4S 2020 Open Business Meeting Agenda

2020 4S Business Meeting Agenda

1. Announcements – Joan Fujimura

  • Appointment of a new editorial team for ESTS

2. Treasurer’s Report – Paige Miller

  • Financial Report on two conferences NOLA
  • ...Read more

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The Student Section of the Society for Social Studies of Science (6S) hosts an annual workshop that takes place alongside the annual 4S meeting. This year, the 6S pre-conference workshop will take place virtually leveraging the STS Infrastructures platform as a digital, collaborative workspace to build connections between participants located across a wide range of international time zones. Workshop attendees have completed various research design exercises and responded to each other's materials. During the live workshop on August 17th, participants will join one or two Zoom sessions with other students who completed the same exercises, and a guest faculty mentor will lead discussion amongst the group. Seven faculty mentors have generously volunteered to lead these Zoom sessions: Duygu Kasdogan, Wambui Wamunyu, Amanda Windle, Natasha Myers, Maka Suarez, Grant Otsuki, and Kim Fortun. This experimental workshop would not be possible without them! Learn more about the workshop here and find the collaboration bios for all participants here. We are excited to build on this inaugural virtual 6S workshop and utilize the open infrastructure of this platform as a potential home for future collaborative analysis and writing projects beyond the space-time of the August 2020 workshop.

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Panel AbstractBiofuels, perceived as a “renewable energy resource” that can propel our societies towards sustainable futures, is a contested issue. Mainstream critiques of biofuels question the sustainability of biofuel production systems by taking its impacts on the environment and economy into consideration. As such, national and subnational governments, alongside intergovernmental organizations and other related civil and private sector actors, work on “best governance practices” to render biofuels into a “sustainable” source of energy. However, this mainstream lens of governance lacks a significant historical understanding of biofuels and further reduces biofuels into a resource question. This panel draws attention to the materials out of which biofuels are made from a material-semiotic perspective. When we begin thinking about biofuels through the analytical and conceptual tools of STS, new research questions emerge. To this end, we ask: How do technoscientific practices of making biofuels refigure “nature,” “nation,” and “growth”? The contributions reflect on this question through tracing different materials (e.g., corn, sugarcane, phosphorus, and Marabú) in different geographical regions ranging from Brazil, Canada, Mauritius, Cuba, and the United States. They challenge the consideration of biofuels as merely “local sources of energy” by unpacking the multiple colonial, present, and future international relations around biofuels while troubling simplistic binaries such “native/invasive” species. The multispecies and transnational approach adopted in this panel not only contributes to a critical understanding of biofuels but also works on a subject that has yet to be deeply explored in the field of STS. 

Tuesday, August 18 |  6:00 to 7:40pm CEST

See time conversions | Program Link

Transnational STS 4S/EASST 2020 Open Panel

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Panel Abstract: STS scholarship has flourished in diverse regions and institutional spaces, creating a deeply transnational, interdisciplinary research field.  Further, STS scholars in diverse places often study global circuits of ideas, technologies, experts, development models, and so on. Transnational STS thus has many facets and potentials. Building on continuing dialogue about transnational STS in recent years (especially since the 2018 4S conference in Sydney, where TRANSnational STS was the conference theme), this panel will bring together presenters working to conceptualize, practice and extend Transnational STS in different ways.

Panel I - Transnational Projects: Research & Teaching (Tuesday, August 18, 3:00-4:40 Prague time, See time conversionsProgram link)

Panel II - Transnational Networks (Thursday, August 20, 3:00-4:40 Prague time, See time conversions, Program link)

Panel III - Transnationalism in/of STS Journals (Friday, August 21, 3:00-4:40 Prague time, See time conversions, Program link)

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Panel Abstract: Digital infrastructures are ubiquitous in the technosciences and in everyday life, and have become crucial objects of analysis for diverse STS researchers and their arrays of approaches. Digital infrastructures are also emerging as instruments for STS research itself, composed of an expanding array of methods, modules, data tools, visualizations, and platforms that create new possibilities and places for experiments in how we “do STS”, and for academic knowledge production writ large. At the same time, our new sociotechnical research infrastructures raise their own technical, epistemological, and ethical questions and difficulties, asking us to re-visit and re-invent some of our own methodological assumptions, analytic habits, and goals, scholarly and political.

This open panel invites contributions from researchers engaged in fresh ways of developing and using digital technologies for ethnographic and other kinds of qualitative research on the technosciences. We are especially interested in presentations from researchers developing or using new digital technologies and media in their own research, experimenting with new approaches to data sharing and analysis, and to open access publishing and other forms of scholarly communication with engaged publics. We encourage epistemological and ethical analyses and reflections on these digital modes of knowledge production in STS, including presentations that explore new tools and concepts pertaining to privacy and related issues in the digital realm.

Session 1: Epistemological And Ethical Considerations (Tuesday, August 18 2020, 6:00 to 7:40pm CET, Program link).

Session 2: Collaborative Creation Of Infrastructures For STS Research (Tuesday, August 18 2020, 8:00 to 9:40pm CET, Program link)

Session 3: Researching Methods, Tools, And Platforms Within The Datalogical Turn (Thursday, August 20 2020, 6:00 to 7:40pm CET, Program link)