context: Problems, Prospects, Hopes

Blagovesta Nikolova, University of Namur; Philippe Goujon, university of Namur

The presentation will address the problem of creating the conditions for reflexive and responsible governance of technology and innovation in indigenous contexts. It will share the results from a recent work with the Long Lamai community in Borneo, Malaysia.

The discourse of innovative progress and traditional knowledge. Facing consequences in fisheries management

Rodrigo Martínez-Novo, Paloma Herrera Racionero, Emmánuel, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia; Paloma Herrera-Racionero, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia; Emmánuel Lizcano, Universidad Naconal de Educación a Distancia

Our study analyzes the discourse of actors linked to innovation in aquaculture and local fishing, in order to assess the ways they have to assume the consequences of their activity. As we will see, the very different forms of responsibility between them could be an important blind spot of fisheries policies

Local controversies on responsible mining: polarization, technological change and commitments

Ernesto Andrade-Sastoque, University of Twente

The paper describes the texture of a local controversy in Latin-America where meanings of responsible mining (RM) as an alternative of sustainable development (SD) are questioned. The analysis enable to understand problems, advantages and opportunities of the Responsible Mining.

Stakeholder participation in the context of science-based consumer protection

Leonie Dendler, Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

More participation is a core demand within the responsible science debate. Through structured review of the stakeholder management literature this paper identifies criteria for the successful enactment of such demands and explores their practical resonance within science-based consumer protection.

Lost in translation? Stakeholder engagement practices in international projects

Ana Delicado, Lisbon University

Stakeholder engagement is one of the fundamental dimensions of RRI. This presentation aims to explore the benefits and pitfalls (and local strategies of resistance and adaptation) of implementing participation and consultation tools in different countries within international projects.

Is the quest for sound evidence indirectly facilitating science communication?

Monica Racovita, Alpen Adria University; Sandra Karner, Alpen-Adria Universitaet; Armin Spoek, Alpen-Adria Universitaet Klagenfurt-Wien Graz / IFZ Inter-University Research Centre

This paper explores the relevance of the systematic review, an evidence synthesizing and appraising methodology, as an indirect science communication tool. It further analyses how the methodology relates to and combines elements of both the deficit model and dialogue-oriented approaches.

Re-distributing Responsibility in the Participatory Production and Circulation of Anticipatory Knowledge

Thomas Völker, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Against the background of debates about ‘care-logics’ and ‘responsible research and innovation’ this talk focuses on an Austrian sustainability research funding program and asks how the envisioned changes in science-society relations are enacted in concrete transdisciplinary research practices.

"Responsible Research and Innovation" as a new paradigm for distributing responsibilities between science and society

Guido Gorgoni, University of Padua

RRI aims at overcoming the traditional forms of responsibilitiy such as liability or compensation, aiming at steering the innovation process in a participative manner by constructing responsibility as a shared process between innovators and societal stakeholders.

Integrated Social Science as Responsible Innovation: comparing Australian and European approaches

Declan Kuch, University of New South Wales

How is social science considered in the innovation policies of Australia and the EU? This paper considers how social science can promote innovations that respond to social needs through four modes: ownership, alliance building, deliberation, and contemplation.

Ontological politics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Ivan da Costa Marques, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

In January 2016, Brazil passed a new law that resulted from four years of negotiations involving the academic and business sectors to enhance scientific research and innovation in the country. An analysis of this law highlights epistemic and ontological conditionings and obstacles to practice RRI.


Local knowledge in a changing climate: the experimental politics of coproduction

Nicole Klenk, University of Toronto; Katie Meehan, University of Oregon

1st September 2016, 11:00


Climate change has raised the stakes for the inclusion of local knowledge in science and policy. In this track we explore the generation and use of local knowledge, with a focus on experiments in democratic knowledge coproduction and implications for organizing effective publics and institutions.

Climate hazards, local knowledge co-production, and the emergence of climate adaptation publics: governance implications

Nicole Klenk, University of Toronto; Dragos Flueraru; James MacLellan, University of Toronto

In this paper, we ask how are climate hazards, local knowledge, affects and political forms assembled and generated by adaptation planning? Additionally, we ask how climate change preparedness comes to articulate and embody social imaginaries of the future and the governance arrangements these call forth.

Taking Knowledge Apart So That We Can Put It Together Again: Examining Processes of Co-production of Climate Knowledges and Adaptation in Tanzania

Meaghan Daly, University of Colorado Boulder

Using a modified actor-network analysis, this paper illustrates the dynamic complexities at the interfaces of 'local' and 'scientific' knowledges at multiple institutional scales for adaptation decision-making in Tanzania.

Where is "local" ? The changing knowledge about climate in Khumbu

Ornella Puschiasis, CNRS Centre for Himalayan Studies

Knowledge production in Khumbu is re-evaluated by questioning so-called "local" climate-based narratives derived from the Sherpas. I study the difference between multiscale discourses, and how different sources of knowledge reconfigure "local knowledge", and the part researchers play in this.

An exploration of more comprehensive forms of engagement with the Mayan culture in the coproduction of public policies to mitigate the impact of climate change in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Linda Russell, Universidad Autónoma de Campeche; Laura García, Instituto Pedagógico Campechano; Said Jose Abud, CEPHCIS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Cessia Chuc, Autonomous University of Campeche

In the Yucatan Peninsula indigenous complex relational observations regarding minute local changes in flora and fauna due to climate change suggest transdisciplinary opportunities and challenges for engagement with Mayan culture in the mitigation of the impact of climate change

The French agroecological transition: political choices underlying local knowledge's recognition

Jessica Thomas, INRA- Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

In its support for an "agroecological transition", the French government communicates on a founding principle of agroecology: the recognition of local knowledge (LK) to improve innovations resilience. The paper questions "valuations" of diverse LK, and political choices underlying co-construction.

The politics of 'local knowledge' in English water science and governance

Catharina Landstrom, Chalmers University of Technology

This paper examines the ways in which different uses of the notion 'local knowledge' align with political presuppositions among actors involved with the governance of water related risks in England.

Niche experiments in network dysfunction: water technologies in Mexico City

Katie Meehan, University of Oregon

This presentation draws on an ethnographic study of small-scale water technologies in Mexico City to examine the role of local knowledge, technology, and power relations in catalyzing 'niche' innovations and shaping urban transitions to sustainable water supply.

Livelihood experiments creating hybrid knowledge for sustainability transitions

Suvi Huttunen, Finnish Environment Institute (Syke); Stephen Zavestoski

Livelihood experiments aimed to improve practitioner’s living have gained low attention in the ‘experimental turn’. We explore the role of particular livelihood experiments, farmers’ experiments, in the creation of local and hybrid knowledge and their implications for environmental governance.

Reimagining the role of environmental sciences and sustainable development in Costa Rica

Francesc Rodriguez, York University

This paper examines the imaginaries involved in the production and contestation of knowledge in the context of an environmental controversy in Costa Rica. Drawing on several methods,the paper stresses the need to reimagine the current prominent role of science in legitimating interventions in nature

Science and democracy by other means? Co-producing Future Earth.

Eleanor Hadley Kershaw, University of Nottingham

Future Earth is an international research initiative on global environmental change and sustainability, with a strong focus on co-design/co-production. This paper explores Future Earth as emergent experiment, co-produced with particular notions and systems of science, democracy, and local knowledge.


Contested energy futures and temporalities in retrospective: instruments and practices of forecasting and scenario work

Markku Lehtonen, école des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales / ESSEC Business School; Francis Chateauraynaud, EHESS

3rd September 2016, 09:00


This track proposes a cross-country retrospective analysis of the use of various instruments and practices of "producing energy futures", notably through forecasts and scenarios. It examines, from various disciplinary perspectives, the associated temporalities, controversies, and exercise of power.

The "Structural Disaster" of Renewable Energy Development: A Strong Similarity to "Nuclear Village"

Miwao Matsumoto, The University of Tokyo

This paper elucidates a structural similarity of the social mechanisms which run through “nuclear village” and renewable energy regime employing the concept of “structural disaster” with reference to the carry-over effects of wrong expectation in the initial wind turbine development in Japan.

FBR futures in France - 1970s - 1990s: ambiguity in organisations as a means to deal with uncertainties on energy futures

Claire Le Renard, EDF R&D, LinX, LISIS

In the early 1970s, industrial projects for Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) nuclear technology contained their own scenarios for energy futures. We shall analyse how, in the 1980s, majors actors gave a central role to uncertainties regarding this technology development, thus reopening energy futures.

Battles on the futures of French nuclear energy

Martin Denoun, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Scenarios about the future of nuclear energy are more and more contested in France. We'll see how the "fourth generation" of nuclear reactor is engaged in intense force fields.

Review of long-term energy planning in Ireland, UK and Denmark

Celine Bout, DTU- Technical University of Denmark; Kristian Borch, Technical University of Denmark

This paper reflects on the elements that energy specialists have identified for Denmark, Ireland and UK as keys towards the achievement of 2020 or 2050 targets, but also on the elements they do not mention, and through this analysis contributes to a critical reflection on quantitative scenario work.

A Multi-Scale Battle of Systems: Contested Heating and Energy Futures

Mark Winskel, University of Edinburgh; Ronan Bolton, University of Edinbrugh; David Hawkey, University of Edinburgh

Energy system futures are being contested across multiple scales. We analyse the contest over heating and energy systems futures across Scottish, UK and European scales, as articulated in policy statements, energy scenarios and modelling, and in stakeholder interviews and observation.

Unconventional energy futures: rendering Europe's shale gas resources governable

Magdalena Kuchler, Uppsala University

The paper scrutinizes practices through which resource availability and recoverability are assessed and rendered governable. The analysis identifies visions of shale gas potential in Europe and interrogates technologies of quantification and prediction that produce evidence for future energy claims.

Not the new Kuwait: Poland's shale gas narratives from illusion to deception

Roberto Cantoni, Universität Bonn

In 2011, data from the US Energy Administration about Europe's non-conventional gas reserves was a trigger to shale gas exploration. I examine the case of Poland, whose resources were at the core of a campaign depicting the country as a 'new Kuwait'. Four years later, little was left of that narrative.

A carbon tax dating the future energy market. Arguments and controversies in the French context

Josquin Debaz, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales; Emmanuel Combet

Despite overall agreement concerning the main objectives of a carbon tax, precise reform scheme remains controversial causing a recurrent ‘implementation gap’. Different temporality arguments show short and long run diverse expectations, and result in irreconcilable visions of the future.

Smart Energy Finland 2030 in a delphi panel survey design

Mikko Jalas, Aalto University

This paper describes futures work that has been performed when planning a delphi panel survey for imagining and constructing a ‘Smart Energy Transition’ to a ‘Paris Compatible’ energy system.

Futures of personal mobility: a tale of two innovations

Noam Bergman, University of Sussex; Tim Schwanen, University of Oxford

We address energy futures by analysing future explorations of the role of electric vehicles and car clubs in UK transport. We find large differences in framing, assumptions and recommendations between these innovations, reflecting different positions vis-à-vis the incumbent automobility regime.


Framing of emerging technologies as a strategic device

Jan-Christoph Rogge, WZB - Berlin Social Science Center; Alexander Wentland, Technical University of Munich

1st September 2016, 16:00


During the track we want to shed light on the strategic framing of emerging technologies by different stakeholders and the influences of those endeavors on the trajectory of these new technoscientific artifacts and practices.

Analyzing 'framing' as device in public debates

Anna Pichelstorfer, University of Vienna

This paper investigates framing as a device in public debates on assisted reproductive technologies. It highlights the performativity of framings by showing how framings enact a desired reality through gradually (re)ordering a sociotechnical arrangement.

Feeding the world/Disrupting food: Strategic framings of novel proteins

Alexandra Sexton, King's College London

This paper examines the strategic framing of novel proteins (i.e. cultured meat, edible insects and plant-based proteins) as they aim to provide consumers with ‘better’ alternatives to conventional proteins, as well as create new market opportunities by ‘disrupting’ the food system.

Framing bioeconomy: sustainable transition or re-clothing the emperor

Juha Peltomaa, Finnish Environment Institute

Concepts such as bioeconomy have power to steer societal development. In the Finnish context, bioeconomy is simultaneously cutting edge and centuries old. In this paper we study the framings, ontologies and uses of the bioeconomy concept, and ask what implications these have in the society.

Framing of videoconferencing in mental health care

Ruud Janssen, Windesheim University of Applied Science; Annemarie van Hout, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences

While studying nursing teams using videoconferencing, we uncovered two different framings: one based on the organizations’ expectations and the other shaped by a newly evolving care practice. These framings do not align and the organizations’ framing may turn blind to what is actually happening.

Topic modelling of EU and US energy policy documents

Karoliina Isoaho, University of Helsinki; Arho Toikka, University of Helsinki

We compare energy policy document framings in the EU and the US through a topic modelling approach. The machine learning method enables the analysis of large text corpora. In this way, we provide novel insights into how different technology frames may matter in energy transition governance.

Strategic use of expectations and representations: Innovating thermal treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW)

Paul Upham, University of Leeds & Leuphana; Les Levidow, The Open University

We apply to the energy from waste sector two concepts for understanding strategic technology framing: technological expectations that mobilise resources; and social representations that aid the assimilation of new ideas through anchoring onto familiar frames of reference.

Performativity within Technological Innovation and the Maker Movement

Joan Edwards, Waterford Institute of Technology; Jim Lawlor

This paper examines the role of performativity within technological innovation and its application in the development of technologies through the Maker Movement.

Framing Future Privacy Concerns through Corporate Concept Videos

Richmond Wong, University of California Berkeley; Deirdre Mulligan, UC Berkeley

Concept videos depict future scenarios of technologies in development. Analyzing videos from several companies as visual advertisements and design fictions, we see how companies strategically frame, raise and address privacy concerns about new products and services with multiple audiences in mind.

"The classroom of the future" - Strategic framing in the development of digital educational media

Tobias Roehl, University of Siegen; Herbert Kalthoff, University of Mainz

Manufacturers of digital educational media depict their products as innovative means of improving education, thus allying a number of different actors. This frame is stabilized via an avant-gardist rhetoric, claims of the inevitability of digital technology, and by being present in different media.

Strategically framing in the co-evolution of emerging innovations, regulations and use practices

Wouter Boon, Utrecht University

This paper studies ambiguous or flexible regulation in the context of emerging technologies. The focus lies on how technology developers, regulators and early users employ framing to strategically influence the co-evolution of technologies, regulation and use practices.

Nanotechnology is like…Analogy as framing device in public engagement

Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg, University of Vienna

This presentation conceptualizes analogies as rhetorical devices to explore their framing effects. Applied to the case of public engagement with nanotechnology, this approach elucidates that lay people’s analogies construct a counter-framing to the strategic overpromising of politico-economic actors.

The social construction of ignorance in the strategic framing of biosensing technologies

Meena Natarajan, University of California, Berkeley

I examine the social construction of ignorance that underpins the strategic framing of biosensing and tracking technologies. I describe how competing frames and practices coalesce to configure these tools as critical in producing both individual autonomy and the reform of institutionalized medicine.

Heterogeneous frame alignment: exploring the emergence of Time-Lapse Photography in IVF

Manuela Perrotta, Queen Mary University of London; Serena Naim, Queen Mary University of London

Exploring the case of Time-Lapse Photography IVF, the paper proposes a conceptualization of heterogeneous (i.e. made of human and non-human elements) frame alignments, as the successful outcomes of the strategical framing of emerging technologies by different stakeholder groups.


Hegemonies in Policy and Research Translation. Exploring Passages between Social Needs, Scientific Output, and Technologies

Tommaso Ciarli, University of Sussex; Pierre-Benoit Joly, INRA / UPEM; Saurabh Arora, University of Sussex

1st September 2016, 14:00


Rates and directions of research and innovation are often poorly matched to 'social needs'. We aim to problematize and explore the passages from distributed social needs, through policy agendas, to the production of science, knowledge and technologies, which are unequally distributed across needs

"We put knowledge of what we know". Undone science and rice workers in Uruguay.

Santiago Alzugaray, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

The paper discuses evidence coming from the ethnography of a case of knowledge construction carried out by a university research team and rice workers. The process constitutes an isolated example of research oriented to satisfy the needs of the most deprived pole in the existing social relations.

International Research, Social Needs and Policy Agendas: a Difficult Match?

Montserrat Alom Bartroli, University Paris V

We examine the relevance of SSH-related topics studied by Northern and Southern researchers in collaborative projects and whether they are part of national policy agendas, producing a typology that uncovers power relationships between international research, policy agendas and social needs.

Towards a multifaceted understanding of social needs: policy and projects

Barbara Grimpe, Alpen-Adria-Universität

The European Commission tackles social needs such as improvements in healthcare or the protection of the environment through funding research and innovation projects. However, the related translation processes are culturally complex. I will show in which ways, and problematise the policy discourse.

Revealing research prioritization against societal "needs" by means of semantic analysis

Ismael Rafols, Universitat Politècnica de València; Matthew Wallace, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV); Elisabeth de Turckheim, HCERES

We present exploratory studies on research prioritization in the cases of avian flu and obesity. Research priorities are revealed by semantic analysis on abstracts and keywords from publications and project data.

Contrasting the evolution of rice research and agricultural priorities

Tommaso Ciarli, University of Sussex; Ismael Rafols, Universitat Politècnica de València

We study how the focus of research on rice has evolved across time and space using publication data. We contrast time and country focus with their achievements and use of inputs. We discuss the misalignment between research portfolios and apparent priorities for the main rice producers.

The (f)utility of knowledge: a take on Chagas disease research

Pablo Kreimer, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET); Luciano Levin, CCTS, UM; UNLPam, D-TEC; Hugo Ferpozzi, Centre for Science, Technology and Society

We map international knowledge production on Chagas disease to understand how research is shaping (or coproducing) it and defining possible ways to address the social problem. We show how research on Chagas produces a “universal/purified” scientific problem while disregards the real use of knowledge.

Explaining variation in medical innovation: The case of vaccines, and the HIV AIDS effort

Ohid Yaqub, University of Sussex

This paper highlights two variables that I argue are important in explaining patterns of innovation seen in vaccines and perhaps in other parts of medicine too.

In the Name of "Social": A Discursive History of China's Attempt to Advance/Abolish the Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chadwick Wang, Tsinghua University

This paper explores the discursive structure and the essential meaning of “social needs” in relevant policy on attempt to advance the innovation of traditional Chinese medicine.

The moments of convergence in Science and Technology projects as an answer to social needs

Luísa Veloso, ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa; Paula Rocha, Universidade de Aveiro

In this paper it is proposed to discuss some of the main results of a research project on science and industry relations, where the focus privileged was on the S&T projects based on public policy definition of social needs that allow the S&T projects to be approved and have public funding.

The policy instruments of hegemonic rule

Rigas Arvanitis, Institut de recherche pour le développement

This paper discusses the funding and other instruments and the way they define distance between core and peripheries, and how the curent literature frames these debates.


Science and Technology for Social Justice

Barbara Allen, Virginia Tech; Gwen Ottinger, Drexel University

2nd September 2016, 11:00


We feature cases of science and technology for social justice, with particular attention to STS interventions. Papers will both report and reflect on collaborative efforts to invent more just forms and practices of technoscience.

Experts organizing for environmental and social justice: Shadow mobilization in Greater Metro Boston

Scott Frickel, Brown University; Apollonya Porcelli; Aaron Niznik, Brown University; Amy Teller, Brown University

We explore how expert-activist networks are structured across the Greater Metro Boston area’s community development and environmental activist fields. These interactions can alter how social and environmental justice is won, as well as expert knowledge and practice at universities.

A Transdisciplinary Experiment: Deliberating Just Research on Vanishing Bees

Sainath Suryanarayanan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Daniel Kleinman

We implemented a deliberative experiment to develop more just research on the problem of dying honey bees. Our results highlight the symbolic and organizational factors that affect stakeholder collaboration and how trust is formed in the face of epistemic, institutional, and cultural challenges.

Scientific Expertise and Occupational Health: How to make things work?

Emmanuel Henry, Université Paris-Dauphine

How the rise of scientific expertise shapes the definition of issues and makes harder for activists and workers to be heard? This paper will try to understand at which conditions scientific expertise can help to take better into account workers’ interests.

Collaborative Science and Knowledge Justice in a French Industrial Region

Barbara Allen, Virginia Tech; Alison Cohen, University of California, Berkeley; Yolaine Ferrier, Centre Norbert Elias CNRS UMR 8562; Johanna Lees, Centre Nobert Elias

Using a participatory environmental health study we are conducting in France, we demonstrate a new frame for regulatory science: "knowledge justice." We argue that collaborative science informed by STS is an important step in making socially just science for communities and policy-makers alike.

Technofictions: Putting Smart City Planning to Work in Brazilian Informal Settlements

Kristine Stiphany, The University of Texas at Austin

Drawing on a participatory action research case study in São Paulo, Brazil, this paper analyzes the building and testing of a 3D scenario planning assessment tool that affords inhabitants of informal settlements the means to evaluate public policy and its impacts on future development alternatives.

Challenging Air Pollution: Exploring Community Pollution Surveillance in Taiwan

Wen-Ling Tu, National Chengchi University; Chia-liang Shih

This paper explores how lay people have participated in knowledge production of air monitoring, and how STSers have intervened to introduce the citizen science methods to create a more just and democratic form of air governance.

Application Brasil 4D tested by the social and cognitive justice

Sayonara Leal, University of Brasilia

This research discuss about how cognitive and social justice participate in the design and uses of appliances of social benefits, Brasil 4D, whose tests made by its users reframe its conception and function, in a pragmatic and sociotechnological perspective.

The Engineering Exchange: widening access to engineering expertise in London

Sarah Bell, University College London; Charlotte Barrow, UCL; Vera Bukachi

The Engineering Exchange (EngEx) supports two way engagement between engineering researchers and local communities in London, UK. This paper reflects upon the first two years of the EngEx and the impact on community group partners, participating engineers and urban planning and decision making.

Promoting Social Justice by Optimising Public Medical Resources

Yunyan Shi, National Academy of Innovation Strategy; Zheng Li, National Academy of Innovation Strategy, China Association for Science and Technology; Hui Luo, National Academy of Innovation Strategy, China Association for Science and Technology

Optimising management and allocation of public medical resources is a crucial way to promoting social justice. This paper shows a primary study on the performance of Medical Alliance in China, which emphasises the incorporation of healthcare system with STS knowledge and innovations.


Cabinet of Political Fictions) SIMULACRUM©: prototyping the city of tomorrow

Fernando Domínguez Rubio, UC San Diego; Alberto Corsin Jimenez, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); Uriel Fogue, Universidad Europea / Elii

1st September 2016, 12:30


This track explores new forms of creating controversies and intellectual debate outside established academic formats. Tthe track proposes a series of sessions organized around a political fiction in which the executive committee of an unnamed country is summoned to solve an impending crisis

This panel has no papers.


Doing theory by other means: how does architectural production challenge STS and ANT

Nerea Calvillo, University of Warwick; Ignacio Farias, Humboldt University of Berlin

2nd September 2016, 11:00


This panel aims to explore the ways in which certain forms of material production can be testing grounds for doing theory. We are particularly interested in how architectural production, as a sociomaterial assemblage and as a design practice, might challenge conceptual repertoires of STS and ANT.

No-thing is possible: Architecture, politics and urban decay

Lucas Pohl, Goethe University Frankfurt

This paper asks for the potentials and problems of an ANT-view of architecture. By changing the focus from production to decay, it sketches the consequences for a political reading of vacancy and seeks for a dialogue between ANT and other approaches on material space.

Inviting atmospheres to the architecture table

Nerea Calvillo, University of Warwick

The design and production of a temporary installation has been the means to inquire how designing with atmospheres may challenge STS notions of material participation, as well as proposing a different account of how socialities can be facilitated with buildings/atmospheres in architecture.

æther, the O2 apparatus

Alfonso Borragan; Blanca Pujals, Etsab and Independent Studies Program (Macba Museum, Bcn)

æther will explore physical and oral contamination through air as form-of-life. Moreover, the project explores systems of actans (B. Latour) connected through breath. It will bring together philosophy and political theory (immunity), architecture and social, poetic and performative space.

Sound and space. ANT approach to building concert hall acoustics.

Aino Alatalo, University of Tampere

In this paper the ANT approach is applied and tested in a study tracing the assemblage of the concert hall acoustics of Helsinki Music Centre completed in 2011. The study follows the footsteps of classical STS case studies that have traced gathering and disentanglement of technological projects.

STS and the Analysis of Design Research in Architecture

Monika Kurath, ETH Zurich; Bernhard Böhm, ETH Zurich

This paper discusses blind spots of laboratory studies inspired STS vocabularies in analysing architecture. Such concern the epistemic differences of knowledge production cultures in the hard sciences and in architecture and the translation of tacit and intuitive knowledge into written forms.

Digital cultures: architectural design and innovation in practice

Kåre Poulsgaard, University of Oxford

Innovation entails a change of perspective, a departure from existing ways of doing things. Digital tools in architecture upend visions of scale and tectonics and change the nature and practice of design, providing a privileged site to re-visit key notions in STS and the study of innovation.

Seduction tools and community of practices. The estrange case of an unlikely Video Art Center

Enrique Nieto, University of Alicante

In this contribution we show how a group of designers try to escape from the paradigms of efficiency and authority traditionally assigned to the implementation of technologies in architecture, through the use of seduction tools or rethinking the potentials of a community of practices.

Domestic theatres: living (in) black boxes

Uriel Fogue, Universidad Europea / Elii

‘Black box’ is a common term in STS theory that usually refers to processes that remain unnoticeable. However, it may also refer to the ‘stage black box’ in a theatre. This paper aims to explore the ways in which domestic space can be a testing ground for challenging the concept of ‘black box’.

Olla Gitana. The Conversation as Architecture of Community

Miguel Mesa del Castillo Clavel, Universidad de Alicante

Olla Gitana is an architectural project that explores the practices related to the rituals of eating as more than just routinary and sensory experiences and aims at showing the dining table as a "parliament of things" in which many daily activisms are discussed.

Buildings for care: an ethnographic de-scription of architectural elements

Ariane d'Hoop, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Annelieke Driessen, London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Rather than seeing a building as one entity, we explore how architectural elements and care workers together achieve the goal of making residents' 'staying in the place'. Herewith we hope to contribute to a view of how buildings and care practices relate beyond architectural determinism.

Re-imagining political architecture: settings as political actors

Ignacio Farias, Humboldt University of Berlin; Gonzalo Correa, Universidad de la República

Based on a sketch design seminar, we discuss how students' proposals for a parliament of things propose different ways of imagining what political settings could do. We identified five architectural principles that challenge STS and ANT to engage with the question of what a good parliament could be.


Technologies of Criminalization: On the convergence of forensic and surveillance technologies

Amade M'charek, University of Amsterdam; Helena Machado, University of Minho

2nd September 2016, 16:00


In this panel we explore the convergence of technologies and tactics aimed at solving crime (forensics) and technologies of control and oversight of population (surveillance). Doing so, our goal is to provoke a conversation between STS and Surveillance studies, about this assemblage in practice.

Travels and troubles of forensic genetic surveillance in the EU

Helena Machado, University of Minho

Criminalization of population through the exchange of DNA data among EU countries is witnessing unprecedented expansion. By adopting a multi-site ethnography, I explore the intersections between geopolitics, national identities and assumptions about criminal bodies and criminal conducts.

Aggregate Evidence: Predictive Policing Technologies and their Evaluation

Till Straube, Goethe University - Frankfurt

Predictive policing systems are increasingly employed to anticipate criminalized behavior through statistical analysis. Several case studies highlight the various political and epistemological entanglements encountered by these programs and their 'evidence-based' evaluation.

Predictive Policing: Geographies of Risk in the United States

Ariel Ludwig, Virginia Tech

This presentation addresses predictive policing in the U.S. through the lenses of STS, critical geography and surveillance studies. These approaches highlight the normative assumptions about criminal risk encoded in algorithms while illuminating the ways that this technology perpetuates policing inequities.

Emerging Forensic Technologies: Rapid DNA solutions in the UK

Dana Wilson-Kovacs, University of Exeter

This paper examines the expectations surrounding Rapid DNA solutions (i.e. the automated extraction and analysis of DNA material from swabs taken at crime scenes or in custody), the deliberations surrounding their introduction and impact on the organization of forensic provision in the UK.

Putting a face to data, doing race with data

Amade M'charek, University of Amsterdam; Bobby Witte

This paper discusses the convergence of surveillance and forensic technologies by attending to practice. It argues that the conflation of the aim of oversight in forensics (the individual), and that of surveillance, (the population), leads to the criminalization and racialization of population.

Geneticization, Datafication, and Visualization: The Reinvention of Race in New Policing Technologies

David Skinner, Anglia Ruskin University

Using examples of recent innovations in policing in the United Kingdom, this paper examines the ways in which, in new technologies of social control, race thinking and race discrimination increasingly take place through three interconnected dynamics: genetization, datafication, and visualization.

Suspects' origin and DNA databases as a source of problematization

Joëlle Vailly, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale

This presentation analyzes how DNA-based tests aimed at inferring suspects’ origin have been problematized (Foucault), in France. It shows that the question of the databases, real or perceived, compiled by laboratories and their potential political uses played a crucial role in the problematization.

Forensic and Surveillance Technologies: From Evidence to Intelligence

Simon Cole, University of California, Irvine

This paper discusses four case studies in which forensic technology, centered around legal processes such as trials, is transforming into surveillance technology, centered around intelligence and security.

The Body as Evidence: Postcolonial Histories of Law and Society

Itty Abraham, National University of Singapore

This paper explores the intersections and contradictions between the long history of the body as a source of evidence in the colonial courts (e.,g tattoos, fingerprinting) and today’s in-corporated technologies of identification and surveillance, from brain scans to DNA testing.

How Forensic Genetic and Surveillance Technologies Objectify Indigenous Peoples as Extreme Other

Mark Munsterhjelm, University of Windsor

This paper shows how forensic and surveillance technologies objectify Indigenous peoples as extreme other by constituting these peoples as approximating life in a state of nature beyond sovereignty and prior to law.

Biosocial futures of the family in forensic DNA databases

Rafaela Granja, University of Minho

This paper explores the biosocial processes entangled in the technique of familial searching in forensic DNA databases. An STS analysis points out how, through materialization processes, this innovation frames the family in new forms of genetic plasticity, and in ambiguous and malleable categories.

Translations and Extensions of DNA Analysis for Family Reunification

Anna-Maria Tapaninen, University of Eastern Finland

This paper discusses the deployment of DNA analysis in Finland. While the purpose of the procedure is to verify genetic relatedness between the alleged family members, the technology has varied potential for extending and translating the answers.


Infrastructures, subjects, politics

Jane Summerton, VTI/Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute; Vasilis Galis, IT University of Copenhagen

3rd September 2016, 11:00


This session aims to explore the relevance of STS for the study of entanglements of sociotechnical infrastructures - such as transport systems, digital platforms, policing systems, border machineries and so on - with so-called human subjects in infrastructural politics.

Border surveillance, counter-surveillance and the 'realm of reconstruction'

Huub Dijstelbloem, University of Amsterdam

This paper analyzes the expanding European border surveillance infrastructure and the opposition it meets from various activist groups as a form of visual politics, a specific interplay between the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’.

