Message posted on 22/05/2023

REMINDER - Conspiring Otherwise - Call for papers to open panel 4S 2023

Dear colleagues,

Just a gentle reminder that we are welcoming your proposals for our panel at the 4S Conference to be held in Honolulu, November 8-11, 2023 (and/or to forward it to potentially interested colleagues).

Deadline is on May 26, 2023, and we are welcoming online participation for those who would like to contribute but cannot travel over there.

Conspiring Otherwise: Let's Talk About Trust

Trust in institutions and scientific expertise is said to be eroding. Climate policy, public health, banking systems, media outlets, and Big Tech are a few highly contested fields where manifestations of public distrust and suspicion are most observable today. Equally widespread is the propensity to problematize distrust (and its solutions) in antagonistic terms. Whether combating doubt sowed by the spread of misinformation or debunking conspiracy theories, conventional responses to contrarian views tend to frame the latter as ignorant and in need of policing. This orientation stigmatizes heterodox expressions of distrust, obfuscates the complex rationalities behind their emergence, and polarizes discourse. How can trust be rebuilt if all camps conspire against each other?

The premise for this panel is that trust is a relationship that calls for a renewal of its terms. Rather than label conspiracy theories and related cultural expressions of distrust as ridiculous or dangerous, we aim to foreground them as legitimate objects for nuanced social scientific inquiry.

We invite papers that engage theoretically and/or empirically with the following themes: (a) Social and political rationalities for public distrust of institutions, hostility towards authority, suspicion of expertise (b) Convergences/divergences between academic and lay critiques of science and/or critical social theory and conspiracy theory (c) Competing regimes of co-production of facts and values, truth and politics in times of uncertainty (d) Relationships between conspiracy theories and systemic inequities in modern institutions, their legacies, and future-oriented goals

Convenors: Gabriel Dorthe (Harvard STS & RIFS Potsdam) Melissa Salm (Stanford University) Janel Jett (University of Missouri) Marco Dell’Oca (University of California — Davis) Mariam Mauzi (University of Toronto)

This panel is organized by a group of colleagues that have been meeting online regularly for more than a year. We are very excited about this opportunity to finally meet in person. We nevertheless understand that there are many reasons why people would not be able to travel to Hawaii. If that’s your case, please look at the bottom of this page: .

Our Call for Abstracts (up to 250 words) can be found here:

And the details for submission here:

Deadline is on May 26, 2023 (notification of acceptance on June 9).

Best wishes, Gabriel

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