EDUCATION: What questions or elaborations do you have about the educational programs that have been built within and through this STS formation?

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August 20, 2018

Based on how former researchers at iHub describe their experience, there seems to be a unique style of STS education that working at iHub offers. First, mentorship seems to be an important component of how folks at iHub learn. The quotes suggest that mentorship was not only important for teaching new iHub researchers how to research but also for helping them navigate the conventions, systems, and politics of disseminating knowledge and making it broadly accessible. Another component seems to be fostering experimentation - or a trial and error approach to research and design. The essay suggests that part of the iHub education was learning to be comfortable with figuring things out as you go rather than assuming to know the right way to approach research ahead of time. I think this speaks to the organization’s commitment to locally produced research- research that may be informed by but doesn’t necessarily blindly adhere to research models that are dominant in other parts of the world. Experimentation in defining research methods provides the flexibility to scaffold locally appropriate models. Finally, the essay suggests that working at iHub taught researchers to challenge their assumptions about technology and about the social contexts of technology- particularly as research and practice became more tightly coupled. This speaks to opportunities for STS to foster new collaborations with practitioners - both to share the unique insights from STS with folks intervening in the world but also test ideas emerging from STS in diverse contexts. This can encourage STS researchers to consider the appropriateness of legacy concepts in other settings.

I'm curious how Okune would compare the (STS) education that researchers receive at iHub to the (STS) education that researchers receive in universities and other academic settings. How is expertise differentially cultivated in these settings?

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