Undoing the border: digital and material reconfigurations of routes and spaces for migrants/refugees

Vasilis Galis, IT University of Copenhagen; Jane Summerton, VTI/Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute; Aristotle Tympas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

This paper will discuss how migrants and refugees use multiple low- and high-tech assemblages of humans and non-humans to create alternative pathways, practices and resistance against borders. The paper is exploratory and is based on multiple sources such as interviews and net-based materials.

Biometric registration of refugees in Greek borders in times of crisis.

Vasileios Spyridon Vlassis, IT University Copenhagen

This paper examines the way biometric registration schemes used in the context of the EU migration policy affects the ontology of border venues with a focus on the Greek borderline.

Contested Counting: The Practice and Politics of Refugee Registration in Lebanon

Samuel Dinger, New York University

Drawing upon interviews and observations conducted with NGO workers, refugee advocates, and state agents, this paper unpacks the political and practical struggles behind the enumeration, documentation, classification, and tracking of refugees in Lebanon.

Drones, Borders, Audits: The US-Mexico Border and the Internet of Things

Lauren Kilgour, Cornell University

This presentation reports results from a two-stage pilot study examining US drone surveillance of the US-Mexico border, and advances critical conversations about the roles that the “internet of things” is playing in contemporary border control procedures between the global north and south.

Digital food activism as ontological experimentation

Tanja Schneider, University of St. Gallen; Karin Eli, University of Oxford; Javier Lezaun, Oxford University; Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford

This paper considers digital platforms used for food activism as infrastructures that give rise to ontological experiments (Jensen and Morita, 2015). Based on three case studies we show how food is ontologically respecified in the entanglements of activists, consumer-citizens and digital platforms.

Good Mourning Baltimore: Activism, Governance, and the Interstate Highway Project

Amanda K Phillips, Virginia Tech

Freeway Revolts across the United States hindered the construction of the Interstate Highway Project. This paper looks at the influence of local community planning boards on infrastructure development following activist intervention.

"Mind the Gap, Please": wheelchair users and London public transport

Raquel Velho, University College London

This research investigates the relationship between wheelchair users and accessibility in public transport in London. It explores 'the Gap(s)' in the infrastructure asking how wheelchair users develop tactics for getting around the city and shaping the network to their needs.

Political engineering: the tangle of infrastructure, security and state authority in contemporary statebuilding interventions

Peer Schouten, Danish Institute for International Studies; Jan Bachmann, University of Gothenburg

This paper explores the technopolitics of statebuilding through a discussion of efforts to engineer better societies in fragile states by intervening in the built environment.

Little tags, ordered worlds and invisible infrastructures

Susanne Oechsner, University of Vienna; Ulrike Felt, University of Vienna

The capacity of identifying and tracking objects through small “radio-frequency identification tags” attached to them, the invisible infrastructure of circulation and control which emerges through this, and the ways in which this reorders human and non-human worlds will be the focus of our paper.

"There's no single Arctic": Knowing nature in oil operations

Elena Parmiggiani, University of Oulu / Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Eric Monteiro, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology

We present an ethnographic study of one Scandinavian oil company’s knowledge infrastructure for subsea environmental monitoring in the Arctic. We discuss how the company’s effort to know nature is entrenched in technological and political discourses surrounding oil and gas in the Arctic.

Reshuffling the Government Machine. Digital Infrastructures of Bureaucratic Exclusion

Annalisa Pelizza, University of Twente

This paper asks how it has happened, that government – a bureaucratic organization built to manage information – has turned to have the least skills in doing so. It provides an STS explanation of how government infrastructures have turned to exclude public servants, while including contractors.

Citizenship by design: Aadhar, NRC and the immigrant

Khetrimayum Monish Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Taking STS perspectives, this paper will focus on the UID/ Aadhar Project and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) update in Assam (India), and analyze these digital infrastructures and their role in technological categorizations of the subject/ citizen.

Video surveillance of demonstrations and the police' definatory power

Peter Ullrich, Technische Universität Berlin

An analysis of video surveillance of protesters in a process perspective as a chain of contingent decisions which are an expression of (sociological) discretion. It ascertains the police’ definatory power, while the results (footage) are labelled ‘objective’ due to their ‘technical’ nature.

Infrastructures and Invisibility: the techno-politics of heterogeneous zones

Maximilian Mayer, Tongji University

Global infrastructures coproduce heterogeneous zones; exploring their invisibility through an STS/IR, this paper asks how we might conceptualize local experiences of domination and resistance, and structural aspects of global order emerging at the nexus of infrastructures and invisibility.

"One wouldn't use ones fists against cold machines"

Lina Rahm, IBL

This presentation draws on Galis’ and Lee’s ‘vocabulary of treason’ and presents the results of an analysis of computerization as present in documents from the Swedish labour movement. In practice, this provides a tentative genealogy of the emerging Swedish digital citizen.


Giorgos Mattes, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Big data, data mining, crime analysis, geographic profiling, crime mapping and predictive analytics: the significance of these practices lies in the way they frame technology; they present technology itself as neutral and unproblematic.

Travelling Numbers: Tracing the Transformations of Aadhaar

Ranjit Singh, Cornell University

This paper traces the imbrication of India's biometrics-based national identity number, Aadhaar, into various information infrastructures of social welfare delivery in India.

Infrastructures/Governing/Queerness: How Health IT Infrastructures "Program Queer Health"

Stephen Molldrem, University of Michigan

In a historical and ethnographic case study, I show how health IT infrastructures and their data “program health” for different classes of queer men in Atlanta and the US. Documents and interviews with experts reveal these systems as key vectors of governmentality and subjectification for queer men.


Rethinking innovation and governance

Andrew Webster, University of York

1st September 2016, 09:00


Drawing on the deep and extensive work in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, this track provides an opportunity to rethink our understanding of innovation, its governance and future direction beyond conventional boundaries of S&T

Towards a typology of social innovation

Effie Amanatidou, University of Manchester; Rafael Popper, VTT / The University of Manchester; Deborah Cox, The University of Manchester

Amidst the vagueness surrounding the definition, conceptualisation and interpretation of the concept of social innovation, the paper suggests a typology of social innovation. This is then refined through a systematic examination of cases of social innovations mapped under the EC funded CASI project.

Innovation with the Future: European experiments with reinventing the future

Jim Dratwa, European Commission and Woodrow Wilson Center

Following the notion of 'innovation' in the field in the EU institutions, this paper scrutinises the ontology or modes of existence of the future, how the future is 'made in Europe'. The inquiry is conducted on four fronts: innovation policy; future studies; embedded practices; role of values.

Rethinking Innovation as a Political Process of Development

Smita Srinivas, The Open University; Theodoros Papaioannou, The Open University

In this paper, we argue that the neo-institutionalist view of innovation as a value-neutral process requires closer attention. Can innovation be abstracted from its social and political bases? We answer by re-thinking innovation and governance as both historical and contextual processes.

Innovation in Regenerative medicine: Promissory Identities, Values and tensions

John Gardner, University of York; Ruchi Higham, University of York

This presentation explores innovation and governance within the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

Misalignment and alignment in academic-industry collaboration and research policy

Alan Irwin, Copenhagen Business School; Jane Bjørn Vedel, Copenhagen Business School

In this paper, we develop a framework for misalignment and alignment with particular reference to academic-industry collaboration. Building upon an extended qualitative study of seven companies, we argue that misalignment plays an important role with far-reaching implications for research policy.

Universities as spaces and places of social innovation

Jens Dorland, Aalborg University Copenhagen; Michael Soegaard Joergensen, Aalborg University

Through case studies from Europe and Latin America, roles of universities as spaces and places of research and innovation in cooperation with civil society and communities are discussed. The analyses contribute to STIS theory about the role of universities in governance of science and technology

Can the Public Health Sector Innovate Contraception?

Miriam Klemm, Technische Universität Berlin

The development of male contraceptive technologies is, if it happens at all, underfunded, inadequately advocated and relatively slow. This paper investigates the role of (international) public health agencies in innovating technologies of male fertility control.

Innovative instruments for neglected vaccines: Public markets for private ventures

Janice Graham, Dalhousie University

A series of ethnographic case studies are used to show how the definition of innovation is used for particular emerging health biotechnologies at particular times. A symmetrical approach is proposed to open regulatory governance to a parliament of evidence that recognizes the gaming of innovation.

Does the innovation process per se still exist?

Andrzej Jasinski, University of Warsaw

The main aim of this paper is an attempt to answer the question posed in its title. In other words: Can we still speak about the innovation process as such? An additional aim is to identify new challenges faced by the managers who deal with management of contemporary innovations.

Tracking the footprints of innovative public engagement

Mikko Rask, University of Helsinki; Luciano d'Andrea, LSC; Loreta Tauginiene; Saule Maciukaite-Zviniene

In this paper we propose the study of ‘PE footprints’ as a new way to map the imprints of public engagement processes in research and politics. Such mapping contributes to the evaluation of the key players, resources, outcomes, and success factors of such activities.

Producing innovative citizens - Citizensourcing as a technology of government

Carolin Thiem, TUM School of Education

By drawing on different empirical material and current STS literature, citizensourcing, an OI governmental practice, will be presented as a technology of government . This approach could contribute to a better understanding of OI practices, altering challenging the present nature of policy making.

Revealing discourses: (re)imagining innovation and governance through international clinical trials

Lloyd Akrong, Maastricht University

Internationalizing biomedical research has introduced new publics to ongoing discourse interested in new ways of conceptualizing innovation and governance. This paper reflects on how local African clinical trial stakeholders imagine these concepts and potential contributions to policy development.

Rethinking risk governance: Towards a constitutive approach

Hannot Rodríguez, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU

Risk is not just a fact, as EU’s RRI assumes, but a heterogeneously constituted reality in which socio-economic considerations are involved. “Constituted risk” implies rethinking risk governance as the governance of the diverse factors by which techno-industrial safeties are constituted.

Innovation Beyond Growth: Opening the black box of 'Responsible Stagnation'

Stevienna de Saille, University of Sheffield; Fabien Medvecky, University of Otago

We draw on existing cases to examine what heterodox economics might contribute to Responsible Innovation, and whether opening the black box of Responsible Stagnation might also open discussion about resource consumption as an intrinsic part of Responsible Innovation, rather than its binary opposite.


What is a Problem? Problematic Ecologies, Methodologies and Ontologies in Techno-science and Beyond

Martin Savransky, Goldsmiths, University of London; Sebastian Rojas Navarro, King's College London; Patricio Rojas, Goldsmiths, University of London

1st September 2016, 09:00


What is a problem? What if problems have their own thickness and vitality, constituting a mode of existence of practices and things? How do practices participate in the transformation of problems? This track invites STS scholars to explore the nature of problems in techno-science and beyond.

On The Mode of Existence of The Problematic

Martin Savransky, Goldsmiths, University of London

In this paper I provide speculative tools that enable one to resist the temptation of treating problems epistemologically, and to articulate the proposition that problems have a mode of existence of their own: they are the noise the future makes as it is folded into the present.

Bergson's Problematic Philosophy and the Pursuit of Metaphysical Precision

Craig Lundy, Nottingham Trent University

The aim of this paper is to provide an outline of Henri Bergson’s problematic philosophy. Special attention will be paid to the link Bergson draws between his problematising method and the pursuit of precision in metaphysics. The implications for later thinkers of the problem will also be canvassed.

A Problematic Concept: Spiritualism as Techne in Modern Technoscience

Adam Nocek, Arizona State University

In this paper I suggest that Deleuze and Guattari’s formulation of problems and concepts in What is Philosophy? provides a useful framework for understanding what critics describe as the “new-age-y” turn in Stengers’ recent work on modern technoscience.

A Non-anthropocentric, Alchemical Response to the Problem of Solidarity

Xin Wei Sha, Arizona State University

An experimental atelier adapts media art, speculative performance, poetic engineering, critical studies of technoscience to pursue an "alchemical" response to the problem of solidarity. An alchemical approach would start non-anthropocentrically. How can it trellis ethico-aesthetic play?

Individuals as problems: psychology between individuation and the 'illusion of subjectivity'

Patricio Rojas, Goldsmiths, University of London

I analyse the idea that examining individuals as problems –rather than studying individual psychic life- is a richer task for psychology. Such a proposal, I claim, faces psychology with exciting prospects, but it should not simplify the questions of what does ‘individuals as problems’ entails

The problems of defining and exploring a problem that might not be a problem at all. Or maybe for some, but to whom and why? Adult researchers exploring children's everyday lives.

Sebastian Rojas Navarro, King's College London

This paper examines the difficulties emerging when thinking about solutions for problems which are not considered as problems by those being targeted by the solutions being implemented.

Problematic data? Prevalence rates, psychostimulant prescriptions and the ambiguous epidemiology of ADHD in Portugal

Angela Filipe, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

In the absence of reliable ADHD prevalence rates, emerging data on psychostimulant drug sales and prescriptions have become a public and problematic issue in the Portuguese context. Here, problematic data play a social role in mapping the ambiguous epidemiology of this diagnosis.

The problem of prognosis in cardiology care: A pragmatist perspective

Phaedra Daipha, Rutgers University

Drawing on an ongoing comparative ethnography of hospital cardiology, I examine how physicians negotiate short-term and long-term treatment goals in daily practice.

Problems and questions in development research in Afghanistan.

Tjitske Holtrop, AISSR- University of Amsterdam

This paper addresses the question of what a problem is through the practice of asking questions in development research in Afghanistan.

Problem solving as world making

Sandra Calkins, Free University of Berlin

This paper examines the ways in which nutritionally enhanced crops are made into a solution and how the availability of a solution shapes what is conceived to be problematic. Instead attending to either problem or solution, I explore the onto-epistemological work of problem solving.

Speculating with infectiousness in biomedical time.

Marsha Rosengarten, Goldsmiths University of London

Drawing on Michel Serres’ typology of three kinds of time, I reflect on how biomedical research does time and the problems this raises, mostly attributed to human users or viral and bacterial agents. I ask how might this be turned for a reformulation of the problem of infectious disease?

1. The Issue with Problems: Studying Problems in Digital Health with Digital Methods

David Moats, Linköping University; Liz McFall, Open University

This paper considers the methodological capacities of ‘problems’ as analytic objects drawing on material from an ongoing study of the rise of health data (wearables, genomics and digitized patient records) in both the NHS and private healthcare industries using digital methods techniques.

Problematizing, establishing, demonizing: the uncanny case of microplastics in waters

Sven Bergmann, Universität Bremen

How is a something like plastic concentration in waters made into a problem? How was the concept of microplastics established and measured and what does that signify? What is more, how is the STS problematization of how an ecological problem is problematized problematic, too?

Following the Problems - Historicizing Grand Challenges

David Kaldewey, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft Bonn; Julia Schubert, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, University of Bonn; Daniela Russ, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft

Pressing societal problems such as climate change, energy security and demographic transitions are not simply given but have specific trajectories. Distinguishing between phenomena and discourses, the paper illustrates how these problems have become stabilized as “grand challenges”.


Policy and Care (or Care-Full Policy): exploring practices, collectives and spaces

Vicky Singleton, Lancaster University; Claire Waterton, Lancaster University; Ingunn Moser, Diakonhjemmet University College; Hilde Thygesen, VID Scientific University; Monica Greco, Goldsmiths, University of London

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track asks how policies relate with care in diverse: domains of practice, cultural locations and historical moments. It explores how care and policy are and can be woven together and how theorising 'care' with 'policy' opens up these categories in ways that have transformative potential.

Conjunctions of policy and care in German community mental health care services

Milena Bister, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

The obligatory psychiatric care system of the city of Berlin sets the framework for service provision in community mental health care. This paper engages ethnographically with the conjoined articulations of policy and care in these services as induced by accountability measures.

Moving Policy: Caring for physical activity in dementia care

Annelieke Driessen, London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

I argue that two policies on physical activity in dementia care isolate ‘good’ from ‘bad’ physical activity, thereby neglecting their interweaving in practice and argue that addressing both ‘matters of care’ together, policies may become more care-full.

Good Nurse In Training: 'Carefully' developing an ethical model of the simulated patient

Ivana Guarrasi, University of California, San Diego

Based on ethnographic observations in the simulation laboratory this paper argues that normative notions of “ethic of patient care” in the situated training of nursing competence become a masked system of morals bound by checklists, protocols, and practices of standardization.

Digitized HPV vaccination communication as promising and troubling care

Lisa Lindén, University of Gothenburg

This paper attends to digital “participatory” HPV vaccination campaigns as realizations of “care-full” county council communication policies. I discuss Facebook and app devices, experts and publics as assembling care collectives that enable and trouble policy visions of care.

Compassion in health care: Unsettling generalisations

Vicky Singleton, Lancaster University; steve mee, university of cumbria

Compassion is a key focus of British health policy. However, critiques suggest that it is the latest buzzword, with little meaning in practice. We tell stories about compassion as situated and alert to otherness-in-relation in order to open up possibilities for more ‘care-full’ policy.

Care at the food bank: exploring policies, practices and normativities

Hilje van der Horst, Wageningen University

This paper explores a food bank in the Netherlands and unravels the forms of care that are encountered there. It compares normativities as established in this grass root poverty alleviation with normativities in national poverty policies.

Culture of Care and organisational culture in animal research facilities

Annabella Williams, Understanding Animal Research

Through focus interviews I consider how the interactions and practices of staff working in facilities for research animals contribute to an organisational 'culture of care'. This paper presents initial findings of how cultural interactions in the animal research sector affect capacity for care.

Between local specificities and general goals: the overweight prevention programme of an ambitious municipality

Else Vogel, Linköping University

This paper explores what it may mean for a policy program to be sensitive to the local specificities of the problem it targets. Detailing the ‘community approach’ of an overweight prevention programme, I analyse the translations between participants’ varied concerns and the policy’s general target.

Thanapolitics and End-of-Life Care on Three Chinese Immigrant Islands

Harry Yi-Jui Wu, The University of Hong Kong

This paper traces the socio-cultural origins of end-of-life care and their implication with health policy in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, where their development is influenced by geo-climatic characteristics and various modernity experiences, primarily the bio-medicalization of end-of-life agenda.

Illness and Asylum Policy: Care in a Berlin Psychiatric Clinic

Georgia Samaras, Technical University of Munich

Psychological illness can lead to a legal residence permit when the suffering is certified by a medical professional. This paper delineates how the practice of writing these documents can interfere with psychological care practices on three different levels.



Joanna Latimer, University of York; Carrie Friese, London School of Economics and Political Science

3rd September 2016, 09:00


Research on 'bio-objects' explores relations generated around scientific entities (e.g. GM organisms, IVF embryos & transgenic animals). Alternatively this panel explores how & when 'bio-subjects' give (their) life through biomedical science to make meanings & social relations with humans.

Ontological Subjects: Modelling Biology's World-Making.

Joanna Latimer, University of York

Drawing on a study of the biology of ageing the paper focuses on models & modelling. It excavates how the relations between different kinds of models enact & challenge boundaries between humans & nonhumans to produce ‘worlds’ in common one moment, & division the next.

iPS cells as 'bio-subjects' : expansion of experimental system beyond laboratories

Wakana Suzuki, Kyoto University

This paper argues how stem cells as ‘bio-subjects’ create new social relations beyond laboratories. Based on my fieldwork in a stem cell laboratory in Japan, this paper insists that elusiveness and plasticity of iPS cells expand its “experimental system” (Rheinberger 1997) and transform society.

Witnessing animal and human moments for the betterment of sciences . The case of the Enviropig.

Karolina Rucinska, Cardiff University

I invite the audience to this research facility - were transgenic pigs were held. Through witnessing animal [and human] moments (Philo and Wilbert, 2000) without judgment I hope to engage in a conversation that (b)leads to better hard and soft sciences, human and non-human lives and attitudes.

The expansion and valuing of foetal measurements in obstetric ultrasound

Niamh Stephenson, University of New South Wales - Australia; Catherine Mills, Monash University; Kim McLeod

The expansion of obstetric ultrasound foregrounds the complexities of practioners’ roles. They both strive to facilitate “women’s choice” and, as part of research endeavour into foetal development, they are the gateway to the “populations” required to establish the meaning of new measurements.

Three (de-)Subjectifications in Modelling Practice

Rebecca Hardesty, University of California, San Diego

Based on ethnographic observation, I describe how the members of a neuroscience lab collaboratively modulate the figurations of mice and their neurons as subjects as a part of their practices to model the cognitive effects, recognized as depersonalization, associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Moral Economies of Care in Animal Experimentation

Carrie Friese, London School of Economics and Political Science

This paper explores how in vivo scientists talk about animal care and animal welfare as a scientific value. It asks how and when scientists define laboratory animals as 'bio-subjects', which is thematised through Lorraine Daston (1995) notion of a moral economy.

Caring for the Enemy: Rearing and Releasing Manipulated Mosquitoes

Luísa Reis Castro, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Manipulating mosquitoes, employing them to control the diseases they transmit, simultaneously transforms them into problem and solution. This paper examines this ambiguous "worldly becoming" through the practices and concerns in caring for mosquitoes and releasing them to betray their own species.

Paying 'non vulnerable' subjects: Constructions of Vulnerability and the Responsibilisation of Risk in Commercial Healthy Volunteer Clinical Trials.

Shadreck Mwale, University of Brighton

Conceptions of vulnerability in healthy volunteer trials tend to use medical definitions of vulnerability. This paper argues for a broader view of vulnerability to include wider socio economic structures in which clinial trial subjects take part in such studies.

Logic(s) of Care in Clinical Research

Laura Schnieder, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

The paper discusses advantages and pitfalls of situating the experimental subject in pharmaceutical research with reference to a “logic of care”.

Cancer tumours as 'bio-subjects': the social relations of clinical samples in the age of genomic medicine

Anne Kerr, University of Leeds; Tineke Broer, University of Edinburgh; Emily Ross, University of Edinburgh; Sarah Cunningham-Burley, University of Edinburgh

This paper explores how & when cancerous tumours might be considered to be ‘bio-subjects’ in the era of genomics and the drive towards precision medicine.


Indicator Politics: Quantification measures and practices of decision-making

Nuno Boavida, Universidade Nova de Lisboa; Stefan Böschen, RWTH Aachen University

2nd September 2016, 14:00


The session highlights the importance of indicators in the construction of expertise and the constitution of problems under decision. Thesis is that risk and innovation politics are highly performed through indicator politics. Looking that way, processes of deciding can be understood more deeply.

Responsible quantification: The use of quantitative evidence in the context of uncertainty

Zora Kovacic, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Responsible quantification should communicate uncertainty, instead of uncertain results. Three scientific approaches are presented that use numbers as heuristic tools that allow for a participatory assessment of uncertainty, rather than as information.

Risk indicators: The Impact of Uncertainty and Crisis in Measuring Risk

Sudeepa Abeysinghe, University of Edinburgh

This paper uses two case studies to examine the effect of uncertainty in destabilising measurements of risk. It shows how indicators become problematized and reordered in ways that highlight to nature of the underlying social and political structure of organisations and communities.

The use of indicators: An analysis of two decisions of innovation policy

Nuno Boavida, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

The paper presents two case studies about decisions of technology innovation. Results show that indicators were mostly a complementary instrument of decision. Their use was influenced by adversity, capacity to support arguments and interests, and social relations of the decision makers.

The co-production of sustainability indicators and harbor communities: A case study on the port of Antwerp, Belgium.

Frederic Vandermoere, University of Antwerp

This presentation reports on the sustainability reporting initiative at the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Reflecting on our research, we aim to discuss this initiative as an example of co-production.

Entering corporations into national economy. An ethnography of the GDP.

Quentin Dufour, Université Paris-Dauphine

How is the French GDP calculated? Following the example of non-financial corporations GDP, we seek to write a non-formalist account of this formalism, and to understand how such a figure can involve a certain kind of economic representation.

To measure is to manage: Coproducing bank's health with the EU-wide stress test

Shirley Kempeneer, University of Antwerp

In the aftermath of the crisis EU regulators decided to measure banks' health by means of a stress test. The paper addresses how this indicator coproduces knowledge and coconstitutes the problem of 'financial health'. To this end a number of interviews were conducted in banks and consultancy firms.

The politics of quantitative devices. How national accounting favoured the spread of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) throughout Europe

Damien Piron, University of Liège

This paper analyses how the Eurozone member states’ will to meet the quantitative “convergence criteria” set in the Treaty of Maastricht contributed to create a favourable environment for the development of PPPs, as well as the political and social effects of this policy.

Social Policy Expertise and indicator politics in Europe

Gert Verschraegen, University of Antwerp

This contribution investigates how social policy expertise in Europe has become entangled with the politics and science of comparative indicators. Focusing on practices and networks related to European data sets, it shows how the process of constructing indicators entails new policy issues


Exploring the role of materials in practices and sustainability

Chris Foulds, Anglia Ruskin University; Toke Haunstrup Christensen, Aalborg University

1st September 2016, 09:00


What is the role of materials for social practices and sustainability? How well do theories of practice capture this role? How should we study this? How can such studies inform sustainable transitions? These are some of the questions covered through paper presentations and discussions.

Home monitoring: how smart meters mediate domestic energy practices in the Netherlands

Mandy de Wilde, Wageningen University

Informed by theories of social practice and science and technology studies this paper shows how these practices become mediated by the intervention of smart meter technology.

Washing 2.0: Transforming energy practices in the home

Shivat Jhagroe, Eindhoven University of Technology

This paper examines how the introduction of smart energy technologies transforms material household practices. It argues that micro-domestications of smart and sustainable energy technologies are linked to changing material infrastructures, market conditions and regulatory arrangements.

Materialities of the electric car: different designs, users and practise trajectories?

Marianne Ryghaug, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology; Helen Jøsok Gansmo

The paper focus on transitions to sustainable transport and the role of electric vehicles (EV). Based on studies of EV use in Norway we argue that EVs constitute different materialities with different user groups and different sustainable trajectories.

Young people and ICT: Materials shaping resource-intensive practices?

Toke Haunstrup Christensen, Aalborg University; Els Rommes, Institute for gender studies - Radboud University

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) results in increasing levels of consumption of energy and materials. This paper explores the role of materials and design scripts in shaping young people’s user practices related to smartphones and laptops.

Anthropological Explorations of Technologies as Enacted Materials in Everyday Practices

Mia Rasmussen, Alexandra Institute A/S; Laura Nielsen, Alexandra Institute

Practice theory has nuanced the view of energy consumers by showing how consumption is constituted, negotiated and changed through everyday practices. In this paper we argue that additional material focus is needed and propose the concepts of enactment, entanglement and affordance as ways forward.

Urban Gardening and the Politics of Environmental Citizenship: The Example of Tree-pits in Berlin

Jens Lachmund, Maastricht University

This paper is a case study of urban gardening in Berlin. It draws on a heuristic of social practice to investigate the role of the materiality of the urban site - specifically the so-called “tree pit”- in the constitution and enactment of urban environmental citizenship.

New Designs for Sustainable Food Practices - The case of vegan material innovation

Richard Twine, Edge Hill University

This paper explores vegan transition from a practice theory perspective with specific focus on what vegans and vegan manufacturers do, specifically with food, and the relationship between these practices and food norms, modes of sociality and aesthetic constructions of food.

Practice hacks: exploring the centrality of materials in social change

Matthew Hanchard, University of Sheffield

Digital maps are entangled in various everyday practice routines. Drawing on qualitative research, this paper explores disruption to routine through a focus on practice hacks; material (as practice element) is argued to be central in anchoring social change.

Integrating Complex Materials into Practice: The Case of Tablet Computers

Carolynne Lord, Lancaster University

Practice theory analyses have made use of established concepts from STS to describe the role of materials in practice, yet how suitable are these when synthesised with practice theory? This paper will seek to present some initial ideas on a family of concepts categorised as integration.

Experiments in Zero Emission Living: The Intrinsic Qualities of Things

Marius Korsnes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Jenny M. Bergschöld, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology

This paper presents results from qualitative experiments in a zero emission house in Trondheim. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from six groups living in the house for 25 days each. We investigate how two different perspectives on material agency can generate diverging findings.


Transition to Sustainable Food Systems: Integrative Perspectives on Production and Consumption

Josephine Mylan, University of Manchester; David Evans, University of Manchester

2nd September 2016, 09:00


We invite contributions which connect perspectives in STS to the study of food and eating. We welcome theoretical and empirical papers that bridge the production-consumption divide to offer more symmetrical accounts of sustainable food systems.

Analysing innovation between 'production' and 'consumption': Why food is different

Josephine Mylan, University of Manchester

This paper highlights the importance of existing arrangements, interests and technologies in processes of gradual re-configuration toward more sustainable food systems, explored through the case of meat production-consumption.

An unnoticed innovation. Raw milk vending facilities in Italy and the possible reconfiguration of dairy products' regime.

Tiziana Piccioni; Alvise Mattozzi, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

We intend to present the case of raw milk vending facilities in Italy, showing how these facilities intended to reconfigure the regime of dairy products.

Sustainable Food Technologies: Méconnaissance in Production-Consumption of Natural Food

Laura Trachte, Technische Universität München; Barbara Sutter, TU München

The contribution suggests bridging the production-consumption divide in the case of organic food products by arguing that both realms are prone to processes of méconnaissance (Bourdieu) when it comes to their naturalness as an argument for their sustainable character.

Quality under construction: symmetric approach to sustainable food systems in post-transition society

Wojciech Goszczyński, Nicolaus Copernicus Univeristy; Michał Wróblewski, Nicolaus Copernicus University; Łukasz Afeltowicz, Nicolaus Copernicus University; Anna Wójtewicz, Nicolaus Copernicus University

Aim of this speech is to answer how sustainable quality of food is constructed at specific post-transitional societies? How producers and consumers are reconfiguring socio-economic micro-universes, what role, in this process plays: hybrid knowledge, practices, traditions, institutions, civic models.

Grassroots as bottom-up responsible innovation: the case of food common puchasing groups

Sergio Belda Miquel, Universitat Politècnica de València; Alejandra Boni, Ingenio (CSIC-UPV); Barbara Ribeiro, University of Nottingham; David Barbera-Tomas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

The paper explore the experience of food common purchasing groups in the city of Valencia (Spain). It conceptualizes them as grassroots processes of responsible innovation, thus exploring its contribution to more sustainable food systems through citizen action driven and by values.

The role of niche innovations in transition pathways in the agro-food system

Joyce Zwartkruis, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; Henk Westhoek

Studying innovations at the intersection of consumption and production can help to gain insight in the transition pathways towards sustainable development of the agro-food system. Although niche innovations have difficulties to gain enough momentum, there are changes visible in the agro-food system.

Avoiding the pitfalls of urban life? - Understanding grocery shopping

Malin Henriksson, VTI, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute

Online food shopping offers an alternative to an activity that often prescribe car trips, namely grocery shopping. The paper suggest that in order to reach the potential energy savings of e-commerce we need to understand how potential users experience grocery shopping.

Organising sustainability by global standards: certifications and the production of nature-cultures for sustainable coffee in Colombia

Derly Sanchez Vargas, Lancaster University

This paper explores the enactments of sustainability in certification schemes for the production of sustainable coffee in Colombia.

Sustainable Intensification: agroecological appropriation versus contestation?

Les Levidow, The Open University

The ‘sustainable intensification’ agenda seeks to make conventional agro-food chains more environmentally sustainable. A hostile response has come from CSO-farmer alliances promoting agroecology. The conflict can be illuminated by the theoretical frameworks of food regime and innovation-systems.

