STS at Deakin University

Deakin University has a long history of innovative scholarship and teaching in Science and Technology Studies (STS). In the 1980s and 1990s, scholars including Helen Verran, David Turnbull, David Wade Chambers and Max Charlesworth developed a distinctive Deakin style of STS that focused on contested knowledge systems and Indigenous knowledges. This STS Across Borders archive includes course curricula and textbooks developed during the 1980s and 1990s at Deakin University, interviews with key Deakin Scholars, and original essays and significant publications from the archives of David Turnbull, David Wade Chambers and Helen Verran. 

After an interval of more than a decade, STS has returned to Deakin through the Deakin Science and Society Network, formed by Emma Kowal in 2016 and based in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. STS scholars at Deakin today include Emma Kowal, Tim Neale, Eben Kirksey, Maurizio Meloni, Radhika Gorur, Yamini Narayan, Christopher Mayes, Billy Griffiths, Will Smith, Linda Hancock, and Natalie Ralph, honorary researchers David Turnbull and Richard Gillespie, and PhD students including Elizabeth Lara, Zoe Coombe, Cameron Allen McKean and Kuai Shen. In addition, Thao Phan, Courtney Addison, Nick Barthel de Weydenthal, David Kelly, Ben Nicoll, Carina Truyts and Tyler King have all worked with the Science and Society Network. 

The Network also hosts the Australasian STS Graduate Network (AusSTS), a network of early career researchers and postgraduate students in social studies of science and technology. Thao Phan and Barbara Bok led a small group of graduate students and early career researchers who launched this in late 2017. AusSTS has grown into an annual workshop and other academic events. In 2021, AusSTS won the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Infrastructure award in recognition of its efforts to grow and support regional STS work. 

The work of Deakin Science and Society Network is organised into 4 themes: Indigenous Knowledges, Environmental Challenges, Healthy Futures and Data Cultures. The Network hosts a range of STS events and visiting scholars. It also facilitates large symposia, the first being the Anthropocene Campus Melbourne (#ACM2018) which was chaired by Timothy Neale with support from Eben Kirksey, Will Smith, and othersAs well as its role in STS scholarship, the Network supports interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) and researchers in fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Through funding schemes and public events (such as the Emerging Issues in Science and Society symposium and online SSN Seminar series), the Network demonstrates the importance of research across disciplines for addressing the research challenges of Australia, the region and the world. 

The 2021 'Interdisciplinary Experiences' series offers insight into the experiences, challenges and passions of four SSN grantees. 

The Science and Society Network produces a monthly newlsetter that you can access and sign up for here. Any queries can be directed to