|11 - Research into the LGBT Community|
|Cerys Bradley||University College London (UCL)||email@example.com|
The LGBT+ Community has often been the subject of scientific study and, at times, scrutiny. Research questions have been asked about a variety of topics, from the suitability of same sex parents to barriers to access to health services, fulfilling a variety of different agendas. From the first medical definitions of homosexuality and lesbianism as illnesses, science has been able to shape what it means to be an LGBT+ individual and make recommendations for the role of LGBT+ individuals within society. Given the under representation of out LGBT+ researchers in academia questions can, and should, be raised as to the ethics of conducting research if this research is able to define what it means to be human for subgroup of the population.
This open panel seeks to answer the questions What Role Does Science Play in Defining the LGBT+ Community? and What Impacts Can Science Have On the LGBT+ Community? through the exploration of scientific research on and by the LGBT+ community. It will also explore the responsibilities of academia when conducting research on or about LGBT+ individuals and groups and discuss considerations researchers should make when designing studies or analysing the studies of others, particularly those which go onto inform public policy.
This panel is open to literature reviews and analyses on scientific research conducted on the LGBT+ community, historical or otherwise; research into the role and impact of scientific results about the LGBT+ community on the community itself or public policy and wider society; and proposed standards of practice for conducting ethical research about the LGBT+ community.
|12 - Phishing and Pharming Passwords: What Are the Real World Effects of Information Theft on People?|
|Jeremiah Onaolapo||University College Londonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cerys Bradley||University College London (UCL)||email@example.com|
Online accounts can be compromised via phishing attacks, database breaches, and malware attacks, among other attack vectors. In recent times, there have been some high profile incidents with serious consequences in the real world, for instance, the Ashley Madison dating website scandal in which private details of married clients seeking discreet affairs were exposed publicly (thus affecting families adversely). In another instance, leaked nude photos of celebrities (stolen from compromised cloud accounts) also highlighted the damaging real world effects of attacks on online accounts. The 2016 cyber attack on Tesco Bank during which cybercriminals stole money from about 20,000 current accounts further showed the massive consequences of information theft.
On this panel, we invite speakers to submit and present their studies on real world harm to people as a consequence of phishing, doxxing, pharming, and related attacks. We also welcome submissions on the real world effects of identity theft and data breaches on people. Since online accounts have become an integral part of our lives, it is important to discuss this problem.
|14 - Inclusive innovation: inclusion into what?|
|Les Levidow||Open University||L.Levidow@open.ac.uk|
Inclusive innovation has been recently promoted by civil society groups and various state bodies such as the OECD (2013, 2015). As a basic rationale, the prevalent capital-intensive innovation worsens socio-economic inequality and exclusion (Heeks, et al. 2014; Kaplinsky et al, 2009; Vessuri,2012). People advantaged by the status quo generally operate in a state of denial about the mal-distributed costs and benefits of technoscience (Harding, 2006). Hence inclusive innovations attempts to include low-income people and to incorporate their needs.
Yet such agendas readily obscure the sources of the problem. In dominant portrayals, unequal outcomes associated with science and technology are usually interpreted as emerging from patterns of distribution, access, and affordability, not from the structure of the enterprise itself (Woodhouse and Sarewitz, 2007). By contrast, if any socio-economic improvements arise, then they are attributed to a technology per se; they are rarely attributed to users collective power. Even for inclusive innovation, prevalent agendas make narrow assumptions about the social form of human needs and consumption, especially marginalising public goods (Chataway et al., 2014).
Such limitations have been contested through collective projects reshaping innovation, sometimes called grassroots innovation movements or GIMs (Smith et al., 2014). These have various kinds of engagements with mainstream institutions of science, technology and innovation (STI) in particular, insertion or mobilization. The latter mode challenges the dominant practices, technologies, power relations and discourses (Fressoli et al, 2014).
This session/track will focus on such contestations. Abstracts should address some of these questions about inclusive innovation:
How do inclusive solutions make assumptions about the exclusion problem, its sources and forms?
What do they assume about human needs, aspirations and relationships? Therefore inclusion into what?
How do such initiatives change (or proliferate) meanings of innovation and inclusion?
How do these potentially transform, complement or reinforce incumbent systems? What tensions arise?
Chataway, J., Hanlin, R. and Kaplinsky, R. (2014) Inclusive innovation: an architecture for policy development, Innovation and Development 4(1): 3354. Harding, S. (2006) Science and Social Inequality: Feminist and Postcolonial Issues. Champagne: University of Illinois Press. Heeks, R. et al. 2014. New models of inclusive innovation for development, Innovation and Development 4(2): 175-185, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/2157930X.2014.928982#.VAcye8JdU1I Fressoli, M. et al. 2014. When grassroots innovation movements encounter mainstream institutions: implications for models of inclusive innovation, Innovation and Development 4(2): 277-292, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/2157930X.2014.921354#.VAczasJdU1I Kaplinsky, R; Chataway, J; Hanlin, R; Clark, N; Kale, D; Muraguri, L; Papaioannou, T; Robbins, P and Wamae,W. (2009) Below the radar: What does innovation in emerging economies have to offer other low-income economies?, International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development 8 (3):177197. OECD (2013) Innovation and Inclusive Development, discussion report from 2012 conference. OECD (2015) Innovation Policies for Inclusive Development: Scaling Up Inclusive Innovations. Smith, A. et al. 2014. Grassroots innovation movements: challenges and contributions, Journal of Cleaner Production 63(1): 114124. Vessuri, H. (2012) Special Section: The Use of Knowledge for Social Inclusion, Science and Public Policy 39(5), http://spp.oxfordjournals.org/content/39/5.toc Woodhouse, E. and Sarewitz, D. 2007. Science policies for reducing societal inequities, Science and Public Policy 34(3): 139150, http://ww3.comsats.edu.pk/hnsd/Files/DANIELSAREWITZ_SciencePoliciesForRedu cingInequality.pdf
|15 - Technoscience and Multiplanetary Human Futures|
|Richard Tutton||Lancaster Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
In 2016, amongst the political and social turmoil of the European refugee crisis, the ongoing conflict in Syria, the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency, and the British referendum result to leave the European Union, Elon Musk addressed the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. He presented a detailed plan for how to transport human beings to Mars. Wired Magazine reported that his plan was âto colonize Mars and save humanityâ. Muskâs plans are but the latest instance of a technoscientific dream that has its origins in the twentieth century. In the 1960s, the technoscience of human spaceflight promised to radically transform human societies â or at least those with spaceflight capabilities - with the prospect of interplanetary exploration and living. By the 1980s. it seemed that this promised future was over. However, recent developments would suggest that many with power and wealth are still enamoured by the prospects of human spaceflight.
