Thursday, December 16, 2010

CFP alert: “Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies”, Graz, Austria

10th Annual IAS-STS Conference
“Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies”

May 2-3, 2011

Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS) GRAZ - AUSTRIA

The IAS-STS in Graz, Austria, which is hosted by the IFZ - Interuniversity Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture (, promotes the interdisciplinary investigation of the links and interactions between science, technology and society, technology assessment, as well as research on the development and implementation of socially and environmentally sound technologies. Therefore, IAS-STS hosts international fellows and research associates through its fellowship programme. Additionally, the institute organizes an annual conference on "Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies".


**Gender - Technology – Environment**

-- Special session 1: “Issues of Inclusion and Exclusion in Web 2.0”
For this part of the conference, contributions on the topic “Issues of Inclusion and Exclusion in Web 2.0” are looked for. Web 2.0 is considered as user-centred and democratic: Everybody is said to be able to participate and it seems that nearly everybody does. However, this is not the case of course. The Internet with all its interactive applications is not as colourful as it could be, it does not represent the ‘real’ world and it is definitely not democratic per se.
In this session we want to discuss
- boundaries and possibilities,
- theoretical inputs and empirical research,
- gender, queer and intersectionality issues of the current Internet.
Besides a critique on the current Web 2.0, we will discuss utopias as well – how can the Internet be further democratized?

-- Workshop: “The Concept of ‘Heteronormativity’ and its Methodological Implications”
Conference participants interested in joining this workshop please contact Birgit Hofstätter ( by March 31, 2011

**Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Human Genetics and Agricultural Biotechnology**
A main focus of the conference will lie on research projects providing a critical analysis of human genetic research or of agricultural biotechnology. Researchers investigating either ethical, legal and social aspects of genetic testing in the medical domain or risk policy and wider governance issues related to agricultural biotechnology are especially encouraged to contribute.

**Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)**
SCP seeks to promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems. New strategies and concrete tools are needed to change individual and institutional patterns of consumption and to enhance corporate responsibility (CR) of organisations. Researchers investigating patterns of consumption and intervention strategies to promote sustainable lifestyles among both public and private consumers or working within the thematic field of ecological product policy are encouraged to give a presentation. Research projects integrating product assessment tools such as LCA, carbon footprint, MIPS or related methods are also of special interest.

-- Special Session 2: Trans-disciplinarity in sustainability studies
We invite presentations dealing with concepts, models and experiences of trans-disciplinary research (TDR) in the context of ecological and social sustainability. We are interested in reflecting the possibilities and limits of this type of research.
The trans-disciplinarity panel will be organized along specific sessions, and we are looking forward to experience based or conceptual papers with a focus on one of the following issues:
1. Integrated knowledge production: An important aspect of TDR refers to topics of the production of new and integrated knowledge. We shall discuss questions about the ways in which different kinds of knowledge - represented by the different actors participating - are both being treated and integrated in the research process.
- How do TDR actors work together to develop mutual learning, new understandings and to produce new and integrated knowledge?
- How does social learning relate to knowledge integration?
2. (policy) Intervention: Interventions resulting from trans-disciplinary research activities may proof the specific relevance of this specific type of research. We would like to reflect on the potential for interventions based on empirical papers, which describe interventions that have been taking place in the context of carrying out TDR, and under what circumstances that happened.
- Which kinds of interventions take place in TDR?
- How can TDR be designed in order to allow for interventions?
3. Societal relevance of trans-disciplinary research: TDR is considered being a useful tool for solving complex ‘real world’ problems. The added value of this mode of research is often ascribed to its societal relevance and a high potential for societal impact. In this session we want to discuss the societal relevance on the basis of concrete cases.
- How do specific cases illuminate the societal relevance of TDR-activities?
- Which methodological tools can be applied to assess the societal relevance of TDR?
The sessions will be affiliated to the final conference of the project “Sustainable behavior at work and in private life” organized in parallel to the IAS-STS conference.

-- ‘Sustainable behavior at work and in private life’ – final conference
The first part of the conference deals with the specific characteristics and quality criteria of trans-disciplinary research projects. The experiences gained in the project ‘Sustainable behavior at work and in private life’ are contrasted with contributions of other researchers in the field of sustainability. The second part of the conference is limited to the German speaking audience and will be organized as a half-day workshop. The main inputs and conclusions will be summarized and fed back to the IAS-STS conference.

**Energy and Climate**
Presentations in this field should develop appropriate measures and strategies for the promotion of renewable energy sources and for the transition to a sustainable energy system. Regional governance, climate policy strategies, innovation policy, technology assessment, and the role of users in the area of energy technologies should play an important role.

--Special Session 3: “How do you manage? Unravelling the situated practice of environmental management”
People manage their environments, all of us in everyday life, and some more specifically as professionals. Many of the decisions we take and activities we practice, in everyday life as well as in professional roles, have consequences on our environments. In order to explore more sustainable ways of living in this world, however, we need to better understand these various forms of environmental management. This session will discuss environmental management as a practice, as a situated unfolding of social relationships, desires, routines, and materials. Thereby, we aim to gain insight into some of the processes by which sustainability and unsustainability are being produced.
Contributions to this session may address, but need not be limited, to the following questions: How do people “manage” their environments in everyday life? How do those who are explicitly considered environmental managers understand their mission, opportunities and limitations? How do particular forms of knowledge, organizations and implementation instruments structure the engagement of the “manager” and her subject matter? And how does this subject matter itself figure as an active participant in the process?
The session is organised by IFZ in cooperation with the Environment, Management and Society research group (

**Information and Communication Technologies**
The fifth focus of the conference will be put on novel developments based on ICT from an STS perspective. Topics like ICT and agency, ubiquitous computing or ICT and mobility shall be analysed with respect to their wider social and political implications. Further issues of interest are the social shaping of ICT developments, innovation policies, risk management and participatory approaches to the design of ICT systems and applications.


