Science & Technology Studies
EASST has launched its own international, peer reviewed, online journal Science & Technology Studies.
In response to the steady growth of our field EASST wishes to create a new strong international journal, which is also delivered as a membership benefit to members. The journal is a development of Science Studies, which has a 25 volume history of internationally peer-reviewed publications. The journal is under review to be included in social science citation index (SSCI) and has increased its number of issues to three in 2013 and will target four issues per year in the near future.
EASST members (and other subscribers) will have exclusive access to each new issue for a 4 month period. Members will receive an email with access details. All older content is open access – a principle of scientific publishing EASST wishes to endorse.
Previous issues can be found on the journal’s own website at www.sciencetechnologystudies.org
Latest Issue: Science & Technology Studies: Volume 27 (1) 2014
- Guest Editorial
Antti Silvast, Hannu Hänninen and Sampsa Hyysalo: Energy in Society: Energy Systems and Infrastructures in Society: Part 2 of 3
- Mark Winskel and Jonathan Radcliffe: The Rise of Accelerated Energy Innovation and its Implications for Sustainable Innovation Studies: A UK Perspective (see abstract)
- Gerhard Fuchs: The Governance of Innovations in the Energy Sector: Between Adaptation and Exploration (see abstract)
- Heli Nissilä, Tea Lempiälä and Raimo Lovio: Constructing Expectations for Solar Technology over Multiple Field-configuring Events: A Narrative Perspective (see abstract)
- Mikko Jalas, Helka Kuusi and Eva Heiskanen: Self-building Courses of Solar Heat Collectors as Sources of Consumer Empowerment and Local Embedding of Sustainable Energy Technology (see abstract)
- Yael Parag: From Energy Security to the Security of Energy Services: Shortcomings of Traditional Supply-Oriented Approaches and the Contribution of a Socio Technical and User-Oriented Perspectives (see abstract)
The Rise of Accelerated Energy Innovation and its Implications for Sustainable Innovation Studies: A UK Perspective
Mark Winskel and Jonathan Radcliffe
‘Accelerated energy innovation’ has become a prominent aspect of energy policymaking in response to more urgent drivers for change. This paper charts the rise of accelerated energy innovation in the UK, and considers its possible implications for sustainable innovation studies and research-policy exchange. As manifest in the UK, accelerated energy innovation has a number of distinctive features: an emphasis on relatively short term dynamics (years rather than decades), a focus on cost reduction and deployment support for large scale technologies, and a central role for the private sector and public-private partnerships. We argue that because it is predominantly regime-led and continuity-based, accelerated energy innovation presents a challenge to niche-led, more disruptive theories of sustainable innovation (Transitions Studies and Technological Innovation Systems theory). We conclude that sustainable innovation studies – while maintaining its critical and reflexive stance – should more fully reflect the multiform dynamics of energy systems under urgency, across a broad spectrum of continuity-based and niche-led changes.
Keywords: energy policy, innovation theory, accelerated innovation
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The Governance of Innovations in the Energy Sector: Between Adaptation and Exploration
The field of electricity supply has slowly evolved over a long period of time. Electricity supply constitutes an example of a large technical system resistant to sudden changes or reorientations. The essential incentives for changes have come from the so called oil-price shocks in the mid ninety-seventies of the last century, the Chernobyl accident and the resulting critical attitude towards nuclear energy in many countries, the liberalization of markets driven forward by the European Commission, discussions about climate change and finally the Fukushima catastrophe. Such external events can lead to changes in governance structures. The standard operating procedure is to have the incumbent actors deal with external challenges in the established way of doing things (structures and actors). We assume that changes in the governance structure are not an immediate reaction to external shocks, but rather these external shocks have to be interpreted, mediated by new, skilled actors and perceived as a chance to see things differently and organize and build coalitions around these new frames. For a successful transformation, a change in the relevant power constellations which supports the incumbent governance structure is required. Processes of change in the end deal with the following question: which actors can achieve what aims under what conditions? The article will analyze four prominent cases in the energy sector to illustrate this point: the governance of the carbon dioxide capture & storage technology in Germany and Norway and the governance of photovoltaics development in Japan and Germany.
Keywords: energy technologies, governance, innovation, strategic action fields
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Constructing Expectations for Solar Technology over Multiple Field-configuring Events: A Narrative Perspective
Heli Nissilä, Tea Lempiälä and Raimo Lovio
The existence of positive expectations is of particular importance for emerging clean energy technologies that are not yet competitive on the market in terms of cost or performance. The sociology of expectations literature studies how expectations can further technological fields. We contribute to this literature by studying expectations work through multiple “field-configuring events” in an effort to map out field development over time. Our analysis demonstrates six narrative themes and the evolvement of expectations work to further solar technology. We suggest that event-based expectations work is fruitful for exploring complementary visions and expectations for a new technology. Rather than explicitly aligning expectations, events can lead to an initially narrow storyline gradually spreading into multiple narratives upon which to build a field’s future and, thereby, guide and strengthen the advocacy. This form of guidance is especially important in early phases of field formation.
