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