Research, Innovation and Organization (RIO) Group
STS and the Future as a Matter of Collective Concern
The Nordic Science and Technology Studies conference 2021. May 20-21, 2021 Online
Abstract deadline: 1 March 2021
Keynote speakers: Maria Puig de la Bellacasa and Annelise Riles
Confirmed panel speakers: Joan Fujimura, Susi Geiger, Alan Irwin, Lise Justesen, and Daniel Neyland.
Rising sea levels, mass extinctions, global displacements, climate catastrophe, everyday devices that conduct mass-surveillance, digitalization and automation of warfare, nationalistic politicians in important offices, and now, on top of all, the global COVID-19 pandemic. We live in times when the future appears deeply concerning. In this context, we dedicate the NOSTS Conference 2021 to a conversation about STS and the future as a matter of collective concern.
We especially welcome contributions relating to the following topics:
- STS and the socio-technical construction of the future. We invite studies that explore how the future (and “time” more generally) is produced, experienced, and lived today. For example, studies of multiple ways of constructing the future, analysis of temporal narratives in science and science fiction, conceptual reflections about time and the Anthropocene, and case studies of temporality in different socio-technical settings.
- STS and matters of concern. For several decades, STS research has paid attention to many of the issues that are at the core of today’s concern for the future. In line with this, we welcome empirical studies that explore socio-technical attempts to deal with, for example, climate catastrophe, automation, and algorithmic warfare.
- The future of STS. We welcome papers that engage with the expanding repertoires and specific instruments that STS scholars use to reflect on and conceptualize their own forms of engagement in the study of collective concerns. For example, comparisons and discussions concerning as the notion of “matters of concern” itself, the different personae adopted by the STS scholar (for example, the figure of the “idiot”) as well as methodological reflections on “intervention,” “collaboration,” “dialogical democracy,” and “responsible innovation.”
- STS in the time of a pandemic. We welcome papers that respond to the current context of a pandemic by considering, for instance, how COVID-19 challenges our understanding of how futures are constructed, our knowledge about socio-technical attempts to deal with catastrophic situations, and the position of the STS scholar vis-à-vis crucial collective concerns.
Researcher Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, Department of Wind Energy, DTU (and post doc at IOA/CBS)
New Project: Controversies in the green transition: The case of wind turbine sound and its politicisation (Co-Green)
This project aims to further our understanding of how controversies over green transitions are exacerbated by a technical framing of the green transition and its solutions. Such disengagement of the green transition from politics through “technification” paradoxically leads to politicization and controversy. To examine this, we focus on wind power development, in particular how the matter of wind turbine sound becomes constituted as contestable ‘noise’. Informed by Science & Technology Studies, we explore the various existing forms of knowledge about wind turbine sound. Based on this, we examine how wind turbine sound is politicized in specific wind farm projects. This informs our experimentation with co-creation workshops, to explore how different forms of knowledge of sound can reach consensus. The project contributes to the field of Science Communication by coupling it with transition and social acceptance studies and to controversy studies by combining it with co-creation theory.
Phd Fellowship position: Deadline 8 March, 2021. Apply here
Read more about the new project (TBA)
Read more about another project that Julia Kirch Kirkegaard is also part of at IOA/CBS here (i.e. Green transition through dynamics of problematizations: How forms of expertise influence the financial and social valuation of energy resources in Denmark)
Associate Professor Stine Jessen Haakonsson and Professor Susana Borras
New Project: Public Actors’ Capacities in the Governance of Green Transitions (CAPACITOR)
Public actors (like municipalities, national agencies, public utilities) have been entrusted to reduce CO2 emissions, and are taking the lead in the governance of green transitions. However, the governance of green transitions is complex (coordinating many stakeholders, creating market and institutional contexts for investments, adapting standards and safety regulations, etc.). Hence, public actors need organizational capacities. CAPACITOR project asks, How are public actors developing and using their organizational capacities in the complex governance processes of green transitions? And, What specific combinations of public actors’ capacities are required for achieving green transitions? We will compare 24 in depth cases in the energy and maritime transport sectors, collecting data from 250+ interviews, 24 observations, and 450+ documents. The findings will help developing a theory on public actor’s organizational capacities for green transitions, and identifying deficiencies in current capacities.
David Howoldt at the OECD for a Research Visit
In the Fall of 2019, RIO PhD Fellow David Howoldt spent four months as a guest researcher at the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Division at the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Paris. During his stay, David joined the OECD team working on the STIP Compass, an initiative by the European Commission and the OECD to collect quantitative and qualitative data on national trends in STI policy. He primarily worked on the data analysis for this current flagship project in the influential OECD STI Directorate.
For more information on STIP Compass