Keywords: expectations work, field-configuring events, emerging clean energy technology
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Self-Building Courses of Solar Heat Collectors as Sources of Consumer Empowerment and Local Embedding of Sustainable Energy Technology
Mikko Jalas, Helka Kuusi and Eva Heiskanen
Self-building courses have been identified as a stimulus for user innovations, local embedding and diffusion of renewable energy technology. In this paper we explore the Finnish solar heat collector self-building courses. Our empirical material consists of field observations, interviews with teachers and a survey of participants since the early activities in late 1990s. Our findings show that course participants have started to follow energy discussions, collect information and actively advise others. Participants view themselves as increasing capable actors in renewable energy. They have also begun to engage in energy saving and renewable energy at home on a wide front. The fact that only 41% have installed their collector points to the importance of timing but also to the way in which self-building courses serve as a first step into renewable energy. Overall our results indicate that self-building courses offer possibilities for material engagement that has outcomes beyond the immediate objectives of the course.
Keywords: solar heat collectors, self-building, material engagement
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From Energy Security to the Security of Energy Services: Shortcomings of Traditional Supply-Oriented Approaches and the Contribution of a Socio-Technical and User-Oriented Perspectives
Traditional literature and policy approach to energy security focus on the security of energy supply. It is argued here that a supply-centric approach to energy security is too narrow to account for the complex nature of energy systems and tends to overlook energy users, their expectations from, interaction with and roles in future low carbon energy systems. From users’ point of view, be they households, businesses or governments, the supply of kWh or oil barrels is often meaningless. What matters is not the source of energy, but rather the services provided by it. Therefore, securing energy services seems to be the public and the government’s concern, and the security of supply is only one mean to achieving it. Stemming from science, technology and society studies, this discussion paper suggests that applying a multi-level socio-technical and user-oriented perspectives which focus on the energy services and considers also psychological, social and cultural aspects of energy consumption, could reveal new and overlooked actors, roles, means and strategies that may provide and contribute to energy services security.
Keywords: energy security, energy services, socio-technical systems
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Previous Issues: Science & Technology Studies:
Volume 26 (3) 2013
- Guest Editorial
Antti Silvast, Hannu Hänninen and Sampsa Hyysalo: Energy in Society: Energy Systems and Infrastructures in Society
- Les Levidow, Theo Papaioannou and Alexander Borda-Rodriguez: Innovation Priorities for UK Bioenergy: Technological Expectations within Path Dependence
- Armi Temmes, Rami-Samuli Räsänen, Jenny Rinkinen and Raimo Lovio: The Emergence of Niche Protection through Policies: The Case of Electric Vehicles Field in Finland
- Mads Dahl Gjefsen: Carbon Cultures: Technology Planning for Energy and Climate in the US and EU
- Lea Schick and Brit Ross Winthereik: Innovating Relations – or Why Smart Grid is not too Complex for the Public
- James Mittra: Repairing the ‘Broken Middle’ of the Health Innovation Pathway: Exploring Diverse Practitioner Perspectives on the Emergence and Role of ‘Translational Medicine’
Volume 26 (2) 2013
- Pernille Bjørn and Randi Markussen: Cyborg Heart: The Affective Apparatus of Bodily Production of ICD Patients
- Attila Bruni and Carlo Rizzi: Looking for Data in Diabetes Healthcare: Patient 2.0 and the Re-engineering of Clinical Encounters
- Henriette Langstrup, Louise Bagger Iversen, Signe Vind and Thomas Lunn Erstad: The Virtual Clinical Encounter: Emplacing Patient 2.0 in Emerging Care Infrastructures
- Annegrete Juul Nielsen and Casper Bruun Jensen: Travelling Frictions: Global Disease Self-Management, Local Comparisons and Emergent Patients
- Jeannette Pols: The Patient 2.Many: About Diseases that Remain and the Different Forms of Knowledge to Live with them
Volume 26 (1) 2013
- Anders Blok: Urban Green Assemblages: An ANT View on Sustainable City Building Projects
- Sampsa Hyysalo, Jouni K. Juntunen and Stephanie Freeman: Internet Forums and the Rise of the Inventive Energy User
- Torun Granstrom Ekeland and Britt Kramvig: Negotiating Terrains: Stories from the Making of “Siida”
- Kai Eriksson: Innovation and the Vocabulary of Governance
- Adrijana Šuljok and Marija Brajdić Vuković: How the Croatian Daily Press Presents Science News
Volume 25 (2) 2012
- Céline Granjou and Isabelle Mauz: Expert Activities as Part of Research Work: The Example of Biodiversity Studies
- Séverine Louvel: The ‘Industrialization’ of Doctoral Training? A Study of the Experiences of Doctoral Students and Supervisors in the French Life Sciences
- Ericka Johnson and Cecilia Åsberg: Enrolling Men, their Doctors, and Partners: Individual and Collective Responses to Erectile Dysfunction
- Sarah Parry, Wendy Faulkner, Sarah Cunningham-Burley and Nicola J. Marks: Heterogeneous Agendas around Public Engagement in Stem Cell Research: The Case for Maintaining Plasticity