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Feminist technoscience perspectives on New Big Science

Författare:
  • Kerstin Sandell
Publiceringsår: 2016-08-31
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag: abstract

Abstract english

Currently I am studying the realization of two large-scale experimental natural science facilities: The European Spallation Source (ESS) and MAX IV (a synchrotron facility). They are examples of New Big Science (NBS) – facilities where substantial amounts of resources and hopes are tied to making future scientific discoveries. Both facilities will host more than 20 different instruments, catering for a diverse user community from mainly physics, chemistry and biosciences. More precisely I study the design process of the instruments, where promises are to be turned into experimental realities.
In this paper I explore the fruitfulness and pitfalls of using a feminist technoscience perspective in studying these facilities, that are part of what Sharon Traweek call “culture of no culture”. I will explore three ways in which feminist technoscience can be mobilized in my studies.
Feminist theory of science questions – this is where I always claim that I start out. But what does it mean to turn feminist theory of science questions into ethnographic explorations in NBS?
Representation – gender as representation seems to be eternally on the agenda in STEM: there are always too few women. In my project the topic of representation seems to be a stumbling block, or a way of just kicking in open doors.
The derailed desire for justice. In this section I will explore how the question of justice seems to constantly displace me from my field site into areas of promises and policy.
Feminist technoscience studies (FTS) comprise a major strand of STS. Constituted by a diverse and heterogeneous set of projects and publications, these studies make politicised, impassioned contributions to contemporary critical thought about science, technology and medicine. They are also driven by a powerful desire for justice (see Reardon et al in Catalyst Vol 1 No 1). Building on century-old traditions of embodied activism and collective politics, feminist scholars have led the way in developing engaged, interventionist approaches to multi, inter, and transdisciplinary encounters with technoscientific and biomedical practices and knowledges.

This track will highlight the myriad ways in which FTS methods, theories, and concerns articulate the places and practices through which science and technology are performed, enact in/justice and can be transformative. More specifically, the track welcomes submissions that reflect on, discuss, interrogate and 'do' feminist technoscience in unexpected places, understood as locations, encounters, and/or research subjects/objects.

It is hoped that the track will provide an opportunity to explore collectively the connections between, and underlying themes of, feminist work, and a space in which to debate how we might further develop these commonalities and explore differences and tensions. Convening feminist work as an open track - a political project in itself - will underscore both the extent of existing work and the possibilities for opening up other topics of interest to feminist analysis.

The track would welcome alternative presentations, including actions, excursions, manifestos, creative workshops and artistic engagements as well as more traditional papers and presentations.

Keywords

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Other

4S/EASST Conference Barcelona 2016
Published
Kerstin Sandell portrait
E-post: kerstin.sandell [at] genus.lu.se

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