I’m heading off to Australia on 25 August, mainly to attend the 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science) conference in Sydney. As always, the programme is packed full with fascinating sessions in which people present their research, discuss prize-winning books, and honour those who have contributed to the field of science and technology studies (STS) in various ways. It’s also an opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and maybe to make new ones. Locating the conference in Sydney means that many more researchers from the Asia Pacific region will be able to join.
- I’m involved in three different activities, in order of appearance:
On Wednesday 29 August, I’ll be presenting the latest ideas Alexandra Supper and I have for the game of SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) that we prepared for the book presented to Wiebe Bijker on his retirement last year. You can contribute your ideas about how to develop the game further, and share your own experiences of using games in teaching, so please drop by. This is part of the ‘Making and Doing’ session, and I’ll be there all afternoon.
- On Friday 31 August, Tim Jordan and I have jointly organised a panel. We aim to open up discussion about the invisible aspects of digital infrastructures, by bringing together insights from STS about socio-technical ensembles together with ideas from (Marxist) sociology and political economy. Presenters and audience members are invited to reflect on the meaning of hidden infrastructures and to what extent STS can recover the significance of infrastructure that has disappeared because it is taken for granted, as in debates around the ‘post-digital’ that posit the internet as being ‘taken for granted’.
- Later that day, I am honoured to take part in the Bernal session, during which Trevor Pinch of Cornell University will be presented with the JD Bernal prize for distinguished contributions to the field of science and technology studies.
After the conference, I’ll be heading off to Melbourne for a few days, during which I’ll meet with people from the Digital Ethnography Research Centre
Ideas for things to do, people to see in Sydney or Melbourne are still gratefully received.
Photo by Patrick Szylar on Unsplash