Paths to Agricultural Sustainability in Japan: Life Sciences or Agro-ecology?

Tomiko Yamaguchi, International Christian University

Two approaches of agricultural knowledge generation and transfer -- life sciences and agro-ecology -- present vastly different views of the path to building sustainable agrifood systems. The differences between these visions manifest in their efforts to enroll public support.

Imagining food in 2040: interrogating prevalent narratives of Milan World fair

Ângela Guimarães Pereira, European Commission; Alba L'Astorina, CNR Italian National Research Council; Irene Tomasoni; Alessia Ghezzi, DG Joint Research Centre - European Commission

Food Futuring Tours consisted of a series of walking tours in the EXPO2015 with invited citizens, who developed visions for food futures and future of foods. Ten visions were produced, which interrogate the main food narrative, celebrating technology fixes to our current predicaments.


Infrastructures of nuclearity: Exploring entangled histories, spaces and futures

Márton Fabók, Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute; Sergiu Novac, Central European University, Budapest; Sonja Schmid, Virginia Tech

1st September 2016, 09:00


This track focuses on the histories and futures embedded through nuclear infrastructures, the complex social and material assemblages of 'nuclearity'. We particularly welcome grounded case studies engaging with the 'entangled geographies' (Hecht et al, 2011) of nuclearity.

Making things personal: Consulting a UK nuclear new build project

Márton Fabók, Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute

The paper addresses a shift in public engagement practices in the current UK new nuclear programme by using the ethnography of Wylfa Newydd in Wales. A customised democracy is emerging via fragmentation and personalisation of public consultations.

From phenix to ASTRID: the renewal of sodium technology

Maxime Delannoy, Ecole des Mines de Nantes; Guy Minguet, Ecole des Mines de Nantes; Stéphanie Tillement, Ecole des Mines de Nantes; Frédéric Garcias

Our paper examines the concepts of "nuclearity" and nuclear infrastructure in relation to long-term dynamics, through the analysis of a "Gen IV" reactor design process in France. We study how the interweaving of an uncertain heritage and a projected future affects design and sociotechnical networks.

Embracing the "atomic future" in post-war Austria

Florian Bayer, University of Vienna

This paper is a case study of nuclear science and technology in post-war Austria. While the institutional dimension is reflected as the formation of a technopolitical regime, different moments of relating the nuclear to specific political goals as well as suitable pasts and futures are discussed.

Politics of visibility and invisibility on cancer around nuclear facilities

Laura Barbier, Paris Descartes University

This talk shows how epidemiological research configurations and political orientations taken to manage controversies on health effects of radioactive discharges from nuclear installations on residents have contributed to create and maintain uncertainty, preventing the constitution of conclusive evidence.

Living with Sellafield: situating everyday nuclearities

Karen Bickerstaff, University of Exeter

This paper explores the nuclearity of place drawing on a UK case study. It reflects on the contingency in people’s relations to an all-pervasive nuclear presence, and how nuclearity challenges extant ideas about the geographical relations between proximate communities and their nuclear neighbours.

Tracing the tacit meanings of nuclear things: Nuclear work and the making of material memories

Anna Veronika Wendland, Herder Institute for East Central European Historical Research

The paper discusses “nuclearity” as it is embodied in specific entanglements between men and machines, in working practices, rituals, and in individual memories and imaginaries which are connected to the materiality of nuclear things.

Living in Dose: Waste, Work, and the Politics of Permissible Exposure

Shannon Cram, University of Washington Bothell

This paper explores the complex politics of “permissible exposure” for workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State.

Regenerating Nuclear Energy: Neophyte Dreams & Workplace Peopling

Vincent Ialenti, Cornell University

This talk analyzes a young nuclear expert's backstory ethnographically to explore ways nuclear energy sectors across North America and Western Europe grapple with baby boomer retirements, decreased youth enthusiasm for nuclear careers, and calls for smoother personnel succession.

Knowledge crisis: nuclearity and safeguards inspections at the IAEA

Anna Weichselbraun, University of Vienna

The expansion of “nuclearity” in the application of nuclear safeguards has effected a crisis in the knowledge practices of the IAEA, revealing the local ideologies of knowledge that undergird the nuclear infrastructures built up for the global governance of nuclear technologies.

Assessing nuclear safety: the use of the Rasmussen report in France

Ismail Goumri, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire

This talk re-examines the use of the Rasmussen Report and the probabilistic methods in France during the 1970s. The engineers received the report with enthusiasm but some reserves. I link this appreciation of the Report to underpinning scientific, and political contexts.

"Anti-nuclear technopolitics and the scientization of democracy in India

Monamie Bhadra

Using the case study of Indian activists leveling charges that Russian reactors contain substandard parts, I show how Indian anti-nuclear activists are opening up spaces for technopolitical activism, and opposing the Indian state’s technopolitics embedded in how it vouches for Russian technology.

Monitoring radiation: The birth of networked publics after Chernobyl

Yasuhito Abe, Doshisha University

This paper investigates how Japanese publics contributed to developing an information infrastructure on nuclear radiation in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. In particular, it examines Radiation Disaster Alert Network (R-DAN] from an STS-informed historical perspective.

Pioneers and Problems: Implementing Geological Disposal of Nuclear Waste

Marika Hietala, University of Sheffield

Geological disposal is recommended as the best available method for long-term nuclear waste management. Yet implementing it has proved difficult. Tracing imaginaries around nuclear things, this paper explores the dynamics at play in the implementation of geological disposal in two EU countries.

Nuclear Undertakings: Decommissioning as Social Laboratory

Sergiu Novac, Central European University, Budapest

The paper explores how decommissioning, seen as the last road in the management of ‘nuclear things’, influences what, following Foucault, might be called the politics of managing life, based of the case of the Greifswald NPP decommissioning project in Germany.

Geographies of Preparedness: Governing Nuclear Safety Across Changing Emergency Response Regimes

Sonja Schmid, Virginia Tech

By comparing international attempts to ramp up nuclear emergency preparedness in the wake of Fukushima, I argue that differences in commitment to preparedness, technical choices, and views of the role of expertise and improvisation are creating new challenges for governing nuclear safety.


Emerging science and technology : questioning the regime of promising

Marc Audétat, University of Lausanne; Pierre-Benoit Joly, INRA / UPEM; Harro van Lente, Maastricht University

2nd September 2016, 14:00


This track invites papers examining the regime of promising in emerging science and technology, dealing with issues of performance and credibility. It aims at fostering discussion about the issues and consequences of the regime of promising for the research system as well as for society.

The daily life of techno-scientific promises: investigating the tensions between the regime of promising and research practices

Béatrice Cointe, University of Oslo

Large interdisciplinary, application-oriented projects are one manifestation of the current regime of promising. Drawing on the ethnographic study of one such project in the field of bioenergy, we explore how this regime of promising affects scientific practices, especially in fundamental research.

"Personalized Medicine" and "Eggs Forever": Promissory work in genomic research and reproductive medicine

Gaia Barazzetti, University of Lausanne, CHUV University Hospital Lausanne; Nolwenn Bühler, University of Neuchâtel

This paper compares promises in genomic research and reproductive medicine. Analyses of scientific and institutional discourses and practices show that promissory work in these two fields display similar patterns when dealing with issues of credibility, temporality and durability.

Provided Promises and Accepted Promises of Korean First Astronaut Program

Seungmi Chung, Virginia Tech

Korean Government provided promise of public involvement and social benefit by Korean First Astronaut Program. But, public understanding about the promises differed with government. The difference caused the program as failure. The research analyzes what the difference is and how/why it occurred.

Negotiating "Biometric Futures": Promises, Politics and Biometric Identification in Israel

Michelle Spektor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This paper examines the controversy over a new biometric identification program in Israel. Suggesting that the “promise” of biometric identification technologies is tied to disparate visions of the “biometric future,” it considers how renderings of the future shape the program’s present trajectory.

Mobilising expertise and expectations in 3D bioprinting organisations

Carlos Cuevas Garcia, Technical University of Munich

This paper focuses on the co-dependence of expectations and expertise in the nascent field of 3D bioprinting, and more specifically on the role played by particular forms of organisation in the maintenance and flow such expertise and expectations.

Institutionalising promises: The key role of promise champions in mediating and embedding visions of the future into institutions (evidence and a typology)

Douglas Robinson, LISIS, Uni-Paris Est (FR); Aurelie Delemarle, Ecole des ponts ParisTech; Philippe Laredo, Université Paris Est

Field level studies of expectations has received much attention, whilst embedding of these visions into institutions has received much less. We provide a case-based typology showing how promises shape the directions of emergence through institutionalisation processes mediated by promise champions.

Governing anticipatory technologies. Forensic DNA Phenotyping in Europe

Matthias Wienroth, Newcastle University

Discussing ‘anticipatory technologies’ using Forensic DNA Phenotyping (FDP) as example, this paper examines 3 dimensions of FDP’s anticipatory nature (epistemic; operational; utility narratives) and explores their place in (self-)governing work of an emerging forensic genetics community of practice.

Evolving Patterns of Anticipatory Governance - The Graphene Hype Wave

Kornelia Konrad, University of Twente; Carla Alvial Palavicino, Universidad Diego Portales

We follow anticipatory practices and expectations around graphene through different spaces related to science, policy and markets. We show how anticipatory governance patterns evolve over time, and how a graphene hype wave emerged, moving through and linking spaces.

Forensic DNA Phenotyping: making human appearance predictable.

Marianna Fotiadou, University of Amsterdam

Forensic DNA Phenotyping is an emerging technique which aims to trace suspects in suspect-less criminal cases. This paper examines how forensic scientists argue for the value of the technique by relating to promises about neutrality and accuracy.

Applying promises in demand-driven innovations: The case of smart mobility

Darja Vrščaj, Eindhoven Technological University; Tanja Manders

In this paper we analyze visions on New Mobility Services (NMS) to research how the promises about user needs were constructed and what do they entail. We identify ambiguities in the envisioned expectations and reflects on how these influence applications of NMS in experimentation phases.

We (have to) feed the world. Promises and lock-in in agriculture

Fanny Pellissier, IFRIS - Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société

This paper questions how this well-known promise, to feed the world, has underpinned the regime of intensive agriculture and performed concrete practices in farming routines, contributing to lock in the regime

Strong coproduction: promissory technological futures and the heuristics of continuity

Pierre Delvenne, University of Liège

This paper investigates the ‘heuristics of continuity’ in and across promissory regimes of S&T that produces lasting asymmetries of power. It argues that continuity across technological domains can be traced to a cornucopian sociotechnical imaginary of abundant knowledge and creative resources.

Promiss or perish ! Doing science by other means in the regime of promising

Marc Audétat, University of Lausanne

This paper intends to set the scene of the regime of promising, and to discuss its issues for doing scientific research today, as well as for opening debate about possible sociotechnical futures.

Enthousiasm and Scepticism regarding Digital Health Technologies: the Promise Trap

Maria del Rio Carral, University of Lausanne

The proliferation of digital tools is underpinned by beliefs regarding their potential to improve health. This contribution analyses how this issue appears in research. We show that scientific debates seem trapped in promises raised by digital health and suggest how to surmount this impasse.

Regimes of techno-scientific promises - Drawing on lessons from the past to understand the current regime

Pierre-Benoit Joly, INRA / UPEM

We have claimed in previous papers that the regime of techno-scientific promises has become dominant since the 70’s. Such a claim, however, does not draw on empirical evidence. The objective of this paper is to outline a research project that would fill this gap.

Kinase inhibitors; the role of believers and non-believers in drug research

Farah Huzair, University of Edinburgh

Work to develop tyrosine kinase inhibitors began in the 1980’s. Early development was marked by a lack of promise, followed by the development of a band wagon. This historical study describes how drug development took place and the role of the public and private sectors.

The UK smart meter rollout: Dynamics of expectations

Sabine Hielscher, University of Sussex; Paula Kivimaa, University of Sussex

Smart meters have taken a prominent role in the UK government’s low carbon energy discourse over the past decade. Drawing on discourse analysis and examination of around 100 documents and supportive interviews, the paper analyses changes expectations for the smart metering roll out during 2000-2015.

Promises in deep geothermal energy provision: closing down possible pathways?

Olivier Ejderyan, ETH Zurich

This paper discusses to what extent the promises of access to cheap, unlimited and regular power through the development of enhanced geothermal systems have affected the development of deep geothermal energy in Switzerland.

When the Future Never Comes: The Promises of AI

Madeleine Elish, Columbia University

Based on fieldwork in the United States with AI researchers and commercial product managers, this paper analyzes how future capacities-yet-to-be-realized are mobilized as a source of anxiety and inspiration with respect to the value and validity of AI in society.

When promises meet demands for translation, evidence and sustainability: the Balkanisation of personalised medicine

Giovanni De Grandis, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology

Personalised medicine arguably emerged as hyped-up promissory science. These promises are now confronting the imperatives of translation, evidence-base and cost containment so prominent in healthcare, resulting in alternative and competing versions of personalised medicine and its promises.

Who is the farmer in promises about biotechnology for development?

Koen Beumer, Utrecht University; Sjaak Swart, Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen

This paper discusses issues of credibility in promises about biotechnology for development. In particular, we investigate how subjects of development are constructed in diverging promises about biotechnology’s impact on development.

Agroecological transitions: contestations of the regime of techno-scientific promises?

Sarah Lumbroso, INRA- Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique; Jessica Thomas, INRA- Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

We show how transitions towards sustainable agro-food systems imply the building of various promises, through articulations with the dominant regime of techno-scientific promises (hybridization, confrontation, integration), opening up or closing down opportunities for transformative change.

Reverse Boundary Work, Researcher Responsibility, and the Promise of Neural Technologies

Matthew Sample, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal

The features of recent technoscience (e.g. interdisciplinarity) are often oriented towards increased responsiveness to the public, but some researchers in neural engineering cite these very features in order to distance themselves from promises of benefit.

How norms and standards in biotherapy play promising game?

Vincent Deplaigne, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

The regime of techno-scientific promises is probably one of the most prominent in biotherapy technologies especially through genomic knowledge. We study how standards and norms shape part of biomedical science articulated on the paradigm of predictive medicine.

Framing the bioeconomy: imaginaries of a transnational political project

Barbara Ribeiro, University of Nottingham; Robert Smith, King's College London; Kate Millar, University of Nottingham

We explore European National Bioeconomy Strategies by investigating how they are being framed, the actors that participate in their design and implementation and the potential tensions that exist when they are viewed in light of a holistic vision for the bioeconomy.


Sport, Technoscience, Medicine and Performance

Alex Faulkner, University of Sussex; Jennifer Hardes, Canterbury Christ Church University; Catherine Coveney, University of Sussex

1st September 2016, 09:00


Global and personal sport is ever more constituted through sciences, technologies and biologies. The track explores medicine, therapy, performance, equipment and more. Issues includie regulation, public spectacle, enhancement, therapeutic culture, fairness, welfare, embodiment.

Knowledge Contested and Knowledge Absent: NFL Concussion Data and Legal Outcomes

Jennifer Croissant, University of Arizona

A recent class action settlement against the U.S. National Football League both discloses and withholds information about head injuries in "American" football. Agnotology (the study of ignorance) compares the production of knowledge/non-knowledge to other cases of producing uncertainty and doubt.

Duelling, Prize Fighting, and Boxing: The Role of Medicine and Technology in a Shifting Legal Terrain

Jennifer Hardes, Canterbury Christ Church University

This paper examines the relation between law, medicine and technology in the construction of boxing as a legitimate legal practice in the 19th Century. This examination is framed in the wider social, political and economic context with reference to biopolitics (Agamben, 1998; Foucault, 1990, 2007)

Integrating Science and Technology into Sports: A Case Study of Sports Innovations in Belgium

Michiel Van Oudheusden, KU Leuven

This paper explores how science and technology (S&T) are enrolled into sports. Three field studies in Belgium are presented to illuminate how S&T-driven sports innovations raise ethical, legal, and social concerns about sports governance, athlete welfare, and the value of intuition in training.

Biomedicalisation and magic: regenerative therapies, evidence practices and faith healers in elite sport

Alex Faulkner, University of Sussex; Catherine Coveney, University of Sussex; Jonathan Gabe, Royal Holloway, University of London; Mike McNamee, Swansea University

Elite sport bio-therapy practices are analysed in three primary aspects: commercialisation/corporatisation, evidence based medicine (EBM), and local medical cultures and beliefs. Ethical implications are drawn out.

The Tour de Technoscience: Lance Armstrong and the Sociology of the Techno-Athlete

Samuel Haraway, University of California, Davis

I argue that contemporary sport is best explained as "trials of strength" (Latour 1988) anchored in assemblages of laboratories, materials, bodies, knowledge, institutions and sponsorships. This conception of "techno-sport" raises additional questions concerning subjectivity, agency, and doping.

The good ride: performing valuing practices in riding bike

Robin Rae, University of Vienna

What is a good ride? When bike riding turns into a valuing practice, more than the object is valued and more than a body needed to do so. What is valued, I argue, are the effects of technological change on relations of human-technology-environment.

Technologies of fitness: CrossFit, body politics and embodied wellbeing.

Ian Wellard, Canterbury Christ Church University

The fitness industry creates new forms of knowledge about the body influenced by science, health, consumer markets and social constructions of the fit body. Using Foucauldian theory and the example of CrossFit, an exploration of the technologies of fitness operating upon the individual is offered

Cricket, Technology and the Politics of Speed

Vidya Subramanian, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

The game of cricket has been transformed from being a sport to becoming a platform, built on a substrate of technologies such as the television and ICTs. This paper examines critically the intricacies of the influence of technology in cricket and the politics of speed that it appears to engender.

Qualculation, Non-Qualculation and DAPS or How big-data surprisingly generated scared spaces in Professional Basketball

Adir Wanono, Bar-Ilan University

My paper calls attention to the surprisingly simultaneous growth in both calculative thinking and non-calculative behaviors in basketball and argues that the employment of big-data in the NBA and the emergence of scared spaces didn’t materialize by coincidence but curiously one constituted the other.


Emerging biotechnologies in psychiatry and clinical psychology

Torsten Heinemann, Universität Hamburg; Jonas Rueppel, Goethe-University Frankfurt

3rd September 2016, 11:00


This track explores the use of biotechnologies in psychiatry or clinical psychology and analyses the social, ethical, political and legal dimensions. It aims at mapping out the practices and effects of the biologization, geneticization and the proclaimed personalization of psychiatry.

From Pharmacogenetics to Post-Genomic Revolution? Competing Narratives of Personalized Psychiatry

Jonas Rueppel, Goethe-University Frankfurt

In recent years, personalized psychiatry has become an influential vision that increasingly guides psychiatric research and practice. Based on a document analysis, I will reconstruct the competing narratives on this notion and how the foundations of psychiatry are renegotiated.

From adaptation to neural regeneration: Neuroscientific views of depression beyond the serotonin hypothesis

Ilpo Helén, University of Eastern Finland

I discuss two models of neurobiology of depression from a Canguilhemian perspective: first, a stress response model of depression by Peter Whybrow, focused on adaptation of the brain; second, Eero Castrén's interpretation of antidepressant effects, emphasizing neural regeneration and plasticity.

Subjective technologies and biosubjectivities: The entanglement of questionnaires and molecular genetics in the ontology of autism

Gregory Hollin, University of Leeds

Here I discuss a shift in understandings of autism and argue that autism is providing a language through which to understand all humans rather than demarcate a clinical population. I argue that this shift can be understood as a response to the reliance upon both mundane and emerging technologies.

The neuroscience of psychopathy between medicalization and criminalization

Torsten Heinemann, Universität Hamburg

In this paper, I analyze neuroscientific investigations in psychopathy and show that there are two distinct research approaches that either frame psychopathy as a mental disorder or a predictor or criminal behavior.

Inconsistencies and multiple understandings: An analysis of culture-related aspects in DSM-5

Anna Bredstrom, Linköping University

This paper examines how culture is conceptualized and linked to psychopathology in DSM-5.


Engaged STS for inclusive development: exploring concepts, practices, networks, and policies towards inclusive and sustainable futures

Hernan Thomas, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes; Gabriela Bortz, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes

2nd September 2016, 16:00


This session aims to problematise knowledge and technology production alternatives towards inclusive and sustainable development, building solutions for community development and to the extended deficit of access to basic goods, through empirical analysis, theoretical reflection, and policy debate.

Exploring knowledge sustainability: strategies of rural grassroot organizations as change agents

Alejandro Balanzo, University of Twente

Rural grassroots organisations strive to steer local and sectorial realms towards sustainability. I discuss their strategies, addressing knowledge flows. Knowledge sustainability appears a plausible way to address overlapping fields and linkages of practice, boundaries and institutions.

Grassroots innovation in Russian context: prospects and implications

Olga Ustyuzhantseva, Tomsk State National Research University

The paper considers Russian grassroots innovations within this multi-factoral context defining its specifics, environment and place in NIS. It examines innovation policy, degree of its inclusiveness and the extent to which needs of the grassroots people are targeted and/or supported in this policy

How do actors construct their own tools?

Flore Guiffault, School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences

This presentation aims to define and understand the mechanisms actors use to construct their own geotools in order to build a risk management system in Haiti.

Opening the 'black box' of participation in technologies for inclusive development: analyzing user involvement, techno-cognitive dynamics and decision making processes

Gabriela Bortz, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes; Hernan Thomas, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes

This paper aims to open the ‘black box’ of participation in the construction of technologies and policies for inclusive development. It presents conceptual tools for understanding participatory dynamics and promoting heterogeneous actor involvement in techno-cognitive management and decision making.

Atoms for Development: Are nanotechnologies capable of generating dynamics of social inclusion?

Tomás Carrozza, National University of Mar del Plata

This paper tries to analyze the scope and capabilities of the nanotechnologies for generating dynamics of social inclusion in Argentina.

New Ways to Measure Scientific Research Impact As a Push Towards Social Innovation and Social Development. an Analysis of Argentina's Projects for Technological and Social Development.

Mauro Alonso, Universidad de Buenos Aires

This paper’s main goal is to present an innovative tool of scientific research policy in Argentina: the “Projects for Technological and Social Development” (2012).

Perceptions of stakeholders about Brazil's National STI conference

Milena Serafim, University of Campinas - UNICAMP

This paper seeks to identify, based on a multicriterial survey, the perceptions of stakeholders about the organizational-procedural and the participatory decision-making processes on Brazil's national STI conference.

Engineering By Other Means: How the marginalized knowledges of low-income engineers contribute to sustainable community development

Juan Lucena, Colorado School of Mines; Jessica Smith, Colorado School of Mines

This paper draws on ethnographic research with low income students to explore the relevance for engineering for community development of students’ funds of knowledge or the knowledge and skills that working class families possess to survive and make a living in the midst of economic dislocations

The citizen participation in the case of GMO in Brazil.

María Luísa Nozawa Ribeiro, Universidade Federal de São Carlos

This paper aims to present and discuss the theories of public participation in order to understand the context of the public GMO (Genetic Modified Organisms) policies in Brazil, highlighting the characteristics of its configuration and the dialog with the experts.

Disruptive technologies and sustainable community development: A communicative ecologies perspective

Amalia Sabiescu, RMIT Europe; Jo Tacchi, RMIT University

This paper offers a theoretical analysis of the role of disruptive technologies in sustainable community development, from a communicative ecologies perspective. It contributes conceptual and design insights for the design and evaluation of community development interventions.

Ethical dilemmas in wind-farm planning. On scale, norms and value-sets.

Katinka Johansen, DTU- Technical University of Denmark

With the case of wind-farm planning in Denmark this research strives to explore existing ethical dilemmas played out in the policy field of friction between state ambitions for sustainability and local life-words.


Energy Experiments

Manuel Tironi, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Tomás Ariztía, Universidad Diego Portales - Chile

3rd September 2016, 11:00


From off-grid ecovillages to citizen monitoring of energy-related pollution, this panel explores energy experiments as projects in which energy is rendered both as an excitable material and as a site for political contestation.

The Invisible Animateur: tracing the material and political liveliness of wind in Scotland

Annabel Pinker, The James Hutton Institute

This paper attends to two emergent modalities of energy ‘decentralisation’ in Scotland. It considers the affective, sensory, and material dimensions of these variously scaled renewable energy schemes, the new political spaces they hint at, and the new ways of inhabiting local landscapes that they invite.

Genealogy of an 'indigenous wind farm' in the region of Chiloe - Chile.

Jorgelina Sannazzaro, Alberto Hurtado University

This paper will build a genealogy of the creation of a wind farm in an indigenous community in Chiloé Island in Chile. Based on the contributions of STS literature but with the objective of enhancing the comprehension of the classic controversial analysis by introduction of the experiment concept.

Configuring electricity moralities - from a solar mini-grid pilot in Bangladesh

Hanne Cecilie Geirbo, University of Oslo

Scholars have often attended to the morality of utility infrastructures as strategies of governance or as designers’ inscriptions and users’ description. This study discusses how moralities were configured ad-hoc by hacking as well as rhetorical, bureaucratic, and technical means in a solar pilot project.

Energy experiments in off-grid regions - practitioners role and social impacts

Carmen Dienst, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy; Willington Ortiz; Marie-Christine Gröne, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy; Julia Terrapon-Pfaff

Non-technical aspects are relevant for the success of energy projects in off-grid regions. Practitioners are crucial role to trigger and accompany transformative processes of these energy experiments. Insights from a post-evaluation of 30 projects and analysis of practitioners networks are presented.

Designing a new electricity consumer

Trine Pallesen, Copenhagen Business School; Rasmus Jenle

The paper reports on a smart grid experiment for the making of a new retail electricity market integrating fluctuating electricity generation into electricity systems. An outline of design challenges faced by the market engineers when dealing with different and lacking conceptions of consumers is provided.

Designing energy experiments: scripting ambiguity and curiosity in a research device

Liliana Ovalle, Goldsmiths University of London

This paper reflects on the design of the ‘Energy Babble’, a research device that broadcasts internet-sourced content to UK energy communities. Developing Akrich’s notion of ‘script’, the paper explores how ambiguity was materialised to prompt ludic engagement around energy-demand reduction.

Energy biographies: Everyday life and socio-technical change in energy systems

Karen Henwood, Cardiff University; Christopher Groves, Cardiff University; Fiona Shirani, Cardiff University

In the wake of COP21, it is important to take stock of research-led understandings of why people use energy in the ways that they do, and to consider the contribution of methodologically innovative energy demand projects (such as the Energy Biographies study) as energy experiments.

Brixton Energy: The transformational context of urban community energy projects

Irene Hakansson, King's College London; Bruno Turnheim, King's College London

We critically examine the particular context (e.g. political arrangements, geographical location) that has shaped the development of the UK’s first inner-city community energy project – a project which has been praised for its social equity ambitions and been viewed as successful social innovation.

Experimenting for flexible and sustainable electricity consumption in a cooperative.

Nick Verkade, Eindhoven University of Technology

A renewable energy community case study, in which social practice theory is applied to consider emerging energy practices which depict a vision of energy citizenship. Through intermediation of ICT, new and conflicting practices and meanings are introduced into domestic energy management.

Exploring the Dutch community energy sector's socio-technical innovation potential

Esther van der Waal, University of Groningen; Henny van der Windt, University of Groningen

Community-owned renewable energy (CORE) seems to be a field in which social and technological innovation coincide. Explored is the socio-technical innovation potential of Dutch CORE in the light of recently appearing cooperations between developers of renewable technologies and community groups.

Energy and Community from Remote Locations

Gloria Baigorrotegui, Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Taking the example of a collective energy experience in southern Chilean Patagonia, we propose to enrich the typology of renewable energy communities to include the geographical and diverse traits of their conformation.


New frontiers in social gerontechnology - Exploring Challenges at the Intersection of STS and Ageing Studies

Alexander Peine, Utrecht University; Louis Neven, Avans University of Applied Sciences

2nd September 2016, 11:00


This track brings together contributions at the intersection of STS, social gerontology and gerontechnology to arrive at empirically-grounded theoretical insights about the changing entanglement of later life with technoscientific objects.

Images of ageing in architectural design for older people

Christina Buse, University of York; Sarah Nettleton, University of York; Daryl Martin, University of York; Julia Twigg, University of Kent

We explore how architects imagine the ageing body when designing UK care homes and the extent to which they engage with older users, based on qualitative data. Architects drew on contrasting images of ageing, the design implementation of which was constrained by the demands of multiple actors.

Constructing the older end-user - Experiences from three years of working in AAL-projects

Anna Wanka, University of Vienna; Vera Gallistl, Department of Sociology

This paper examines how different logics, arising from funding requirements in the composition of research consortia (business and academic, technology and social sciences, etc.), work in creating images of ageing and practices of technology use in research and development of AAL projects.

Older people caught between an autonomous life and autonomous technology?

Carolin Kollewe, Heidelberg University

The paper will show how older people using telecare devices grapple with images of autonomous older people which are present in current political discourses and/or how they try to resist their use. The devices will also be discussed as a part of “relational autonomy”.

Deconstructing ageing stereotypes through Participatory Design: a Design Anthropology perspective.

Linda Tonolli, University of Trento; Vincenzo D'Andrea; Francesco Ceschel, University of Trento; Antonella De Angeli, University of Trento

This contribution presents a case study in which Participatory Design is combined with Design Anthropology in order to unearth and deconstruct ageing stereotypes, involving seniors as co-creators, through the making of a multimedia project.

Rejuvenating design - Bikes, Batteries, and older adopters in the diffusion of e-biking

Alexander Peine, Utrecht University; Louis Neven, Avans University of Applied Sciences; Vivette Van Cooten, Avans University of Applied Science

We critically investigate the link between age, ineptness and innovation diffusion with a case study of eBikes in the Netherlands. Our research highlights the situated and constructed nature of adopter categories and challenges age-based assumptions about technology use by younger and older persons.

"The weight of the record": Japanese nurses and designed patients

Tom Hope, Tokyo Tech; Kentaro Watanabe, AIST; Kosuke Yamada, Saga University Hospital

This paper explores implications for older patients of the convergence in Japan of integrated or ‘total’ healthcare with the digiization of medical and health data, by examining a co-research project with nurses to design improved electronic medical records and the service of providing ‘care’.

The production of risky domestic spaces and vulnerable elderly users for telecare provision. The case of social alarms in Spain.

Juan C. Aceros, Universidad Industrial de Santander; Miquel Domènech, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Telecare is transforming later life. From an STS perspective, we examine how social alarms are producing a new understanding and experience of home as a place to “age well”.

Elderly care/caring by means of everyday ICTs in Indian transnational families

Tanja Ahlin, University of Amsterdam

This presentation explores how informal elderly care is provided in Indian transnational families by using generic, everyday information and communication technologies (ICTs), and how the elderly are actively involved in co-constructing caring practices at a distance.

Equal Facilitation of Clients' and Organizations' Needs? Enacting Gerontechnological Effects

Jenny M. Bergschöld, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology

The paper explores a gerontechnological care-coordinating device. It draws on ethnographical accounts of user-technology practices before, during and after 105 service interactions in home care services. It offers suggestions for studying impacts of organizational gerontechnologies in clients’ lives

Past entanglements of the old age home

Anders Møller, University of Copenhagen

This paper discusses how old age and technology are entangled also in a historical study. Using material on old age homes in Denmark in the period from 1891-1974, I analyze the old age home as a compound technology, which installs and materialize different and historical specific old ages.

