CfP: Can Improved Science and Technology Mean Progress? - 4S Annual Meeting, Boston, 2017
Call for Papers
Open Panel: Can Improved Science and Technology Mean Progress? More Intelligently Steering Technoscientific Systems
Organized for Annual 4S Meeting to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 30-September 2, 2017
Must technoscientific “progress” proceed so technocratically? Dominant innovation discourses implicitly support the view that scientific knowledge and technological innovation automatically translate into improved living. Such a view has led to the promotion of “permissionless innovation,” an ideology that legitimates a hands-off approach to the “disruptive technologies” designed by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and freedom of research in their R&D departments. However, scholars have shown that sociotechnical innovations typically benefit some people and organizations more than others. Thus it is clear to many within STS that those wishing to enact non-technocratic visions of progress face social as well as technical barriers.
To mitigate or head off the worst consequences of permissionless innovation and other discourses that naturalize the politics of technoscientifc change, scholars must consider alternative ways of steering technoscientific agendas aside from allowing small groups of politically and financially powerful elites to make most of the decisions. How might new technologies and research programs be shaped to be more suitable for public purposes before markets let them loose into the world?
The purpose of this panel is to explicitly examine what would be required to guide science and technology toward better fulfilling more humans’ needs more of the time. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, mechanisms for slowing the pace of technoscientific change, addressing the privileged position of particular decision-makers, counteracting the subtle effects of “permissionless innovation” and other naturalizing discourses, and better enabling lay citizens and experts to critically probe the politics of innovation.
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2017.
Submit paper, session, and making and doing proposals here:
Please check the box to submit your paper to open panel "Can Improved Science and Technology Mean Progress? More Intelligently Steering Technoscientific Systems."
You can find more details about the conference on
For more information contact:
Taylor Dotson, New Mexico Tech, Taylor.Dotson@nmt.edu
Michael Bouchey, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments are closed.
Taylor C. Dotson is an associate professor at New Mexico Tech, a Science and Technology Studies scholar, and a research consultant with WHOA. He is the author of The Divide: How Fanatical Certitude is Destroying Democracy and Technically Together: Reconstructing Community in a Networked World. Here he posts his thoughts on issues mostly tangential to his current research.
On Vaccine Mandates
Escaping the Ecomodernist Binary
No, Electing Joe Biden Didn't Save American Democracy
When Does Someone Deserve to Be Called "Doctor"?
If You Don't Want Outbreaks, Don't Have In-Person Classes
How to Stop Worrying and Live with Conspiracy Theorists
Democracy and the Nuclear Stalemate
Reopening Colleges & Universities an Unwise, Needless Gamble
Radiation Politics in a Pandemic
What Critics of Planet of the Humans Get Wrong
Why Scientific Literacy Won't End the Pandemic
Community Life in the Playborhood
Who Needs What Technology Analysis?
The Pedagogy of Control
Don't Shovel Shit
The Decline of American Community Makes Parenting Miserable
The Limits of Machine-Centered Medicine
Why Arming Teachers is a Terrible Idea
Why School Shootings are More Likely in the Networked Age
Gun Control and Our Political Talk
Semi-Autonomous Tech and Driver Impairment
Community in the Age of Limited Liability
Conservative Case for Progressive Politics
Hyperloop Likely to Be Boondoggle
Policing the Boundaries of Medicine
On the Myth of Net Neutrality
On Americans' Acquiescence to Injustice
Science, Politics, and Partisanship
Moving Beyond Science and Pseudoscience in the Facilitated Communication Debate
Privacy Threats and the Counterproductive Refuge of VPNs
Andrew Potter's Macleans Shitstorm
The (Inevitable?) Exportation of the American Way of Life
The Irony of American Political Discourse: The Denial of Politics
Why It Is Too Early for Sanders Supporters to Get Behind Hillary Clinton
Science's Legitimacy Problem
Forbes' Faith-Based Understanding of Science
There is No Anti-Scientism Movement, and It’s a Shame Too
American Pro Rugby Should Be Community-Owned
Why Not Break the Internet?
Working for Scraps
Solar Freakin' Car Culture
Mass Shooting Victims ARE on the Rise
Are These Shoes Made for Running?
Underpants Gnomes and the Technocratic Theory of Progress
Don't Drink the GMO Kool-Aid!
On Being Driven by Driverless Cars
Why America Needs the Educational Equivalent of the FDA
On Introversion, the Internet and the Importance of Small Talk
I (Still) Don't Believe in Digital Dualism
The Anatomy of a Trolley Accident
The Allure of Technological Solipsism
The Quixotic Dangers Inherent in Reading Too Much
If Science Is on Your Side, Then Who's on Mine?
The High Cost of Endless Novelty - Part II
The High Cost of Endless Novelty
Lock-up Your Wi-Fi Cards: Searching for the Good Life in a Technological Age
The Symbolic Analyst Sweatshop in the Winner-Take-All Society
On Digital Dualism: What Would Neil Postman Say?
Redirecting the Technoscience Machine
Battling my Cell Phone for the Good Life