Monthly Archives: December 2019

STS Courses at the University of Helsinki

During the Spring 2020 following Science & Technology Studies related courses are offered for the students (the list will be updated!):

  • The Politics of Environmental Knowledge course gives students knowledge and tools to critically evaluate the role of science and scientific knowledge in understanding environmental problems and creating solutions for them. Students will be able to apply the theoretical concepts from science and technology studies (STS) to the analysis of historical and current environmental issues.
  • Imagination in Environmental Politics course supplies the students with skills to critically review existing conceptual categorizations and conceptualizations of the future within the field of environmental politics (theoretical aspect); critically apply these categorizations and conceptualizations in relation to specific empirical cases (empirical aspect); and critically assess and evaluate existing future-oriented narration of different kinds and registers (methodological aspect).
  • Analytical approaches to human environmental interaction course gives students the skills to conduct critical interdisciplinary analyses of problems arising in interactions between technology, society and the environment. They can propose theoretically sound, evidence based and sustainable solutions to complex environmental problems. They have the communication skills to convincingly present the solutions to the relevant stakeholders. They are mentally prepared to take on professional challenges in environmental policy analysis, planning, decision-making, implementation and assessment.
  • There are book exams organized in Technology Studies , in Science Studies and in Environment, Technology and Culture. Moreover,  TOTEMI is an ongoing PhD seminar.


PAST COURSES (Fall 2019):

  • Science in Society course for doctoral students aims at developing participants’ understanding about how science and scientific experts(/expertise) influence and relate to society and its institutions. the course also provides an opportunity to reflect upon the participants’ own developing expertise in their fields of study.
  • Science Studies course for Master’s and Doctoral Students has two objectives. First, to become familiar with the main streams of thought in STS, the most important authors, situate them in their historical context, and understand how they relate to each other. And second, to be able to discuss different STS approaches in light of their different critiques and relate them to contemporary debates in the field.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Society course introduces students to current discussions, debates, as well as developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) from a social scientific perspective. The course will also provide the students with an overview of political, legal and ethical debates surrounding the development of AI.

Call for papers: The Rise of AI Society




During the past few years, numerous countries and organizations have published dozens of policies and strategies regarding the development of artificial intelligence. The permeation of AI, machine learning and algorithmic thinking into an increasing number of facets of everyday life, from banking and medicine to transportation and law suggests that AI is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in society. For science and technology studies (STS) this provides a unique opportunity to study and understand social and technological change.  Not least since the development of AI touches upon so many of the central themes within STS.

This workshop invites presentations which examine the rise of AI in society and the consequences that is has in everyday life. Possible topics for presentation topics may include, but is not limited to:

  • AI and governance
  • Algorithmic culture
  • AI and privacy/surveillance
  • AI in different professions such as healthcare, law, and transportation
  • The design of AI systems
  • AI at home
  • Restructuring of activities for the application of AI, for example in a workplace
  • The role of AI in organizational change
  • Implications of AI in knowledge production
  • Methodological approaches to study AI

We invite contributions from researchers at all stages of the academic career, but we particularly encourage early career researchers to submit abstracts. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words.

Keynote speakers:

Ilpo Helén (University of Eastern Finland): What do algorithms do? An approach for a sociology of datafication of health care.

Francis Lee (Uppsala University): The Politics of Algorithms: The Challenge of AI, Big Data and Digitalization for Social Inquiry

Abstract submission deadline is January 20, 2020.  Abstracts should be submitted to

For further information please contact Aaro Tupasela ( or Heta Tarkkala (