We are currently looking for contributors in our proposed panel at the 2008 Meeting of 4S and EASST (August 20-23, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. http://4sonline.org/meeting.htm
Abstract: max 400 words + short CV
Deadline: February 4th
Address: acting [at] sshstudies.net
Call for Abstracts for the Session
"Acting with Social Sciences and Humanities"
At the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) and the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)
August 20-23, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Science and Technology Studies (STS) have a long tradition of research on scientific cultures and practices. However, this kind of research has until now mainly concentrated on engineering, the natural and medical sciences. Social sciences and humanities (SS&H) have been largely left out, even if these scientific fields contribute equally to enacting the world (Law, Urry 2004) and may be appropriated by society even faster, though in a more invisible way (Mesny 2000). SS&H disciplines co-shape policies, markets, media, biographies or ethics, by their research (with its specific concepts and methodologies) but also through the huge quantity of university degrees that are completed every year in these fields.
Even though SS&H have been object of scientific reflection, e.g. in the form of sociology of sociology, this sort of research is hardly recognized in STS mainstream discourse (as represented by the leading journals and conferences). By its focus on engineering, the natural and medical sciences, STS in fact reproduces the hegemony of these fields as “the science”, the same hegemony that characterises much of the current discourse in science policy and scientific journalism.
SS&H have experiences in “acting with” their research objects and the sponsors and users of the research. Concerning the constitution of and relations with research objects and participants, there seems to be a lot to learn and to reflect from SS&H and their exploration. We think that it is therefore fruitful and necessary for STS to focus also on these disciplines, which seem so “close” but nevertheless form an underexposed field of STS research.
We want to focus in this session on methodological issues and elaborate on the role and position of the researcher in a field perceived as closely related to “one’s own”. Besides dealing with reflexivity, impact and complicity as examples for this, we would like to encourage reflection on the notions of discipline and inter-disciplinarity.
Therefore one aim of this session is to bring together and discuss thematic and methodological aspects of researching SS&H from versatile perspectives. Otherwise it shall be a starting point for further discussions and networking, but also for developing more sustained academic debates of the SS&H field.
Hence if you would like to participate in the panel: Acting With Social Sciences and Humanities, please send your abstracts (max. 400 words) and CV until Feb 4th 2008 to the following address: acting =at= sshstudies.net and indicate, whether you prefer a presentation or a discussion setting.
Law, John, John Urry. 2004. Enacting the social. Economy and Society 33(3): 390–410.
Mesny, Anne (1998): Sociology for Whom? The Role of Sociology in Reflexive Modernity, in: Canadian journal of sociology 23(2-3): 159-178.