Are you telling me or do I tell you?
Overflowing the limits of academia
1-3 July 2015 | Madrid
We are living in tumultuous times, settled in a dramatic present and awaiting for a hopeful future. Universities are suffering from a profound transformation that deteriorates working conditions, makes education increasingly less accessible, deprives us of the necessary resources for doing research, and proposes policies that neglect social sciences and their social value. This state of affairs within academic environments illustrates the pervasive crisis devastating our society.
Previous Spanish Network of Science and Technology Studies (Red esCTS) annual meetings have addressed such a transformation. During the last years, we have attempted to account for and contest this process by enacting the STS epistemic sensitivity (Madrid 2011). Moreover, we have tried to transcend pessimistic diagnoses and engender a more hopeful and encouraging social science (Oviedo, 2012). Furthermore, in the last two meetings we have invoked an exercise of critical skepticism over conventional institutions of academia (Barcelona 2013) and reflected upon the widespread diaspora that the pursuit of academic career entails for many of us (Salamanca 2014).
In this meeting we intend to tackle the apparently overwhelming challenges we face by exploring the ways in which we might articulate a joint response in alliance with those located beyond the limits of academia. STS literature has indeed shown us for decades how robust and well-established knowledge may not be only developed by scientific institutions and by traditional experts. Rather, other actors and places –such amateurs, activist groups, civic associations, new digital infrastructures, patients, and hybrid spaces for knowledge production– have been increasingly acknowledged as playing a relevant role in the dynamics of knowledge production and enactment of new epistemic practices. The establishment of interfaces bridging this new actors and places to more traditional research institutions like universities is an issue of growing interest to STS scholars and that the Red esCTS has tangentially touched upon in in recent years. In this meeting we seek to explore current as well as alternative forms in which we may relate (or not) to those practicing other ways of doing research and produce knowledge.
The catchphrase of this annual meeting ‘Are you telling me or do I tell you?’ is an imaginary response from whom was formerly our object of study and is now turning into a counterpart of our research. Someone that rather than waiting for a given description of the world (and its place in it), is willing to take active part in its construction by engaging in a dialogue on equal terms with us. The motto tries to illustrate the change in the relationship with those who were previously treated just as subjects of our investigations or passive spectators of our lessons. This implies a transformation that forces us to re-learn how to listen and trust those who may now become partners. We do not intend to give up our own academic expertise, but we do recognize also others with which it is possible to articulate fruitful relationships. In these circumstances, we should perhaps start to question and reconsider who should be integrated into a network like this one, and who should feel appealed by an encounter like the one we convene. This phenomenon raises many new opportunities to renew the repertoire of our social sciences in hybridization with these other actors. Do you or do I… tell me about it!
The meeting is aimed for anyone interested in issues addressed by Science and Technology Studies (STS). Attendance at the meeting will be open and free of charge.
Send us your abstract or proposal (max. 250 words) by 14th February to email@example.com. In addition to conventional academic presentations, we encourage to send us proposals aiming to explore more experimental formats of knowledge-sharing (workshops, performances, etc.). Please, include name(s), email address(es), and affiliation of the author (s). Abstracts and proposals submitted for the Red esCTS V Annual Meeting will be peer-reviewed. The main language of the meeting will be Spanish, however abstract and proposals may be written in any of the official languages of Spain, as well as English and Portuguese. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for submission of abstracts and proposals: 14th February 2015.
Acceptance notification: 9th March 2015.
Spanish Network of Science and Technology Studies (Red esCTS)
The Red esCTS is a non-profit network of professionals aiming to stimulate scientific exchanges and foster communication among STS scholars. Our intention is to help to consolidate STS in Spain by creating a forum for young and well-established scholars in which they can present and discuss their work and initiate dialogues.