Today, entrepreneurs such as Musk and others advance key claims about the nature and future of humanity in relation to the exploration and exploitation of space. Building on recent work in a range of fields from STS, geography, anthropology, cultural studies, and history of science, (Dickens and Ormrod 2007, Geppert 2012, Sage 2014, Valentine 2012), this panel offers an opportunity for scholars to engage critically with future visions and the transformation of the human in the technoscience and business of outer space.
The panel could explore questions such as: What are the implications of thinking, imagining and projecting human futures on a multiplanetary scale? What is the relationship between (post)colonial histories and visions of multiplanetary exploration and settlement? How do visions of multiplanetary futures reflect shifts in global capitalism? What is the relationship between space technoscience and utopia? How do visions of a multiplanetary future challenge ideas of the human?
|16 - Metabolizing Technology: Promises and Pathways for Sustainable Food Transitions|
|David Evans||University of Sheffieldemail@example.com|
|Jo Mylan||University of Manchester||Josephine.firstname.lastname@example.org|
Advances in the science and technology of food production have had significant and wide-ranging benefits of for the human population. But the relationship between âtechnological progressâ, environmental sustainability, qualities of food, and public trust in the food system is far from straightforward. Technological developments in inter alia animal rearing, intensive agriculture, and food processing, provide fertile ground for claims of âcrisisâ in the food system as well as public responses in the form of so-called âalterativeâ food movements. Various pathways are presented as responses to âover industrializedâ food production (e.g. slow food, organic food, âcleanâ eating, flexitarianism). Despite the rising prominence of these discourses and their attendant claims of ethics, alterity and sustainability, their consequences vis-Ă -vis the transformation of food systems remain limited, and have historically been vulnerable co-option and dilution by corporate interests.
At the same time powerful actors present competing sociotechnical imaginaries which emphasize the role of technology in unproblematically driving progress toward sustainable (e.g. through the development of novel foodstuffs) and transparent food systems (e.g. through technologies promise to make food production practices more knowable) while leaving the paradigms of industrial food production, and attendant power relations, fundamentally intact.
But what consequences do such contradictions have for what and how people eat? How are different forms of technological and organizational innovation implicated in delivering pathways for realizing sustainable food systems? This call elicits contributions which seek to explore the various interdependencies between promises of a more sustainable food system, the social and material organization of food production and consumption, and the potential for technologies to catalyze changes in food relations and networks.
In particular we encourage contributions engaging with questions related to:
o The role of technologies, materials, and sociotechnical imaginaries in co-configuring and transforming practices of production, provision, preservation, eating and ridding of food
o Efforts of different actors (e.g. consumers, collectives, start-ups, major retailers) in the development, adoption and diffusion of sustainable innovations (e.g. lab grown meat, buyers clubs, food sharing initiatives)
o Connections between ânaturalâ and metabolic processes and forms of cultural and economic organization
o The construction and negotiation of the value and quality of food
o Theoretical approaches (e.g. ANT, convention theory) that articulate different âworlds of foodâ and the possibilities that exist for reconfiguring industrial food systems in a more sustainable register
|17 - Speculations and concerns on robots' status in society|
|Erik Stengler||University of the West of England, Bristol||Erik.Stengler@uwe.ac.uk|
|Jimena Escudero Perez||University of Oviedo, Spainemail@example.com|
Technology and Humanity converge very significantly in the realm of robots and AI. Not only as an interface, but most crucially as a potential area of overlap â can humans be turned into machines? Will robots - taking the noun as a very broad term- ever be treated as humans? These questions and many more emerge as advances in artificial intelligence seem to make them less and less hypothetical, and real ethical and legal issues start coming into the horizon of the foreseeable future. Whilst science fiction on robots and AI is mostly instrumental to explore current and recurrent human concerns, including what it means to be human, it seems inevitable that the depiction of technology reflects and influences the public perception of the issues surrounding its proliferation in our lives. As some governments consider changing the legislation so that robots pay social security taxes, for example, we are particularly concerned with how their social and political, categories are envisioned in our day's popular culture. Whether dragging the old Luddite fears or positioning them as the best allies to humans, what are today's representations of the robot as individual, not as an anonymous aiding tool? We invite presentations of studies addressing these issues in the context of science fiction, particularly in film and TV, but also in journalism.
|18 - Environmental science and public participation|
|Catharina Landstrom||University of Oxfordfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Environmental science mirrors the policy and decision making context in that public participation, in its widest sense, has become compulsory. In order to win funding for research projects environmental scientists are required to include engagement with non-scientists in their proposals. There is a multitude of ways in which the requirement to engage with people outside of scientific institutions can be fulfilled, ranging from inviting representatives of statutory stakeholders to discussions, to setting up citizen science monitoring projects to contribute data, to co-producing knowledge in collaboration with local residents. This session invites papers that consider any of the ways in which publics are invited to participate in the environmental sciences. We are particularly interested in case studies of research projects that can bring precision to general questions regarding, for example: The constitution of participating publics - who gets invited to do what? The impacts of public participation - does public participation change scientific practice and/or knowledge? Consequences for decision making - does participation redistribute expertise to enable local publics to inform environmental management? All explorations of these, and other, questions about public participation in environmental science are welcome.
