EASST Review: Volume 34(2) June 2015

Editorial – Generative Collaboration by Josefine Raasch

The Author Multiple: Reflections on a One Week Lorentz-Workshop on Authorship in Transition by Alex Rushforth, Sarah de Rijcke, Anne Beaulieu, Paul Wouters, Ruth Müller, Matt Burton, Saskia de Vries, Maarten Derksen, Patricia Faasse, Michele Garfinkel, Tjitske Holtrop, Bjorn Hammarfelt, Lynn Kamerlin, Vincent Larivière, Tara McPherson, Frank Miedema, Philippe Mongeon, Adèle Paul-Hus, David Pontille, Ed Simons, Susanne van Weelden, Joris van Zundert, Dorte Henriksen, Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Marlieke Kieboom & Lisette van Kalshoven

What is a scientific author? Today this question seems more urgent than ever, protruding into heated debates on social, epistemic, commercial, and ethical aspects of contemporary science. In February 2015 a workshop was held in Leiden, the Netherlands, bringing together participants from the worlds of academia, publishing, think tanks, research information systems, science policy, and activism, each with their own take and commitments on this important topic. The Authorship in Transition workshop was hosted by the Lorentz Center in Leiden, which formed an innovative backdrop in which a more bottom-up workshop format could thrive. Below we summarise some of the outcomes of the week, which we hope will inspire new collaborative ventures into the topic going forward.

Interdisciplinarity and Comparison: A Workshop on Cultures of Video Games Concerns by Alison Marlin

Interdisciplinarity is ever present in academia, but difficult to do well. This report reflects on a workshop that combined two different disciplines, STS and Games Studies, which are themselves interdisciplinary, meaning that participants came from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds, as well as from outside of academia. The workshop aimed to examine some of the ways in which concerns about video games are enacted and sustained in particular settings, and how these concerns help to enact other objects and relations. The challenge of generatively working together varied knowledge traditions in order to engage in a shared project was met through a careful workshop structure and a double comparison, between and across two countries and four social domains.

Caring for Participation in STS: From Empowered Patients to Ghostbusters by Karen Dam Nielsen

In this short report from the EASST Conference 2014, I sketch a handful of presentations that engaged with ‘participation’. Two tracks, in particular, offered interesting analyses and conceptual experiments. The first track contained primarily empirically driven studies of ‘technologies of participation’ in (health) care and provided illustrations of the conceptual ambiguities and empirical implications that continue to make participation a problematic, yet highly relevant and intriguing STS-topic. The second track featured presentations that more explicitly contributed new analytical tools for studying participation – primarily aimed at studies of public participation in deliberative processes, yet of potential relevance for studies of seemingly more ‘private’/less ‘political’ forms of participation.

Quantifying the Body and Health: Adding to the Buzz? by Michael Penkler

Questions of measuring and quantifying the body and health are currently very popular research topics in STS. In this short reflection, I engage in discussing the ontological politics of STS engagements with hyped topics such as the quantified self. I argue of the importance of reflecting in how far we ourselves as researchers add to the buzz, and to be conscious about the affinities of our own research apparati to the topics we study.

Household Energy Consumption. Reflections from an EASST 2014 Panel by Luis Junqueira

This text presents some reflections on a small group of presentations focusing on domestic energy consumption given during the ‘Sociotechnical asymmetries in energy issues’ track at the last EASST conference,. It is my understanding that there is an important role for STS to play in this issue, as the analytic frameworks developed within the discipline – practice theory and actor-network-theory – challenge the dominant societal understanding of energy consumption and thus may contribute to shift the discussion towards a more inclusive design of technology and public policy.

Reflecting on Conceptualizations of Responsible Research and Innovation Discourses by Lloyd Akrong

The Situating solidarities conference provided a platform in which various conceptualizations of responsible research and innovation could be discussed, challenged and placed against the background of broader discussions of what it means to do good science. This paper reflects on some of the discussions that occurred during the conference and points of interest that arose in the process. It discusses recurring themes highlighted by various presenters and makes connections with the implicit framings of RRI concepts displayed on different conference tracks. An idea underlying many presentations was that RRI requires active work and that this work often involves an alignment between society and innovation.

