Authoritarian regimes and political practices have been on the rise in many countries of the world in the last decade.
There has also been resistance and discussions of how to engage with these political shifts, among scientists, activists, activist scientists, and the general public who are concerned about the situation. In this environment, we believe that it is vital to discuss how to advocate for science while also critically examine it, as STS scholars.
How do we discuss the relationships between authoritarianism and science through past and present examples? What methodological innovations would STS bring in understanding and challenging authoritarian governance of science? How do we approach the complex and multiple relationships between political power and technoscientific practices taking shape in contemporary states of authoritarianism?
The building of Africa South of the Sahara has always been through transformation, interruption and regeneration of knowledge and techniques, both tacit, implicit, unexpressed, body codified, or in language and cognition. As so, this kind of knowledge remains invisible, under-recognized and undervalued. Yet, it is clear and scientifically proven that this locally-grounded and useful knowledge as a particular universal knowledge is one of the most reliable bases for long term, sustainable prosperity nowadays Africa.
The field of science and technology studies is producing a growing literature in response to the increasing prevalence of machine algorithms in everyday life. Research stretches across anthropology, sociology, information science, media studies, organizations, communications, history, and cognitive science—examining, for example, the causes and consequences of bias in algorithmic decision-making or the embeddedness of algorithms in different historical, organizational, and market contexts. These studies serve as a foundation for expanding the social study of algorithms to accommodate for a more nuanced perspective on the interplay between contexts and the different forms and functions these technologies take and serve.
Having exposed the black box of the Algorithm and its inscrutability, scholars are now turning their attention to algorithms as varied systems, enacted through a multitude of practices including, but not limited to, the production of models and their codification. Science and technology not only describe the focus of research for STS scholars but very often constitute our physical presence within academic institutions.
However, due to their growing popularity, technological countercultures such as making and hacking have found acceptance within these diverse academic areas, particularly at the crux of interdisciplinarity in which STS exists Chachra, ; Rosner, ; Sayers, Simultaneously, more recent educational reforms follow a neoliberal course of merging social sciences and humanities into STEM thus promising to increase the critical thinking capacities of students. Introduced into agriculture in the late s, antimicrobials have become an integral component of many different aspects of contemporary life, whether that be agricultural production and food supply or human, animal and environmental health.
The global problem of antimicrobial resistance, which is increasingly defining antimicrobial use today, is not new. The last few decades have seen a series of attempts to frame and to regulate antimicrobial use and the drug market in veterinary medicine and animal care across different countries with significant varied economic, scientific and political contexts. Hence while their use as animal growth promoters has been banned in Europe since , antimicrobials are still widely employed for this purpose in the rest of the world.
This panel seeks to look specifically at antimicrobial uses in animal husbandry from the prescription and use of antimicrobials on farms to the production, marketing and sale of antimicrobial medicine and the different forms of regulation professional, institutional or market-oriented that are applied to antimicrobial use.
The panel aims to bring new understanding to the social, technical and economic structures of agri-food production and distribution systems that integrate, and have integrated, antimicrobials as key elements in the processes of livestock farming or, on occasion, have sought to encourage their reduction. The panel will take an STS approach to raise questions about innovation and transition, resilience and resistance, science and regulation, practice and prescription, that offer new perspectives on the hitherto dominant trajectories of livestock farming.
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We invite contributions on a range of topics including but not exclusively :. Cities are increasingly postulated as the scene of the bright future: they are smart, fancy and dynamic.
Assembling people, technologies and green buildings together, they inhabit the synergy to create a new world Sennett Is the countryside declining? How to understand these spatial-temporal orders of the countryside and the caring it involves, both for the region and its citizens? What does a caring geography entail? In this panel, we seek to explore and conceptualize the countryside as an assemblage, with a particular emphasis to its caring geography.
How do carescapes in the countryside change, given demographic and economic developments? How to conceptualize these emerging regional assemblages and their consequences? In recent years, attention has become a topic of increasing public concern. Digital distractions, addictive design patterns, and ad-driven platforms are said to be decreasing individual attention spans; political crises are described as canny distractions or failures of collective attention.
Meanwhile, academic critics call for new forms of attention as solutions to analytic and political problems. What work does the concept of attention perform in popular and expert conversations? How might closer attention to attention interrupt common sense discourses about its value and purpose? What work can attention perform, when it is attended to with greater precision and care? This panel invites contributions that are topically, theoretically, and methodologically related to the intersections of attention and STS—including but not limited to research that addresses the following:.
Whether this new machine age will lead to displacement of human labour or will create new economic opportunities is a matter of a different debate.
- IMITATION AND LIFE - always outnumbered, never outgunned;
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However, with increasing delegation of human activities to intelligent agents, what we definitely witness is a shift in human skill trajectory Bright Michael Polanyi in his book, The Tacit Dimension , argued that much of human knowledge and capability stems from skills and rulesets that lies underneath our conscious understanding.
