Date of the plenary: July 8, 2022
Panelists: Ulrike Felt, Sarah de Rijcke, Sarah Rose Bieszczad, Endre Dányi and Vincenzo Pavone
Moderated by Maja Horst
This plenary is intended to support collective sensemaking about the identity and future of the field of STS as it is conducted in Europe. The overarching theme of the plenary is the interrelationship between integration and separation. Under this theme we would like to address several interrelated topics.
First of all, it can be a question about our own knowledge base and our collaboration with others. STS was born out of engagements with science and technology in fields such as sociology, anthropology, and history. Gradually, the field became institutionalized with dedicated journals, handbooks, departments, and schools. At the same time, STS is currently made up of multiple conceptual and methodological traditions, and these are often geographically situated. How is this epistemic differentiation serving STS? Are we making enough out of the possibilities of interdisciplinary exchange? .
Secondly, our perception of and work to design a relevant publication landscape follows from the previous point. How do we see the landscape as it is? Should we try to increase designated STS journals or is it more important to have a strong presence of STS research in interdisciplinary journals? Do we foster open research, transparency and inclusiveness in the dissemination of our work? Are our journals aligned with Open Science goals and requirements? How do books and book publishers serve our contributions and our community? How do evaluative pressures shape the epistemic contributions and publishing formats we chose and how do we as a community encourage and embrace alternatives?
Thirdly, how we teach and learn STS shapes its collective future(s). The learning and socialization practices of our early career researchers in the present have constitutive effects for STS as a field in the years to come. What do STS early career researchers want from their community in terms of education and exchange and how do they envision both the future of European STS and their place with it?
Fourthly, the European funding and policy landscape is special as it is shaped by a set of quite diverse national systems, which are nevertheless influenced by the homogenizing force of the EU. How is this tension creating its own European epistemic dynamics in STS? And how can a politically engaged field like STS (continue to) inform the apparatuses of research funding and science policy, locate its shortcomings, and help foster effectiveness, inclusiveness, and care?