|20 - Humans, the Enhanced, and Machines in Law|
|David Lawrence||Newcastle Universityemail@example.com|
|Ilke Turkmendag||Newcastle Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Humans, the Enhanced, and Machines in Law Emerging advanced bio- and computer- technologies are highly likely to pose significant challenges to existing societal and legal conventions. Artificial Intelligence, synthetic biology, human enhancement, and other developments promise to draw into question the nature of personhood and humanity, a concept upon which many significant institutions are founded- not the least of which being human rights law. In the potential new era of novel consciousnesses that we may encounter, it is vitally important to establish whether existing law will remain sufficient, and if not, how it ought to be adapted to meet the requirements of the future.
To do so the sessions will examine the conceptualisation and positioning of the human in law both domestic and international, and attempt to determine the moral basis for this. It will also be necessary to determine whether, or under what conditions, this might be compatible with the existence of novel types of conscious being. If personhood is the deciding factor in law, then there is reason to believe and precedent that other consciousnesses should qualify. Furthermore, the sessions will discuss why we cannot afford to ignore these potential challenges, by highlighting existing issues in various legal spheres (including intellectual property) that are the result of technology outpacing legislation and which are the prelude to more far- reaching problems.
The themes we would like to cover include:
- The conception of human in law
- How sci-fi/comics influence the legal imagination of emerging technologies
- Duties, liabilities, and obligations to and of enhanced humans and machines
- Regulating the already changing face of the human (eg mitochondrial replacement technologies, genome editing, new reproductive technologies, cyborgs)
- Intellectual property and the emerging technologies
We will also be holding a panel discussion on the Draft Report of the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs on granting electronic personhood to AI, and showing a short film on the impacts of new biotechnologies on patient lives and identities, and responses.
|21 - Why has truth run out of steam? STS after Trump|
|Des Fitzgerald||Cardiff Uiversityemail@example.com|
|Eva Giraud||Keele Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Greg Hollin||University of Leedsemail@example.com|
|Andrew Balmer||University of Manchesterfirstname.lastname@example.org|
In January 2017, Donald Trump took office as President of the United States, and was immediately embroiled in a row about the size of his inauguration crowd: the press reported relatively small crowds for Trump, while his spokesperson angrily accused the media of dishonesty, insisting that the size was under-reported. When the National Park Service Twitter account subsequently tweeted side-by-side images that seemed to show that the Trump crowd was indeed smaller, the service was forbidden from Twitter.
For many, this episode was only the latest spectacle in the Trump phenomenons relationship to the politics of post-truth defined by the OED as circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. But such an analysis poses a problem for STS: an appeal to post-truth runs awkwardly against STS accounts of the historical and cultural contingencies through which (and for whom) facts come to matter while, in the same move, reifying the mobilization of objectivity and facthood on behalf of a liberal political order, and the modernity which it purports to represent. In the wake of the Trump inauguration, such trouble was articulated by the historian, Sir Richard Evans, as well as science commentator, Kenan Malik, who associated the emergence of post-truth with forms of truth- troubling postmodernist relativism. If few STS scholars claim the mantle of postmodernism, still the historical intersections between STS, relativism and truth are well-known (Ben Goldacre explicitly links post-truth to the Sokal affair), resonating with longstanding internal discussions on STS, expertise and the political right (Latour, 2004; Lynch, 1998).
How are we to do STS in a post-truth world? This open panel invites short interventions, in any form, to consider this issue in a roundtable format. Questions may include: what is the relationship between STS analyses and the politics of post-Truth? How might STS scholars talk about the contingency of scientific facts without giving succour to anti-science agencies on the right and far right? What happens to STS when the objective character of science is mobilized as a defining split between liberal modernity, on the one hand, and populist nativism, on the other? And beyond tired debates around facticity, what novel forms of ethic-political intervention can STS scholars draw on to address the consequences of this post truth landscape, and to ally themselves to those who bear those consequences?
|22 - Algorithms, AI and the future of science and humanity|
|Stephan Van Duin||The Online Scientistemail@example.com|
Roundtable discussion: Algorithms, AI and the future of science and humanity At some point in the not-too- distant future, we will arrive at two achievements:
1. We will create an algorithm that knows us better than we know ourselves. The algorithm can correct for the flaws in our own algorithm, and make decisions for us that we will like better than our own.
2. This algorithm is also so advanced that it is able to think about everything differently. Already we see algorithms learning games and discovering loopholes that none of the human players ever noticed - nor the creators of the game. This will also hit upon science, enabling the algorithm to develop scientific knowledge, procedures and concepts that are inconceivable for us humans. The ultimate consequence is that science becomes a movement in itself, without human interference. We will not be able to keep up - nor do we have to.
The algorithm is tireless, infinite and not bothered by distracting human issues, so we can just let it go. If it means better and more scientific progress, ratio says we should embrace this. But these developments do raise some key questions about science communication and humanity that we need to think about:
- What do we expect from science communication?
- If human scientists are reduced to being the public, how and to what extent do we want the algorithm to communicate its results?