Life cycle robust neighbourhoods as ageing-in-place technologies

Susan van Hees, Tilburg University; Dirk Ruwaard, CAPRI- School for Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University; Maria Jansen, Maastricht University / Public Health Service; Klasien Horstman, Maastricht University

Based on an ethnographic study, including photovoice, we analyse innovations in neighbourhoods to stimulate ageing-in-place. As policymakers, directors, professionals and older people stress different qualities of a life cycle robust place, ageing technologies should attune to these differences.

Visual Representations of Digital Connectivity in Everyday Life

Wendy Martin, Brunel University London; Katy Pilcher, Aston University

This paper makes visible how people build, maintain and experience their virtual and digital connections, and the ways in which digital devices and information technologies are being incorporated into (and resisted) within daily life.

Senior_a Cyborg. Doing health by using digital home-based technologies in troubled years.

Monika Urban, University of Bremen

Current rationalities of health and age motivate elderly to a vital usage of home-based digital technologies for treatment, diagnosis and surveillance. An empirical pilot study examines the doing of health and age, the pre-scripted ageism and the contributions to social inequalities.

Social Media in later life and social isolation

Roser Beneito-Montagut, Cardiff University; Arantza Begueria, Catalan Institute of Anthropology; Nizaiá Cassián Yde, Open University of Catalonia

This paper focuses on the role of emotions and on understanding to what extent and how people use SM in later life. An ethnographic study of SM usage serves as the basis for an in-depth analysis of social and emotional conduct in everyday life.

New lessons from old models: Reflecting on ethnographic fieldwork with 'gerontechnology' in a dementia care trial when imagining the technological future

Matthew Lariviere, University of Sheffield; Fiona Poland, University of East Anglia; Chris Fox, UEA

We draw on ethnographic work with nine households taking part in ATTILA to examine in what ways and to what extent currently prescribed assistive technologies 'assist 'people with dementia or their unpaid carers with everyday life.

The Social alarm. Established telecare for older people?

Randi Stokke, NTNU in Gjøvik

Telecare is advocated as a promising solution to meet the increased pressure on community care services. In this paper, I argue that the concepts of scrips and domestication can be valuable ways of analysing the Social alarm in use.

Tangible Memories: Co-designing proxy objects for storytelling in care homes

Helen Manchester, University of Bristol

This paper explores the co-design of tangible user interfaces to enable storytelling with older adults. We explore the absences and presences that the older adults worked with, across space/time and human/non human elements, in making sense of their lives lived in embodied and material ways.

Towards Socio-Gerontechnology: modelling the theoretical intersection of STS and gerontology

Alexander Peine, Utrecht University; Louis Neven, Avans University of Applied Sciences

This paper investigates the theoretical gains which can be made by combining conceptual and theoretical insights from Science and Techology Studies and social gerontology. It provides a model that allows a deeper and theoretically more refined understanding of the ageing-technology nexus.


Feminist Technoscience Studies in Unexpected Places: (Intra)Activism and Social Justice

Celia Roberts, Lancaster University; Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University; Ericka Johnson, Linköping University; Karen Throsby, University of Leeds

2nd September 2016, 14:00


This track highlights the myriad ways in which FTS methods, theories, and concerns articulate the places and practices through which science and technology are performed, enact in/justice and can be transformative.

Mitochondrial Disease Patient Activism: Feminist Technoscience Governance Research in Places of Rarity

Jacquelyne Luce, Mount Holyoke College

Drawing on fieldwork in Germany and the transnational European sphere, this paper explores narratives of mitochondrial disease patient activism, everyday rare disease patient engagements with technoscience, and doing feminist technoscience governance studies in unexpected places.

Gender, experimentation and bioethics: medical controversies in India

Salla Sariola, University of Helsinki; Deapica Ravindran, Center for Studies in Ethics and Rights, Mumbai

Framed in New Materialism, this paper analysis the intra-play of two HPV related medical controversies; research subjects; bodies; HPV viruses, vaccine and cervical cancer; and research regulation in India.

Troubling Time/s and Ecologies of Nothingness: Im/Possibilities of Living and Dying in the Void

Karen Barad, UCSC

Diffractively reads insights from quantum theory and first-hand account of Nagasaki bombing through one another, bringing to the fore a troubling of scalar distinctions between the world of subatomic particles and that of colonialism, war, nuclear physics research, and environmental destruction.

Techno-ecologies of Solar Fields: Entangling landscape, bodies and ethico-politics

Dagmar Lorenz-Meyer, Charles University

Drawing on feminist STS and new materialism, this paper develops the frame of techno-ecology and uses ethnography and Roma photography to examine how different materialities affect to another in post-military places, and embody worldings and ethico-politics that are at odds with citizen science.

What if? What then? What now? Diffracting broken hearts

Stine Willum Adrian, Aalborg University

By use of auto-ethnography this presentation inquire into socio-technical imaginations of technologies to end or save lives with congenital heart defects. This methodology is both a diffractive reading, and a call for a situated feminist ethics of reproductive technologies of broken hearts.

Ethico-political Effects of an Accidental Bio-art

Choon Key Chekar, University of Leeds; Ruth Holliday, University of Leeds

A Seoul cosmetic surgery created an unusual artwork for publicity purposes. This paper traces the controversial re-use of patients’ jaw bones in different stages of their life cycle, and asks if this work provoked ethico-political reactions to viewers about ethics of care.

Enacting queer political fantasies of synchrony

Nina Wakeford, Goldsmiths, University of London

A contribution to Feminist STS in which synchrony is addressed through tales of menstrual effects, the making of fake blood, and the act of singing.

Feminist Technoscience at the Urinal

David Andrew Griffiths, University of Surrey

An analysis of the urinal as a technoscientific object, with reference to historical and contemporary activism - particularly exploring the role of urinating standing up in controversial intersex surgeries.

Material Intimacies: the syringe, science and gender

Nicole Vitellone, University of Liverpool

Can gender and the syringe be productively integrated into social research? Addressing the empirical problem of risk in intimate injecting relationships as a material feminist concern, this paper describes the theoretical and methodological challenges the syringe poses to thought, science and policy.

Activism #Fail? Considering deafness in organisational processes of video meeting technology procurement at Swedish television.

Rebekah Cupitt, Birkbeck, University of London

Activism in the field takes many forms and most researchers are prepared to care and become engaged. What happens if their engagement is in ways that don't count? This is an account of such an engagement at Swedish television's editorial for programming in sign language.

When Care 'Matters:' The Use of Social Media in Gezi Movement

Oznur Karakas, Open University of Catalunia

The presentation discusses the technological mediation in Gezi Movement through situated observations within the field and the discourse analysis of in-depth interviews with the activists so as to propose an ‘embodied’ account on how a general politics of care also governed the use of digital media.

Towards a feminist reading of the activist drone

Marcela Suarez, Freie Universität Berlin

This article argues that a feminist reading of the activist drone is necessary to make visible the human and non-human agencies, the power relations that are mobilized, and the configuration of counter-realities.

Domestic Disturbances: Big Data, Activist Intelligence, and #blacklivesmatter

Beth Coleman, University of Waterloo

This paper looks at activist engagement of Big Data (social, locative, etc.) toward the making visible of racist bias in recent events in the lives of black Americans that have developed into the collective activist network of #blacklivesmatter.

Solving the Gender Digital Divide through Social Theatre: Where Is Technology's Agency?

Adriana Gil-Juárez, Universitat Rovira i Virgili; Joel Feliu, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

As gender is reproduced, negotiated or resisted in relation to technology we present a Social Theatre play where performing femininity appears as somehow incompatible with technical expertise in computing and we discuss whether the piece adequately represents the different tangled agencies involved

Feminist interventions and everyday struggles for the protection of Forest Sámi cultures against "environmental friendly" power production and other colonial and racist technoaggressions

May-Britt Öhman, Uppsala University; Petri Storlöpare

Highlights the everyday struggles of Henrik Andersson, a young Forest Sámi reindeer herder for Sámi culture against ongoing industrial exploitations and the threat of wind power and is also a Feminist/Indigenous technoscience challenge of colonial Swedish politics where Sámi voices are excluded.

Refiguring childbirth: the logic of maternity care and the logic of women's reproductive choice in Taiwan

Li-Wen Shih, Taipei Medical University

This paper aims to explore Taiwanese maternity care practice. It will focus on Taiwanese women’s experience of childbirth in hospital, and how these experiences affect women’s reproductive choices.

Rethinking the Materiality of Hormone Treatment Risks: A Trans/Feminist Approach

Sari Irni, University of Turku

This paper shows how trans persons account for hormone treatment effects and risks and problematize the conventional medical understanding of risks as pertaining to chemical effects within bodies.

Obesity surgery, promissory technologies and technoscientific subjectivities

Karen Throsby, University of Leeds

The dominant representations of obesity surgery mean that patients are not easily legible as technoscientific subjects. This paper focuses on the everyday experiences of patients, showing how post-surgical subjectivities are constructed and the technologies are enacted and transformed.

Yearning for Justice: The Politics of the Social in Technoscience

Coleen Carrigan, California Polytechnic State University

This ethnography connects social justice aspirations, epistemic biases and labor segregation in technoscience to suggest that the yearning of underrepresented knowledge producers to reproduce collective well-being may inspire new possibilities for the creation and applications of technology.

Casting a Feminist Eye on Public Infrastructure

Sarah Fox, University of Washington

Drawing on feminist histories of activism in the Pacific Northwest and fieldwork in the Seattle Park Districts, we examine the infrastructure of public restroom maintenance and the distribution of hygiene resources.

Biosensors: experience of self and world from 19th Century travel writing to contemporary fitness tracking

Kate O'Riordan, University of Sussex

Contemporary biosensors give rise to networked assemblages: the paper draws on 19th century women’s letters and diaries to situate them in relation to processes of mediation over time, and trace the connections and disconnects between these historical and contemporary forms of mediation.

Not Even There: Understanding early Automation Scares through FTS approaches

Caroline Bassett, University of Sussex

The obliteration of feminist perspectives in early debates on cybernation/ automation render them unlikely sites of feminist analysis. But using FTS methodologies tension around technological transition is related to human divisions - and their supposed surpassing through the advent of automation.

Earth Activist Training as feminist, multicultural, antiracist technoscience project

Joan Haran, Cardiff University

Since 2001, Starhawk, an ecofeminist activist has been teaching Earth Activist Training courses combining permaculture design with a focus on activism and spirituality. How might we understand Earth Activist Training as a “feminist, multicultural, antiracist, technoscience project” (Haraway 1994: 61).

Egg freezing: new technological reproductive 'choices' and corporate 'freedoms'

Maureen McNeil, Lancaster University

This paper will explore the emergence of new technological choices being offered to women in the form of access to egg freezing for ‘social’ reasons. It will also consider the significance of corporate sponsorship (Apple and Facebook, 2014) of this technological reproductive choice and pathway.

Once more with feeling; emotion, agential realism and affective choreography in transformative STS research

Ardath Whynacht, Mount Allison University

Drawing from diffractive research/creation practice, this poem/paper explores emotion as a territory in which agential cuts (Barad, 2007) take place in collaborative and community-based STS research that seeks to transform the entanglements of vulnerable people with 'expert' knowledge systems.

Feminist technoscience perspectives on New Big Science

Kerstin Sandell, Lund University

This paper approaches New Big Science from a feminist technoscience perspective. My focus is designing instruments for experimentation. I will engage in the stumbling block of representation, in how to pose questions using feminist theory of science and show how the desire of justice gets derailed.

Gender politics and synthetic biology: Practice, practitioners and potential

Pablo Schyfter, The University of Edinburgh

Synthetic biology remains an unsettled field without clear boundaries or typical practitioners. I examine the building of identities in synthetic biology: identities based on disciplines with consequential differences in gender politics. I study the gendered making of ‘the synthetic biologist.’

Every day I'm hustlin': On being a Feminist STS scholar

Anna-Lena Berscheid, University of Paderborn

This paper seeks to show, analyze and reflect my several roles as Feminist STS scholar doing research and intervening in a male-dominated technoscientific environment. My aim is to exchange with engaged colleagues on how to handle those roles in my every day and scientific work.

A project-based learning experiment in feminist pedagogy

Peter Taylor, University of Massachusetts Boston

This presentation provides a compressed experience of project-based learning (PBL) as implemented in a course on gender, race, and science, co-taught four times for the Boston-area Graduate Consortium on Women’s Studies.

More than one way to solder a circuit: The politics of skill-sharing

Ellen Foster, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

There is more than one way to solder a circuit, and in turn to teach technological engagements. this presentation invokes critical pedagogy, Haraway’s “situated knowledges” (1991), and Harding’s “standpoint epistemologies” (1993) to rethink maker skill-sharing endeavors.


Smart [Bits and Atoms] Health Technologies and their Social Worlds

Piera Morlacchi, University of Sussex

1st September 2016, 14:00


The aim of this track is to stimulate critical conversations about the social worlds of smart health technologies that are currently transforming health and care by creating new configurations of, for example, bodies, data and devices.

The evolution of bionic bodies, devices and their social worlds

Piera Morlacchi, University of Sussex

This paper examines the evolution of key embodiments and representations of the ‘bionic man’ and its body parts to discuss the dynamics of the social worlds and the political economy of medical devices.

Everyday Cyborg: Ambiguous Embodiment and the Triad of I?

Gill Haddow, University of Edinburgh

For some, 'everyday cyborgs,' living with an implantable cardiac device requires acclimatisation to the process of cyborgisation. Partly this is due to the ambiguous nature of embodiment whereby a self is not just a body; but a body has an identity, integrity and image which is in flux.

Everyday Cyborgs & the Law: Transgressing Boundaries & Challenging Dichotomies

Muireann Quigley, Newcastle University

Everyday cyborg gives us a way of understanding the different modes in which implanted devices and complex prostheses become incorporated into (the lives of) persons. This paper examines how they transgress and challenge conceptual, ethical, and legal boundaries and dichotomies.

Medical Wearables and Transformational Data: Experiences from an Artificial Pancreas Study

Conor Farrington, University of Cambridge

This paper foregrounds the specific kinds of data generated by the artificial pancreas, a set of interlinked, body-mounted devices for users with Type 1 diabetes, and explores their implications for epistemological and metaphysical transformations on the part of artificial pancreas users.

Sensing health and illness in the age of smart health technologies

Sarah Maslen, University of Canberra

Based on semi-structured interviews, this paper critically examines the use of senses in diagnostic work, and problematizes new modes of healthcare such as telemedicine that compromise sensory judgments.

3D Bioprint Me: reflections on growing your own in the lab

Niki Vermeulen, University of Edinburgh

This paper examines the biological variant of the recent trend towards 3D printing, small scale manufacturing of computer-designed objects from organic material. Looking at the architecture of this new field, its fabric and future, I show how bioprinting matters from a social scientist perspective.


Everyday analytics: The politics and practices of self-monitoring

Kate Weiner, University of Sheffield; Catherine Will, University of Sussex; Minna Ruckenstein, University of Helsinki; Christopher Till, Leeds Beckett University; Flis Henwood, University of Brighton

1st September 2016, 09:00


Self-monitoring is entering many spheres of everyday life. The democratisation of tracking brings both new possibilities and new legal, institutional and commercial pressures. The track will explore the practices, meanings, identities and collectivities constituted through self-monitoring.

QS & Personal Genomics in France, Austria, Finland & US: A Cross-Country Comparative Discussion

Judith Gregory, University of California-Irvine; Bastian Greshake, openSNP; Minna Ruckenstein, University of Helsinki; Eric Dagiral, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, CERLIS

We consider QS and Personal Genomics meaning-making and discourses in France, Austria, Finland and US.

Datafied life and contradictory evidence

Mika Pantzar, University of Helsinki

Human heart beats not only as part of the nervous system, but also as part of social life. Based on our study Social rhythm of the heart, focusing on 35 individuals’ weekly stress profiles, my presentation explores the discrepancies between physiological stress data and subjective experiences

The Glucometer: Figures don't lie, but women figure

Maki Iwase, University of Toronto

The glucometer is a hand-held device for monitoring blood glucose levels of patients outside the diabetes clinic. Through everyday analytics of glycemic outputs, women diagnosed with gestational diabetes figure out subversive strategies to avert the biomedical gaze and resist further medicalization.

The 'Sobjective' Self: A Paradoxical Multiplicity

Farzana Dudhwala, Oxford University

This is a paper about 'sobjectivity'. It is about the messy entanglement between the subjectivity and objectivity of the self in the context of self-quantification. Here, the self is at once both the subject that is doing the self-quantifying and the object of that quantification. How to make sense of this?

Health self-monitoring in Brazil: laboratories, test results and the healthcare system

Elena Calvo-Gonzalez, Federal University of Bahia

This paper discusses the impact that the long-established practice in Brazil of patients being responsible for collecting and storing medical tests results has on general health self-monitoring, analysing also the ways in which it affects patients’ general dealing with biomedicine

Data Sense: People's Engagements with Their Personal Digital Data

Deborah Lupton, University of Canberra

In this presentation, I discuss some of my current work addressing personal digital data ontologies and practices. I draw on some theoretical perspectives that I am developing and illustrate these with a case study of a current research project looking at the digital self-tracking of cycling.

Self-monitoring as work: office workers use of a self-monitoring device to critique their workplace culture

Amie Weedon, Loughborough University; Paula Saukko, Loughborough University

Office workers are being encouraged to reduce their sitting time, as sedentary behaviour has emerged as a new health risk factor (NHS, 2014). This study sought to reduce the sitting time of office workers with a self-monitoring tool worn around the waist.

From Quantified to Curious Self: Questioning Underlying Assumptions of Activity Tracking

Nanna Gorm, IT University of Copenhagen

Assumptions of activity tracking are shaped by research and focus on the Quantified Self movement. This paper suggests the notion of the ‘Curious Self’ as a better fitting concept for everyday uses of activity tracking, building on a longitudinal, qualitative study of 25 activity-tracking users.

Healthier, fitter, happier, thinner or what? The emergence and meaning of values, quantities, qualities and norms in self-tracking practices

Eryk Noji, University of Hagen; Karolin Eva Kappler, FernUniversität in Hagen

Questioning the concept of self-optimization as limited and misleading, we explore the valuing of optimization in everyday calculations both from an empirical and theoretical perspective.

Doing calories: exploring (self-)tracking of calories

Gabija Didžiokaitė, Loughborough University; Paula Saukko, Loughborough University; Christian Greiffenhagen, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Self-tracking can be seen as an ‘objective’ way to learn about your health and body. This paper, based on 31 semi-structured interviews with MyFitnessPal users, shows the messiness of number making in self-tracking by exploring the practicalities in (self-)tracking of calories.

Caring by numbers: why are companies making us healthy?

Christopher Till, Leeds Beckett University

The interest which companies are taking in health and wellness is creating a new philanthrocapitalism. Self-tracking devices and corporate wellness programmes using them help to conflate personal and corporate health with the means to achieve both seen as being predicated on the same principles.

Everyday analytics and the politics of the behavioral

Minna Ruckenstein, University of Helsinki

This paper outlines politics of life promoted by self-tracking practices and the analysis of datafied patterns of everyday life.

Quantified health; merging clinics and consumer markets

Marjolijn Heerings; Ingrid Geesink, Council for Health and Society

Self-monitoring for health and disease leads to increased intertwining of the clinic and consumer market, creating governance issues and privacy concerns in exchange of health data.

Illness, Disease, and Sickness: What do we track and for whom?

Margaret Machniak Sommervold, University of Oslo

Representing different but interlinked ontologies, the phenomena of disease, illness, and sickness will inform the analysis of young patients’ adoption and rejection of self-tracking m-Health applications and the implications for the emerging fields of patient-centeredness and patient empowerment.

Smart jewellery: measuring the unknown

Martin Berg, Halmstad University

This paper explores the design of smart jewellery devices (the Moodmetric and the ŌURA). Engaging with various forms of empirical data as well as the field of software studies, this paper provide a basis for design oriented studies of self-tracking.

The waning of the self in self-tracking

Natasha Schull, New York University

As self-tracking practices move out of the Quantified Self community into everyday life, designers of mass-market self-tracking products increasingly abandon the ethos of intensive self-attention found QS. What becomes of the self with the automation of self-monitoring tools?

Becoming Your Own Device: Promoting self-tracking challenges in the workplace

Steven Richardson, Queen's University; Debra Mackinnon, Queen's University

Although recognized as ‘self-tracking,’ the practice significantly engages and overlaps with numerous social processes. This presentation explores some of these features as wearables, self-tracking and everyday analytics become more commonplace in Canadian workplaces.

"We're Not Interested in Robots": Self-Monitoring and Scientific Research

Tom Clarke, University of Leeds

Self-monitoring practices are increasingly used to record fitness activity. I consider the role self-monitoring plays in the work of exercise scientists, highlighting the multiple ways in which these practices are implicated in the work and leisure practices of the scientists themselves.

"The self as a laboratory"

Dorthe Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark; Matthias Bode, University of Southern Denmark

This paper focuses on the concept of optimization in the area of human life by analysing practices of self-tracking. Through using the metaphor of digital doppelgänger the paper analyses the axis of subjectivity and objectivity that emerges from the processes of self-tracking.

Infrastructuring home blood pressure monitoring

Kate Weiner, University of Sheffield; Catherine Will, University of Sussex

This paper pursues the notion of ‘infrastructure’ to consider the mundane work of self-monitoring, drawing on the case of home blood pressure monitors. We aim to explore the invisible and sometimes tentative arrangements of people and things involved in consumer-based self-monitoring as practice.

Temporalities of Personal Analytics: emerging patterns of engagement with temporal data about the self

Martin Hand, Queen's University; Michelle Gorea, Queens University

This paper explores how the phenomenon of self-tracking is shaping, and being shaped by, the temporal contexts of everyday life. In-depth interviews are used to show several ways in which tracking devices are integrated in existing temporal practices and generate new temporal expectations.

Self-tracking technologies and 'active aging'; An ethnography of a sensor-based technology for the promotion of physical rehabilitation and home training

Nete Schwennesen, Copenhagen University

On the basis of ethnographic material, this paper explores how data from a sensor-based technology for the promotion of home training is translated and become meaningful in elderly citizens everyday life.

Access to medical records as self-monitoring: relational practices and emerging normativities

Federica Lucivero, King's College London

Building on 25 interviews conducted with patients having access to their medical records in a primary care surgery in Northern England, this contribution discusses how patients with access to their medical records engage in practices of self-monitoring.

'How are We Doing?': One American Single Mother by Choice Family as a Case Study of Neo-Liberal Self-Regulation

Linda Layne, Cambridge

An on-going, in-depth case study of one American Single Mother by Choice is used to analyze how family life is another arena of everyday analytics and neoliberal self-monitoring and regulation.


Stoking the Anthropocene?

Saurabh Arora, University of Sussex; Andy Stirling, University of Sussex

3rd September 2016, 16:00


Engagements with the Anthropocene have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. We invite contributions that consider the relational implications of diverse interventions in the anthropocene debate, particularly in terms of the interveners' responsibilities.

Fighting the Technosphere, and other Anthropocenic Angsts (A Kitchen Debate)

Gabrielle Hecht, University of Michigan; Paul Edwards, University of Michigan

Neologisms abound in the Anthropocene. Consider the Technosphere, the theme for HKWs latest anthroposalon. One of us finds the term inspiring, the other regressive. Here, we perform a version of our long debate surrounding our collaboration in the Technosphere Edition of HKW’s Anthropocene Campus.

Shrinking, bending and stretching? The coupling and intersection of Rights of Nature and the Anthropocene

Cristina Espinosa, University of Freiburg; Michael Pregernig, University of Freiburg

‘Rights of Nature’ and the ‘Anthropocene’ are two prominent contemporary environmental discourses. This paper critically reconstructs the coupling and intersection of the two discourses in current scientific and political debates.

Poetics of excess in times of ecological crisis: A plea for environmental indeterminisms

Antonia Walford, University College London; Cristobal Bonelli, University of Amsterdam

Building on indigenous and scientific portrayals of ecological catastrophe, this paper experiments with the idea that environmental crisis makes humans constantly other, allowing for unexpected, poetic forms of environmental relationality, sensitivity and understandings of responsibility to emerge.

Finding Nemo: can there be a 'good' in the Anthropocene?

Laura Pereira, City University of London; Rika Preiser

We define 4 framings of the Anthropocene: eco-modernist, planetary stewardship, sustainability pathways and post-humanist. A 5th category refers to the Anthropocene as responsibility and locates a Derridean ethics of acting in an uncertain era, through which we can find ‘goods’ in the Anthropocene.

Natural Anthropocene?

Svein Anders Noer Lie, University of Tromsø

In this paper I will argue that we have never been in a more urgent need for a concept of naturalness. Others have argued that facing the Anthropocene calls for the final abandonment of naturalness. This debate depends on what we mean by ‘naturalness’.


Enhancement Cultures and Future Bodies

Melike Sahinol, Orient-Institute Istanbul; Martin Sand; Christopher Coenen, KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

2nd September 2016, 11:00


We invite contributions that focus on practices or visions of body modification in different cultural settings, shedding light on heterogeneous ways in which bodies may be (per)formed now and in the future. This can include but does not need to be limited to so-called 'human enhancement'.

Removing animal bodies in the post-animal bioeconomy

Arianna Ferrari, ITAS/KIT

The post-animal bio-economy has recently emerged as a label to indicate the use of tissue engineering and synthetic biology to produce animal food products such as meat or egg without animals. In this paper I would like to explore the ethical dimensions of removing animal bodies in the visions of this field.

Does, who says 'disability compensation', imply 'Aristotelian loss'? Five Ways to conceptualize 'disability' and its 'compensation'

Katja M. Stoppenbrink, University of Münster

While species-typical functioning may still constitute an adequate point of reference for our practices of disability compensation, in our quest for what it means to be human we will have to get used to humans with atypical capacities (‘disabilities’ or else) – and still recognize them as equals.

Cultural and political reasons for the gap between South-Eastern and Western European ethico-political discourse on 'human enhancement'

Franc Mali, Ljubljana University

The paper focuses on ethical discourse on 'human enhancement' (HE) in the specific cultural and political setting of South-Eastern Europe. The lack of interest of ethics expert groups of this region in more far-reaching perspectives of the HE topic is ascribed to certain cultural and political factors.

Bioprinting, beauty, and future longevity

Stefan Reschke, Fraunhofer INT

This contribution summarises recent progress of and highlights in bioprinting (3-dimensional printing with biomaterials) with respect to restaurative and regenerative medicine. It contextualises with converging technologies and sketches future enhanced bodies, purely biological as well as 'cyborgs'.


Wild research: Radical openings in technoscientific practice?

Adolfo Estalella, Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Tomás Criado, Humboldt University of Berlin

3rd September 2016, 14:00


An exploration into the radical openings of technoscientific research produced in recent years that we call 'wild research': collaborative and material-oriented forms of knowledge production by other means, and how they could foster an STS otherwise.

Co-producing evidence: ethnographic inquiry of evidence-based activism of patients' organizations

Fanny Duysens, University of Liège

An ethnographic inquiry of knowledge-related collaborations between some Belgian patients’ organizations engaged in evidence-based activism and scientific and medical experts, in order to address diverse social, political and biomedical claims.

Testosterone Enacted: Concerned Groups and Transgender Healthcare Policies

Esther Ortega Arjonilla, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

In this paper, I will discuss different scenarios in which testosterone is enacted in relation to different spanish concerned groups and to recent transgender health policies in Spain.

Caring otherwise: Self-experimental politics of independent living

Tomás Criado, Humboldt University of Berlin; Israel Rodriguez-Giralt, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

An ethnographic reflection on the independent-living advocates production of self-care devices in Spain as a form of caring otherwise: tentative but real efforts to engage not only in self-experimenting design practices but also in alternative regimes of 'co-production,' inspiring other STS modes.

When non-scientists do science

Caitlin Wylie, University of Virginia

Most paleontology laboratories are run by a few technicians and an army of volunteers, with few scientists in sight. These workers’ “wild research” – done without credentials or professional status, yet with workers’ skill and control over their work – may be a model for future scientific practice.

The free archive, the architecture of experiment, and the city

Adolfo Estalella, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Free archives liberating experimental worlds in the city, they epitomize two distinctive traditions that intersect in the emerging grassroots Madrilenian urbanisms: A material sensibility intervening in the public space with infrastructures and a liberating impulse that draws inspiration from Free Software

Researching the co-creation: Co-production of knowledge in local innovation.

Jose Ismael Pena Reyes, Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Juan Reina, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Collaboration is a concept often used in academia and research. From a conceptual review the development of new models of co-production of knowledge is presented. It is proposed to describe Lean Research as a research framework of local innovation in Colombia.


Citizen science: Beyond the laboratory

Gabriel Mugar, Syracuse University; Andrea Wiggins, University of Maryland; Carsten Oesterlund, Syracuse University

3rd September 2016, 09:00


Citizen science constitutes a rich and evolving arena in the production of scientific knowledge, raising questions that speak to the core of STS scholarship. This track will expand the dialogue around this growing practice of knowledge creation through traditional and cutting edge STS perspectives.

Landscapes and Property Lines: the contradictory practices of citizen scientists.

Karin Patzke, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

As landowners participate in citizen science conservation policies, property rights are reinforced, ignoring larger ecosystems and landscapes. Through discursive and genre analysis, I examine these efforts and shed new light on the contradictory practices resulting from citizen science initiatives.

Who are the citizens in citizen science? Public participation in distributed computing

Elise Tancoigne, University of Geneva; Bruno J. Strasser, University of Geneva; Yale University; Jerome Baudry, University of Geneva

Over 4 million participants contribute to citizen science projects through distributed computing. By mining online profiles and user data we offer a rich picture of the demographics of participation and discuss its implications for the democratization of science.

Traditional Knowledge, Citizenship, and the Conditions of Scientific Participation

Sarah Blacker, Technical University of Munich

This paper shows how the processes of democratization of science that are currently underway through the proliferation of citizen science projects are hindered by a too-narrow conception of the qualifications required by members of the public in order to participate in science.

Architecture and social sciences' spatial turn: dialogue or monologue?

Griselda Macareno de los Santos, Universidad de las Americas Puebla; Leandro Rodriguez-Medina, Universidad de las Americas Puebla

This paper aims to show and illustrate how architects in Mexico who have been in charge of relevant projects in the public space interact with social sciences' spatial turn.

Toward an inherently collaborative rhetoric of science communication

Erika Szymanski, University of Edinburgh

How do collaborations with knowledgeable non-scientists avoid domesticating non-scientists for scientific use? I explore models for collaborative science communication avoiding science dominance by beginning with alternate epistemologies and their challenge to the shape of scientific discourse.

Trading Zones, Citizen Science and New Infrastructures for Knowledge Production

Per Hetland, Oslo University

This study focuses on citizen science, systematic biology, biodiversity mapping and how the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo and its stakeholders interact with communities of interest outside of professional institutions and engage laypeople in citizen science.

Scientists, Citizen Scientists, and the People in the Middle

Hined Rafeh, Drexel University

An STS Analysis of The Middle-Person in Citizen Science Interactions

Enrolling scientists, citizens and lichens for knowing the chronic effects of pollution in the Fos-sur-mer industrial area (France)

Christelle Gramaglia, Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture; Philippe Chamaret, Institut Ecocitoyen pour la Connaissance des Pollutions

This paper examines the work completed by a citizen organization so “undone science” about pollution in the Fos-sur-Mer industrial area (France) gets done. We discuss the epistemological and political qualities of biomonitoring data and their ability to challenge administrative monitoring practices.

