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Contemporary use and abuse of science – a challenge for feminist studies

  • Kerstin Sandell
Publiceringsår: 2016-11-23
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag: abstract

Abstract english

In this paper I will explore two trends that I argue pose significant challenges to feminist technoscience studies as a knowledge-producing endeavour. The first is Sweden democrats’ use of figures as facts, with the hope of changing society into a fascist one. The other is the investment in natural science research infrastructure with the hope of solving societies most pressing problems.

Sweden democrats have a persistent use of statistics as part of their political message, where they rely on the legitimacy that science gives to figures as facts. This forces ‘us’ to show that their figures are wrong, and thus arguing that figures can be facts. This I think is an effort for many feminist technoscience scholars, as they/we have invested in studying how scientific facts are made, turning ’us’ irrevocably critical to figures as (positivist or realist, apolitical) facts.

The other trend is that of big investments in (natural) science infrastructure, as the two large-scale facilities under construction in Lund (ESS and MAX IV). These are heavily invested with hopes of solving some of contemporary societies most pressing problems – sustainability, health, energy, security. The core practice is, again, the natural science experiment, using the very same epistemological foundations that we are forced to defend in the face of the Sweden Democrats. Although here the feminist technoscience scholar might want to study the stabilization of facts in science and further argue that the research endeavours presented as science hides a depolitication of contemporary problems. And, not to forget, channels money into male dominated scientific areas.

I will argue that feminist technoscience studies as part of science are facing a double challenge of on the one hand finding ways to defend figures as facts and on the other to stay committed to a constructivist understanding of science and of science as politics by other means.


  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


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E-post: kerstin [dot] sandell [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se


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