Call for Papers – Valencia 2018

Areas of exchange between social and historical studies on science, medicine and technology.

Joint meeting REDES CTS and the Catalan Society for the History of Science and Technics (SCHCT)

Valencia 30th May to 1st of June 2018 – Instituto Lopez Piñero – Valencia


The purpose of the meeting is to explore the areas of encounter and promote creative exchanges between research done in the history of science, technology and medicine (HSTM) and research carried out from the perspective of studies on science, technology and society (STS) made in the Iberian Peninsula. The interaction between the two areas has been very intense during the final two decades of the twentieth century, with abundant theoretical exchanges, collaborations and disciplinary border crossings (see Isis, 2010; Critical Inquiry, 2009). Beyond the Anglo-Saxon debate on SST and HSTM, the dialogue between these communities and disciplines in Spain and Portugal has been minimal and this meeting wishes to be an opportunity to pay attention to our own idiosyncrasy.

The theme chosen for the meeting, “Science, politics, activism and citizenship”, represents a very broad area that has been an object of interest both from HSTM and from STS. Studies on the interactions between political systems and knowledge was an issue already present in the early sociology of science of the 1930, for example in the work of Robert K. Merton, one of the classic references in STS as well as in HSTM. In the last decades, new perspectives have introduced terms as “co-production” or “regulatory science” to point out the blurry and changeable nature of boundaries. It has also been shown that science can be developed in various political regimes. The role of the experts has also been another one of the common working themes. This came to be regarded as the “third wave” of studies by Collins and Evans (2003), who introduced new typologies and inspired later studies. Closely connected with this issue is the relationship between expert knowledge and public deliberation. The study of conflicts and controversies in the public sphere has been a source of numerous studies. After the “Participatory turn”, studies of the history and sociology of science have paid much attention to “hybrid forums”. The role of lay people in the construction of civic epistemologies, popular knowledge and organised questioning of expert knowledge has also been analysed.

This meeting wants to be an opportunity for HTSM and STS researchers to explore the possibility of combining theoretical perspectives and temporalities around topics of common interest related to “Science, politics, activism and citizenship”. Among the issues that have been dealt with together are the ‘co-production’ of science and law, the practices of agnotology, the management of medical and environmental risk, the relations between capitalism and technoscience, ‘bio-objects’, medicine, practices and medical bodies; and subaltern and postcolonial studies.

The organizers of the meeting intend to discuss how the production of narratives for getting involved in problems and current situations of our immediate environment is envisaged in both areas (see, for example, in HSTM the discussion of the Manifest Guldi and Armitage in Isis, 2016; or recent debates on ‘post-truth’ in SSS). Do we have something interesting to say about the political conflict in Catalonia and Spain, on the drought situation in Portugal, on the effects of the economic crisis or on the tourist boom in our cities? Is it possible to combine historical studies with current studies on a sociotechnical issue in order to intervene politically in political-ethical futures?

Finally, the meeting aims to promote reflexivity in order to analyse the consequences of the new neoliberal academic culture in the HSTM and STS studies. We will reflect on the evolution of research careers in both areas, including the management of multiple identities posed by academia, industry and activism.

Take Part!
The meeting is aimed at anyone researching both in the area of the history of science and in the social studies of science and technology; in any of the multiple disciplines that constitute them (history, sociology, history of science, philosophy of science, medicine, feminisms, engineering, anthropology, psychology, environmental studies, law, gender, etc.) and regardless of their academic position or degree of education.

From today until February 25 send us your proposal (250-300 words); it can be either related to the accepted open panels or an independent communication.

Send us your proposal and we will evaluate it in our care-review. For any inquiries, you can write to:

Deadline for sending proposals: February 25, 2018
Date of acceptance of proposals: March 25, 2018

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