STS@Nottm 2019: Diasporas, Innovations and (Re)generations

What holds together an STS network with diverse empirical, conceptual and philosophical orientations? How does such diversity enable institutional, epistemic and practical innovation and (re)generation? This exhibit extends the ‘STS@Nottm Diasporas: Openness as Ethos and as Topic’ collection prepared for STS Across Borders (4S 2018), elaborating and expanding our account of the past, present and futures of the Institute for Science and Society (ISS).

ISS originated in 1998 in Nottingham, UK as a small unit formed to examine the emerging life sciences ‘revolution’. The Institute grew through the involvement of a diverse set of people, developing new research and training practices, striking collaborations across disciplines, and spawning geographical and intellectual diasporas across continents and STS sites. In relating this story, we explore whether openness can be understood as the glue that holds us together: both as an ethos (allowing us to expand beyond our origins in the social aspects of life sciences), and as a topic (which we investigated via a research programme on ‘Making Science Public’). Furthermore, we consider openness as a catalyst for empirical, theoretical, methodological, pedagogical and institutional innovation and (re)generation.

The exhibit aims to make sense of our diverse foci, and conceive of contributions to STS in new ways, namely, through diasporas, innovations and regenerations, rather than despite them. STS@Nottm tells our story through material from our events, blog, PhD programme, and reports (alongside key academic outputs).