Co-Creating Research Agendas through Multi-Actor Engagement

Niklas Gudowsky, Austrian Academy of Sciences

The paper presents findings from the EU-project CIMULACT which engaged more than 1000 citizens in 30 European countries, along with a large variety of experts, stakeholders and policy makers in a highly participatory foresight process to integrate different types of knowledge into shaping research agendas.

A typology of citizen science technologies

Anne Bowser, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Andrea Wiggins, University of Maryland

We created a taxonomy of citizen science technologies arranged according to intended use. We used this taxonomy to analyze how technologies are combined to create infrastructures, and considered the role and prevalence of technological appropriation in the citizen science context.

Microfluidic systems: challenges and opportunities for citizen science

Mary Amasia, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

Microfluidic systems for environmental monitoring automate complex analyses to yield results at the site of collection. However these systems have yet to see impact in citizen science initiatives. How can expert and lay methods be leveraged to address challenges of scale, expertise, and complexity?

Privacy and Responsible Research in Citizen Science projects

Gemma Galdon Clavell, Eticas research and Consulting

We analyze three different projects of citizen science based in Barcelona (Spain) from the point of view of privacy and data protection, and present some general concerns, risks and solutions that should be considered by any European citizen science project.

Awareness and attitudinal change in participatory air pollution monitoring

Christian Oltra, CIEMAT- Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas; Ainhoa Jorcano; Irene Eleta, CREAL-ISGlobal; Roser Sala, CIEMAT-CISOT

This study focuses on the attitudes and reactions of lay people before and after an engagement activity for monitoring their personal exposure to air pollution with sensors. The qualitative analysis of focus groups unveils risk beliefs, challenges and opportunities for a citizen science approach.


Maker Movement, FabLabs, Hackerspace and improvisation: Science, Technology and Education by other means?

Rodrigo Barbosa e Silva, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná; Luiz Ernesto Merkle, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná; André Alessandro Gomes de Souza, Alliance Manchester Business School

3rd September 2016, 11:00


Maker Movement/DIY in education, social spaces and collectives, maker and hacker culture, and the socio-technical basis of hands-on and constructionist learning. It aims on all practitioners, social scientists, educators, policy and tech makers, designers and researchers .

BioHack*Kolding : bringing science to citizens and citizens to science

Danielle Wilde, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding

BioHack*Kolding explores the potential of do-it-together biology to support community building in a town that lacks strong science representation, assisting participants to reflect on the bio-potential of their personal, social and political ecologies and to translate their ideas into action.

Do-it-yourself but do it together: Interdisciplinary Design Studio

Arsev Aydinoglu, Middle East Technical University; Pinar Kaygan, Middle East Technical University

This qualitative study explores design process in a collaborative educational setting at METU Design Factory. The prominent themes that emerged are peer-learning, hands-on experience, interdisciplinarity, soft skills, and shared space.

Critical Making: Amish Innovation for Community Empowerment

Lindsay Ems, Butler University

This paper contributes to our understanding of critical making practices in Amish communities. Amish makers are repurposing and creating new technologies that better adhere to their community values. Such practices help protect Amish cultural autonomy in our capitalistic and digital social world.

The Construction of Makers and Digital Fabrication Technologies, The Case Study of Israeli Makers

Noa Morag Yaar, IDC/ Bar Ilan University

The Makers' movement defines Makers and delineates their practices. This article will present the construction of Israeli Makers. I argue that the unique link between craft and digital practices allows a diversity that is overlooked by the Makers' movement.

Public Network of Digital Fabrication Laboratory of São Paulo City

Artur Vasconcelos Cordeiro, Universidade de São Paulo; Juliana Silva, São Paulo City Hall

This work presents the creation of the Public Network of Digital Fabrication Laboratory of São Paulo - Fab Lab Livre SP. It investigates the potential of twelve laboratories for the cultural, technological and economical development of the local communities and also in the city scale.

The Brazilian Reception of Computer Laboratories by Educational Institutions: controversies about their determining contributions to actual communities

Rodrigo Barbosa e Silva, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná; Luiz Ernesto Merkle, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná; Paulo Blikstein, Stanford University

The role of digital spaces, such as computer laboratories, "making" spaces, and other similar arrangements within educational institutions, showing how they can contribute to teaching and learning, though not determine their progress.

Crafters, Makers, and Takers: A Critical Look at Maker Rhetoric

Dawn Neill, California Polytechnic State University; Coleen Carrigan, California Polytechnic State University

Through critical examination of the meaning of Maker rhetoric and action, this paper seeks to describe variable actors constructing the Maker movement. We identify these actors as crafters, makers, and takers, paying special attention to the impact of capitalist motivations on increasing diversity in Making.

The disabled maker subject and the future of DIY Adaptive Technology

Cath Duchastel de Montrouge, York University; Melanie Baljko, York University

This paper argues that an examination of maker spaces and subjects would be enriched, nuanced, and augmented by key concepts and framings from critical disability studies and Assistive Technology. How can the disabled maker subject reframe access to the maker movement as also a conceptual shift?

Open Source: Precipitating Events of Change

André Alessandro Gomes de Souza, Alliance Manchester Business School

Considering the subject matter of this track, it is of extreme value to open a discussion about what drives the motivation of hobbyists and practitioners to take part in F/OSS projects.

Social Manufacturing: Towards the popularization of personalized fabrication

Raúl Tabarés, Tecnalia; María Teresa Moreno, TECNALIA; Amaia Sopelana, TECNALIA; Jorge García Valbuena, Tecnalia Research & Innovation

Due to the development of new open technologies, many social technology-based movements such as “Do It Yourself,” “Hackers” and “Makers” have stand up in recent decades. Our goal in this paper is to perform a comprehensive analysis of all these trends.

Technology Enthusiasts' Organizational Platforms of Innovation: Hams, Hackers, and Makers

Sophie LeBlanc, University of Toronto; Chen-Pang Yeang, University of Toronto

This paper compares the maker movement with radio hams in the 1920s and computer hackers in the 1970s. While the received view portrays the technology enthusiasts as free-spirited and loosely connected individuals, we argue that their organizations play an essential part in their technical innovation.

LudoMaker : How to Equip Creativity Through the Making of Games

Vinciane Zabban, Experice - Paris 13 University; Vincent Berry, University Paris 13; Nicolas PIÑEROS, Université Paris 13

Fablabs are developing in many contexts, and the way they are designed to equip creative process varies greatly. In this talk, we propose a reflexive analysis of a Fablab project hosted by the department of Education Sciences at a French University, and dedicated to the creation of games.


Urban STS and Post-Socialist Cities

Andrey Kuznetsov, Volgograd State University

2nd September 2016, 14:00


The purpose of the track is to bring together scholars from Eastern Europe and ex-USSR so as to discuss a state of art in STS research of Post-Socialist cities.

A Cure for the "Ideology Syndrome": or, how the study of socialist urbanity can benefit from assemblage thinking

Diana Kurkovsky West, European University at St. Petersburg

This paper contends that the study of the Soviet built environment, - examined here through the lens of Soviet housing construction, - benefits from the optics offered to us by the field of science and technology studies (STS) and the approach to the study of cities informed by assemblage thinking.

Mikroraion as a Sociotechnical Assemblage or Towards a History of Second World Materiality

Daria Bocharnikova, St. Petersburg State University

This paper will discuss the heuristic advantages of STS tools for writing a history of Second World Materiality.

Re-forming Heating System of Russian Cities: People and Material Infrastructure

Evgeniya Popova, Tomsk State University

A setting of Soviet society (with its principles of universalism and collectivism) was built in the design of urban networks around Russia. I show empirical examples about transformation of heating supply from point of setting of the Soviet culture embodied in technologies.

(Re)Thinking city through culture: technology, identity and urban cultural development in Siberian regions

Dmitry Galkin, Tomsk State University

Focus of this research is the way urban and regional policy makers in Siberian cities conceptualize cultural development in relation to the role technological systems should play in these strategies (formalized in current days official strategic documents of Omsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk and Tyumen regions).

Urban Justice in Western and Post-Soviet Cities: Some Theoretical Remarks

Evgenii Karchagin, Volgograd State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering

The paper discusses objects, subjects and possible principles of justice in the urban context. It also outlines two practical ways to overcome injustice in western and Post-Soviet Cities: revolutionary and communicative, theoretically represented by critical urbanism and STS.

Mobile and Material Semiotics of Post-Soviet Mobilities: Opportunities and Inequalities in Flexible Urban Public Transport (case of Volgograd)

Andrey Kuznetsov, Volgograd State University

This paper combines material semiotics (B. Latour) and mobile semiotics (O. Jensen) approaches to account for sociotechnical dynamics of fexible public transport in post-Soviet Russia and to show how different patterns of delegation generate various level of uncertainty within the scenarious of use.

Assembling transportation in the Post-Socialist city - the case of Belgrade

Ivana Suboticki, Norwegian Uni. for Science and Technology

This paper explores the contributions of STS, in particular an ANT approach with emphasis on acts of assembling, to the study of transportation systems in the Post-Socialist context based on findings from Belgrade.

Human and non-human infrastructures of fare payment in post-soviet public transport

Denis Sivkov, RANEPA, Volgograd branch

Ethnographical observations in the urban public transportation trace different practices of the fare payment on the move. The study explicates some variables in order to deconstruct the cashflow process in the post-soviet urban marshrutkas.


Emerging forms of "life" in STS

Chikako Takeshita, University of California, Riverside

3rd September 2016, 16:00


This panel explores how the notion of an autonomous and individualized "life" is being undermined by recent scientific discoveries and advancements in life-manipulating technologies. Diverse STS scholars with an interest in new ontologies of "life," including ecological and symbiotic, are welcome.

Where Does a Body End? On access, accessories, and living media

Christopher Miles, Indiana University

“Access” is conventionally framed as individual and unidirectional. This paper argues that access is never really either of these, exploring the political and ontological entailments of alternative concepts of access through living drones, new materialisms, and feminist STS.

Earthly epistemologies, alien ontologies and life by other means

Valentina Marcheselli, University of Edinburgh

This paper explores how astrobiologists challenge and redefine the concept of ‘life’ when bringing it into play in relation to extraterrestrial contexts, which are imagined and experienced through analogue-sites on Earth.

Surveilling zygotes: Knowledge produced by time-lapse incubators

Sandra P. González-Santos, Universidad Anahuac

This paper looks at knowledge production in action. Specifically, it looks at how embryologists are making sense of the visual data time-lapse incubators are producing, how they articulate it to makes sense of embryo development, and at how this information justifies specific actions.

Constructing Egg-freezing Users and Risks: ARTs and Life Management in Taiwan

Yuling Huang, National Cheng Kung University

This paper is a pilot project to investigate the emergence of egg-freezing and its target users in Taiwan as a new technique of life and life-course management. I categorize the potential users of egg-freezing into three groups and how egg-freezing is used as a technique of life and life-course management.


What does it mean to be Human in the 21st Century?

Paul Martin, University of Sheffield; Ilke Turkmendag, Newcastle University

1st September 2016, 14:00


This track brings together papers that consider understandings of what it means to be human in the 21st Century, how established notions are being remade in the light of new scientific and technological knowledge, and the formation of new politics, norms and imaginaries around future humans.

Epigenetic human: Maternal responsibility in making 'good' humans

Ilke Turkmendag, Newcastle University

This paper examines how the new developments in the the landscape of epigenetics studies of maternal effects changes the notions of being a human.

Stressed bodies, epigenetics and the biology of social experience

Paul Martin, University of Sheffield

This paper explores: 1) different disciplinary constructions of social and biological stress in understanding inequalities in health; 2) the development of a molecular ontology of stress in the field of epigenetics and its role in the emergence of a new ‘biology of social experience’.

Implantable Brain Technologies and The Creation of Cyborgs

Beth Strickland, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The use of implantable technologies raises ethical concerns about penetrating bodily boundaries of what defines a person as human versus cyborg. This paper examines the ethical use of implantable brain devices and what it suggests for the creation of cyborgs.

Public Cancer Patienthood in the Post-Genomics Era

Tineke Broer, University of Edinburgh; Emily Ross, University of Edinburgh; Choon Key Chekar, University of Leeds; Sarah Cunningham-Burley, University of Edinburgh

Drawing on publicly available data such as blogs and forums where people share their experiences and worries relating to cancer diagnostics, treatments, and research participation, we analyse the way developments in genomics are shaping public discourse and instantiations of cancer patienthood.

Who Controls The Cyborg?

Gerard Briscoe, Glasgow School of Art

The fourth discontinuity to be overcome is the distinction between humans and machines. We integrate technology when it is enabling, but unintended consequences results in disabling effects. Including, when the balance of control becomes lost and integration becomes degenerative.

21st century green-collar workers

Roger Andre Søraa, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Håkon Fyhn, Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology; Jøran Solli, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

What does it mean to be a human worker in the 21st century? This paper investigates how professional carpenters re-invent their work-life to both technological-, and climate change mitigation challenges and possibilities.

Prosthesis, Enhancement and Wounding: The 'Productive Body' in the 21st Century

Brian Bloomfield, Lancaster University; Karen Dale, Lancaster University

Bringing together the themes of prosthesis, enhancement/wounding, systems of production and the productive body, this paper explores the question of what it means to be human in the 21st century.

Temporality and the Specious Present: time, self, and perception

Lisa Nelson, University of Pittsburgh

While the splintering of our on line and off line selves has been acknowledged, not yet considered is how and why the Internet as a medium might be a contributing cause of it, transforming our lived experience and perception in ways which affects our judgment of consequences and of others.

Is Embryology Posthumanist?

Isabel Gabel, University of Chicago

The exclusive focus on genetics has obscured an alternate path to thinking the human and the posthuman, namely that offered by embryology. In the 20th century, embryology was an immensely compelling field for both theorists and experimental scientists attempting to rework the boundaries of the human.

Renaming, redefining and remaking: Emergence of genopolitics and homo politicus

Kaya Akyuz, University of Vienna

The emergence of the research field genopolitics coincides with the developments in biotechnologies and data practices after the Human Genome Project. This paper provides an analysis of the genopolitics literature to reproduce the conflicting static and dynamic imaginaries of the new homo politicus.

The construction of dual-process models from lab to policy

Chad Valasek, UC San Diego

Through historical research, I trace the racialized and able-bodied biases of behavioral economics and their resulting effect on global health policies. Resistance to these policies, indicates the significance of non-conforming bodies and the possibility of alternative practices and technologies.


Body, Science and Expertise

Daniela Manica, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Clarice Rios, State University of Rio de Janeiro; Rogerio Azize, Institute for Social Medicine - State University of Rio de janeiro

2nd September 2016, 11:00


This track examines the pair body/knowledge from two possible interpretive frameworks: the body as the focus of various forms of knowledge; and the body as a prerequisite for knowledge, making it possible to think critically about the limits and possibilities of scientific knowledge

Hearing Voices: Audio forensics and expert listening in the legal arena

Michael Mopas, Carleton University

This paper examines how judges have decided on the admissibility of forensic voice and speech evidence and the impact that these decisions have for experts working in this field.

Reconceiving the Body: Embryo Imaging, Professional and Lay Visions

Manuela Perrotta, Queen Mary University of London

Exploring the case of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) imaging technologies, the paper investigates how the production of biomedical images, their diffusion and the development of professional and lay visions are involved in changing conceptions of the human body.

Materializing the (criminal) body: Science and culture in forensic genetics

Filipe Santos, Universidade de Coimbra; Helena Machado, University of Minho

This paper aims to explore a particular instance of entangling the body, technoscience and culture: the materialization of (criminal) bodies through forensic genetic technologies. We focus the production of expert evidence as a hybrid assemblage of experiential and credentialed knowledge.

Bodies, structure of feeling and experience: opportunities for new assemblages at the Spanish intersex clinic

Rosa Medina-Doménech, University of Granada; Sandra Fernández Garrido, University of Granada

This paper explore the possibilities of new assemblages in the intersex clinic. We analyze how structures of feeling, corporal experiences, bodies and knowledges are mutually shaped. The analysis focuses on current spanish context, where subaltern knowledges are finding new spaces for legitimacy.

Seeing Eye to Eye: Multiple Embodiments of Vision in Ophthalmology

Adam Baim, University of Chicago

In ophthalmology, the vision of both doctors and patients is essential for everyday clinical work. Elaborating on studies of sensation and bodily practice, this paper explores how ophthalmologic expertise is constituted through defining and modifying the embodied experience of seeing.

Interfacing Bodies - Interface and Interaction Design in Remote Controlled Medical Interventions

Kathrin Friedrich, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The paper explores visual and haptic interfaces in remotely controlled medical interventions. With the transformation from surgical handicraft to distant operations, the design as well as epistemic role of interfaces plays a crucial role in respect to changing expertise both of the body and by the body.

Scrubbing In: The Role of Industry in Robotic Surgery

William Drust, Loyola University Chicago

Robotic surgery is advertised as one of the most beneficial and cutting-edge surgical techniques currently available. This ethnographic study examines the increasing presence of industry actors and logics in robotic surgical decision-making.

Designing bodies in action

Stephen Neely, Carnegie Mellon University; Katherine Scott, Carnegie Mellon University

By exploring practices of manipulating bodies in action, the authors work toward an expanded notion of design as a ubiquitous, dispersed practice— a topic of inquiry that has potential to foster connection between STS and design research.

Bodily performance of scientific authority in how-to manuals on presenting

Alexandra Supper, Maastricht University

This paper analyses how notions of scientific authority are constructed in how-to manuals for giving presentations, by tracing how these manuals (1970s-today) in different scientific disciplines instruct scientists on how to use their voices, body language and audio-visual representations.

"Detox" therapies, a thought style developing on the internet

Kenneth Rochel de Camargo, Jr, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro; Elaine Rabello, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro; André Mendonça, UERJ; Claudia Medina Coeli, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

The idea of achieving health through "detox" has developed recently, having the social media as its main surface of emergence. We propose that such conceptions can be understood in Fleckian terms (thought styles and collectives), and as such observed as they unfold over the Internet.

Orphaned Patients: Living between Cure and Sickness in a Post-leprosy World

Yiling Hung, Chiao Tung University

This paper explores the interplay between medical knowledge and illness experiences by focusing on a group of Hansen’s disease (HD) patients who became “orphaned patients”—patients whose illness experiences became irrelevant to the current HD medical knowledge and practices redefined by modern medication.


The Experimental Life of Plants: Botanical Being in Scientific Practice and Beyond

Nicole Labruto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2nd September 2016, 09:00


Plants are a vital material substrate for scientific investigation. This panel gathers scholarly and artistic engagements with plants to consider experimentation as a lens onto plants, and to think plants as central subjects in STS, examining their adaptability, rootedness, and synthesizing powers.

The War between Amaranth and Soy: Interspecies Resistance to Transgenic Crops in Argentina and Paraguay

Sainath Suryanarayanan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Katarzyna Beilin, University of Wisconsin, Madison

This paper examines how plants resisting transgenic soy shape emerging bioeconomies in Argentina and Paraguay. Using comparative and ethnographic lenses that bring together frameworks in science & technology studies and environmental humanities, we develop the concept of interspecies resistance.

Hedging the Apocalypse: Stories From the Practices of Seed Banking

Xan Chacko, University of California-Davis

Seeds seem like ordinary objects, but we do not yet understand how science can make such small, yet absolutely essential biological entities into coherent objects that can be collectively understood, stabilised, acted upon, and translated across different knowledge practices.

Contamination and Care: Controlling Sugarcane in a Brazilian Transgenic Laboratory

Nicole Labruto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Based on fieldwork in a Brazilian molecular biology lab, this paper investigates the demands made on scientists by sugarcane. I analyze the regimes of care that guide biologists as they attempt to control contamination and stimulate growth of their GM in vitro organisms.

Ways of knowing plants: the case of synthetic biology and the Phytobrick

Dominic Berry, University of Edinburgh

The majority of laboratory work within synthetic biology has been directed towards single-celled organisms, namely bacteria and yeast. Recently efforts have been made to integrate plant scientists. What is synthetic biology doing to plants, and what are plants doing to synthetic biology?

Vegetal Experience

Oana Suteu, National Filmboard of Canada; Xin Wei Sha, Arizona State University

The Vegetal Experience project hybridizes botany, plant thinking, dance and visual art in response to two questions: How can movement constitute thought or thought constitute movement? Can there be art neither for humans nor made by humans?

Dwarf Shrubs and the Contingency of Form: Plant Functional Traits and Landscape Historiography in the Lesotho Highlands

Colin Hoag, University of California, Santa Cruz / Aarhus University

Plant functional traits let ecologists aggregate a plant community's properties. Anthropologists are skeptical of function but the concept is important. Narratives of shrub encroachment in Lesotho show us how to see plant strategies and the local histories that make strategies matter.

Flora Luma:  a research-oriented artistic exploration of human-vegetal hybrid reality

Raune Frankjær, Aarhus University

Flora Luma is a plant controlled installation, co-developed by the author. It utilises bioelectrical signals, to drive color-animation of self-illuminating objects. 

Participation as if art mattered - art between politics and ecology

Line Marie Thorsen, Aarhus University

In this paper I examine how artistic practices in Hong Kong navigate and mobilize composite scales of aesthetics, ecology and politics. Through urban farming, art collective Farms for Democracy effectively tie the everyday bodily experience of eating into the fight for democratic representation.


Critical data studies

Laura Noren, New York University; Stuart Geiger, UC-Berkeley; Gretchen Gano, University of California Berkeley; Massimo Mazzotti, University of California, Berkeley; Charlotte Mazel-Cabasse, University of California, Berkeley; Brittany Fiore-Gartland, University of Washington

3rd September 2016, 09:00


We invite papers investigating data­driven techniques in academic research and analytic industries and the consequences of implementing data­driven products and processes. Papers utilizing computational methods or ethnography with theorization of technology, social power, or politics are encouraged.

Scientific Open Data: Questions of Labor and Public Benefit

Irene Pasquetto, UCLA; Ashley E. Sands, UCLA

While “Open data” has become a norm in science and public policy, the costs and benefits of making data open rarely are made explicit. These social costs translate in changes in the workforce dynamics, and vary by domains.

It's the context, stupid: Reproducibility as a scientific communication problem

Brittany Fiore-Gartland, University of Washington; Anissa Tanweer, University of Washington

Context in data-intensive research is often seen as something that can be captured with metadata to extend reproducibility. Based on varied ways “context” is marshalled in reproducibility practice, we argue for a nuanced view of context and reframing of reproducibility as a communication problem.

Condensing Data into Images, Uncovering "the Higgs"

Martina Merz, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt

In data-intensive sciences such as particle physics images become essential sites for evidential exploration and debate through procedures of black-boxing, synthesis, and contrasting. This paper addresses the challenges of data analysis using as an example the Higgs search at the LHC (CERN).

Data Pedagogy: Learning to Make Sense of Algorithmic Numbers

Samir Passi, Cornell University

Focusing on data analytic pedagogy, this paper shows how students learn to make sense of algorithmic output in relation to data, code, and prior knowledge. I showcase this by drawing out the relation and contrast between human and machine understanding of algorithmically outputted numbers.

Big Data or Big Codata? Flows in Historical and Contemporary Data Practices

Michael Castelle, University of Chicago

This paper develops a empirical distinction between the aspects of “volume” and “velocity” currently conflated in theorizations of “big data”. The contrasting concept of “big codata” emphasizes streaming flows of events, contrasting data science practice with traditional social-scientific methodology.

Talking to Non-Experts about Data: Translating and Synthesizing Modeling Data in Design Teams

Gina Neff, University of Oxford

How do engineers translate data to teams? How do these teams synthesize these data into design & construction decisions? We studied 14 hospital projects to find the mechanisms and strategies of communicating data. We learn more about the "last mile" of data science: integration into team decisions.

Emerging Practices of Data-Driven Accountability in Healthcare: Individual Attribution of C-Sections

Kathleen Pine, Arizona State University

Through ethnographic research on obstetrical care, I describe a change in scale from performance measurement of hospitals to individual clinicians, and attendant dilemmas related to data quality management and tradeoffs between professional discretion and accountability.

The (in)credibility of data science methods to non-experts

Daan Kolkman, Jheronimus Academy of Data Science

This paper explores the quantification practices through which models and algorithms are created, maintained and contested. It draws on data collected in the analytical industry and government in the UK and the Netherlands to illustrate how non-experts evaluate the credibility of highly technical objects.

Big data and the mythology of algorithms

Howard Rosenbaum, Indiana University

Big data relies on algorithms, which are typically presented as objective and unbiased. They are not. As they become more deeply entangled in our lives, it is important to understand the implications of the roles they are playing. This paper critically analyzes this mythology of algorithms.

Infrastructuring data analysis in Digital methods with digital data and tools

Klara Benda, IT University of Copenhagen

The presentation draws on ethnographic research to describe data practices of appropriating the web for social research in Digital methods as layers of infrastructuring. The web is mediated by community infrastructures to support iterative assembling of the local infrastructure of a knowledge space.

"An afternoon hack" Enabling data driven scientific computing in the open

Charlotte Mazel-Cabasse, University of California, Berkeley

The scientific computing, or e-science, has enabled the development of large data driven scientific initiatives. The research focuses on the socio-technical conditions of the development of free and reproducible computational scientific tools and the system of values that supports them.

Playing with educational data: the Learning Analytics Report Card (LARC)

Jeremy Knox, The University of Edinburgh

The field of ‘learning analytics’ is gaining significant traction in education, often driven by uncritical government and corporate research agendas. This paper describes the ‘LARC’: an interdisciplinary project investigating critical and student-focused educational data analysis.

Data science / science studies

Cathryn Carson, University of California, Berkeley

Inside universities, data science is practically co-located with science studies. How can we use that proximity to shape how data science gets done? This paper reports on experiments in data science research and organizational/strategic design.

Critical Information Practice

Yanni Loukissas, Georgia Institute of Technology; Matt Ratto, University of Toronto; Gabby Resch, University of Toronto

A pedagogical model grounded in interpretive learning experiences: collecting data from messy sources, processing data with an eye towards what algorithms occlude, and presenting data through creative forms like narrative and sculpture.

Actor-Network VS Network Analysis VS Digital Networks Are We Talking About the Same Networks?

Tommaso Venturini, École Normale Supérieure Lyon; Anders Kristian Munk, University of Aalborg; Mathieu Jacomy, Sciences Po

Our contribution discusses the differences and affinities among three types of networks (namely Actor-Network, Network Analysis and Digital Networks) that are playing an increasingly important role in digital STS.

The Navigators

Nicholas Seaver, Tufts University

Data scientists construct and navigate data spaces. Where critical data studies has focused on flaws in these spaces' construction, this paper examines their navigation. Studies of navigation illuminate key features of data science, particularly the interrelation of maps, spaces, plans, and action.


Innovation, Economic Driver, Disruption: Utopias and Critiques of Making and Hacking

Silvia Lindtner, University of Michigan; Denisa Kera; Shaowen Bardzell, Indiana University; Jeffrey Bardzell, Indiana University; Anita Chan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

2nd September 2016, 16:00


This track investigates how STS can interject criticality in contemporary "making" and "hacking" discourses, while taking seriously underlying desires of utopian world making. We invite debate, paper and workshop submissions that explore questions of prototyping, labor, exclusion, center-periphery.

The Dark Side sf Crowdsourced Film Projects or how Freedom was Swallowed By Neoliberalism

Pedro Cabello, New York University

Life in a Day series is a successful example of crowdsourced documentaries.The movies take advantage of a collective intelligence (Lévy) and enhance a participatory culture (Jenkins); on the other, they perpetuate the logic of the neoliberal system creating a biased neoliberal participation.

Emergence of collaborative innovation spaces : technoutopia and unequalty in SCL (2010-2015)

Francisco Rojas Fontecilla, Universidad de Chle; Martin Perez Comisso, Universidad de Chile

The Evolution of collaborative innovation spaces in Santiago de Chile in last years allows new modes of production, limited to reduced communities with technoutopian views. This has been enforced through public policy, media discourse and unequal urban distribution.

Hackerspaces as sites of flexible urban digital labor: The case of door systems

Maxigas ., Lancaster University

The paper takes up the theme "Reorganization of work and labor", asking how participation in hackerspaces is organised in response to changing social conditions, through conventions and technologies? Flexible urban digital laborers develop door systems to better mediate their social relations.

The Role of Context in the Creation of Digital Technology

Kari Koskinen, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Although the basis of software development is largely technological, also the context in which it takes place impacts the process. This paper studies how context matters in developing applications for local markets in the region of East Africa.

Hacking New Global Orders: Local Startup Networks and Re-scaling Innovation Ecologies in New Millennial Ecuador

Anita Chan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Ecuador has made global headlines for prominent sustainable innovation projects. Yet while news reports hail its creating an Andean Silicon Valley and forging new South-South relations, its projects face growing criticism, including by youth networks developing multi-disciplinary maker and startup ecologies.

Aspirations Here/Elsewhere: Alternative World-Making for Hackers and DIYbiologists

Cindy Lin, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

This ethnographic study investigates how DIYBiology and hacker practices not only exist in relation to past and contemporary processes of knowledge production but also serve as sites to probe scientific and technological futures in Indonesia.

Unpacking the mass-entrepreneurship and innovation landscape in China: makerspaces/ incubators

ShihMing Wu, Tsinghua University

In this study, we focus on the representation of innovation in the makerspaces and incubators of China and how different stakeholders are shaping the landscape. The works reveal the tension and evolution within the variety of innovation dynamics in China.

Multiple stories: Making makerspaces in Nairobi

Alev Coban, Goethe University Frankfurt

Challenging euro-centric narratives about makerspaces, this paper offers a story about a makerspace in Nairobi which strives for industrial revolution. Ethnographic insights show the multiplicities of utopian imaginaries, socio-material practices and the political in makerspaces.

How Western Making Imagines Premodern Post-apocalyptic Geographies

Josef Nguyen, University of Texas at Dallas

This paper examines particular discursive threads in Western maker cultures that frame places like present day Guatemala and rural China as aspirational geographies of pastoral and preindustrial making and are, subsequently, suggested to already be interchangeably post-apocalyptic.

Making Inquiry: Making as Research

Jeffrey Bardzell, Indiana University

Constructive inquiry is the practice of using fabrication practices, including engineering and design, as an inquiry methodology. In what ways does or might making constitute an analogous inquiry practice?

Making Taiwan: How a "Citizen's Phone" became a Site of Nation-Building

Shaowen Bardzell, Indiana University

This paper documents the HanGee movement in Taiwan and shows how the making of a citizen’s phone and the nation are mutually constitutive.

Making China: The Open Source Phone and the Nation as a Design Material

Silvia Lindtner, University of Michigan

This paper examines how the making of the open source phone RePhone was aimed at opening up the black box of contemporary electronics production, and in so doing proposed China itself as design material.

Hacking, industry, and their agonistic struggles over mobile phone infrastructure

Susann Wagenknecht, University of Siegen; Matthias Korn, University of Siegen

What is the relation between hacking and industry? We examine the relation between hacking and corporate infrastructure development and maintenance. In particular, we focus on hackers that target mobile phone networks, and we characterize the relations between hacking and corporate practices as agonistic.

