STS Across Borders is a special exhibit organized by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) – an international scholarly society representing the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), which brings together researchers who study how science, other forms of knowledge, technology, and culture entwine and develop in different contexts. STS Across Borders showcases how STS has developed across time and space, and the structures, infrastructures, and systems that have allowed–or worked against–the cultivation of STS modes of thinking. The STS Across Borders exhibit was built in keeping with the theme of 4S’s 2018 annual meeting in Sydney Australia, TRANSnational STS.
STS Across Borders includes digital collections made up of carefully curated shadow-box like displays of text, images, audio, and video recordings aiming to convey how particular STS communities have developed and been sustained across different historical and cultural contexts. The digital exhibit will open August 2018 and remain open access, with features that facilitate use in teaching, dialogue between different STS communities, and further elaboration of the history and plurality of STS. All STS Across Borders collections are oriented by a set of ten shared questions to facilitate comparative insight. The digital exhibit is installed at infraStrucTureS, a digital archive, work space, and publishing platform for 4S and STS.
STS Across Borders will also be installed as a gallery-style exhibit at Sydney’s International Convention Centre during 4S’s 2018 annual meeting. Collections in the exhibit will be presented as ensembles of small posters about the people, educational and research programs, outreach initiatives, and conditions that characterize STS in different places. On the first day of the gallery exhibit (Thursday, August 30), posters will be installed as exhibitor-designed collections. On the second day of the exhibit (Friday, August 31), posters will be reassembled by the STS Across Borders Design Group to draw out comparisons across different STS formations. Posters installed for the gallery exhibit will be archived at infraStrucTureS as photo essays and as downloadable pdfs. STS Across Borders posters have been imagined as being freely reproducible for easy display and reuse in varied contexts.
STS Across Borders has many experimental dimensions — in the way it draws STS researchers into collaborative, comparative work, in the way it is archiving and curating the history of the field, and in the way it asks exhibitors to characterize distinctive modes of STS while also drawing out diversity within any particular STS formation. STS Across Borders also experiments with a new form of review — that we’ve called an “elaborative review” — that asks reviewers to suggest what could be added to or elaborated in a collection to better convey the history, context, and dynamics of the particular STS formation under consideration. Review commentaries will be public and become part of the collection reviewed.
STS Across Borders has created an original empirical record of STS, encouraging creative and critical historiography that can orient future STS pathways. STS Across Borders aims to stimulate reflexivity and interaction across different regional and intellectual formations of STS, and to generate infrastructures — of collection, collaboration, circulation, and review — that can enable and support those interactions. STS Across Borders will remain online and open access, installed at infraStrucTureS, an instance of the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography: a digital archive, workspace, and publishing platform also designed and built by STS scholars.