current conference

Current conference
Science and Technology by Other Means – Exploring collectives, spaces and futures

EASST/4S2016: Joint Conference of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) and Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).

August 31st to September 3rd 2016, Barcelona, Spain.

The local website contains full details of accepted tracks and papers and links for online registration.

Some decades ago several STS scholars defended that science and technology could be considered as ‘politics by other means’. Many years have gone through, and STS researchers are increasingly turning their attention towards proposals and experiences where science and technology are increasingly performed ‘by other means’: in a variety of exploratory activities that include the articulation of collectives that do not fit with the traditional actors in science and technology, or in ways that problematize the established value systems involved in the production of knowledge and technologies –e.g. fostering the creation of open science, DIY design and commons-based p2p projects, citizen science and maker communities, feminist and environmentalist technoscience projects, and many other platforms seeking to create alternatives to public/private technoscientific arrangements-.

Emerging science and technology practices show how public and private actors are being re-assembled along routes that do not follow once established divides: science and technology are increasingly produced by private not-for-profit actors, such as CSOs, patient organizations and new citizens’ collectives, whilst traditional public institutions once entrusted with the mission of ‘producing’ science and technology for the common good, like universities and research centers, are being transformed into for-profit organizations subjected to productivity bonus, austerity measures and new public management accounting principles. These emerging and consolidating phenomena destabilise and re-signify existing public and private spaces, whilst generating new ones. In turn, new technoscientific communities and unexpected political mobilizations are ongoingly opening up, incessantly engendering other contested options, as well as forging routes to explore more democratic and hospitable futures in the times of care, housing, food, financial and environmental crisis.

The joint 2016 4S/EASST conference in Barcelona will be an opportunity to share reflections, ideas, findings and projects on a variety of aspects characterizing these alternative ways to do science and technology: (a) such as the fact that, for instance, all of these transformations usually take place in blurred everyday spaces and not in those enclosed established spaces for science and technology development, such as laboratories or industrial R&D departments; (b) or, in a similar way, the fact that research and innovation processes are increasingly organised in networked, horizontal assemblages where the traditional hierarchies in science are put into question and where science and technology are being co-produced by different actors in different, sometimes antagonistic, ways; (c) and, finally, the fact that traditional boundaries between the public and the private are no longer confined to state and for-profit actors, care practices taking a preeminent presence in most of these everyday situations.

Key Dates and Links

Accepted tracks and papers can be seen here.

Online registration is now open.

2016, June 1: Final draft of the organization of each thematic session (to be sent by the convenors to the Scientific and Local Committee).

2016, July 1: All presenters must register to be included in the program. For papers with more than one author, one presenter must register to be included in the final program.

2016, July 15: Publication on the website of the final Conference program.

2016, July 30: Closing of online registration.

EASST grants to support participation in the conference

EASST operates a scheme to support students and those at early career stage attend our conferences. This takes the form of free registration (and does not cover travel or accommodation / subsistence). Funding is limited and will be concentrated on those coming from countries which are normally under-represented at EASST conferences (particularly those from Southern or Eastern Europe). It will also be targeted at students or others without institutional support for conference attendance. The Allocation Committee will aim to distribute awards as widely as possible once the above criteria have been applied.  Individuals who have received EASST funding in the past will not normally receive an award on this occasion.

Applicants need to be EASST members and to have had a paper accepted for the conference. Those who receive awards are required to send a short report (500-1000 words) about the track or a plenary session attended to the editor of the EASST Review for consideration for publication.


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