CTS Ecuador is an academic institution whose founding and development the author has been actively participated in, just like we, the authors of the essay Locating NatureCultures have been instrumental in running and editing the journal that is the subject of our essay. It was interesting to see how they, as we, have been struggling to define themselves against EuroAmerican traditions and genealogies with the help of EuroAmerican concepts, persons and financial support.
“When institutions participate in forming a thirdspace, they co-construct a place that can be “lived, conceived and perceived” (Soja 1996, 74). The Laboratory of Science, Technology and Society (CTS Lab) was the place FLACSO inaugurated at the Department of Public Affair’ heart. An obligatory passage point for STS knowledge production. Place has worked as a real space and as a metaphor for action at a distance. The Laboratory identity emerged from the hybridity of situated practices, STS traditions, and networks. By working with international organizations, government institutions, and other research centers worldwide, the Laboratory has consolidated a robust STS program in the Andes. Committed to generating knowledge that is relevant to decision-making, the Laboratory has opened a place for the co-design of public policy in local contexts and for experimental implementation. STS and public policy analysis nourish the Laboratory’s proposal of a robust interdisciplinary vocation. Born from this crossroad are the topics that share its local orientation with an international projection: social innovation; big data; artificial intelligence; and science, technology and innovation policies; cities laboratory; and Fairwork in the gig economy.” (p.9)