Do! Make! Share! The hacker spirit, individual agency, and community

Sarah Davies, University of Copenhagen

This research identifies a shared ‘hacker spirit’ that encapsulates what it means, to North American users of hacker and makerspaces, to be a hacker or maker. This spirit was fundamentally one of self-reliance, activity, and the proactive seizure of agency.

'Making' a Difference? Measurable Impact and the SEAD Movement

Kari Zacharias, Virginia Tech

This ethnographic study explores tensions in SEAD (Science, Engineering, Art, and Design) research and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) initiatives that result from a need to reconcile openness, design thinking and creativity with demonstration of positive impact.

Creating CoMotion: Visions of Innovation in University MakerSpaces

Samantha Shorey, University of Washington

University MakerSpaces serve both commercial and creative purposes. This paper considers these dual applications in order to develop an understanding of participant’s visions of “making” within an institutional context. What activity – and whose knowledge – is central to the goal of innovation?

Made in Africa: Making, doing, and the labor of future-making

Seyram Avle, University of Michigan

This paper examines the ways that the global maker movement is both embraced and rejected by a transnational network of technologists, scientists and artisans in Africa; and critically unpacks the material practices and discursive labor put towards delivering its envisioned future for Africa.

Steve Jobs, Terrorists, Gentlemen and Punks: Strange Comparisons of Biohackers

Morgan Meyer, MINES ParisTech

This paper focuses on how biohackers are compared (be it to gentleman amateurs, terrorists, the punk movement, Steve Jobs, and the Homebrew Computer Club). It will problematize the kinds of effects such comparisons afford.

To Code is Human

Tiffany Cheng, Barnard College

The current widespread social interest in technical knowledge contributes to the rise in tech-centrism. People who become attuned to the interpretive flexibility of computing technology will have the coding ‘superpower’ to improvise on future computation projects.

Indonesian Open Science, Hacker and Maker movements in the context of Universities' "Community Service Programmes"

Denisa Kera; Cindy Lin, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Ujang Fahmi

The origin of open and citizen science movements in Indonesia are the unique community programmes organized in most Indonesian universities since 1950s (Kegiatan Kuliah Kerja Nyata - KKN), which integrate research with community service.

Prototype Tools!: Machines, Fabrication Infrastructure, and Access to Precision and Control

Nadya Peek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Means of production are limited to those with the infrastructure for manufacturing. The individual empowerment celebrated by the maker movement is overly optimistic about access to low-volume precise production. I present machine prototypes as an alternate theory for digital fabrication tools.


Remaking the biosocial by other means

Susan Kelly, University of Exeter; Sahra Gibbon, University College, London

2nd September 2016, 16:00


Health, genetics, climate, agriculture, and human/nonhuman relations are areas where biosocial knowledge is being constituted. The track seeks comparative national and/or transnational perspectives on the Biosocial, and on forms of biological plasticity and/or social determinism they entail/produce.


Kenneth Rochel de Camargo, Jr, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro; Claudia Medina Coeli, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Systems science was heralded as a possible solution to impasses that have riddled epidemiology throughout its history, but this did not really come through. We argue that deeper differences in the metatheoretical framework underpinning are responsible for that.

Remaking the biosocial and cancer risk in southern Brazil.

Sahra Gibbon, University College, London

This paper explores how the biosocial is being made in the context of an emerging discourse of epigenetics and cancer in Brazil, drawing on empirical research in cancer genetic clinics and reflecting on the historical and cultural specificity of Brazil.

"A Most Bountiful Source of Inspiration": Theodosius Dobzhansky, Tropical Ecology, and the Adaptationist Program of Evolutionary Genetics

Tito Carvalho, University of California, San Diego

Dobzhansky understood society in a biological register and brought politics into his scientific work. His study of tropical life particularly influenced his understanding of the biological and social. I explore his work in Brazil in a period of scientific and political reform.

Social considerations of current theorizing about the evolution of cooperation

Ullica Segerstrale, Illinois Institute of Technology

This paper examines some recent contributions of life and human scientists in regard to the evolution of human cooperation, as well as their potential moral and political interpretations.

Zika and the Biosociality of Emerging infectious Diseases

Susan Kelly, University of Exeter

This paper reports the early stages of a ‘biosociality by other means’ project seeking to critically analyse medical, governance and subjective responses to emerging infectious diseases using a sociology of diagnosis perspective.

The bio-silico-social assemblages: science and non/patienthood

Annamaria Carusi, University of Sheffield

An analysis of the rise of a new mode of bio-social assemblage emerging from computational or in silico modeling, focusing on how cross-modality modeling reconfigures science infrastructures and interacts with current and emerging forms bio-social and digital non/patienthood.

Anticipation, Choice, and Personal Responsibility: Medicalization of Menopause as a Case Study of Gendered Governmentality

Maral Erol, Istanbul Medipol University

The heightened health risk and anticipation discourse is a form of biosocial knowledge in medicalization of menopause in Turkey, as well as in other places. In the process, having the correct medical knowledge became a moral responsibility especially for women, determining a certain local biology.

Pandora's Box: Increasing of IVF by Population Policy and unwanted consequences

Jung-Ok Ha, Seoul National University

This paper discusses the sharp increase of IVF treatments following the policy of subsidies for IVF in South Korea. This policy was a result of the negotiations between the interests of Childless couples and the responsible government ministry. These two actors now face some unwanted consequences.


Counting By Other Means

Alex Taylor, City, University of London; Sarah Kember, Goldsmiths, University of London

1st September 2016, 16:00


The computational count is everywhere. Ubiquitously, its logics of efficiency organise time and figure things in an alluringly singular way. How are we to make sense of this computational regime, and how might we imagine alternate encounters that thrive in a promiscuity of counting and time-telling?

The Slow Times of the Digital

Paul Dourish, UC Irvine

Unpacking the embedding of old technologies in the new provides space to construct alternative accounts of inevitability and accelerationism in human experience of the digital.

Digital Accessibility (Ac)counting in Arts and Culture Venues

Amanda Windle, University of the Arts London

This paper explores a digital, participatory, co-design project aimed to re-engage older audiences that no longer attended arts and culture venues.

Counting the Future; the designed artefacts of prediction

David Benque

This paper examines a series of historical artefacts used to predict the future from numbers. It looks at them as designed objects—products of a specific time, place and set of intentions—as well as steps in the trajectory leading up to the present forms of computational predictions.

Making inventions count: the gender politics of design patents

Kat Jungnickel, Goldsmiths, University of London

This paper explores the gender politics of historic design patenting as a form of counting and of being counted.

Writerly (ac)counts of finite flourishings and possibly better ways of being together

Alex Taylor, City, University of London; Sarah Kember, Goldsmiths, University of London

Through two cases we examine the pervasive presence of ‘the count’ and the corresponding compulsion to (re)produce singular figurings of collective and communal life. Using a feminist (ac)counting, we consider the possibilities of a different kind of critter—new more generative worlds of multiples.

Capital numbers and the obscure numericality of code

Adrian Mackenzie, Lancaster University

This paper reports on an attempt to re-count a large number: the approximately 29 million code repositories on the social media platform Github. Science studies might develop ways of re-counting large numbers as capital numbers.

Reimagining Work: Heart Labor, Heart Time

Lucian Leahu, ITU Copenhagen

In this paper, I present a speculative design project focusing on the shifting relations between labor, affect, workers’ bodies, and technologies.

Secretaries, Counting Time and AI

Jessa Lingel, University of Pennsylvania; Kate Crawford, MIT / MSR

Using the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) technology integrated into smartphones (e.g. Siri and Cortana), this talk considers practices of counting and computation through an analysis of affect, gender and labor.

Repair as Transition: Temporalities of Breakdown, Maintenance and Recuperation

Steven Jackson, Cornell University

Attending to maintenance and repair reveals temporalities obscured under the singular and teleological histories that dominate understanding of the relationship between media, technology and time.


Weakening and strengthening forensic science in Europe

David Teira, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

2nd September 2016, 16:00


The panel will discuss, from an interdisciplinary standpoint, to what extent can we quantify the uncertainty of forensic reports, and whether it is possible to agree on a European standard for reporting uncertainty in court.

Standardizing and Communicating Forensic Uncertainty with Bayesian Statistics

Corinna Kruse, Linköping University

The paper discusses how forensic scientists in the Swedish criminal justice system use a Bayesian approach to make uncertainty quantifyable, manageable, and communicable.

Reasonable doubt and the use of Bayesian reasoning in expert witness reports

Marion Vorms, Birkbeck College London

This paper will confront two aspects of the use of probabilities in court, namely the use of Bayesian reasoning in the assessment of the weight of forensic evidence, and the ‘reasonable doubt’ standard of proof, which can prima facie be interpreted as referring to a probabilistic threshold.

The credibility of scientific evidence

Anouk Barberousse, Université Paris-Sorbonne; Isabelle Drouet

Why has credibility not appeared as an important question concerning science? In other words, why credibility questions are easier to answer concerning scientific investigation than inin the case of criminal or judicial investigation?


Queer STS?: A Roundtable Discussion on Theory, Method, and Institutionalization

Mitali Thakor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stephen Molldrem, University of Michigan

3rd September 2016, 16:00


This roundtable discussion gathers diverse scholars studying "Queer STS." What does it mean to do work at the intersection of Queer Theory, Feminist Studies, and STS? What would it mean to institutionalize "Queer STS" as a coherent sub-field, and what are some strategies for doing this work?

On the Risks and Riskiness of Queer STS

Patrick Grzanka, University of Tennessee

Though the shape of STS has always been a bit queer, the content of ‘mainstream’ STS certainly has not. If the time has come to queer STS, then this occasion begs several questions about the diverse consequences of institutionalizing queer studies within the (inter)discipline.

Provocations (on Queer Media)

George Hoagland, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Hoagland presents three provocations on queer media. First, queer media projects and analyses center the question “How queer is it?” Second, queer media consumers develop “camp” reading practices. Third, students of queer media must identify “queer looks” that are the basis of new media critiques.

What is Queer STS? Fuck if I know.

Patrick Keilty, University of Toronto

In my work, “Queer STS” means challenging mechanistic, behaviorist, and positivist modes of description that dominate studies of human-computer interaction. It means taking seriously uncomfortable topics, bearing with their temporalities, and not moving to recuperate them or put them to good use.

Queer Relations as Insurgent STS?

Ardath Whynacht, Mount Allison University

Drawing from critiques on method, discipline, and feminist STS, the author considers how queer relationality provides fertile ground for insurgent research-creation, creative scholarship, and move us to radically imagined territories of world-making for queer movements within and outside of STS.

Roundtable - Time to Get Antianthropocene

Rebekah Cupitt, Birkbeck, University of London

I suggest that queer studies keep its "intuitively oppositional and antinormative" character yet move beyond sexuality and the body. I argue for queer theory that addresses technology as an actor, diverts its focus from the body and the human, onto multispecies, technoassemblages on a large scale.


Case Studies for Responsible Innovation: Lessons from Fukushima

Yuko Fujigaki, The University of Tokio

3rd September 2016, 16:00


This session deals with the Fukushima nuclear power plants accidents in 2011 based on our book published by Springer in 2015. Adding to historical analysis and communication failure analysis, we will examine this accident from the perspective of "responsible innovation" in HORIZEN 2020 by EU.

The Parallax Views on Fukushima: Polarization and Stigmatization throughout the Socio-scientific Issue

Mikihito Tanaka, Waseda University; Naiwen Hong

Since after the Fukushima disaster, polarization and stigmatization occured in the contemporary media environment, and experts had a crucial role there. According to the quantitative media study, we will present how this phenomenon occurred.

Politics in Risk Discourse on Radioactive Risks in Japan

Hideyuki Hirakawa, Osaka University; Masashi Shirabe, Tokyo Tech

From the perspective of responsible risk governance, this paper analyses “politics in the discourse of radioactive risks” that we have witnessed in various discursive arenas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster such as mass media, governmental policymaking and risk communication activities.

Lessons for More Responsible Public Participation

Naoyuki Mikami, Hokkaido University

The abandonment of the Energy Choice Deliberative Polling results suggests that more systematic attention is required regarding interaction and co-production between mini-public-type public participation and stakeholders or grass-root politics.

The process through which nuclear power plants are embedded in political, economic, and social contexts in Japan

Yuko Fujigaki, The University of Tokio

This paper analyzes the process through which nuclear power plants are embedded in political, economic, and social contexts in Japan. Historical analysis and discourse analysis on official reports found the politics of “unexpected” statements and segregation between sites with and without plants


New Topologies of Scientific Practice

Robert Montoya, University of California, Los Angeles; Geoffrey Bowker, University of California, Irvine

2nd September 2016, 16:00


This panel explores how specific digital infrastructures reassemble the human, technical, and data output of traditional scientific activity, and how by doing so, constitute spaces for rearticulating and forming new topologies of knowledge, moving beyond 'linear' expressions to more complex forms.

Infrastructures for barcoding life: topologies of reciprocity and control

Claire Waterton, Lancaster University

This paper examines how genomes and barcodes, fused through the 'Barcoding of Life Initiative', re-assemble the global endeavour to characterise biological species and diversity; simultaneously establishing new moral circuitries of creativity, reciprocity and control in different sites of use.

Innovation and Analogical Extension in Scholarly Communication

Timothy Elfenbein, University of California, Irvine

As start-up tech companies reimagine components of the scholarly communication system, are observers too quick to assimilate the new into the known? This presentation will discuss the analogical extensions used to understand Academia.edu, the social-network and document-sharing platform.

Database Projection: Repositioning Knowledge in Biodiversity Taxonomic Databases

Robert Montoya, University of California, Los Angeles

Acknowledging databases as projected forms of knowledge, this paper examines how biodiversity taxonomic data is transformed as it moves from locally specific domains into the global Catalogue of Life, and how such transportation creates new topological forms of taxonomic knowledge.

Scholarly Accounting of Scholarly Code

Seth Erickson, UCLA

Characterizing scholarly software development as a knowledge practice, this paper presents forms of code description and analysis through which computational physicists and digital humanities researchers negotiate technical constraints and scholarly commitments.


Elements Thinking

Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, University of Leicester; Dimitris Papadopoulos, University of Leicester; Natasha Myers, York University

3rd September 2016, 09:00


Elements are substance and metaphor, scientific and poetic, natural and manufactured, indivisible and relational. Carbon, Plutonium, Bromine, Air, Water...This panel experiments in thinking with elements and the elementary in chemistry, media, biology, pharmaceuticals, warfare, ecology, toxicology.

Elementary Relations - Bromine in Self, Society and World

Joseph Dumit, UC Davis

While elements may appear to be individuals, they are relations and relational in ways that offer social theory and STS a wider analogical vocabulary to play with. Taking on bromine, this paper explores reactive and responsive chemistry, biology, industry and sociality.

Expansive Affinities, Anti-affinities, and Industrial Chemical Alterlife

Michelle Murphy, University of Toronto

This paper seeks to experiment with alter-ontologies for industrial chemicals and their relations with living-being. How might life forms be understood to be enfleshed through expansive affinities and anti-affinities within the molecular beings of capitalism, colonialism and militarism?

Chemical Futures

Dimitris Papadopoulos, University of Leicester

Chemical futures is the becoming chemistry of life and the becoming ecological of chemical practice: how matter and the living emerge through chemical experimentation. And the equation chemistry + ecology = x can be solved in many different ways.

Elementary Forms of Elemental Media

Stefan Helmreich, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Recent conceptualizations of the classical elements of earth, fire, air, and water as elemental media demand attention to those processes that both constitute and disturb these forms. This paper looks at waves as processes that can both generate and jam such elementary forms of elementary media.

Breathers Conspire - On Drawing Breath Together

Timothy Choy, UC Davis

This paper draws together scenes of conspiracy, "breathing-with." Across smell chemistry, graphic sf, and respiratory research, it amplifies techniques and forms for marking atmospheric qualities, relations, and differences. These are elements for composing a political crowd of/as breathers.

Elemental Thinking, Alternative Carbon Imaginaries, and Living Matter at the Edge of Life

Astrid Schrader, University of Exeter

Reading ancient elemental theory together with scientific accounts of ecologies of marine microbes and their viruses, and their importance for the global carbon cycle, this paper seeks to develop a less anthropocentric 'carbon imaginary' that no longer opposes life and non-life.

Ubiquitous Elements

Joseph Masco, University of Chicago

Plutonium was only invented in 1940 but now is found everywhere on planet earth because of atmospheric nuclear testing. This paper considers both the ubiquity and the emerging terms of accountability for globally distributed toxic elements.

Elemental Breakdown

Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, University of Leicester

Soil bioreclamation works with organisms to tackle harmful chemical compounds, recirculating substance in the ecosphere. This paper looks at these earth-remediating biogeochemical experiments as a modest promise of alter-ecological rebalancing, conveying an obligation to support elemental breakdown.

Photosynthetic Mattering: Welcome to the Planthropocene

Natasha Myers, York University

Photosynthetic organisms rearrange the elemental composition of the planet. This paper reckons with the power of plants in order to speculate on forms of collaboration for earthly survival.


Re-configuring Knowledge Practices: Folding Margins and Norms into Dynamic Hybridity

Ellen Foster, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Karin Patzke, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3rd September 2016, 14:00


The papers and material enactments included in this session examine the practices of creating and implementing alternative knowledge practices. Participants speak to and perform craftwork and methods of science and engineering to uncover fractured histories and present alternative futures.

Science in Context: Queering with feminist science studies

Sam Smiley, AstroDime Transit Authority

A clumsy citizen scientist and erstwhile lab technician experiments with a National Geographic DNA and genetics kit for kids. In this science project, the results are secondary to the process.

Hidden Hybridity: Making Cryptography Legible

Niranjan Sivakumar

This paper examines how cryptography is not relegated to the military but that actors including academics, cypherpunks, corporations, activists, and new groups like "CryptoMoms" have brought a variety of hybridized material and knowledge practices to a discipline historically ensconced in rigidity.

Embroidering Engineering: Careful destruction and mending practices in knowledge dialogues

Tania Pérez-Bustos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

This project reflects ethnographically upon the commonalities between knowledge making practices in the material and embodied encounter of handcraft embroiderers and engineers in Colombia. My aim is to highlight the role of careful destruction and mending in the sewing of this encounter.

Donna Haraway is our "friend": Reconfiguring friendship bracelets and bibliography

Bonnie Mak, University of Illinois; Julia Pollack, Bronx Community College

In an act of radical bibliography, this performance uses the friendship bracelet to "re-weave" the academic canon. Julia Pollack and Bonnie Mak will invite onlookers to weave, wear, and share bracelets that are emblazoned with references to the work of women in the field of knowledge-production.


Energy Beyond Crisis: Energetic Bodies, Ecologies, and Economies

Energy Working Group

2nd September 2016, 16:00


This panel interrogates the multiple meanings of "energy," beyond apocalyptic visions, by focusing on its complex forms and interactions.

Free Radical Ambivalence: Tracing the Controversy around Low Frequency Radiation and Human Health

Kelly Ladd, York University

This paper is examines the growing controversy around low-frequency radiation from wifi and cell phones and human health through the ambivalent figure of the free radical as both a destructive bodily force and as a figure of radical thought and innovation.

Re-circuiting Expertise: Race, Class, and Energy Epistemologies Amid Renewable Transitions

Myles Lennon, Yale University

This paper argues that renewable technologies are reconfiguring expert energy epistemologies, entangling Newtonian knowledge with ontological/spiritual knowledge while transforming the race and class dynamics of energy expertise.

Figuring Nuclear Power: The Multiple Japanese Meanings of Nuclear Energy

Maxime Polleri, York University

Nuclear power is part of Japanese technological culture, central to their everyday lives, and a potential destroyer that contaminates environments. Following the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, I explore how specific figures of Japanese society experience, mobilize, and rationalize nuclear energy.

Knowing the Land: Ontologies and Landscapes in Northern Saskatchewan

Emily Simmonds, York University

Emphasizing the unequal social relations that power global energy markets, this paper brings the material-social entanglements of Canada’s national electric grid and flourishing uranium market into conversation with the colonial tenure land system and neoliberal development policies.

The race to build 'black boxes' in the scientific debate over the health effects of wind turbines

Jennifer Taylor, University of Toronto; Nicole Klenk, University of Toronto

We examine science 'in the making' in the scholarly debate over the health impacts of wind turbines. We find it a complex and partial process, revealing tensions implicit in discerning what constitutes a valid public health concern and precautionary approach in the uptake of renewable energy.

Energy, nature and rhythm: social, corporeal and cosmological entanglements

Gordon Walker, Lancaster University

All rhythms are expenditures of energy. Time, space and energy are the ‘essential triadic’, Lefebvre (2004) argues, with intertwining rhythms of social, corporeal and cosmological forms. In this paper I bring multiple rhythmic entanglements into the ontology of energy and into the making of energy demand

Propagations: The economic and energetic lives of Mauritian sugarcane

Jessica Caporusso, York University

In its pursuit of energy security, Mauritius has refigured sugarcane from a colonial cash crop into a modern biofuel. This paper focuses on the work of making cane economically and energetically productive—a process that exploits the generative capacity of plants to envision “green” energy futures.

Data Metabolisms, Waste Heat & Speculative Futures: Investigating Waste Heat, Sustainability and Climate Change

Stephanie Creighton, York University

This paper is an exploration of how meanings of climate change, energy, waste and sustainability are negotiated. As a preliminary investigation of a data centre in Paris, France, it asks how actors produce understandings of and speculations about climate change, energy, waste and sustainability.

Integrated Systems for Algal Biofuels Production: An Investigation of "Energy" through "Potentiated Materials"

Duygu Kasdogan, York University

This paper discusses how researchers potentiate algae as sustainable biofuels through the design and engineering of "integrated systems."

Residual Forests: Making Ontario's Crown Forests into Bioenergy Feedstock

Andrew Schuldt, University of British Columbia

This paper investigates how trees from Ontario’s Crown forests are being made into potential sources of energy. It examines the processes of knowledge production that make forests legible to speculation including: forestry science; consulting and financial reporting; and renewable energy policies.


Technologies at the Frontiers of Death

Philip Olson, Virginia Tech; Tamara Kneese, New York University

1st September 2016, 11:00


Focused on the material aspects of necro-politics, our panel studies technologies deployed at the frontier of death, revealing connections between pre- and post-mortem contexts, considering new forms of technologically mediated sovereignty, as well as challenges to these new forms of authority.

Negotiating Humanness: Care, Worth, and Recognition of the Dead in Medical Training and Research

Stephanie Cruz, University of Washington-Seattle

This paper is based on ethnographic research which explores multiple perspectives on the use of human bodies in U.S. medical training and research with particular attention to the transformation of bodies, from living person to dead object and questionable boundary between the two.

Beyond Life and Death: Social Media Lifespans

Tamara Kneese, New York University

This paper considers the integration of social media into the human life cycle. I argue that STS scholars must consider the lifespans of social media platforms and individuals’ accumulated digital possessions

Death without Limits and Living without Ends: The Future Present of Necrotechnologies

John Troyer, University of Bath

Human life ends in death, either by accident or the unfolding of time. Over the last fifty years, however, human death (and the physical act of dying) has been transformed into a kind of illness.

Domesticating Deathcare

Philip Olson, Virginia Tech

The dead human body has been subject to the same broad social, scientific, and technological trends that account for the medicalization of the live body. This paper draws attention to non-coincidental similarities between the burgeoning home death care movement and the natural childbirth movement.


Science and Technology in the Middle East: Life Sciences and Environments

Zeynep Oguz, The Graduate Center, CUNY

1st September 2016, 16:00


Focusing on nature, environment, and the life sciences, this panel aims to provide a nuanced analysis of the power-laden ways in which techno-science circulates and takes shape in the Middle East and rethink assumptions about science and technology themselves through insights from the region.

Emergent Wetland Wild: Water Buffaloes, Feral Horses, And Waterbirds In The Making And Unmaking Of Wetlands' Livable Nature

Caterina Scaramelli, Amherst College

In contemporary Turkey, projects of wetland conservation, mark environments already shaped by layered production regimes: of crops, markets, infrastructures, and nationalism. In this paper, I examine how such projects also implicate shifting lives of animals.

Geological, Material, and Political Temporalities in Turkey's Hydrocarbon Exploration Efforts

Zeynep Oguz, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Analyzing state-led shale oil exploration practices and geological narratives in central Anatolia, this paper examines how potential presence of hydrocarbon reserves in Turkey has been transforming the land and the sea into force fields of competing futures.

Settlement Efforts, Bodily Limitations, and the Discovery of Urine

Tamar Novick, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

This paper examines mid 20th century settlement efforts in Palestine/Israel, and focuses on infertility - a problem that threatened the growth of both human and animal settler populations. It explores the extent to which the creation of a new social order was connected to a transforming biological one.

HIV/AIDS, Biomedical Subjectivities, and Agency in Lebanon

Elizabeth Berk, Yale University

This paper takes the provision and use of these anti-retroviral biomedicines as a starting point for an inquiry into the constitution of biomedical subjectivities and agency at the intersection of conflict, political-economic constraint, and social stigma.


Cloud Computing: New Social and Political Spaces

Langdon Winner, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

2nd September 2016, 14:00


Systems of Cloud computing promise convenience and problem-solving power to individuals and groups that employ their services. But issues of autonomy, control, and privacy now loom as serious problems for public organizations that agree to the terms that often govern activity within the Cloud.

Nebulous Education: Cloud Computing and School Reform

Langdon Winner, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Drawing upon decades long debates about the uses of technology in K-12 public schools, the paper surveys the adoption of commercial Cloud computing as a new environs for teaching and learning, discussing the controversies such reforms have spawned.


Javier Bustamante Donas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

CC presents serious ethical and political problems related to its nature as an inherently political technology. It is becoming in fact a political constitution. The discussion on CC has to do with which values we are willing to support, and the society we want to be.


Maria Antonietta Salamone, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Dominant actors of CC follow the anarcho-capitalist doctrine, and promote technologies they consider free and democratic by nature. Anarcho-capitalism considers negative freedom as the main political value. Citizens seem to have opted for an unconditional surrender, instead of claiming more positive freedom.

The Dialectics of Distraction in Digital Learning Spaces

Ernst Schraube, Roskilde University

Building on the theory of technological politics as well as situated, practice-based theory of learning, the paper explores critically the significance of digital technologies in problem-oriented learning and project work in higher education.


Science has always been technoscience

Don Ihde, Stony Brook University

3rd September 2016, 09:00


If science recognizes natural regularities, then it’s ancient and a technoscience with perceptual and inscription technologies.

Technology's Non-Neutrality: A Case from the Neurosciences

Bas de Boer, 1989

It is often argued that technologies are non-neutral. However, it is less clear how this non-neutrality manifests itself. Drawing from a case study in the neurosciences, I suggest that technologies are non-neutral in myriad ways, as different technologies constitute the human brain differently.

The Technological Mediation of Brain Death Criteria

Jonne Hoek, University of Twente

Brain death cannot be adequately assessed without taking into account the role of technologies determining it epistemologically. This, in turn, invites us to also reconsider how an existential relation with death is shaped through technologies.

Postphenomenology and the empirical turn

Anette Forss, Karolinska Institutet

While STS and postphenomenology share an interest in science and technology in/as practice, ethnography is less discussed in the latter. My talk describes the integration of postphenomenology and ethnography in a multi-sited fieldwork on human technology relations in oncology

Art as Performative Philosophy of Technology

Pernille Leth-Espensen, Aarhus University

In recent years an increasing number of artists are creating artworks with technologies from the natural sciences. This paper will address these artworks from a postphenomenological perspective and discuss how they interpret scientific representations, technologies, processes and metaphors.

How Mediating Technologies Work? A Preliminary Categorization and Some Misunderstandings

Ching Hung, University of Twente

This paper will, from the perspective of the technological mediation theory, make a preliminary categorization of how mediating technologies work. Then the paper will, by taking a stance of radical behaviorism go with an argument that often the danger of the power of mediating technologies is overestimated.


Beyond the single-site study: the Biography of Artefacts and Practices

Robin Williams, The University of Edinburgh; Sampsa Hyysalo, Aalto University; Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh

1st September 2016, 16:00


The track brings together researchers who, frustrated with the shortcomings of snap-shot studies of particular moments of innovation, seek richer analytical templates for guide longitudinal and multi-site research that engages with the complex interactions amongst suppliers, users & others involved

Biographies of artifacts and practices approach: overview and assessment

Robin Williams, The University of Edinburgh; Sampsa Hyysalo, Aalto University; Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh

Social studies of technology have produced an understanding of technological change that is, paradoxically, at odds with its dominant research templates. We propose a possible remedy, the biographies of artifacts and practices approach and discuss its rationale, principles and substantive results.

How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future

Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh; Robin Williams, The University of Edinburgh

We explore how Gartner Inc emerged as the leading provider of a new kind of expert: ‘industry analyst’ . Analysts attempt to spot new technological trends. We examine the circuit of promissory work through which their knowledge is accumulated, turned into outputs and validated and consumed.

Entangled Biographies: An Ecology of AIDS Infrastructures

David Ribes, University of Washington

Explores the 'entangled biographies' of several long-term scientific organizations that have been supporting HIV/AIDS investigations, with a focus the emergence of a shared 'ecology of infrastructures'. Themes include standardization, inclusion & exclusion, and historical epistemology and ontology.

Historiography Unbound: Paul Ricoeur and the Biographic Turn

Vasilis Tsiatouras

A biographic turn has recently taken place in the STS. Paul Ricoeur's phenomenology of historiography can be a unifying theoretical framework, in this respect, by tackling both stability and change in sociotechnical systems, and account for the plurality of narrative biases among researchers.

Artefacts and the social learning of industry analysts

Duncan Chapple, University of Edinburgh

Semi-structured interviews, conducted with industry analysts around the world, enable a multi-site ethnography to explain the material artefacts used in the production of knowledge infrastructures. It uncovers how analysts in different firms store, share, consume and qualify information using shared objects.

The New Production of Users: Changing involvement strategies and innovation collectives

Sampsa Hyysalo, Aalto University; Nelly Oudshoorn, University of Twente; Torben Elgaard Jensen, Aalborg University Copenhagen

User involvement has changed significantly since early 2000s when it rose to prominence in S&TS agenda. Based on a recent major volume, we elaborate the key changes in the emerging strategies and approaches to user involvement in business and citizen contexts.

Biographical approach to an ecology of innovation: analysis of a strategic information system in the auto-industry

Valeri Wiegel, University of Edinburgh

This study contributes to a more nuanced understanding of contextually-shaped, highly contingent processes of technological innovation. Applying a biographical perspective a longitudinal case study was conducted of the development and diffusion of an information system in a German car company.

The Biography of Hospital Electronic Prescribing and Medicine Administration (HEPMA) Systems in England

Hajar Mozaffar, The University of Edinburgh

In this study we use a biographical approach to examine the market of HEPMA systems in England. This approach allows us to evaluate our findings in light of the history of Enterprise Solutions, and draw on the lessons for the commercial supply of increasingly complex solutions for the health sector.

Behind the Social Media Scenes: Changing User Involvement Strategy

Mikael Johnson, Aalto University

This study investigates the user involvement strategy at a company that operated one of the world's largest social game and online communities for teenagers, Habbo Hotel. The key findings demonstrate how collaboration and feedback loops between developers and users change over ten years.