- If the quest for knowledge is something that we cant identify with anymore, and if we are reduced from the leading species in the world, to a follower that is as much dependent on Artificial Intelligence, as cows and chickens are on us right now - what will make us stand out as humans?
|23 - Experiments in collaboration: rethinking the human sciences in (or for?) an interdisciplinary age|
|Des Fitzgerald||Cardiff Uiversityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Hazel Morrison||Durham Universityemail@example.com|
|Felicity Callard||Durham Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Everybody is for interdisciplinarity today. From learned academies to higher education bureaucracies, the call is for more collaboration, more integration, more interdisciplinary innovation. Such attention is broadly welcome: today, and even at the risk of grandiosity, we might say that the most potent accounts of human experience (in all their multiplicity) are emerging from new, and ever-precarious, sites of intersection between the social, psychological, and biological scenes. And yet, even as the idea that such work is important become more and more sedimented in the managerial emollient of contemporary HE, there remains startling little analysis of how it is done, or what it is like, or what animates it. And the few accounts that have emerged are not always filled with good cheer (Viseu, 2015; Lyle, 2016).
This open panel asks: how is interdisciplinary work within and around the human sciences actually done? And how might it be done well? What are interdisciplinary sites actually like? Through what studies, methods, and approaches are they now being conjured? We invite papers that approach these questions from any direction. In our own current work (and in our contributions to this stream) we focus on the role of experiment (in both its scientific and aesthetic guises) in understanding this space, and on the work of collaboration (as a practice, and, like any intellectual practice, not always an easy one). We are thus especially interested in (but not bound to) papers that centre their analyses around the twin poles of experiment and or collaboration whether these polyvalent terms are taken as sites of ethnographic attention, as spurs for historical or genealogical investigation, or as any other kind of lure for thinking about how we might re-shape the human sciences today.
|24 - Bonding with Our Immediate Public: (Non)Human Dimensions of STS research|
|Prof Joanna Latimer||SATSU, University of Yorkemail@example.com|
|Dr Meritxell Ramirez-i-Olle||Sociological Review Fellow, Keele Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
In many ways Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholars are a part of the public for life scientists, and life scientists are in a sense the STS scholars most immediate and direct public. We are each Other to some extent to each others worlds, as at the same time we can in our interactions become each others audience in Goffmans sense. Yet to understand each others world making to what extent must we engage with each other at an affective, even intimate level? We invite contributions that consider the human and nonhuman dimensions of the bonds that STS scholars establish with their research subjects. We seek papers that analyse the characteristics of this bonding, including relations between STS scholars and humans (dead or alive) and non-humans (i.e. animals, documents, plants, instruments, microorganisms, matter). We welcome interrogation of the significance and affects of these primary associations for STS knowledge, and for the lives of those involved. The goal of this panel is to generate a better understanding of the social and political implications of the human relations generated by, and perhaps necessary, to contemporary and historical research about science and technology.
|26 - Where's my jetpack? Making and breaking promises in (public) technoscience and science fiction|
|Anna Krzywoszynska||University of Sheffieldemail@example.com|
|Paul Raven||University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Stories are central to the way we create and shape futures: the future is only accessible to us through narratives, and the narratives we tell about the future have the capacity to shape it. Some narratives allow us to engage with the uncertain future by domesticating it through the use of familiar tropes (e.g. the descriptions of CRISPR as a genetic scalpel). Others are used to stress the unfamiliarity of emerging futures; a frequent cliché of journalistic engagement with latest technologies is to describe them as something out of science fiction, conveying the sense of cognitive estrangement (Suvin, 1979) which is so familiar to readers of science fiction (sf) - the profound sense that, ontologically speaking, one isn't in Kansas any more. Science fiction is now a research and development department within a futures industry that dreams of the prediction and control of tomorrow. Corporate business seeks to manage the unknown through decisions based on scenarios, while civil society responds to future shock through habits formatted by science fiction. Science fiction operates through the power of falsification, the drive to rewrite reality, and the will to deny plausibility, while the scenario operates through the control and prediction of plausible alternative tomorrows. (Eshun, 2003) In public engagement with science, narratives in the form of scenarios and forecasts seek to open the futures up to broader influences, while simultaneously, and inescapably, influencing what is imaginable. However, even the most alien futures are made from pasts. In this panel, we wish to engage with the narration and creation of futures by engaging with two concepts: technoscientific imaginary and the sf megatext.
After Jasanoff and Kim (2015), we understand technoscientific imaginaries to be collectively held and performed visions of (un)desirable orderings of social life and social order attainable through, and supportive of, particular science and technology. Since the term was coined (Marcus, 1995), a literature dealing with the technoscientific imaginary has grown in STS and other disciplines; current research is increasingly engaged with questions relating imaginaries to power and publics (e.g. Welsh & Wynne, 2013). The technoscientific imaginary has an equivalent concept in science fiction studies, in the form of the sf megatext (Csicsery-Ronay Jr, 2008). The megatext conceptualises a semiotic storehouse of all the tropes and ideas that the genre has worked and reworked over the years; it's science fiction considered as its own metanarrative, or as its own Jungian collective unconscious. Frequently, both the megatext and the technoscientific imaginary contain stories about a new technology, and the public discourse draws upon these libraries of futurity for tropes to deploy in the always-ongoing thrashing out of what it means to be human in a world where [technology X] is a thing (see also Jasanoff and Kim 2015). In this panel, we seek to engage with the imaginaries debate by specifically probing the questions of articulation and power in the creation of futures; therefore, we focus on the making of futures as an activity both political and narratological.
