Monthly Archives: January 2017

Call for papers: “Science, technology and society” – working group at the Annual conference of the Westermarck Society

The Annual conference of the Westermarck Society will be held under the theme “Excess and Owerflows” at the University of Tampere on 23.-24.3.2017. The keynote speakers are: prof. Christian Borch (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark), prof. Sarah Green (University of Helsinki, Finland), prof. Annemarie Mol (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and prof. Iddo Tavory (New York University, USA).

STS Helsinki is hosting its own working group and announces call for papers:

Working group 29. Science, technology and society

Coordinators: On behalf of the STS-Helsinki group at the University of Helsinki: Jose A. Cañada, Lotta Hautamäki, Mikko Jauho and Mianna Meskus. Please direct possible inquiries to

Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the interaction between society, science, and technology. STS pays attention to how different fields, such as law, politics, and everyday life, become intertwined with science and technology. This becomes especially relevant when thinking about heatedly debated topics as diverse as climate change, the role of experts, medicine, genetics, gender, robotics or organic food. The field calls for a deeper understanding of the development, processes, practices and outcomes of such phenomena through problematizing them as social phenomena. In the process, STS explores the mechanisms behind knowledge claims and ontological assumptions that guide our everyday. Or, how one of the most prominent STS scholars, Steve Woolgar, has said in a rather provocative way: look at how the world defined by science and technology “could be otherwise”.

STS-Helsinki calls for theoretical, methodological and empirical papers on current research in social studies of science. Papers both in Finnish and English are welcome. The aim of this working group is to offer a forum to discuss social phenomena at the crossroads between science, technology and society: how is scientific knowledge established and negotiated? How do historical processes contribute to the establishment of certain fields of study or to the development of certain technologies? What are the practices that contribute to the shaping of technoscientific objects and subjects? We also welcome papers discussing the specific topic of excess and surplus. But beyond more specific pressing questions, this working group is defined as a meeting point for both Finnish and international scholars to share and discuss their work with others studying science, technology and society.

The abstract should be sent using Lyyti. (Note that once you are on Lyyti, you can change the language from the upper left corner of the page).


Call for Papers: “Expertise and its tensions” – A Special issue of Science & Technology Studies.

Contemporary societies are permeated by, and depend on, various types of expertise. Expertise is also commonly contested in various domains, such as environment, health, medicine and economics. Debates on expertise commonly involve struggles over propositional power as well as epistemic authority. These struggles might be about relations between lay and expert knowledges, but they might also emerge betwixt scientific experts, or among other forms of expertise and ways of knowing. Furthermore, inter- or multidisciplinary endeavors create tensions as scientific experts from various fields need to fit together their approaches.

Articles can relate to any aspect of expertise, targeting, for example, to any of the three pre-established topics groups: 1) expansion of expertise in the public domain, 2) multidisciplinary expertise and its tensions, 3) experts, politics and policy.

We welcome but do not restrict the scope of articles, on following topics:

  • Emergence of multiple expertise around distinct phenomena
  • Multidisciplinary expertise and tacit knowledge
  • Expertise and wicked problems
  • Expertise, law and regulation
  • Socio-materiality of expertise
  • The place of expertise in social services
  • Trust in science and/or think tanks
  • Science-policy dynamics
  • Triple helix
  • Expansion of expertise in the public domain
  • Social media  and expertise
  • Personal values, stances, and expert knowledge
  • Expertise of risk
  • Experience based expertise
  • Politically and economically motivated dissent in science
  • Public questioning of medical expertise
  • NGO’s as policy experts
  • Participatory expertise
  • Contingency of the boundaries of public expertise
  • How information systems and databases affect medical expertise
  • Big data and expertise
  • Tensions in the multi-disciplinary expertise
  • The interfaces of expertise
  • Semantic difference and loss of context in multidisciplinary scientific work
  • Emotional tensions in multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary interaction
  • Multiple ontologies and professional languages
  • Scientific misconduct
  • Total quality management of expertise
  • The efficiency of expertise

The guest-editors of this special issue of Science and Technology Studies are: Steven Yearley, Maria Åkerman, Otto Auranen, Harley Bergroth, Ismo Kantola, Sampsa Saikkonen, Jaakko Taipale.

Papers to be submitted should not be published or under review elsewhere. All submissions will be peer-reviewed according to Science & Technology Studies guidelines and procedures. For further manuscript guidelines, please see ‘manuscript submissions’ on Science & Technology Studies website (

Deadline for manuscript submissions is 15th of February 2017.

For further information, please contact Ismo Kantola.

Call for papers: Conceptualizations of the “participant” revisitied: Challenges of a biological citizenship model for democratic participation

This is a call for papers for the Mid-term Conference of the International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee 10 (RC10) on Participation, Organizational Democracy & Self-Management, Lisbon, Portugal, from 12th to 15th July 2017.

Session 6.6 “Conceptualizations of the “participant” revisited:

Challenges of a biological citizenship model for democratic participation” in stream 6 “Participation and Democracy revisited”


Organized by

Nina Amelung, Centre for Social Studies (CES), Universidade Coimbra, Portugal; Helena Machado, Centre for Social Studies (CES), Universidade Coimbra, Portugal;


Recent debate of participation in the contexts of science and technology has discussed the changing relationships among publics, policy makers, and scientific expertise. Thereby alternative understandings of democratic participation of individuals in science and politics have emerged. In particular in some science and technology areas such as genetic research in medical science or forensic sciences where biological markers shape the involvement of participants this has caused fundamental changes of framing individuals as participants and constructing their rights and duties.

Individuals then are not any more understood as passive donors of biological material and data, but instead as individuals with active citizenship rights and as potential co-decision makers. As examples we can think of the implications for the construction of participation in the context of medical biobanks or forensic DNA databanks. Thus, participation of individuals can range from volunteering by providing biometric data; to getting directly involved in decision making about genetic research as addressees of public accountability of the state and science; to getting actively involved in the knowledge production or contesting knowledge claims of genetic research. An alternative construction of the participant comes often with different demands for democratic, transparent and accountable governance of research and technology practices. Among them are representative and inclusive decision-making processes and taking the relevance of creating public trust and legitimization into account.

This session aims at assembling discourses on alternative notions of participation which investigate the implications of a biological citizenship model. We welcome contributions dealing with the following

questions: What are the repercussions of a biological citizenship notion for democratic participation? What are the benefits and limits of such an expanded notion of participation building on a biological citizenship? What are empowering and disempowering effects of such a construction of participation for the role of the “participant”?



In order to submit a communication proposal please mention in the proposal the stream and the session number. Also please include your name, affiliation and email.

For your proposal to be considered please submit the title and an abstract (max. 300 words) both to:

– the mail(s) of the session organizer(s)

–  and the Conference email at:



12 March – Deadline to submit abstract proposals

15 April – Notification of acceptance of the abstracts to the authors

31 May – Deadline for accepted authors to register for the conference Further information about the conference and location can be found