Open Panel: Steering Technology, Lessening Barriers and Embracing Partisanship: (Re)Constructivism and Pathways toward Alternative Modernities
Organized for 4S Meeting to be held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado, November 11-14, 2015
Despite all the gains made by STS in understanding how technoscience is socially constructed, inquiry into how modernity might be feasibly reconstructed to be more democratic, sustainable and/or communitarian remains woefully underdeveloped. Indeed, too often the field can be interpreted as not too dissimilar to ecology prior to the formation of conservation biology: seemingly content with cataloging failures rather than envisioning and/or aiding concrete interventions. While STS scholars have well established that contemporary technoscience could have been otherwise, the question of how it might become otherwise merits more attention (see Woodhouse 2005).
The purpose of this session is to stimulate the formation of scholastic networks to further explore how a more contemporary and future-oriented STS might generate more intelligent incremental steering toward alternative modernities. Papers could include the exploration of themes such as the pace of innovation, the appropriate application of expertise, the distribution of participation, and the conceptualization of the political. Such explorations would ideally draw from, extend or constructively critique proposed frameworks for the improved steering of technoscience. Also relevant are discussions of the tensions faced by analysts facing expectations to perform “academic disinterestedness” but still desiring to pursue explicitly partisan scholarship. How might STS researchers more productively strategize around such tensions?
This panel invites scholars from a variety of backgrounds and disciplinary traditions, utilizing a variety of methodologies, to discuss and engage with these and other themes related to the improved governance of technosocial systems. Of particular interest are case studies and analyses concerning the barriers to realizing alternative technoscience or the dismantling of status quo science and technology. Moreover, how do/can actors strategize to incrementally lessen such barriers? Finally, given the paltry progress made in intelligently steering technoscience in many societies, what reforms to STS (conceived as a sociopolitical institution) might be necessary or desirable?
Submission Deadline: March 29, 2015.
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For more information contact:
Taylor Dotson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Bouchey, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, email@example.com