The 10th IAS-STS conference invites all current and former fellows of the Institute for Advanced Studies as well as other interested researchers in the area of science and technology studies. The conference provides a forum to discuss on a broad variety of topics in the STS field and especially papers are encouraged which include some aspects of the above mentioned conference themes.

Abstracts should include no more than 250 words, comprising detailed contact information, affiliation and specification of the conference theme you are referring to. Submission of abstracts should please be send to Birgit Hofstätter ( ) by *Monday, January 24, 2011*.

We also appreciate proposals for poster presentations and specific sessions in the line with the conference themes. Proposals for sessions shall include a preliminary title of the session, names of possible speakers and a short outline on the issues to be discussed (max. 250 words) and should be send to the above mentioned email address by *Monday, January 24, 2011*.

*We also welcome participants attending the conference without presenting a paper themselves.

*Conference fees*
100 € (including conference folder, coffee breaks, lunch sessions)

No conference fees for current fellows of the IAS-STS fellowship programme 2010/11 and for graduate or PhD students.

*Grants covering conference fees*
Participants from central, eastern and south-eastern Europe may apply for a reduction or exemption from conference fees. Please announce your application in the online registration form, which will be available soon after confirmation of accepted abstracts. Registration will be open until *Monday, March 21, 2011.*

*Grants partly covering travel expenses*
We can offer grants partly covering travel expenses for:

- graduate or PhD students
- participants from central, eastern and south-eastern Europe

Up to 50 percent of the travel costs with a maximum amount of 100 € can be reimbursed.

Participants from developing countries can apply for a reimbursement for 50 % their travel expenses up to a maximum amount of € 500.

If you would like to apply for a travel grant, please checkmark it in the registration form. Reimbursement for travel expenses will be given only after submitting your original tickets (eg. train, flight tickets,etc.).

Registration for the 10th IAS-STS conference on "Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies" will be open until *Monday, March 21, 2011*. The online registration form will be accessible by the beginning of February 2011.

**Conference Venue**
IFZ- Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture
Schlögelgasse 2, 8010 Graz, Austria

For more information:

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Technologies of Migration: Asia, Media, Mobility, and Virtuality

Here's a really cool call that has gone out for the Technologies of Migration conference in Champaign, Illinois April 21-22, 2011.

Confirmed speakers: Rhacel Parrenas, Aneesh Aneesh, Cara Wallis, Lisa Nakamura, Josephine Lee

The 21st century has seen a mass migration of workers leaving Asia to live and work in the U.S. and elsewhere. Increasingly, digital media are functioning as essential platforms for Asian and other types of migration. Communication technologies such as mobile phones, online banking and remittance services, video sharing services, digital games, and VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) services such as Skype help workers learn about work and keep in touch with families abroad. And as virtual world games such as World of Warcraft become more globally popular, these digital media become themselves a virtual workplace.

Migration from Asia to the US and return migration from the U.S. to Asia would not occur in the same way were it not for these new platforms and forms of mediation Increasingly, media such as film, television, and literature play an important role in encouraging Asian users to migrate or re-migrate by representing the pleasures, risks, and fears of re-location.

"Technologies of Asian Migration: Media, Mobility, and Virtuality" that will feature experts on the traffic in digital labor, domestic labor, media practices and texts between Asia and America. The technologies that enable this form of traffic and cultural exchange and disapora distributes Asian bodies and representations of Asia all around the world. Many of these technologies such as the Internet, digital games, old and new media, and cellphones are relatively new and understudied. This conference will examine the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT's) play in all forms of migration and re-migration between Asia and the Americas.

Call for Proposals for Technologies of Migration conference

This is a free conference for presenters and for attendees. We are particularly interested in giving graduate students a venue to present their work. If you wish to present a 20 minute paper, please send a proposal consisting of:
1>. your title
2>. a 200 word abstract
3>. a 50 word biodata
to by January 1, 2011.

We welcome presentations on topics such as Migration, Asia, and the Internet, Media Platforms for Asian/American Migration: Literature, Film, and Television, Mobile Media, Mobile Identities, Virtual Migration, Asia, and Digital Games, and Gender, SE Asia, and Technologies of Labor Migration, or related topics.

There's still time.

For more information, please consult the website>>

Thanks to Otherwise (Judy Han) for the fwd!

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Eurobarometer Special Surveys

Here is an interesting set of thematic studies done for various services of the European Commission or other EU institutions. These give the reader an idea of the general sentiment regarding science, technology, civil justice, mental health, and a whole host of other areas.

As a friend in Vienna pointed out, according to this, Austria is the most skeptical country in the EU with regard to science and nanotechnologies in particular. Given my upcoming appointment as a Research Fellow in Austria come New Year, I look forward to engaging with a more generally skeptical/critical audience! We don't have nearly enough of that, in Science and Technology especially.

Access the Eurobarometer Special Surveys here>>

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking faster and faster for my time here in the Netherlands.

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