Eurograd message

Message posted on 25/05/2023

Universities and their challenges: - call for papers for the 4S meeting in Honolulu

                 Tomorrow May 26 is the deadline for the call for abstracts for open 
panels to be held at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 
conference in Hawaii, 8-11 November 2023 . We invite contributions to 
the open panel no 44, Universities and their challenges: Disrupting and 
building academic work and knowledge-making ecologies, which addresses 
the following issues:

Universities, both old and robust, have become powerful hubs globally 
for making, evaluating, and disseminating knowledge, including through 
higher education. Sometimes autonomous, universities also have served 
different masters. Increasingly, universities are evaluated through 
neo-liberal lenses of measurable, managed productivity defined by 
others, including policymakers who also require that universities 
address so-called grand societal challenges, expecting academics to 
specify solutions that can be implemented quickly. Overall, universities 
face many critical challenges, from funding to public trust, questioning 
what counts as knowledge, by whom and why. For centuries they have made 
knowledges used for both systemic good and structural harm, from 
inclusion to oppression, along with knowledge of all those processes, 
including how to both implement and dismantle them.

Consequently, as we face the intersecting problems of global warming, 
pandemic, pollution, and inequality, this is an opportune moment to 
examine and rethink universities, a foundational STS task since we all 
address the relationship between learning, knowledge-making, expertise, 
and society. We want to better understand the complexities and 
diversities of current university practices and explore alternatives. We 
welcome submissions that examine the following challenges:

  *   Academic freedom, epistemic politics, and collegiality
  *   Academic audit cultures, assessments, and precarity; the future of
  *   Diversity challenges and strategies
  *   Open science and academic publishing cultures
  *   New theories of knowledge- and science-making
  *   Digitalization and machine learning
  *   Uses of university degrees. Life-long learning
  *   Academic citizenship and subject positioning
  *   Re-imagining university futures: quagmires and utopias.

Organizers are Knut Holtan Sørensen, Vivian Lagesen, and Kyriaki 
Papageorgiou, all of Norwegian University of Science and Technology 
[NTNU], and Sharon Traweek, University of California, Los Angeles [UCLA]

Knut H. Sørensen
Professor emeritus, affiliated with the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture
Centre for Technology and Society, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Web pages :

Recent publications:
Knut H. Sørensen and Sharon Traweek. 2022.  Questing Excellence in Academia.
A Tale of Two Universities, Routledge. Open access from
Knut H. Sørensen. 2021. STS as a Lens to Study Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity. A Comment on Sharon Traweek’s ‘I Prefer the Map.’ Engaging Science, Technology, & Society 7.2: 88–96.
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