Tracking multiple perspectives on the Copyright Hub's innovation biography

Hung The Nguyen, University of Edinburgh; Gian Marco Campagnolo; Robin Williams, The University of Edinburgh

This paper shows how the Biography of Artefacts & Practices approach can guide empirical analysis of an emerging infrastructure for managing Intellectual Property: the Copyright Hub. Triangulating between different stakeholder viewpoints and moments it tracks the dynamics and development trajectory.

Infrastructure Risk and Biography of Artefacts: Multiple Dynamics and Temporalities

Antti Silvast, University of Edinburgh

My paper studies the management of risk and security in electricity infrastructures in Finland. Going further than a single-site focus (e.g. design, policy, or end users), it uses the biography of artefacts perspective to move between three sites: national security, control rooms, and households.

The Biographies of Wandering Engineers

James Stewart, University of Edinburgh,

‘Biographies of artefacts’ are the outcomes of multiple overlapping biographies of things, visions, alliances etc, and the people who try to carry forward innovation We explore issues & advantages of following the wandering careers of these individuals as they facilitate long haul innovation.

Biography of living lab collaboration

Louna Hakkarainen, Aalto University ARTS

This longitudinal case study of a floor-monitoring system for elderly care investigates maturing relationship between technology developers and users during and after a four-year living lab project. The study focuses on multi-stakeholder learning, conflict management, and innovation intermediaries.

The role of intermediary objects in reframing an evolving product concept across engineering worlds

Christian Clausen, Aalborg University; Liv Gish

This paper offers an in-depth case study of the biography of an industrial product concept covering a time span of 25 years. The focus is on the role of intermediary objects in the evolving framings and re-framings of the product concept from a ‘cost efficient’ to a ‘carbon reducing' pump.

Biographies of Innovation: Networks and Products in Scottish Space Sector

Matjaz Vidmar, University of Edinburgh

This paper is presenting a novel approach to combine Biographies of Artefacts and Practices (BoAP) with Social Network Analysis (SNA) to study the link between Innovation (Eco)System and New Product Development (NPD) in high-tech industry, based on a case study of the Scottish Space Sector.


Tackling climate change by other means: opening up geoengineering governance

Rob Bellamy, University of Oxford

1st September 2016, 14:00


Geoengineering is seen as a way to cut through diplomatic barriers that impede and weaken progress on tackling climate change. This session examines the geoengineering techno-fix as 'politics by other means', seeking to explicate dilemmas of control and framings by diverse collectives.

Disruptive Discourse: Negotiating the Boundaries of Geoengineering Research

Steve Rayner, University of Oxford

This paper explores competing framings of geoengineering and the boundary work involved in redefining technological proposals to include or exclude them from any emerging governance framework. The paper explores the implications of this definitional politics for geoengineering research and policy.

The historical evolution and political dimensions of geoengineering terminology

Stefan Schäfer, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

I present a historical review of the evolution of geoengineering terminology and associated concepts, followed by an analysis of the political dimensions of this history and their manifestation in the contemporary geoengineering discourse.

Scenarios, Imaginaries, and SRM Governance

Sean Low, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

This project applied scenarios as ‘designed imaginaries’ to methodologically ground discussions of future-oriented challenges for SRM governance, and to emphasize the potential for constructive engagement with imaginaries in exploring and structuring research, governance, and discourse.

The Security Implications of Geoengineering

Paul Nightingale, University of Sussex; Rose Cairns, University of Sussex

Geoengineering raises indirect security concerns that have received limited attention. The military, rather than scientists, may drive SRM, and it may require a significant and costly security infrastructure to prevent disruption and manage blame, creating unforeseen governance problems.

Lay people's sense making of climate engineering: a cross-country focus group study

Victoria Wibeck, Department of Thematic Studies - Environmental Change; Anders Hansson, Linköping University

The study is based on results from a cross-country study of how lay people make sense of climate engineering. We have conducted 23 focus groups in Japan, New Zealand, USA and Sweden with 136 participants and analyze e.g. climate emergency arguments, risks, trust, agency and governance.

Is Solar Radiation Management a Governable Object? And what does this reframing imply for research funders?

Phil Macnaghten, Wageningen University; Bronislaw Szerszynski, Lancaster University

In this paper I examine the question as to whether SRM is a governable object. By this I ask how we can understand what governance arrangements would need to be put in place for SRM to function as planned, and the plausibility of these being realized in the real world.

A sociotechnical framework for governing geoengineering

Rob Bellamy, University of Oxford

Proposed ways of governing geoengineering have most often been supported by narrowly framed and unreflexive appraisals. This paper explores the implications of a Deliberative Mapping project that, unlike other principles, have emerged from an extensive process of reflection and reflexivity.

Developing a Code of Conduct for Geoengineering Research

Anna-Maria Hubert, University of Calgary

Geoengineering raises the long-term prospect of earth systems management with an immediate need for anticipatory, reflexive and transparent oversight of research. Drawing upon the insights of legal scholars and other disciplines, it discusses the possible elements for a code of conduct for such research.

Avoiding geoengineering governance

Oliver Geden, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Policymakers lack incentives to regulate geoengineering since political risk considerations usually outplay policy risk assessments. The paper will discuss options on how the research community could better deal with the political reluctance to debate geoengineering governance seriously.


Envisioning a Feminist Approach to Science and Technology Policy

Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Michigan; Rachel Ankeny, University of Adelaide

1st September 2016, 09:00


While feminist critiques and approaches have been fruitfully utilized in STS, they have had limited impacts on science and technology policy. This track brings together diverse scholars to explore prospects, limitations, and future directions for feminist approaches to science & technology policy.

The gendered organization of science policy

Laurel Smith-Doerr, University of Massachusetts

Understanding gendered organizational processes in scientific work blends older Merton-Zuckerman strands with recent feminist STS on situated knowledges. Organizations are where science policy happens – in governmental agencies but also in labs where policy implementation (and resistance) occurs.

Contraceptive Technologies, Public Policy, and the Stratification of Reproductive Health Care

Jenny Brian, Arizona State University; Patrick Grzanka, University of Tennessee

In this presentation, we take an intersectional approach to the study of long active reversible contraceptives (LARC), and explore how US LARC promotion policies and practices reflect and/or disrupt dominant discourse on unintended pregnancy and social inequalities.

Bodies of data and the problem of physiological narcissism

Ana Viseu, Universidade Europeia

This paper presents preliminary results of an ethnography of London's 'Quantified Self' (QS) group. My goal is to examine the processes of self-quantification of QS'ers so as to examine how feminist technoscience may offer us alternatives to enact, represent and govern the self.

Grassroots Innovation and Gender Order in India

Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Michigan

In this paper, I explore grassroots innovation and efforts to foster it in India. I argue that it provides us with conceptual tools to both interrogate our dominant innovation systems and to imagine what a feminist innovation system might look like.


From person to population and back: exploring accountability in public health

Martyn Pickersgill, University of Edinburgh; Susanne Bauer, University of Oslo; Klaus Hoeyer, University of Copenhagen

2nd September 2016, 11:00


This panel explores the pathways from individual to population and back, as they are generated in public health science and programmes. We are concerned with how populations are constructed, and what population data is used for; with who is counted and what counts - and why, and to what ends.

Accounting for populations, persons and pathologies in English initiatives to enhance (the) public(s) mental health, 2005-2015

Martyn Pickersgill, University of Edinburgh

Drawing on interviews with psychologists and the analysis of policy documents, this talk will show how what counts in public mental health, how who is counting, and how counting is achieved all help to constitute the personhood of the people being counted.

Adding life to years'?: Re-configuring health and ageing

Tiago Moreira, Durham University

This paper examines the multifarious uncertainty which has underpinned healthy ageing policy instruments and programmes since the late 1990s.

Beyond the ability to (ac)count. On the accountability in nursing practices

Ute Kalender, Charite; Christine Holmberg, Charite - Universitätsmedizin - Virchow Klinikum

The paper draws on ethnographic data collected in study centers of the German National Cohort Study and explores the multi-layeredness of digital care work: Such work has to be done by study nurses to produce good epidemiological data.

Calculating, Reshuffling and Translating Population Data: Epidemiological Risk Scores as Accounting Devices

Susanne Bauer, University of Oslo; Katrin Amelang, University of Bremen

This contribution will explore emerging issues at the intersection between STS and public health. It does so by following the production, circulation, adaptation, and renegotiation of an epidemiological algorithm.

Making up and managing well populations

Ayo Wahlberg, University of Copenhagen

Recently, governments have been held accountable for their abilities to improve the ‘quality of life’, ‘wellbeing’ and ‘happiness’ of their populations. I examine QoL, wellbeing and happiness measures as a particular kind of population making.

Patient, population and back: accounting for patient data in Denmark

Klaus Hoeyer, University of Copenhagen

Drawing on policy analysis and interviews with clinicians, researchers and administrators in Denmark as well as with patients enrolled in research based on their registered data, I explore what comes to be counted, and what comes to count, when developing the data infrastructure of the Danish health services.

Patient, population and back: adding a global dimension to the making of international research infrastructures

Zainab Sheikh, University of Copenhagen

Based on interviews and participatory observation with donors and researchers in a project collecting genetic material in Pakistan and sending it to a laboratory in Copenhagen, I investigate the hopes, concerns and purposes involved in the making this international research infrastructure.

Population Health Management as Social Sorting

Linda Hogle, University Wisconsin-Madison

Accountable Care Organizations (US) are responsible both for improved health outcomes and lower costs. This paper demonstrates how Big Data tools, including predictive analytics, are being used to stratify populations to achieve both aims, reexamining STS analytical frames of classification.

Reconfiguring individuals and populations in the post-genomic era

Sarah Cunningham-Burley, University of Edinburgh; Emily Ross, University of Edinburgh; Tineke Broer, University of Edinburgh; Anne Kerr, University of Leeds

We consider how individuals and populations are (re)configured in the post-genomic era, with reference to the potential for stratified screening for cancer. The presentation will draw on existing literature and guidelines, and interviews with scientists engaged in research related to stratified screening.

Technologies of evidence and participation and the making of publics. Comparing two health promotion practices

Klasien Horstman, Maastricht University

In this presentation I will explore the making of publics in public health, by comparatively analyzing an evidence based - and a community health promotion practice as articulations of different epistemic and accountability cultures.

What is data good for?: Accountability in data governance and data practice in Sweden

Alison Cool, University of Colorado, Boulder

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with researchers, statisticians, and data managers working with biomedical data in Sweden, this paper examines the intersections and tensions between accountability as it is invoked through data governance ideals and as it informs users’ day-to-day data practices.


Targeted Biomanagement: Ethics, Politics, and Unruly Regimes of Calculation

Rebecca Hester, Virginia Tech; Saul Halfon, Virginia Tech

2nd September 2016, 11:00


This panel coins the term "targeted biomanagement" as a language for discussing efforts to gain biological control. It also shows that while these efforts often fail, they are productive insofar as they generate an unruly regime of strategies and calculations.

"Certain Exposure": Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV (PrEP) and the (Un)manageable Body

Jonathan Banda, Virginia Tech

This paper analyzes pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV as a form of “targeted biomanagement,” designed to recuperate "risky" populations as subjects of public health. The problematic US roll-out demonstrates the contingent nature of contemporary biopolitics as well as the unruly nature of the body.

The Pre-Infectious Body: Vaccination as "Targeted Biomanagement."

Tarryn Abrahams, Virginia Tech

Increasing numbers of vaccinations present increasing attempts at “biomanagement” of the body and microbes. This paper asks whether, and in what ways, these increasing attempts are producing unruly technologies, discourses and resistance. It also asks what is at stake in such endeavors.

Proliferating Nutrition: Counting and Calculating for Healthy Lives

Saul Halfon, Virginia Tech

The US Department of Agriculture negotiates nutritional policy and advocacy in the face of proliferating nutritional measures and theories, which stand as enemies to a clear public message about nutritional health, behavior, and risk.

Targeted Biosurveillance: A Productive Endeavor

Rebecca Hester, Virginia Tech

This paper looks at the politics and ethics of attempts to manage unruly biology in a global context and illuminates the ways these efforts have led to the growth of a complex and unruly biosurveillance regime.


Eating for Life: When Food is the Best Medicine

Danya Glabau, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

1st September 2016, 14:00


Concurrent with the rise of "drugs for life" in biomedical societies has been a growing trend of using food as medicine. How does "eating for life" respond to and shape ideas about the body, the politics of medical knowledge, subjectivity, and the limits of the human?

The Hygienic Sublime: Making Food Safe for Food Allergies

Danya Glabau, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

“The Hygienic Sublime” is an aesthetic of cleanliness and order that people with food allergy enact in order to live and eat safely. It is informed by American aspirations of progress and poses challenges to modern industrial food production.

Apricot Kernels and Chemo? Eating Away Cancer at a Biomedical Hospital in Germany

Eva Jansen, University of Tübingen

This paper focuses on the role of diet in a German cancer ward: Dietary education is practiced to instill agency in patients. This contradicts the biomedical idea of the docile body. I reflect on conflicting medical paradigms, thereby tracing the process of hegemonization of knowledge on diet and cancer.

Eating less meat to 'save the planet'? Updating healthy eating advice

Isabel Fletcher, University of Edinburgh

Sustainability criteria are beginning to be incorporated into official healthy eating advice, however this involves complex judgements about the impacts of specific foods. My presentation describes research to investigate the development of this new policy science in the UK, France and Denmark.

'Digestion, immunity and vitality': nutriceuticals, ready-to-use-therapeutic-foods, and the temporary as the future

Thomas Cousins, University of Oxford; Michelle Pentecost, Kings College London

The convergence of humanitarian governance architectures and corporate interests in nutrition interventions in South Africa rests on a future-oriented logic that employs ideas about digestion, immunity and wellness to reconfigure food supplementation in pregnancy and to the HIV positive population.


Pharmaceuticals out of Bounds

Christy Spackman, Harvey Mudd College; Danya Glabau, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

1st September 2016, 16:00


What happens when pharmaceuticals overflow the boundaries imposed by regulatory structures, carrier materials, and places and methods of production? This panel explores how new theoretical frameworks, methodologies, approaches and actors can contribute to addressing risk in a pharmaceutical world.

Delineating the Architecture of Buprenorphine Distribution in Taiwan

Jia-shin Chen, National Yang-Ming University

This study draws on Shobita Parthasarathy’s idea of architecture as a sensitizing concept to approach buprenorphine distribution as a heterogeneous techno-institutional assemblage that cannot be fully understood without knowledge of the complex local history about opium and its derivatives in Taiwan.

"No Books of Life Without a Functioning Printing Press!" Reframing pharmaceutical estrogens as a biodiversity problem

Nina Janasik-Honkela, University of Helsinki

Despite regulation, it will take a long time before pharmaceutical estrogens such as EE2 will be phased out. There thus remains a need for affective measures to awaken concern. Similar metaphors that have been used to articulate biodiversity concern should be used regarding pharmaceutical estrogens.

The Pharmaceutical Hauntings of Erasure

Christy Spackman, Harvey Mudd College

This paper traces the quantification practices integral to the detection and erasure of pharmaceuticals after they are discarded or excreted into the aquatic environment. It argues that institutional practices of measuring erasure threaten not only individual bodies but also the body politic.


Governance of Agricultural Biotechnologies

Georgina Catacora-Vargas, University Mayor de San Simón; Sarah Hartley, University of Nottingham; Brian Wynne, Lancaster University

2nd September 2016, 16:00


Governance of agricultural biotechnologies faces limitations, challenges and opportunities. From epistemological questions and empirical case-studies, this session explores what a scientifically and socially more robust governance approaches would comprise.

Gene-edited crops and the integration of diverse knowledges for strategic research policy

Sarah Hartley, University of Nottingham; Robert Smith, King's College London

Gene-edited crops tap into longstanding divisions within GMO controversies. We introduce an approach to embed reflection and societal engagement in strategic research policy as a key element of responsible governance of agricultural biotechnology.

Context-adapted labeling of GM food - Regulatory insights from the Bolivian experience

Georgina Catacora-Vargas, University Mayor de San Simón; Sergio Arispe Barrientos, Ministry of Environment and Water of Bolivia

Labeling of GM food is a challenging and hotly debated issue in agricultural biotechnology governance. The Bolivian experience provides important insights on this issue when faced with multiple constraints in the context of responsible agricultural biotechnology governance.

Incorporation of sustainability, ethical and social considerations in risk assessment of agricultural biotechnologies.

Frøydis Gillund, GenØk - Centre for Biosafety; Anne Ingeborg Myhr, The Arctic University of Norway

The lack of clarity about how to assess socio-economic impacts of agricultural biotechnologies prevents effective incorporation of such considerations in risk assessment frameworks. We discuss how stakeholder deliberations may provide useful insights on what these assessments should entail.

A systems approach to assessing GMOs: insights from a context of coexistence

Amaranta Herrero, GENØK; Fern Wickson, GenØk Centre for Biosafety; Rosa Binimelis, Genok

Governance of agricultural biotechnologies needs to consider the broader socio-ecological system that they embody and engender. Using empirical data from Spain, we explore some of the methods available for advancing this systems-based approach and foster reflections on the governance of coexistence.


Ecologies of participation: Thinking systemically about science and technology by other means

Helen Pallett, University of East Anglia; Jason Chilvers, University of East Anglia

2nd September 2016, 14:00


STS scholars have begun to break down normative assumptions about participatory practices to understand them as co-produced, relational and emergent. This panel opens up to diverse collectives of participation to explore their co-production and interrelations within wider systems and constitutions.

Ecologies of participation and energy constitutions

Helen Pallett, University of East Anglia; Jason Chilvers, University of East Anglia; Tom Hargreaves

This talk develops a framework for understanding ecologies of participation, connecting individual collectives of participation and broader constitutions. This approach is applied to a systematic mapping of diverse participatory collectives in UK energy transitions, 2010-2015.

Emerging Technologies and the Public Sphere

Lotte Krabbenborg, Radboud University

This paper contributes to the notion of ‘ecologies of participation’ by arguing that in order to better align emerging technologies with societal needs and values, the development and societal embedding of emerging technologies should a be topic for debate in the public sphere.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in Germany: Challenges for public participation

Sabine Könninger, IMEW - Institute "Mensch, Ethik und Wissenschaft"; Kathrin Braun, University of Vienna

Starting from a broad concept of public participation including (un)invited participation, we will map out the spaces of civic participation in the governance of NIPT. How do participation actors construct problems and which problematizations get (not) admitted in which context?

Overlapped modes of participation in El Campo de Cebada

Jorge Martín Sainz de los Terreros, University College of London

In light of current debates around participation in urban planning, this paper draws away from defining participation; rather, it explores how different modes of participation coexist.


Postphenomenological Research: Technologies, Robots, and Human Identity

Peter-Paul Verbeek, University of Twente

3rd September 2016, 14:00


New technologies, most notably in robotics, challenge existing frameworks to understand human identity and the relations between humans and technologies. This session will take up this challenge by investigating new human-technology relations and its implications for human self-understanding.

Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents: Mapping Heidegger, Ihde, Latour and Verbeek

Jacob Wamberg, Aarhus University

This paper maps technological engagement positions, foregrounding a neoclassical anthropomorphic bias in Heidegger and Don Ihde. Alternatives are Latour’s ANT, reactualizing a tribal immersive worldview, and Ihde’s own and Verbeek’s post-classical hermeneutics that alienates everyday sensations.

Robot Learning - Posthuman or posthumanistic?

Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University

This paper combines postphenomenological, feminist and cultural-historical theories in this exploration of posthuman learning, acknowledging that unpredictable and complex technologies play an ever larger part in our cultural activities and our conceptual abstractions.

The stranger within: technical self-formation as sublimation

Ciano Aydin, University of Twente/ Delft University of Technology

Inspired by Lacan and Nancy I will investigate how technical mediation approach could account for what in technical self-formation escapes our control, which could help us to understand technical self-formation as an ethics of sublimation, instead of an ethics of self-constitution and self-regulation.

Philosophy of Technology beyond the Empirical Turn

Mithun Bantwal Rao, Wageningen University

This paper positions “paradigmatology” vis-à-vis two approaches in the emerging field of philosophy of technology, Heidegger’s epochal thinking on technology, and contemporary empirically oriented philosophy of technology.

I'm in love with my car" - Postphenomenology and emotions

Finn Olesen, Aarhus University; Bente Hull Frich, Aarhus University

We suggest that emotions are not just epiphenomenons to embodied, deliberated agency, they co-produce agency and its meaning. Using case studies and the works of Heidegger and Sartre we will outline a potential application of emotion studies to sociotechnical research.

Homeliness: Identity and selfhood in an age of transition

Lars Botin, Aalborg University

Building on the ideas of Heidegger, Bachelard, and postphenomenology, this paper develops an original perspective on “home” and “homeliness” as technology can enhance, empower and/or emancipate the transitory human in an age of globalization and migration.

Synesthesia and Human-Robot-Interactions - Alterity Relations shaping Sensorimotor Unity

Michael Funk, University of Vienna

How are both differences and interactions between humans and robots possible? How are alterity relations characterized? Discussing questions like these I want to introduce the concept of synesthesia into philosophy of technology, postphenomenology and investigations about mediating technologies.

Postphenomenology and Nihilism

Nolen Gertz, University of Twente

In order to determine the role that nihilism plays in technological progress, this paper will put postphenomenology’s human-technology relations in dialogue with Friedrich Nietzsche’s human-nihilism relations.

Sapiens ex machina: towards an anthropology of human-robot relations

Peter-Paul Verbeek, University of Twente

Robots challenge the frameworks that have been developed to understand the relations between humans and technologies. This paper investigates how to conceptualize human-robot relations in terms of mediation rather than otherness, relating this to current debates on the social impact of robots.

Me, My Fitbit, and I: Self-Tracking and the Leib/Körper Distinction

Kirk Besmer, Gonzaga University

The use of fitness trackers involves an ambiguity, namely, that the agent monitoring the tracking is not identical to the object tracked, although it's the same physical body. I argue that the phenomenological distinction between Leib and Körper is crucial to understanding this ambiguity.

Humanity, Philosophy and Technology

Shoji Nagataki, Chukyo University

The development of technology has seemingly made the line of demarcation between humans and machine quite vague. In this presentation, I will address the question of whether the concept of "humanity" is coherent and possible by a brief historical reference to several attempted demarcations.


Engaging decoloniality and decolonization in science and technology studies

Juno Parrenas, The Ohio State University; Kristina Lyons, University of California, Santa Cruz; Noah Tamarkin, The Ohio State University; Kalindi Vora, University of California San Diego

2nd September 2016, 16:00


Science and technology continue to be shaped by colonial legacies, even as competing worldviews within technoscience emphasize other means than colonial ways of understanding the world. As postcoloniality becomes important in STS, what might decolonial scholarship and decolonization contribute?

roundtable participant

Juno Parrenas, The Ohio State University

What does the lens of decoloniality or decolonization render imaginable in the worlds & world-making processes you study? What gets generated in the tensions between postcolonialism, decolonization, and decoloniality?

Roundtable participant

Lesley Green, University of Cape Town

What does the lens of decoloniality or decolonization render imaginable in the worlds & world-making processes you study? What gets generated in the tensions between postcolonialism, decolonization, and decoloniality?

roundtable participant

Banu Subramaniam, UMass Amherst

What does the lens of decoloniality or decolonization render imaginable in the worlds & world-making processes you study? What gets generated in the tensions between postcolonialism, decolonization, and decoloniality?

Roundtable Participant

Kristina Lyons, University of California, Santa Cruz

What does the lens of decoloniality or decolonization render imaginable in the worlds & world-making processes you study? What gets generated in the tensions between postcolonialism, decolonization, and decoloniality?

roundtable participant

Vanessa Agard-Jones, Columbia University

What does the lens of decoloniality or decolonization render imaginable in the worlds & world-making processes you study? What gets generated in the tensions between postcolonialism, decolonization, and decoloniality?

roundtable participant

Tania Pérez-Bustos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

What does the lens of decoloniality or decolonization render imaginable in the worlds & world-making processes you study? What gets generated in the tensions between postcolonialism, decolonization, and decoloniality?

roundtable participant

Noah Tamarkin, The Ohio State University

What does the lens of decoloniality or decolonization render imaginable in the worlds & world-making processes you study? What gets generated in the tensions between postcolonialism, decolonization, and decoloniality?


STS Underground: Ignorance and Invisibility in the Worlds of Mining and Underground Extraction

Abby Kinchy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Jessica Smith, Colorado School of Mines

2nd September 2016, 09:00


How does the earth's subsurface become visible and knowable, and why does knowledge about the effects of mining and extraction often remain buried?

Engineering the Underground to Settle the Surface: Sociotechnical responsibility and engineering in the extractive industries

Jessica Smith, Colorado School of Mines

Drawing on ethnographic research with engineers in the mining, oil and gas industries, this paper explores how they understand the connections and disconnections between the underground worlds that they map and manipulate and the social worlds in which those extractive activities take place.

The Making and Unmaking of a Mining District: Quantification and the Contestation of Resource Representations in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Karen Hébert, Carleton University

This paper tracks a controversy over proposed mining and different modes of resource representation in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, known for its vibrant salmon fisheries.

A Desire for Ignorance: Financial speculations in the cosmoeconomy of gold mining in Mongolia

Mette High, University of St Andrews

My paper considers a desire for ignorance within the conjuncture between international money flows and gold sold by ‘big bosses’ in Mongolia’s gold rush. The traders’ financial speculations show how gold and money are potent matters entangled with human and nonhuman forces in underground extraction.

Volunteers and Commercial Water Testing Companies in the Struggle to Reveal the Impacts of Fracking

Abby Kinchy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

This paper examines the social organization of research on water pollution caused by shale gas production (fracking) in Pennsylvania (USA).

Who Speaks for the Subsurface? A Decade of Groundwater and Natural Gas Conflict in the Four Corners Region

Adrianne Kroepsch, Colorado School of Mines

The Northern San Juan Basin is one of the most intensively studied natural gas basins in the world, and yet its subsurface dynamics are described in opposite ways by companies, scientists, and landowners. Such epistemic conflicts complicate the management of subsurface energy and water resources.

Earthly Graves for Environmental Futures: techno-burial practices

Matthew Kearnes, University of New South Wales

An exploration of projects of technologically-mediated burial—long term geological storage of radioactive waste and soil carbon sequestration.


Heritage in Biology, Biology as Heritage

Grace Kim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Caterina Scaramelli, Amherst College; Cristina Grasseni, Utrecht University

1st September 2016, 11:00


This panel interrogates the science and technology of heritage conservation — particularly from the perspective of the biosciences. How does materializing different kinds of heritage — "our past" and "ourselves" — become synonymous with mobilizing and making claims about biological nature?

Bottling climate change. Global climate at the root of the authentic upland wine in the Pyrenees.

Federico De Musso, McGill University

In the Catalan High Pyrenees, global climate becomes legible through policies promoting upland viticulture. Marketing of local heritage resort to global climate to justify the return to wine-making in the region. Climate change and tradition mix together in the making of heritage wine.

Ground Truth: Remote Sensing and the Craft of Heritage in Iraq's Marshes

Bridget Guarasci, Franklin & Marshall College

By following the labors of Iraqi scientists to make the marshes a national park and World Heritage site, this paper explores how the violence of the Iraq war was realized each day in the lab work and fieldwork of Iraqi biologists, where scientists regularly negotiated both moral and mortal distress.

The Biorestoration of Stone Heritage: Microbiology and Authenticity in Italy

Grace Kim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In the laboratory, Italian microbiologists today work to use bacteria to “restore” heritage artifacts, making the sociocultural life of heritage legible and tractable to the natural sciences. How are these microbiologists emerging as the new caretakers of “our past?"


Extending conceptualizations and technologies of knowledge translation in health care

Ida Lillehagen, University of Oslo; Sietse Wieringa; Kristin Heggen, University of Oslo; Eivind Engebretsen, University of Oslo; John Ødemark, University of Oslo

1st September 2016, 09:00


We are witnessing "a turn away from translation" within health care that is driving new ideas and methods to extend our means to 'close the gap' between science and clinical use. This session will explore the future of 'knowledge translations' as a concept and practice within health care.

The translational supplement of evidence based medicine

Eivind Engebretsen, University of Oslo; John Ødemark, University of Oslo

Drawing on Derrida's notion of the supplement we will challenge what we claim to be an implicit assumption within evidence-based medicine: that the production of evidence is separate from its transfer and that translation is secondary to the production of evidence.

Translation and co-creation of knowledge in participatory research

Ida Lillehagen, University of Oslo; Eivind Engebretsen, University of Oslo; Kristin Heggen, University of Oslo

Knowledge translation and co-creation are expected benefits of participatory research. Our study of a participatory research project found that the participants’ strategies for translating knowledge across contexts may cause dilemmas to knowledge production that ultimately influence on co-creation.

Standardized evidence, uncertainty and clinical reasoning

Kristin Heggen, University of Oslo; Eivind Engebretsen, University of Oslo; Sietse Wieringa; Trisha Greenhalgh, University of Oxford

The overall aim of evidence-based medicine is to reduce uncertainty through the use of standardized methods for knowledge evaluation and use. We argue that uncertainties are possible sources to informed decision making and not a threat against evidence-based clinical reasoning.

Workshop Philosophical Assumptions underlying EBM Knowledge Creation: Reasoning, Interpretation and Mindlines.

Sietse Wieringa

This workshop aims to explore and extend the basic epistemic concepts of knowledge creation and interpretation in EBM and guideline development using the concept of 'mindlines'.


Environments of care: understanding and shaping care by other means

Cristina Popescu, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales; Laura Centemeri

3rd September 2016, 09:00


From an ecological perspective on action, the session addresses care in its close relationship with design practices.The contributions address issues regarding care, health and technologies and enlarge the cross-disciplinary dialogue between sociology, health studies and environmental studies.

Digital adjustments and reconfigured learning environments for students with disabilities

Cristina Popescu, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Accessible and adapted digital technologies configure a new environment for students with disabilities. This presentation therefore focuses on multiple and complex adjustments at work in a particular infrastructure of care.

Care and normativity. Exploring a relationship's career

Stefan Nicolae, University of Trier

Addressing situated care practices brings up questions related to both ontology and normativity. Drawing on the studies of Annemarie Mol, the contribution reconstructs the analytical connection between normativity and care and argues for a plurality of formats in dealing with this relationship.

Narrating the environment of birth

Cecilia Colloseus, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

The contribution addresses the concept of care in the field of childbirth by taking into account women's birth narratives. It will be discussed how narratives can be a means of understanding and shaping care.


Hermeneutics: 'let Nature and Material Things speak' with Don Ihde

Josette Jacobs, Wageningen University; Bart Gremmen, Wageningen University

1st September 2016, 14:00


Nature and material things can be understood differently by different groups. Just like texts that can be read differently. This motto of the closed session of ISHS, fits into the material hermeneutics interests of Don Ihde. So we are very happy to find Ihde as keynote listener on our program.

The Sound of Technoscience

Bart Gremmen, Wageningen University

This paper is a review of Don Ihde’s book Acoustic Technics. The book is about the embodied, sensory experience of sound and uses his postphenomenological perspective on technoscience to show how the body experiences sound beyond hearing.

Hermeneutics of Science and Numbers: Nature Speaks Mathematics

Chandrima Christiansen, TU Dresden

Science uses mathematics as a tool to conceptualise Nature and Phenomena.Technology interprets science to extend the observational scope to capture visuals and promulgate perceptual conjectures.This inductive circle is a dynamic constant defining the embedding of Science and Technology in Society.