This panel wishes to contribute to a greater engagement between science-fiction studies and STS. We are influenced here by Haraways embracing of science-fiction as a way of engaging with the dominant power of socio-technical narratives, and as a way of thinking the world differently (esp. 1991 and 1989), as well as Sheila Jasanoff and Sang-Hyun Kims recent edited collection (2015). Also of relevance are Kirby's work on the diegetic prototype (2009), the late Mark Fisher's notion of science fiction capital (2001), and the burgeoning speculative design (or design fiction) paradigm (after Dunne & Raby 2014): sounds, images and objects can also be narratives, and may move between reality, imaginary and megatext with the same ease as stories. We therefore invite you to submit papers, demonstrations, art pieces, prototypes and performances engaging with the problematic of futures, power, and articulation. We are particularly interested in non-traditional submissions (it really doesn't have to be a paper!), and would particularly like to encourage submissions from female scholars, LGBTQ scholars, scholars of colour, and differently able scholars: plural perspectives and outsider imaginaries are not just welcome, but vital.
Themes to consider may include, but should certainly not be limited to:
- the differences, overlaps, co-extensions between the megatext and the imaginaries, and the nature of their interfaces: how do ideas move between them?;
- the relationship between particular imaginaries and broader societal discourses;
- the politics and art of making of imaginaries in a variety of sites, media, and processes;
- the involvement and/or exclusion of publics from the production of imaginaries;
- imaginaries beyond (the) text: experiments and provocations in doing, feeling, seeing, dancing the world differently; tracing the changing imaginaries of technologies, especially through parallels in sf and journalism;
- the uses and abuses of sf in the creation of imaginaries (or of imaginaries in the creation of sf);
- critical re-readings of classic science reportage and/or boosterism as if it were science fiction;
- critical re-readings of classic science fiction as if it were science reportage and/or boosterism;
- CRISPR! The Musical
Csicsery-Ronay Jr, I. (2008) The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction. Wesleyan University Press, p275 Dunne, A, & Raby, F. (2013). Speculative everything: design, fiction, and social dreaming. MIT Press. Eshun, K. (2003). Further Considerations of Afrofuturism. The New Centennial Review 3-2, pp. 287-302 Fisher, M. (2001) SF Capital. Transmat: Resources in Transcendent Materialism (online, no longer available) Haraway, D. J. (1989). Primate visions: Gender, race, and nature in the world of modern science. Psychology Press. Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, cyborgs, and women. Kirby, D. (2009). The future is now: Diegetic prototypes and the role of popular films in generating real-world technological development. Social Studies of Science 40-1 Jasanoff, S., & Kim, S. H. (Eds.). (2015). Dreamscapes of modernity: Sociotechnical imaginaries and the fabrication of power. University of Chicago Press. Marcus, G E (1995). Technoscientific Imaginaries: Conversations, Profiles, and Memoirs. U. of Chicago Press. Suvin, D. (1979). Metamorphoses of science fiction: on the poetics and history of a literary genre. Yale University Press. Welsh, I., & Wynne, B. (2013). Science, scientism and imaginaries of publics in the UK: Passive objects, incipient threats. Science as Culture, 22(4), 540-566.
|27 - Animals in Public: Care, Charisma and Knowledge|
|Eva Giraud||Keele Universityemail@example.com|
This panel focuses on questions of how knowledge about animals is communicated, constituted and utilised in the public sphere. Animals have often played significant yet under-examined roles in engagements between science and wider publics. From ongoing historical traditions of amateur-professional collaboration, to the contemporary spectacles of natural history filmmaking, a mutual fascination with animals and their worlds has brought scientists and publics together since before the professionalization of the sciences. Animals have also been the focus of lively (and often fraught) debates between contrasting worldviews, often based upon radically different ways of knowing and caring about the world, on topics as varied as animal experimentation; pests and culling; genetically modified animals; and conservation controversies. What are the connections between scientific, experimental, empirical, theoretical, skill-based, visual and emotional knowledges about animals? What happens when these ways of knowing work in synergy and/or are in conflict with one another?
The panel invites paper submissions discussing:
- Research collaborations involving scientists, other professionals, publics and animals.
- Questions of care, knowledge, anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism in public science.
- Nonhuman and human charisma in science communication.
- Animal controversies in science that are hidden or made public.
|30 - Entanglements of mass media, activism and online technologies as social (in)justice|
|Luis Reyes-Galindo||State University of Campinasfirstname.lastname@example.org|
In 2013, a notorious British conman was sentenced to seven years of prison for fraud involving the sale of fake bomb detector 'technology' around the globe, after a years-long, worldwide effort to denounce and criminalise their sale by investigative journalists, online activists, citizen-scientists and civil servants from various world governments (Reyes-Galindo 2017). This bogus 'molecular detector' case exemplifies how, with concerted effort, traditional media, online technologies and citizen protest can produce instances of social justice, yet also how their visibility can be limited when their aim is to explicitly disrupt existing power structures.
Yet in recent times the foundations of traditional media institutions appear in a permanent state of crisis, as their roles, reaches and sustainability are deeply and often negatively affected by the increasing importance of Internet-based outlets. The recent political upheavals in the USA have pungently illustrated these changes in the confrontation of traditional media with the new powers of the online world, as when ex-Breitbart.com executive chairman and now White House Chief Strategist Steven Bannon declared the press "the opposition party". The rising importance of Twitter, Facebook, reddit and other online platforms as both sources and channels for news, commentary and protest contrast with their increasingly visible role as equal sources of speculation and disinformation.
This panel invites the presentation, discussion and methodological reflection of empirical work and case studies that focus on the changing vortex of traditional mass media, investigative journalism, online technologies and citizen empowerment through technology, but particularly in cases where social justice has been achieved (or challenged) through technology-as-disruption.
|32 - Economic Assumptions in Technoscience|
|Les Levidow||Open University||L.Levidow@open.ac.uk|
Economic assumptions underpin an enormous range of expert judgements regarding technoscience and beyond. Such assumptions frequently remain implicit, meaning that they are unaccountable despite being powerful influences on an array of decisions, policies, media representations, public engagements, professional expertise, etc. Examples of these assumptions include the following: how livelihoods relate to rising GDP; how human behaviour relates to competitive individualism; how government policies relate to notions of efficiency and cost-benefit analysis; how innovation relates to capital-intensive technology; how technology relates to social progress and societal benefits; how technoscientific development relates to financial returns; how successful product development relates to price, quality, public acceptance; etc. (Muniesa 2014; Birch 2016; Roy and King 2016). For all such issues, the underlying assumptions are normative and constitutive, even if claiming to be merely descriptive.