Zigzagging between Trust and Social Institutions by Simone Belli

In this paper, I present three sessions held at the EASST 2014 conference in Torun to argue that social institutions are shaped through interactions between actors and technologies, assemblies and protests in several networks. I suggest an analysis of how trust works in social institutions and how these institutions are based on cooperation and knowledge. In the first part, I introduce examples of innovation in social institutions. In the second part, I highlight epistemic trust in social institutions. In the third and final part, the focus is on horizontal democracy as a traditional technology that is being redesigned by citizens. Due to the presenters in this panel, I could observe how trust and social institutions are shaped through interactions between actors and technologies, assemblies and protests in several networks.

Obituary: Stefan Beck (1960-2015) by Tanja Bogusz & Estrid Sørensen

News and Announcements

EASST/4S 2016 Conference

EASST/4S 2016 conference ‘Science and Technology by Other Means’ will be held from August 31st to September 3rd 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.

The local website contains full details of the theme and the organising committees. The call for tracks is now open and you can submit online from the website.
Proposals must be submitted by 26th October 2015.

A call for papers will follow. This will open on 23rd November 2015 and close on February 21st 2016.

New Issue Science & Technology Studies: Volume 28 (2) 2015 – Now Available

In Autumn 2012, EASST launched its own international, peer reviewed, online journal Science & Technology Studies. For further details see our journal page.

The ninth issue of Science & Technology Studies: Volume 28 (2) 2015 is published. For contents and abstracts see our journal page. EASST members can access all content using details provided by email.

Any problems please email admin(at)

Council elections – results

EASST is run by an elected council of eight members, of which one is a student representative, and an elected president. The role of the Council is described in the constitution. Elections are for a 4 year term.

An election has been held for two Council vacancies. There were 6 candidates. Congratulations to Vicky Singleton who was elected and Attila Bruni who was re-elected. 36% of EASST members voted.

News on EASST Council activities appear regularly in EASST Review.

EASST support for 2015 activities

In the non-conference year 2015 EASST is supporting smaller activities, such as conferences, network meetings, seminars, workshops, summer schools etc. The 2015 support scheme aims to promote cross-national community building within EASST, advance new questions, topics and perspectives in science and technology studies, as well as enable collaboration with non-academic actors engaged in science and technology. A strong set of applications was received and assessed by Council against previously published criteria. Six events, listed below, will receive support towards their activities and reports will appear in EASST Review.
Further information from a downloadable document.

• Does History Matter? Techno-sciences and their historically informed policies. A workshop to be held at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
Launch event for new UK Science, Technology and Innovation Studies national programme and Association. Held at SPRU, University of Sussex, UK, 25 August 2015.
Science and Research in Popular Culture. To be held at Klagenfurt, Austria, 17-18 September 2015.
• STS Austria – launch event & workshop. To be held at the University of Vienna, Austria, 3-5 December 2015.
Technosciences of Post/Socialism. This workshop was held in Budapest, Hungary, 3-5 September 2015. A video of the keynote speech is available here.
• Science and Technology as Way of Life: Observing the Practices at Confined Research Stations and Large Technical Systems in High Mountains. Summer school to be held at National Astronomical Observatory Rozhen, Bulgaria.

EASST 2014 Awards Ceremony

EASST Awards for Collaborative Activity were presented for the second time at the Torun Conference on 19th September 2014.
Pictured from left to right the photograph shows:
Johan Schot who received the Freeman award on behalf of ‘Making Europe – Technology and Transformations 1850 – 2000 (Palgrave Macmillan) a book series launched in 2013 and edited by Johan Schot & Phil Scranton.
Ulrike Felt who received the Ziman award on behalf of ‘Science in Society: Caring for our future in turbulent times’ (European Science Foundation – Policy Briefing; Strategic Action ‘The Future of Science in Society’ 2011-13).
Israel Rodriguez-Giralt who received the Amsterdamska award on behalf of ‘Disasters and Politics. Materials, Experiments, Preparedness’ (Wiley-Blackwell 2014) edited by Manuel Tironi, Israel Rodriguez-Giralt & Michael Guggenheim.
Download the citations here.
Full details of the awards and their background can be found here.

Established in 1981 EASST is the organization which represents academics and researchers in the broad field of science, technology and innovation studies. It brings together a variety of disciplines and many of its members have qualifications in both natural science/engineering and social sciences.

EASST’s objective is to foster within Europe the scholarly study of science and technology including their historical development and their role in society and in particular to:

  • improve scholarly communication and exchange in the field
  • increase the visibility of the subject to policy-makers and to the general public
  • stimulate and support teaching on the subject at all levels.

It promotes a variety of activities to further these aims including biennial conference.


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