Let nature speak: the case of the Atwood machine

Ricardo Coelho, University of Lisbon

There are several solving strategies of the Atwood machine problem. These use different theoretical elements to reach the solution of the problem. An approach directly based on the characteristics of the machine enables us to achieve the same goal in a simpler and clearer way.

'Nature itself cannot speak and say what it wants'

Josette Jacobs, Wageningen University

Working together on complex issues is prominent in society. The question is: how will you do this? Mutual understanding is crucial to collaboration. In this presentation it will become clear what the link is with Gadamer’s idea about understanding texts and understanding nature and material things.

Earthing technology: global warming and the biomimetics of technology in the anthropocene

Vincent Blok, Wageningen University

In this paper, we reflect on the Anthropocene as changed conditions under which new technologies emerge in order to explore a more eco-centric approach of technology development, which is called biomimicry.


Remaking News: Technology and the Futures of Journalism Scholarship

Pablo Boczkowski, Northwestern University; Christopher Anderson, College of Staten Island - The City University of New York

3rd September 2016, 09:00


This panel aims to overcome the relative lack of focus on materiality, artifacts, and technology in mainstream scholarship news production by drawing on concepts central to Science and Technology Studies (STS).

Professional Culture, Technology, and Innovation in the News Industry

Mark Deuze, University of Amsterdam; Mirjam Prenger, University of Amsterdam

Our contribution tackles the question of professionalism using both a historical and a contemporary setting for the investigation of entrepreneurship and innovation in journalism.

The Whitespace Press: Designing Meaningful Absences into Networked News

Mike Ananny

An analysis of how the contemporary press could create meaningful absences by creating networked whitespaces that help guarantee a public right to hear.

Words and Things: Technology and the Futures of Journalism Scholarship

Pablo Boczkowski, Northwestern University; Christopher Anderson, College of Staten Island - The City University of New York

This paper argues that a journalism studies ought to be more more sensitive to technology, materiality, and socio-technical culture and discusses the ways to enact this research agenda.

On the Worlds of Journalism

Seth Lewis, University of Oregon; Rodrigo Zamith

Making a conceptual provocation about the “worlds” of journalism, we argue that, to understand technological change, it is useful to bring into focus the collective nature of journalism—including ambient, data, and algorithmic forms—and the relative status afforded to certain actors and activities.

A manifesto of failure for digital journalism

Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Cardiff University

This presentation argues for the need to pay attention to failure in the study of digital journalism. Scholarship has focused on success over failure; and on innovation over resistance to change. Such an emphasis may render actual practices invisible, constituting an epistemological blind spot.


Islands on the Cutting Edge: Test sites for reimagining future technoscience

Phoebe Sengers, Cornell University; Laura Watts, University of Edinburgh; Kaiton Williams, Cornell University; Max Liboiron, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Hrönn Holmer, Cornell University

3rd September 2016, 11:00


This collaboratively presented session interweaves stories from 4 islands - Orkney Islands (Scotland), Fogo and Change Islands (Newfoundland), and Jamaica - to speculate on islands outside the mainstream as test sites for alternative versions of science, technology and the future.

An Island is a World

Kaiton Williams, Cornell University

Within its effort to promote tech entrepreneurship, Jamaica’s diverse culture & material infrastructure is often a source of anxiety. But that heterogeneity yields significant potential, both for its budding developers and for those seeking alternatives to dominant ideas of technical praxis.

Infrastructures of Modernization

Phoebe Sengers, Cornell University

Change Islands, Newfoundland was rapidly modernized in the 1960's. New

infrastructures from power to roads introduced new conditions of

existence, only some of which are viable on a remote island. Change Islands is a place to query how being modern is, and is not, produced by means of technology.

The Electric Nemesis, tale from the Energy Islands Saga

Laura Watts, University of Edinburgh

Victor Frankenstein came to Orkney. He created a companion monster, and then abandoned her. A century later and she has been recharged by electric future-making in the islands, by smart grids and test sites. This is her tale, sensitive to the hubris of the universal and the partiality of the edge.

Breaking the Scientific Method at the Edge of the World, Newfoundland

Max Liboiron, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Instruments and protocols for monitoring marine plastics are not built for Newfoundland. This co-presentation outlines place-based techniques for doing marine plastic pollution research in an environment that undercuts the regularity, standardization, and predictability of the scientific method.


Doing Social Robots by Other Means

Miquel Domènech, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Marta Díaz-Boladeras, Technical University of Catalonia

1st September 2016, 09:00


This proposal wants to answer the question about how to design social robots by other means. Following this idea, the session will be structured around some issues related to that: how to diversify the actors involved in the process? What ethical principles and caring models are at stake?

Ethical, moral and legal concerns when developing social robots for care

Rodrigo de Oliveira Machado, Autonomous University of Barcelona; Jordi Albo-Canals

The increasing presence of robots in society has taken debates around makes the general society and specifically fields of knowledge asking more about the ethics terms involved in that construction. How the field of STS can collaborate with that discussion?

Participatory Design in school: how children, engineers and social scientist collaborate.

Mireia Faucha, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Olga Sans

Children, engineers, designers, medical staff and social scientists have taken part in a Participatory Design process of social robots for a children's hospital. This presentation reflects critically on the complexities, the limits and possibilities this kind of methodology offers.

Designing social robots: rethinking challenges and constraints of a participatory experience

Núria Vallès-Peris, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Miquel Domènech, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Marta Díaz-Boladeras, Technical University of Catalonia

This presentation explores some of the complexities that have emerged during our experience in a participatory design process with children to develop a social robot. We offer an analytical framework to understand care and materiality emerged as determinat factors in our collaborative endeavour.

Social robots in hospitals: extending care visions

Guillem Palà, Autonomous University of Barcelona; Cecilio Angulo, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC); Alex Barco, La Salle - Universitat Ramon Llull; Miguel Garcia Fernandez, Saint John of God Hospital

The inclusion of social robots in hospitals opens new care meanings, extending it from human-centred visions to material related ones. A multidisciplinary group will be joined not only for defending their own vision of that switch but to weave hybrid argumentations.


Disentangling ecologies: working around 'the system'

Emily Yates-Doerr, University of Amsterdam

2nd September 2016, 11:00


How can we work with substances and organisms that refuse systematicity while attending to ecologies that nurture us? This experimental roundtable takes coherence and disentanglement as empirical objects, asking how we can develop non-systemic togetherness.

Mining Ecologies (roundtable)

Filippo Bertoni, Aarhus University

Exploring the entanglements and circulations between mining, earth, planetary and life sciences, and the histories of life on Earth and beyond highlights the contingencies of systems. How to tell stories that don't easily fit with this version of togetherness?

Resistance ecologies (roundtable)

Jenna Grant, University of Washington

What can malaria drug resistance sciences show us about the composition of the here and the elsewhere in our own work? I discuss this question in terms of parasite elimination experiments in Cambodia.

Reproductive Ecologies (roundtable)

Emily Yates-Doerr, University of Amsterdam

What can we learn from UN discussions of ‘global development’ about the possibilities for conceptual developments in science and technology studies? I take up this question through an analysis of ecologies of reproduction in Guatemala and beyond.

Heat (roundtable)

Alex Nading, University of Edinburgh

Can heat be disentangled from other determinants of health problems? I explore this question by reflecting on ongonig research on chronic kidney disease among Nicaraguan sugarcane workers.


Soft Focus: How Software Reshaped Technical Vision and Practice

Evan Hepler-Smith, Harvard University; William Deringer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3rd September 2016, 11:00


The practices involved in producing technical knowledge are now frequently carried out by means of discipline-specific software. On a variety of scales, from entire disciplines to specific research groups, such specialized software programs have reconfigured technical vision and practice.


William Deringer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The pioneering spreadsheet software VisiCalc was released for the Apple II in 1979. This paper examines one way VisiCalc afforded new kinds of economic vision: how it enabled bankers to envision leveraged buyouts. In doing so, this study reflects on a new “mode of uncertainty” in modern finance.


Stephanie Dick, Harvard University

The MACSYMA system was developed at MIT beginning in the 1960s. It was meant to be a "mathematical laboratory" that would enable new forms of problem solving and experimentation. I explore the vision of mathematical labor embodied in the system and the novel practices that emerged among its users.


Evan Hepler-Smith, Harvard University

This paper will address two contrasting aspects of ChemDraw, a molecular drawing program widely used by chemists. Through “connection tables” (a digital file format) and “styles” (parameters of visual rhetoric), ChemDraw has supported the Janus-faced visual epistemology of modern chemistry.


Nadine Levin, UCLA

This paper considers the history of data analysis algorithms in the metabolomics software XCMS Online, a cloud-based platform developed in 2012 for the analysis of mass spectrometry data. These algorithms form the backbone of 21st century big data analytics, but have a history dating back to the 1970s.


Political Objects. Prescriptions, Injustices and Promises of Material Agents

Corinna Bath, Technische Universität Braunschweig; Waltraud Ernst, Johannes Kepler University Linz; Sigrid Schmitz, HU Berlin

2nd September 2016, 14:00


Phenomena are constituted within material-semiotic networks and materialize in technoscientific devices. Does "new materialism" offer a new understanding of objects as e.g. algorithms, nanomaterials, food, brain-machine interfaces, artifacts used for and by refugees, lasergraving machines, and cows?

Gender politics of algorithms: On biases and 'facts'

Corinna Bath, Technische Universität Braunschweig

This paper explores the gender politics of algorithms in two different ways. First, it aims at conceptualizing biases in algorithms with a new materialist approach. Secondly, it discusses a recent case of a struggle against gender studies and critical thought on the same theoretical grounds.

(Infra)corporeal labour in Czech organic milk production

Lucie Žeková, Charles University Prague

Following Donna Haraway’s notion of companion species, Annemarie Mol’s multiple realities and Eduardo Kohn’s concept of semiotic lives I assume labour is performed not only by humans, animals and technologies, but also by their parts and shared infracorporeal entanglements.

Brain/Bodies in Technocultures: Becomings and Impacts of Brain-Machine Interfaces

Sigrid Schmitz, HU Berlin

Grounded in the material-semiotic framework of feminist materialism this paper explores recent constitutions of Brain-Machine Interfaces: the agential entanglements of bio-materiality, technology and socio-cultural inscriptions, their political impacts, and their outreaching aims into transhumanism.

Emancipatory Interferences with Machines?

Waltraud Ernst, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Powerful entanglements and meanings of difference between machine and human, designer and user, women and men get enacted in technical devices. Is there a potential for emancipatory interference with laser gravers, their users and their designers?

Food, situated knowledge and politics of respect

Marja Vehviläinen, University of Tampere

The paper discusses food as a political object and science by other means through a study of groups that work with research-based knowledge and material practices of food production. By following Haraway’s companion species, it tackles with injustices and politics of respect in food production.

Nanomaterials as material-semiotic objects

Martina Erlemann, Technical University Kaiserslautern

In the debates about risks of nanomaterials the discourse converges into an intractable conflict of what a nanomaterial is or how it is to be defined. The paper offers an onto-epistemological re-reading of this case within agential realism for a better understanding of this controversy.


The Best Way to Control Toxic Actants: Litigation or Regulation?

Doogab Yi, Seoul National University; Paul Jobin, Academia Sinica

3rd September 2016, 14:00


By exploring litigation and regulation on toxic actants in East Asian countries, this panel examines following questions: What are the effects of the class actions on state regulations? What other forms of social mobilization can create more appropriate and efficient regulation?

Statistics and the Politics of causality in late modernity

Tal Golan, University of California, San Diego

My talk will discuss the intertwining scientific and legal quests for true causes in late-modernity, when true causes are hard to find, no single explanatory factor is sufficient, and neither the scientific expert nor the lay jury are trusted to decide the facts.

Right to Know; No Right to Sue?

Yoonjung Lee

This paper examines efforts by workers who seek to address their illnesses outside the confines of workers’ compensation— a key example of modern institutions aimed at managing risks arising from industrial production. It explores what new conceptions of responsibility emerge from their struggles.

Time in Toxic Tort in the Taiwan RCA Litigation

Hsin-Hsing Chen, Shih-Hsin University

Time poses a particular problem in controversies about long-term, low-dosage exposure of unfamiliar hazards, as science and legal actions usually go in tandem in them. District court in the Taiwan RCA case tackles this by a novel interpretation of the existing statute of limitation.

Constructed ignorance in a tobacco litigation in Japan

Kaori Iida, SOKENDAI

I will analyze how ignorance intentionally produced by the tobacco industry has been treated in recent litigations in Japan. It is critical for judges and lawyers to have broader understanding of science to deal with ignorance. I will particularly focus on dealings of conflicts of interest at court.

Risk and Glocal Rationality in Litigation? Tobacco and Air Pollution Litigation in Korea

Doogab Yi, Seoul National University

This paper examines the history of tobacco and air pollution litigation in Korea from a comparative perspective. It pays attention to the role of statistical models and epidemiology, and shows how different conceptions of risk and causality in late modernity led to divergent legal decisions.

The neoliberal governmentality of air pollutants: Informational Regulation of Particulate Matter in Korea

JooHui Kim, Seoul National University

This paper examines the shift in Korean regulation on particulate matter, from total quantity control to information disclosure. It will draw attention to how “neoliberal effects” brought by the regulatory shift ultimately make issues of responsibility and scientific uncertainty unproblematic.


Infrastructural Futures : Speculation, Crisis, and Media Technologies

Orit Halpern, Concordia University; Jamie Allen, Critical Media Lab Basel

2nd September 2016, 16:00


This panel brings together artists, designers, and scholars to examine the complex relationship between infrastructure and futurity in a myriad of situations. Our intention is to reconfigure the study, and production, of infrastructures in terms of emergence and not merely emergency.

Modeling Eco-Capitalism. Infrastructural Obscenity and their Future Perfect

Shintaro Miyazaki, Uni. of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland / Academy of Art and Design

This paper will inquire into aspects of the commodification of natural resources, such as trees. It will examine the media-based infra-, socio-epistemic suprastructures, models and circuitries eco-capitalism is based on and tentatively propose alternative strategies of practice-based critique.

Infrastructural Imaginaries: Resilience, Reverie, Response-ability

Jamie Allen, Critical Media Lab Basel; Orit Halpern, Concordia University

This paper asserts the importance of how technological infrastructures are imagined in relationship to both catastrophe and potentiality through the discussion of a set of historical and contemporary artistic, engineering, and architectural projects.

Mind the Gap: imaginary infrastructures of deep neural networks

Johannes Bruder, Academy of Art and Design FHNW

This paper presents an infrastructural take on deep neural networks like Google’s DeepMind and examines the imaginary potential of the entanglement of research and engineering in contemporary Artificial intelligence.

Infrastructures of Sensation: Making up People in the "Sensor Society"

Chris Salter, Concordia University

Using examples of selected artistic works, this talk examines the manner in which a new kind of “sensory order” is arising in which new technologies of the senses involving both forms of quantification and organization of sensory affect increasingly “make up” (Hacking) new sensing subjects.

Sovereign Media and the Ruins of a Logistical Future

Ned Rossiter, Western Sydney University

Sovereign media are primed to exploit the ruins of a logistical future. Drawing on artistic experiments, my interest in this paper is to think how infrastructure of communication operate as a form of sovereign media, bringing the singularity of the state as a sovereign entity into question.


Improving gender balance from below

Knut H Sørensen, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology

2nd September 2016, 09:00


The session explores gender balance issues in academia, with a particular focus on the situation at the departmental level, and inclusion-oriented strategies of improvement.

The dynamics of gender balance: Science studies perspectives and beyond

Vivian Anette Lagesen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The paper contributes to the science studies literature on gender by analysing gender balance differences across departments and how they may be accounted for.

Engaging or dis-engaging: How heads of departments approach gender balance issues

Knut H Sørensen, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology; Siri Øyslebø Sørensen, Norwegian Uni.of Science and Technology

The paper draws on science studies approaches to develop an action-oriented understanding of the role of head of departments and their scientific leadership in engaging with gender balance issues among scientific staff.

The experience of academic cultures: Perceptions of gender inclusion and future career options amongst women early career academics

Guro Korsnes Kristensen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

This paper contributes to the STS literature on gender in/of science, exploring how early career women scientists perceive the academic culture they work in and local inclusion measures, promoting an action perspective.

Publication patterns - gender gap or local practices?

Siri Øyslebø Sørensen, Norwegian Uni.of Science and Technology

This paper develops an actor-network theory oriented approach to analyse possible gender patterns with respect to publication rates, studied at the level of departments. A main contribution is in the idea of studying scientific publication as socio-material assemblages.

Interdisciplinarity as an instrument of improved gender balance

Marianne Fostervold, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Vivian Anette Lagesen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The paper analyses the potential of interdisciplinarity as a strategy to redefine doing technology and how this may be a tool for improved gender balance, as a contribution to STS investigations into gender, science and technology relations. It also discusses if this strategy is applicable to universities.


The Potential Futures of Data Science: A Roundtable Intervention

Brian Beaton, California Polytechnic State University

1st September 2016, 09:00


This panel focuses on new and breaking STS research on data science. Panel participants will present research on data science's communication patterns, tools, styles of work, analytical habits, standards, visual strategies, professional ethics, and on data science research cultures.

Reshaping Data Science Research Cultures

Brian Beaton, California Polytechnic State University

This paper argues that STS has a key role to play in shaping the future of data science and that STS should proactively steer data science toward more progressive and interesting ends.

Data Science and the Security State

Lauren Di Monte, North Carolina State University

This paper studies the relationship between data science and the American security state. It examines exchanges between data science and federal intelligence agencies, and describes how work in this field is enabled by particular infrastructures and regimes of data collection.

More data, more work: problems, evidence, and collecting futures

Amelia Acker, The University of Texas at Austin

This paper presents a survey of emerging data work coming out of the professionalization and 'trickle down' effects of the institutionalization and enrollment of data science into higher education and the professionalization of information workers.

Data Science as a Service: Emergent Cultures of Modeling and the Production of Insight

Shivrang Setlur, Cornell University

This paper explores values of management in data science. Focusing on new modeling practices, I explore how data science generates "insightful" knowledge, paying attention to how data science enables novel notions of evidence, expertise, and interdisciplinary practice.

Data Silence(s): Data Science, Inclusivity, and Barriers to Social Change

Tonia Sutherland, University of Alabama

Increasingly there are data science projects that aim to address planet-scale social problems. However, Western and Northern perspectives govern the current data science landscape. This paper discusses the ways underrepresented groups are being further silenced by vagaries in data science practices.


Biotechnology, Personal Identity, and Boundaries Across the Globe

Alka Menon, Northwestern University

3rd September 2016, 16:00


This panel traces the effects of biotechnology on personal identity in different contexts. Using the cases of IVF, surrogacy programs, cosmetic surgery and skin care, we demonstrate how biotechnologies help define the body and acceptable bodily practices and interventions across the globe.

Minority Women and Making Use of Government Regulated Reproductive Technologies

Safak Kilictepe, Indiana University

Regulations of and experiences with in vitro fertilization (IVF) reflect states’ ideologies, their approach to different groups, and definition of ideals. This paper examines the relationship between political religion, IVF technology, and infertile minority women’s negotiations their reproduction.

The Market for Wombs: A Study of the Transnational Surrogacy Industry in Mexico

April Hovav, University of Southern California

Drawing on ethnographic research in Mexico, this study explores the processes through which international networks, complex regulatory regimes, and local economies converge in the formation of international surrogacy programs, and how, in turn, women’s bodies are refashioned to serve global markets.

Defining Skin as an Individualized Surface: American Post-War Marketing and the Products of Identity

Maxwell Rogoski, University of Pennsylvania

This paper explores how American men and women began to regard their skin as a highly individualized organ in the 1950s and 60s. I show how this understanding emerged in part due to marketing of consumer goods (e.g. soap) drawing on the Ernest Dichter papers, periodicals and advertisements.

Constructing A Perfect Ten: Acceptable Cosmetic Surgery in Multicultural Societies

Alka Menon, Northwestern University

This paper analyzes how personal identity and the physical body are linked through the biotechnology of cosmetic surgery in the U.S. and Malaysia. It argues that surgeons define acceptable bodily modifications in terms of the identities they are discursively connected to.


The Medium is the Medicine: Media Histories of Health and Healthcare

Carmine Grimaldi, University of Chicago; Mark Olson, Duke University; Jeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Hannah Zeavin, New York University

3rd September 2016, 09:00


Moving beyond the history of heroic medical devices, this panel explores the role of everyday media in medicine. Each paper helps to position the way in which commonplace technologies of communication—from the telephone to television—have transformed the contours of medical knowledge and practice.

Answering the Call: The Rise of the Crisis Intervention Hotline

Hannah Zeavin, New York University

“Answering the Call” discusses the rise of the crisis hotline and their origins in psycho-religious counseling in the United States. It explores the particular intersection of telephony with clinical care (the therapeutic frame, new intimacies) at work in this model of peer-to-peer tele-therapy.

Inter-Operative: Platform Standards, Knowledge Politics & Medical Television At Mid-Century

Mark Olson, Duke University

In the late 1940s and 1950s, medical schools began to experiment with the teaching of medicine "by other means," leveraging the new medium of television. This paper mobilizes the concept of "platform standards" to attend to the forces at play in the early history of medical television.

The Wired Clinic: Exploring Medicine and Media at the Telemedical Field Station

Jeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

This paper describes an experimental media laboratory established in 1967 by the Massachusetts General Hospital to “extend competent medical services to areas that are either too primitive or too sparsely settled to support a full-time doctor”.

Screening the Self: Mediating Minds on Film and Video

Carmine Grimaldi, University of Chicago

Looking at the archive of the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, this paper explores the use of moving images as a therapeutic technique during the 1960s. In particular, it attends to the specific uses of two technologies—film and video—examining the distinct ideas and affects they inspired.


(Techno)science by other means of communality and identity configuration

Karen Kastenhofer, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Sarah Schönbauer, Technical University of Munich

2nd September 2016, 09:00


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'.

Funding communities: a case study of synthetic biology in the making

Celso Gomes, University of Sheffield

The role of funding in the making of communities in science is understudied. I explore some of the ways through which funding at a European level makes community in synthetic biology and put a particular focus on scale, homogeneity and temporality.

Research collaborations: from practices to technoscientific communities and back

Alexander Degelsegger, Centre for Social Innovation GmbH

STS research on the emergence of technoscientific fields has so far not considered the question of collaborative research as a relevant layer of social organisation. I argue that bringing them into focus improves our understanding of the emergence and adaptability of technoscientific communities.

'Big interdisciplinarity' and what it does to group-minority perception

Bettina Bock von Wülfingen, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

This paper analyses differences in group perceptions amongst a large international and multi-disciplinary research community with the explicit aim of bringing natural sciences and humanities together in joint experiments. Who wins, when disciplinary borders fall?

"I am a biochemist by training": identity in systems biology

Karen Kastenhofer, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Systems biology is analysed not as a new phenomenon in itself but as a manifestation of broader shifts in the contexts of talking, doing and being in (techno)science. This presentation focuses on socialisation and enculturation within university education and beyond.


Thinking and Acting with Open and DIT Science and Technology: From Participatory Sensing to Biohacking Experiments

Susana Nascimento, European Commission, Joint Research Centre; Alexandre Pólvora, European Commission; Mara Balestrini, Fab Lab Barcelona

3rd September 2016, 11:00


2 hands-on showcases dedicated to Open and DIT frameworks in Science and Technology. The first focuses Smart Citizen platform with debates on a participatory sensing tour to Fab Lab Barcelona. The second is centred on Waag Society's Open Wetlab with interactive biohacking dialogues and experiences.

This panel has no papers.


Critical Science and Technology Studies and Social Epistemology

Jim Collier, Virginia Tech; Steve Fuller, University of Warwick; Clarissa Ai Ling Lee, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

3rd September 2016, 14:00


We explore the theory and praxis underlying a critical science and technology studies. Critical science studies offers a potential new approach to social epistemology.

This panel has no papers.


Gene Editing in Context: Challenges and Emerging Practices

Achim Rosemann, University of Warwick; Nicholas Lee, Warwick University

2nd September 2016, 11:00


This panel explores the social dimensions of gene editing technologies. The panel aims to foster discussion of emerging practices and controversies and to reflect on overlaps and parallels with existing technologies, such as synthetic biology, stem cell research or genetic testing.

Involving the Public in Decision-Making on Gene-Editing Research: At what Stage?

Lonneke Poort, Eramus School of Law

In this paper, the role of the public in decision-making is scrutinized, leading to the central question of this paper: At what stage can and should the general public be involved in decision-making regarding controversial technologies such as CRISPR-CAS9?

Governing human germ line editing: challenges from a global perspective

Achim Rosemann, University of Warwick

This presentation explores key challenges to the development of governance mechanisms for human germ line editing research, from a global perspective. Developments in gene editing are discussed in relation to regulatory challenges in stem cell research, genetic testing and reproductive medicine.

Gene Drive Responses to Zika: An instance of the 'Anthropocene Predicament'?

Nicholas Lee, Warwick University

This paper will illustrate the ‘anthropocene predicament’ in the case of gene-drive based responses to the 2016 American Zika outbreak. Here it presents in the possibility of deliberately shaping an ecology with the intention of serving human interests.


Interactive Round Table: Does STS Have Problems?

Endre Danyi, Goethe University Frankfurt; Noortje Marres, University of Warwick

2nd September 2016, 12:30


What are the distinctive capacities of STS for posing problems? This round table takes up thid question in an interactive fashion, presenting selected problems from and to STS publics, and concluding with an award ceremony identifying STS' best and worst problem.

This panel has no papers.


Situated Meanings of 'Good' Care and Science 'Worth Doing'

Emily Vasquez, Columbia University; Natali Valdez, University Of California, Irvine; Katherine Darling, University of California, San Francisco

3rd September 2016, 14:00


This panel pushes beyond traditional bioethical regimes to highlight situated, contested and contingent moral understandings of good practice in biomedical research and settings of biomedical care. How do experts contend with stratified and stratifying biomedical technologies and practices?

Living with Bureaucracies: Where Distributed Triage meets Biomedical Care

Katherine Darling, University of California, San Francisco

This paper examines how health care providers at a safety-net HIV clinic describe their job in terms of “triage work” and create collective understandings of their role as “frontline workers”. I argue that triage work mediates contested visions of urgency and confronts scarcity.

Epigenetics and Prenatal interventions: good intentions and unintended consequences

Natali Valdez, University Of California, Irvine

How are efforts to make “good science” motivated by “good intentions” challenged by current political and economic climates? This paper addresses this question in the setting of epigenetic research paradigms that target women’s bodies as fetal environments.

Valuing Genomics: Scientific Imaginaries in a Mexican Public Hospital

Emily Vasquez, Columbia University

Set against national economic crisis and sharp cuts to public health system’s budget, this paper explores the emergence of high-cost Next Generation genome sequencing as a valuable scientific enterprise in a Mexican public children’s hospital.

Biopolitical Biographies: Addressing the Biomedical Legibility of Abbreviated Transgender Life

Christoph Hanssmann, University of California - San Francisco

This paper addresses how transgender social movement activists strategically address social devaluation by leveraging “biopolitical biographies” to make demands for biomedical recognition through technoscientific progress, health care access, and new biomedical classifications.

Bad Science, Public Good: Sickle Cell Disease Policy in Brazil

Melissa Creary, Emory Unversity

This paper explores tensions in Brazilian policy for sickle cell disease (SCD). The policy addresses SCD typologically, locating it in blackness, while also producing the public goods of education and treatment. How does a policy based on “bad science” offer promise and peril to its constituency?


Economies of Life in Biomedicine

Javier Lezaun, Oxford University; Natalie Porter, University of Notre Dame

3rd September 2016, 09:00


This session explores how new configurations of value emerge around the research objects and apparatuses of the life sciences, and the fluid nature of economic categories in the material worlds of biomedicine.

Trans-Asian Animal Collectives and the New Regions of Biosecurity

Natalie Porter, University of Notre Dame

This paper charts how zoonotic and vector-borne disease control programs link sociotechnial infrastructures, financial institutions, and bureaucratic systems to contain animal bodies, animal pathogens, and animal capital in new, trans-Asian regions of biosecurity.

Chimeric Life and the Humanization of Biology

Amy Hinterberger, University of Warwick

In this paper, I examine the material constitution of the category human within chimeric life forms. Chimeras, I argue, are foundational figures in biology, helping to establish ideas about what constitutes an organism and an individual.

Bringing Metabolism to the Cloud: Changing Configurations of Value and Ownership in Biomedical Data Economies

Nadine Levin, UCLA

This paper considers the emergence of cloud-computing “economies” in the field of metabolomics, and how shifts in the way that data is stored and disseminated entails shifts in the configurations of value and ownership in data-intensive, biomedical economies.

Immunity and new economic circuits in malaria research

Javier Lezaun, Oxford University

The paper discusses the ongoing effort to create mice capable of being infected with human malaria parasites, and explores immunomodulation, the process of deliberately altering an organism’s immune responses, as a practice for the reconfiguration of economic value in biomedicine.

Seeing cellular debris: the past and the afterlife of a forgotten technique

Ann Kelly, King's College London

This paper takes as its focus a method of mosquito dissection pioneered by Soviet entomologists in the 1940s, and explores how an abandoned and largely unpracticed evidentiary practice can still articulate the pasts and afterlives of tropical medicine and global health research.


Designing alternative futures: planning, expertise, policy

Martha Lampland, Univ. of California, San Diego; Alina-Sandra Cucu, Humboldt University, Berlin

3rd September 2016, 16:00


The panel addresses innovative strategies being designed and implemented to restructure economies and polities in the mid-20th c. The papers discuss the technical demands, novel forms of expertise and political imaginaries bound up with the sciences of planning and governing.

Quantifying socialist accumulation

Alina-Sandra Cucu, Humboldt University, Berlin

The paper investigates the ways in which the idea of “hidden reserves of productivity” – fundamental expression of socialist accumulation – was constitutive to mechanisms of knowledge production, fields of expertise, and technologies of making the factory shopfloor visible.

Modeling Uncertainty: Statistical Planning in Warsaw and London, 1930s

Theodora Dryer, University of California, San Diego

Throughout the 1930s statistical planners advocated for model-based techniques that could measure the limits of uncertainty. This paper historicizes an international statistical estimation model, evincing the rise of a practical statistics enterprise and its achievement of model-based governance.


#democraciarealya: Hacktivism and Networked Techno-politics in Spain

Anita Chan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Silvia Lindtner, University of Michigan

1st September 2016, 12:30


This panel invites participants and researchers of key Barcelona technology collectives to share observations on the cultural role and contemporary challenges of networked platforms, politics, and democratic prototyping following the 15M movement and Barcelona en Común's 2015 win of city government.

This panel has no papers.


Thinking with ethnography

Tomás Criado, Humboldt University of Berlin; Debora Lanzeni, RMIT; Nicholas Seaver, Tufts University; Karen Waltorp, Aarhus University

2nd September 2016, 12:30


The relationship between STS and ethnography has been a longstanding topic of debate. The Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology & Computing (CASTAC), the Future Anthropologies Network (FAN) and the #xcol platform for ethnographic experimentation would like to invite ethnographers to an informal lunch session to discuss conceptual and methodological issues facing ethnographic research in STS. Bring your lunch and meet your fellow ethnographers.

CASTAC: http://castac.org/

FAN: https://easaonline.org/networks/fan/index.shtml

#xcol: http://xcol.org/

This panel has no papers.