It manifests rather as a more complex intertwining between human activities, technology, and organization structure. The objective of the panel is to bring together an analysis of these nuanced process through which human skills are evolving and will evolve, given increasing reliance on AI-based automation and how this will impact human identity, which in the modern capitalist system, relies on our occupation.
This session explores imaginaries, politics, users and consequences of the emerging technologies of autonomous vehicles and the digitalization of transportation infrastructure. It problematizes these technologies across temporal, scalar, systemic and disciplinary boundaries.
The goal is to stimulate a rich debate on the co-production of autonomous vehicles and society, and to shed light on how the complexity, hybridity, and diversity of these emerging technologies could be understood, interpreted and governed. According to popular narratives, self-driving vehicles promise wide-ranging socio-technical transformations with potential implications for mobility, safety, environment, infrastructure, urban development and planning.
STS scholars have highlighted the ambivalent and contested characteristics of autonomous vehicles and digital infrastructures. While techno-epistemic actors who push the self-driving agenda produce rich imaginaries highlighting massive potential gains within traffic safety, goods transport, energy efficiency and climate mitigation, others question the politics of self-driving vehicles by asking how they feed into wider algorithmic cultures of governance and deep digitalization. This also raises important questions of cyber security and surveillance and the exploitation of big data by actors such as nation states, corporations, political parties and interest groups.
Further on, what are the implications for labor markets, governance and planning? Are current technological scripts socially just? From the perspective of technology users, this raises questions of the changing roles and practices of drivers, ownership of transport data, app-economies, new services, mobility cultures and democracy. In conversation with ongoing queer, disability studies, feminist, and antiracist projects in STS, this open panel seeks to further disrupt interrogations of sexuality, race, gender, and dis ability in the study of science, technology, and medicine by centering deviant objects of analysis and subject-positions: Bad Queers, Bold Crips, and Black Femmes.
By the fact of their existence — but also through their intentional deviant practices — Queers, Crips, and Black Femmes disrupt idealized white, able-bodied, masculine, heteronormative, and feminine subject-positions as these are depicted in both popular and medical material. Rather than an STS that merely accounts for this deviance, we seek to build up an STS that actively celebrates these deviant subjects and their practices of self-making, community-building, and collective resistance to normative regimes of science, technology, and biomedicine.
We welcome submission from all disciplines, historical time periods, and encourage methodological promiscuity. STS has a long history of disrupting understandings of bodies, modes of knowledge, and entire disciplines. Operating in that tradition, this panel seeks to put those disruptions into conversation with deviant forms of inquiry and theorizing in queer studies, disability studies, sexuality studies, and Black feminist studies. How do Queers disrupt the technological and biomedical constructions around sex, sexuality, pain, pleasure, disease, and desire?
What happens when Crips embrace biomedical technologies that seek to erase disabled subjects and instead use them to create an imagined Crip future? How do STS scholars and biomedical actors respond when working class Black women who are framed as ill or sick — such as women living with HIV — respond with bold assertions of their health? Inspired by the deviant milieus of New Orleans, Bourbon Street, and with 4S convening in the shadow of Southern Decadence , we welcome scholars from a wide variety of fields that seek to re define, appropriate, and revel in deviance through one or more critical STS lenses.
History of the Warfare Of Science With Theology in Christendom, by Andrew Dickson White
We welcome traditional paper submissions and contributions in other formats or modalities. Scholarship in postcolonial STS and critical data studies critiques the widespread use of data-driven systems, pointing to the racialized, gendered, and socioeconomic consequences embedded in their production and use, and the troubled histories from which such apparatuses arise Borocas and Selbst ; Browne ; Crawford and boyd ; Noble ; Suchman This research has productively demonstrated that data technologies are not neutral, but instead are socially, culturally, and politically situated ways of knowing and seeing Browne ; Gitelman ; Jasanoff ; Thakor And, how these systems work outside of the West is largely unattended to.
How do they derive value in data and data-driven techniques? Through empirical analysis, this panel digs beneath macro trends and rhetoric to query the lived experiences of working through these burgeoning data systems. This panel explores the influential landscape of practices of personal change and radical self-transformation. Practices and techniques for self-improvement are part of encounters and ways of operating in healthcare, education, professional development, life coaching, therapy, spiritual practice, movements like the quantified self, etc.
We wish to move away from such an analytical cul-de-sac and craft stories that do not hinge on unilateral critique or explanatory frameworks. This panel calls for scholarship on non-use and media refusal to examine how ubiquitous technology becomes infastrucutral, and the increasing difficulty of avoiding adoption.
Yet interruptions in patterns of use and changes in user behaviors emerge, as we negotiate our relationships with media and technology in context-specific studies.
Science and Health
How do we consider what it is to be a non-user when innovation is rapidly the conditions of possibility for living in a technified society? This panel hopes to address that question. Scholarship on non-use is welcome to examine the issues surrounding innovation, interruptions, dis engagement and dis empowerment. When we are compelled to participate in media and technology via innovation, how do we measure the exchange of agency, as ways of being in society become technified, commercialized and standardized on new platforms?