Some time ago scholars like Michel Callon (1998) and Donald MacKenzie (2001) turned an STS lens onto forms of economic expertise and knowledge; they highlighted how the economy is performatively constituted by economic ideas. Philip Mirowski (2011) and David Tyfield (2012) have sought to examine the changing political economy of research and innovation that has resulted from particular political-economic regimes, especially neoliberalism. Sunder Rajan (2012) and Collard and Dempsey (2013), have sought to understand the materialities of economic actors, objects, and understandings of the world. These perspectives represent only some ways that the constitutive relationship between economic assumptions and technoscience have been theorised in STS, e.g. as academic capitalism, neoliberal technoscience, or technoscientific capitalism (e.g. Berman 2012; Pellizzoni and Ylonen, 2012; Birch 2013).
These various perspectives highlight how economic assumptions increasingly (re)configure technoscientific priorities, funding regimes, organizational governance, politics and policies, artefacts and bodies, etc. In particular finance, financial markets, financial governance, and financialization are bound up with specific configurations of technoscientific research and innovation process, strategy, outcomes, and normative framings of the world. There is a growing need for STS to engage more with economic assumptions and their pervasive manifestations. If we do not develop our own critical competency, then by default we end up reproducing implicit or dominant economic assumptions.
Questions: How might STS scholars theorise the economic assumptions implicit in technoscience? And in its academic analysis? In what ways are the logics, subjectivities, and publics constituting economic assumptions and technoscience increasingly blurred?
Berman, E.P. (2012) Creating the Market University, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press Birch, K. (2013) The political economy of technoscience: An emerging research agenda, Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science 7(1): 49-61. Birch, K. (2016) Rethinking value in the bio-economy: Finance, assetization and the management of value, Science, Technology and Human Values. Callon, M. (ed.) (1998) The Laws of the Markets, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Collard, R-C. and Dempsey, J. (2013) Life for sale? The politics of lively commodities, Environment and Planning A 45 (11): 2682-2699. MacKenzie, D. (2001) Physics and Finance: S-Terms and modern finance as a topic for science studies, Science, Technology, & Human Values 26: 115-144. Mirowski, P. (2011) ScienceMart, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Muniesa, F. (2014) The Provoked Economy, London: Routledge. Pellizzoni, L. and Ylonen, M., eds (2012) Neoliberalism and Technoscience: Critical Assessments, Ashgate. Roy, V. and King, L. (2016) Betting on hepatitis C: how financial speculation in drug development influences access to medicines, BMJ; i3718 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.i3718 Sunder Rajan, K. (ed.) (2012) Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics and Governance in Global Markets, Duke University Press. Tyfield, D. (2012) The Economics of Science, London: Routledge.
|36 - How do science and technology affect what it means to be (more than) human?|
|Erika Szymanski||University of Edinburghemail@example.com|
Perspectives across the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences increasingly see the human body as a multi-species ecology: in the microbiomes we carry and the innumerable species upon which human life and livelihood depend, we have never only been human, and we have never been human alone. Numerous paradigms â sometimes highly technical, sometimes conflicting â have been proposed to describe human-non-human relations in and around science. Meanwhile, public discourse about future science and technology developments sometimes give little attention to the well-being of non-humans and, therefore, the well-being of humans as inextricably connected to and dependent on other species.
This panel therefore invites dialogue toward strategies for approaching public conversations about how science and technology alters what it means to be âhumanâ as we are human in and through tangles of multiple species. The session hopes to generate conversation about useful terms for public talk concerning how science and technology affect being human in all its more-than-human complexity.
Rather than formal papers, presenters are invited to bring a keyword to define, defend -- or deprecate or defile, as the case may be -- and discuss in five to ten minutes (depending on the number of speakers), with ample time for discussion of how we form vocabularies for these discursively and theoretically challenging but conceptually necessary public conversations
|39 - Augmenting the Body|
|Stuart Murray||University of Leedsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tony Prescott||University of Sheffieldemail@example.com|
|Michael Szollosy||University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sophie Jones||University of Leedsemail@example.com|
|Ray Holt||University of Leeds||R.J.Holt@leeds.ac.uk|
Body augmentation takes many forms, whether personal adaptation or the rehabilitation of those with disabilities, and ranges across the physical, cognitive, philosophical and technological. It also questions the constitution of norms and the status and viability of the body when considered in terms of its presence, boundaries and activities. We would like to create a panel that invites cross-disciplinary research into ideas of augmentation; rather than strictly technical work, we would invite perspectives on how ideas of augmentation are reflected in and are influenced by cultural narratives that drive contemporary obsessions with robots and a posthuman space beyond conventional apprehensions of the body and selfhood. We are open to a broad understanding of augmentation, including ideas of care and psychological wellbeing, as well questions relating to technology and the cyborg/biohybrid body, and will focus on both physical and cognitive augmentation in exploring the interaction of the human and non-human.
