Wishlist 2070 (https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/sketch-4-wishlist-2070/essay)


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August 17, 2020
In response to:

I am very early in my project development, and I have not articulated questions for my project either. I think I am clearer at this point about my longer research program than a specific PhD project. I am hoping to make the connection backwards--figuring out my place in the world as a researcher and what my commitments are and then designing a PhD project that reflects those commitments. So here is my list in the order of what I have been thinking about most recently to what I think I would feel really good about if I am able to do them. 

  1. Understanding science pedagogy and research infrastructures that respond to discursive gaps 

  2. Politics and tactics of collaboration: I want this to be an cross-cutting question throughout my research program

  3. Transnational STS: I still don’t know what I mean by that but I think it is partly figuring out the “sites” of my research program and partly designing my research program to be relevant across scales and responsive through time. 

Some specific questions  I have been thinking with for some time:

  1. How do progressive scientific and environmental justice movements incorporate visions of social change or social justice?

  2. How do we interface between scientific and political education while questioning assumptions of secular liberalism undergirding pedagogy in general?

  3. What legacies of advocacy and pedagogy do we learn from? 

Things I want to do in the next 5 years or so 


  1. Think with graduate students about how to intervene in science pedagogy: What is required of us at this moment? What can we do?

  2. Form an organization with graduate students, community organizers and scholars to intervene science pedagogy in India, and elsewhere. For example: thinkng and devleoping curricula, understanding existing capacities and legacies
  3. Learn about non-written forms of science pedagogy and build modules around that for different levels 
  4. Facilitate conversations between discussions of secularism, liberalism, and science-technology  
Katie Ulrich's picture
August 12, 2020
In response to:

Topics, issues, questions, and places that I hope to research over the next 50 years:

  1. Scientific storytelling, science as storytelling
  2. Communication of science beyond academia
  3. Public engagement with science
  4. Scientists' self-understandings and reflexivity (incl my own)
  5. Equity and justice in/through science
  6. Toxicity
  7. Chemicals
  8. Energy
  9. Environmentalism 
  10. Knowledge production
  11. Extraction
  12. Biotech
  13. Plants
  14. Plant-based substitutes
  15. Biology
  16. Chemistry
  17. Lab practices
  18. Technicalities
  19. Mundane happenings and artifacts
  20. Logistics
  21. Maintenance
  22. What status quos does the mobilization of particular science projects rely on, materially, conceptually, and otherwise? How can these be challenged?
  23. Brazil
  24. United States
Megan Wiessner's picture
August 10, 2020
In response to:

Potentially ethnographic projects

  • The aesthetics of biodesign, biomimicry, and other design practices that seek to “reconcile” the environment and technology; how these are grounded in specific ontologies and liberal political histories 

  • Comparing different modes of design and technological practice that seek to incorporate specific normative virtues or aims at a representational rather than operational level: e.g. ethnocentric design, non-functional biomimicry, performative parametricism, etc. 

  • Role of digital renderings, visualizations, prototypes, and speculative design exhibitions in generating “hype” around sustainable technologies and imaginary futures; economic and material impacts of these devices and imaginaries

  • 20th/21st century shifts from “environmentalism” towards new frameworks, like  “sustainability” or “climate justice”; political relevance of these re-framings 

  • Role of sustainability discourse and related technologies in green gentrification and xenophobia (and emerging eco-facism), accelerating as climate impacts become more clear 

  • Mass timber, tall timber and developments in agroforestry. Earth construction. Various attempts to “scale” the Natural building movement and similar practices to industrial levels

  • Comparing systems of mediating materiality, from embodied carbon calculations and logistics management software to language and religious beliefs 

  • Radical plant-based medicine movements and how they navigate colonial histories through peer education 

  • Attempts to cultivating “material literacy” and supply chain visibility 

Broad theoretical and historical problems; institutional goals 

  • Design and Politics 

  • Tastes, aesthetics, and visual cultures related to the historical idea of nature; intersectional approaches to these 

  • History of environmental design in conversation with histories of cybernetics, architecture, modernist design, and empire 

  • Thinking about the historical co-incidence of the rise of computation, environmental crises, and decolonization

  • Materiality/immateriality as a central problematic in media studies, environmental studies, and critical theory (technology and content, form and meaning, nature and culture, presence and representation)

  • Work to incorporate STS and the history of environmental thought into engineering and/or commercial design education (encouraging people to provincialize and contextualize certain values around environment and technology) 

  • Often unacknowledged role of social movements, particularly resistance to European colonialism but also feminism and early environmentalism, in driving theory and epistemology in the western academy (for instance, their influences on post-structuralism, early STS, and the ontological turn) 

  • Putting formalist media theory into conversation with the previous point

  • Future of the university vis-a-vis tuition costs, debt, and social stratification. Ethics of teaching practice and curriculum development? New models of university education not predicated on education as private consumer good? 

  • Role of any of these research topics in degrowth and paradigm shifts needed to address current forms of harm 

Angela Okune's picture
July 21, 2020
In response to:
  • Collaborations (e.g.https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/maq.12206)
  • Post/de-colonial/"ethical" research practices (as relates to hyper saturation, representation, fatigue; research equity/ethics/responsibilities/obligations, etc.)
  • African technology development, esp. data
  • Open science, especially with regards to data sharing and knowledge commons
  • Scholarly infrastructures, esp. addressing inequalities in access, opportunities, circulation of knowledge outside of elite expert communities.
  • Ideas/imaginaries around embodied technology expertise, esp. between global sites of tech (e.g. Silicon Valley, Silicon Savannah)
  • Institutions and their practices to develop “technology skills” broadly speaking and notions of expertise in Kenya (and “capacity building” and institutions of education)