Critical Participation in Pedagogy and Research as a Mode of Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries


The STS Futures Lab is interested in making visible the creative possibilities of focusing on STS pedagogies--not only to improve STS teaching but to reconceptualize STS theories, methods, and strategies of engagement. Inspired in part by the Making and Doing exhibits at 4S, work such as Lezaun, Marres, and Tironi’s “Experiments in Participation” (Lezaun, et al., 2017) and Downey and Zuiderent-Jerak’s “Making and Doing: Engagement and Reflexive Learning in STS” (Downey and Zuierent-Jerak, 2017), the STS Futures Lab aspires to develop modes of critical participation in both teaching and research. 

Especially motivated by the desire to effectively do STS in STEM spaces (York, 2018), and to reach undergraduate STEM students so that they begin to think more critically and reflexively about science, technology, and world-making, we began to find overlaps in how we were engaging our students and how we might engage scientists, engineers, and experts of different disciplinary domains more broadly. How might we make STS modes of thinking accessible, relevant, and interesting to those from other disciplines and to those outside the university--toward the end of doing better science and working to address complex problems that necessitate multi-disciplinary collaboration? 

Not only have new and emerging methods traveled between the classroom and our research, but we have found that teaching itself can be a powerful shared matter of concern that can bring together experts from different fields. This has led us to further explore how incorporating undergraduate students into research may be beneficial not only for their edification, but for the effectiveness of forming bridges across disciplines to support collaboration.


Creative Commons Licence


Contributed date

August 14, 2019 - 3:52pm

Critical Commentary

This artifact speaks to what STS innovations (of theory, methodology, pedagogy, practice, engagement, …) are being articulated through the STS Futures Lab exhibit.



Group Audience

Cite as

Emily York and Shannon N. Conley, "Critical Participation in Pedagogy and Research as a Mode of Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries", contributed by Emily York, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 15 August 2019, accessed 23 July 2024.