|41 - Science, Environmental Change and the Future of the Human|
|Sujatha Raman||University of Nottinghamfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Richard Helliwell||University of Nottinghamemail@example.com|
How does environmental change transform what it means to be human? One way into this question is through scientific accounts of the environment and the role of human action in shaping change. Such accounts emerge most obviously from climate change science, but also from other areas of study such as biodiversity, chemical pollution and, increasingly, microbiology tracing the impact of antimicrobials on the microbial biosphere (e.g., Gillings and Paulsen 2014). The concept of the Anthropocene has been influential in bringing together these strands of human-environment interactions under one heading. Talk of the Anthropocene in scientific work (Steffen et al 2011) invokes two different, potentially competing, visions of the human as master (a dominant force engaged in conquest of the planet) and as steward (as implied in the call for planetary stewardship in response to impending environmental tipping points). But some social scientists argue that this language reinforces assumptions about an undifferentiated human (as opposed to specific humans and socio-economic orders) and the desirability of top- down/centralised transformation to the exclusion of cultivating plural and diverse modes of responding from below (Stirling 2014). Others highlight ways in which institutions of science advice, law and public policy around environmental change might engage with humility with desires for social justice in the face of differential distributions of responsibility and vulnerability (Jasanoff 2007). These too invoke a notion of the human in the present/future which we might productively explore in the context of science and environmental change.
In this panel, we invite contributions from people from different disciplines including STS, geography, environmental studies, health studies, policy studies, cultural studies, etc. We are particularly interested in stimulating conversations between specialisations that are not normally brought into dialogue with each other, for example, climate change and antimicrobial resistance (which is sometimes described as akin to climate change in scope and significance); new materialisms and socio-technical imaginaries; care ethics and environmental justice; public understanding of science and transformative innovation studies, etc.
Potential questions include but are not restricted to the following:
- What understandings of the human are invoked in scientific work on environmental change? How do accounts of the dominance of humans in the Anthropocene square with those that blur boundaries between human and nonhuman? How do notions of the human in environmental change relate to those imagined in other domains of scientific inquiry and technological change? To what extent do these notions account for differences between humans?
- How do ideas of the human inform different visions of sociotechnical transformation in light of environmental change? And what do visions of environmental transformation have to offer for thinking about the future of the human?
- How does environmental change destabilise or refocus notions of the human in discussions of social justice, and what role does science and technology play in this regard?
- Can environmental change and transformative action be described and imagined in ways that respond to current fears of destabilisation of (human) identities and/or rising social inequalities? How would frameworks that blur human/nonhuman boundaries respond to these developments?
- How can notions of shared truths be rebuilt in ways that recognise the role of the human and diversity of meanings around environmental change?
|42 - New Freedoms, new constraints?|
|Giovanni De Grandis||Norwegian University of Science and Technologyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Vidar Halgunset||Norwegian University of Science and Technologyemail@example.com|
New technologies are often offered to the public and to individuals as tools that New web-based technologies are often offered to the public as tools that make us freer, that liberate us from some sort of natural or social constraints, that expand the range of activities that we can successfully perform, that dramatically broaden our opportunities to connect with other people who share our interests or goals and to generate a whole new dimension of social network and collective agency. But technologies always create new forms of dependence from artifacts, from the infrastructure that supports them, and from social and economic arrangements necessary to produce and sustain them. Furthermore, assumptions and value choices embedded in the technologies can easily be taken as given and necessary. We invite contributions that focus on the impact of internet technologies on agency, participation, and empowerment at the intersection between science and society, in particular in:
1. Citizen science;
2. Responsible Research and Innovation;
3. Social Media for Health
Suggested questions include:
- Has the success of internet technologies promoted a more democratic and bottom-up form of participation in science and innovation or has it rather given more control to those who set up and manage the IT infrastructure?
- How are opportunities for participation, activism, freedom and control created and inhibited? Does authentic empowerment and participation require advanced digital literacy and ability for groups to build their own digital resources?
- How does the existing distribution of knowledge and resources affect the prospects of enhanced agency, participation, empowerment, and benefit from the technology? Can internet technologies subvert existing power relations, or are they going to entrench them even further?
- Who decides which technical specifications are negotiable or non-negotiable? Are there ways of re-opening locked-in solutions?
- How does technology promote or disrupt collectives and institutions for collective action
|46 - Robots, AI and the question of 'electronic persons'|
|Michael Szollosy||University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tony Prescott||University of Sheffieldemail@example.com|
In January, the European Parliament voted to accept a draft report with recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics. Among the recommendations of this report was a proposal to create a new legal category for robots, that of 'electronic persons' that would have 'specific rights and obligations, including that of making good any damage they may cause'.
We propose a panel that would look in more detail at this category of 'electronic persons': the feasibility, the usefulness (or otherwise) and the implications (social, economic, ethical, philosophical) for both both these new electronic persons and the more traditional, fleshy sort. We would seek papers and contributions from a wide- range of disciplines and from inter-disciplinary research. We would seek to understand the concept of 'electronic personhood', in its specific (and potential future) contexts in legislation, in the context of the reports wider recommendations and for humans and human society more generally. Post-Brexit, we may also ask what the implications of this decision by the European Parliament might be for the UK, if any, and whether the UK should adopt similar measures, or something different.
|47 - Exploring (in)visibility: Imagination, vision, and representation|
|Peter Winter||University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
In popular understanding, phenomena that are invisible to us are usually associated with danger. However, the invisible is not always harmful; those who know it are able to represent it without harm to humans. It builds pragmatic relations among bodies, technology, and culture thus revealing knowledge systems and everyday practices. For example, in settings absent of physical science and technology, imagination is a necessary knowledge system that draws on long-standing tropes, everyday practices and risk. The teaching sessions of those learning to interpret x-rays in the absence of imaging technology is accomplished with the imagination: practically everything that goes on in there is entangled with x-radiation - imagined, embodied, and distributed but harmless. In other words, the invisible can be a perspective for revealing, unfolding and sharing the kinds of relationships humans have with technology. This panel looks for papers that treat the invisible as an embodied, technical and culturally embedded practice for revealing human-system relations. Papers could ponder the following questions: What contributes to and shapes invisible practices? How do âactorsâ do visibility and does the body matter in making things invisible? How do culture and materials establish the visible? Who are the actors that do (in)visibility? How do humans transform the invisible into a shared vision? What is present and absent in (in)visibility? Does invisibility draw human and machine together, and complicate the publics distinction between human and machine? Does invisibility render machinic life? What kinds of relations does invisibility establish? How does (in)visibility promote the confluence of types of vision? Through such questions, we seek STS-influenced perspectives that explore the entangled human-system relationship in imagination, vision, and representation.
