An unscripted 14-minute audio thought piece on how we make sense of the social relations being exposed in these times. A particular theme that I’m chewing on is unintended consequences—how people push for something, for example, to discredit structures of authority, but that comes back to bite them (us). Comments welcome. Continue reading →
An Open Courseware version of a Spring 2017 graduate course in which students developed their abilities to expose ways that scientific knowledge has been shaped in contexts that are gendered, racialized, economically exploitative, and hetero-normative. The course used a Project-Based Learning format that allowed students to shape their own directions of inquiry in each project, development of skills, and collegial support. Students’ learning was guided by individualized bibliographies co-constructed with the instructors, the inquiries of the other students, and a set of tools and processes for literary analysis, inquiry, reflection, and support.
Alan Roberts, a physicist who also wrote about environmental politics and the need for the self-management of society (Roberts 1979), was the advisor of my undergraduate thesis in ecological modeling at Monash University in Australia and someone who stimulated my interest in understanding science in its social context. Continue reading →
“Science in a Changing World” (SICW) is a constellation of initiatives aimed at “facilitating learning & teaching innovation, research & public engagement, discussion & collaboration regarding scientific developments & social change.” SICW is linked to what is now a Master’s program of the same name at the University of Massachusetts at Boston (UMass Boston), but the decentered approach to SICW infrastructure building began developing much earlier in the work of its coordinator, Peter Taylor. This statement sets the scene with a brief account of the principles that animate the decentered approach, describes the prehistory before UMass Boston and the strands that make up SICW, and closes with some remarks about the ways that this kind of infrastructure development follows from and feeds into STS analyses. (read more)
“Most workshops are dysfunctional–This one wasn’t” Interpreting, enacting, changing organized multi-person collaborative processes This panel at the EASST meetings in July invites presentations or other interactive processes that explore various aspects of interpreting, enacting, changing organized multi-person collaborative processes—functional or dysfunctional; our own in STS as well as those of the researchers we study.
I googled the question “Why study fractions?” (for reasons I describe later) and found a study (reported in Swanbrow 2012) that invites critical thinking at two levels: 1) the assumptions, evidence, and reasoning warrant scrutiny; and 2) what is it that allows researchers and policy makers to proceed as if there are no alternative interpretations to be drawn from the study?
This open panel for the August/September 2018 meetings of 4S (the Society for Social Studies of Science) invites exploration of how to make sense of the biographical changes in changing contexts of radical scientists and of critics of science since the 1970s, as well as of STS interpreters of science influenced by them. Continue reading →