|53 - Charting trans and posthumanist imaginaries in future-making.|
|Emilie Whitaker||University of Salfordemail@example.com|
Posthumanism and transhumanism are two emerging cultural movements that use recent developments in science and technology to challenge, in rather different ways, conventional conceptions of the human condition. Originally seen as more aligned with science fiction than science fact, they now straddle the divide, helped along with increasing media attention and capital investment. Whilst posthumanism continues to be theoretically explored within the social sciences and humanities, transhumanism remains an outlier to the academy. This is despite developments in science and technology which decouple traditional understandings of human/non- human action, agency, labour and capital. In this respect, both trans and posthumanism come very well adapted to our post-truth times. We welcome submissions on this general theme, including the following topics:
- Post- vs trans- humanist projections of the future of humanity, both utopic and dystopic
- The appeal to post- and trans- humanist ideas and images in the general culture
- Scientific bases - or not - for post- and trans- humanist knowledge claims
- The influence - or not - of post- and trans- humanist views on public policy
- The place of capitalism in post- and trans- humanist imaginaries
- The place of post- and trans- humanism in the academy: Do they bridge the two cultures?
- How trans and post humanism conceive of the place of democracy in guiding the future
- Exploration of how science communication invokes, borrows or rejects trans and posthumanist tropes.
We welcome 'alternative' contributions for example, short pieces of prose or extracts of speculative near-future fiction - as well as empirically-based findings papers. We are also particularly keen to support early career researchers.
|56 - Science and Publics in Policy: Responsibility and Legitimacy in Decision-Making|
|Kate Dommett||University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sarah Hartley||University of Exeteremail@example.com|
|Warren Pearce||University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
The recent relationship between publics, science and policy is often fraught, as exemplified by two apparently contrary trends. First, expert knowledge appears to be playing an increasingly important role in policymaking, with increased resources and attention being devoted to scientific advice. Second, policy makers and officials have become increasingly sensitive of the need to integrate public voices and concerns into decision-making processes, in a way that goes beyond relying on representative, electoral ties. This panel focuses on the rationale for including public concerns in policy making, particularly in areas of governance traditionally entrusted to those with technical expertise (e.g. risk regulation).
In short, we ask: when, and by what means, should public concerns be brought into governmental processes?
This panel will therefore consider questions such as:
|57 - Automated social-media bots and the non-human : opening a dialogue between political communication and science and technology studies|
|Declan McDowell-Naylor||University of Londonemail@example.com|
|Samantha Bradshaw||Oxford Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gillian Bolsover||Oxford Universityemail@example.com|
The social and political effects of new media, social networks and technological innovation are important and pressing areas of academic inquiry for both Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Political Communication scholarship. However, interdisciplinary work between these two fields of study is uncommon, despite many confluences in theoretical and methodological approaches. This panel seeks to open a dialogue between STS and Political Communication scholarship. We offer to do so in the context of an emergent area of inquiry in Political Communication: the rise of automated social-media bots and algorithmically-controlled communication. In recent years, Political Communication scholarship has responded to some of the empirical challenges it has faced by adopting conceptual themes and approaches from STS (in particular from Actor-Network Theory), such as in Chadwicks Hybrid Media System (2013) and Kleis Nielsens Ground Wars (2012). As a sub-field of Political Science, Political Communication theory opens up new opportunities to engage with STSs desire to promote conversation of the conceptions of politics that animate social studies of science and technology (Brown, 2015,p.3) and speaks to the engaged program of STS that is converging on the democratisation of technoscience (Sismondo, 2008, p.21). We invite papers on topics including, but not limited to: ˇ Understanding the conceptual applicability of STS to other fields, and in particular the success of ANT ˇ How social-media bots can be and/or are understood by STS scholars, especially as non-human actors? ˇ What it means for communication to be political how can this be challenged? ˇ Likewise, what are the predominant conceptions of politics in STS, and how can they be challenged? ˇ Why do both STS and Political Communication place such normative value on democracy? ˇ The conceptual, methodological, and empirical horizon of STS whats coming next?
|88 - SiP17 Open Stream: Science, Technology & Humanity|
|Warren Pearce||University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Daniel Villalba||University of Sheffieldemail@example.com|
Open stream for papers which speak to the conference theme, but do not fit into any of the panels already submitted. Where possible, these papers will be organised into themed sessions in order to facilitate debate and knowledge exchange between speakers. Science and technology are essential ingredients of our humanity. The emergence of fruitful and diverse scholarly perspectives on the history, practice, communication, governance and impacts of scientific knowledge reflects this fact. Yet rapid scientific and technological change has also unsettled the idea of what it means to be human; for example, through new frontiers in physical and cognitive enhancement, shift to knowledge economies, and potential threats to employment from mass automation. These changes take place in a context of broader challenges to expertise and evidence, dramatically illustrated by the EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump. Taking these matters seriously calls for a renewed focus on compassion, benevolence and civilization. This year at Science in Public, we ask: How do science and technology affect what it means to be human? We invite papers from a wide range of disciplines including STS, history of science, science communication, sociology, law, disability studies, geography, urban studies, development studies - that reflect on this question across a range of topics including, but not limited to: