Global North Team

Yana Boeva is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences and the Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) at the University of Stuttgart. Her current research focuses on the transformation of design, architecture, the built environment, and different user practices with the increasing presence of algorithms, computation, automation, and active matter. She has studied do-it-yourself maker cultures focusing on the sociopolitical and historical dimensions of digital fabrication in design towards de-professionalization of design practice, concepts of expertise, and notions of re-industrialization. Yana holds a PhD (2018) in Science & Technology Studies from York University, Toronto, and an MA (2011) in Media Studies from the Humboldt-University Berlin. Her work has appeared in Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal (IxDA), International Journal of Architectural Computing, the Handbook of Peer Production, and has co-edited special issues of Digital Culture & Society and Digital Creativity. Yana has been an editor with Backchannels since 2018.

Xan Chacko is a Lecturer in Science, Technology, and Society at Brown University. She is a feminist STS scholar who engages the production, maintenance, and practices of knowledge in natural science. Her current book, provisionally titled, The Last Seed: Colonial Legacies and Botanic Futures situates the emergence of cryogenic seed banking as a response to catastrophic species loss of plant life in the twentieth century. Xan is a co-editor (with Jenny Bangham and Judith Kaplan) of Invisible Labour in Modern Science (August 2022), which is a collection of vignettes that capture the varied elisions and omissions of humans, practices, and power in the making of science. Xan convenes ecofemspec, a monthly Ecofeminist Speculative Fiction Book Club, and has been an editor for Backchannels since 2019.

Shiv Issar is a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oregon. Aside from being the Digital Projects Coordinator for 4S, he currently serves as an Assistant Editor for Backchannels. Shiv was also elected as a student representative on SSSP’s Board of Directors for a two-year term beginning in August 2022. His prior teaching experiences cover an array of both, introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses, ranging from India Studies, to Social Problems, Globalization, Environmental Sociology and Urban Sociology at different universities. Shiv’s research interests lie within the spheres of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Cultural Studies, Game Studies, and Environmental Sociology. Having recently completed projects on Algorithmic Governance and Walking simulator games, his proposed dissertation work would focus on the realm of civilian drones, or UAVs. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Shiv earned an MA in Sociology from Manipal University, India in 2018. He was also a Young India Fellow at Ashoka University, India from 2014-15.

Gökçe Önal is a doctoral candidate at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture, with the research group Borders & Territories. She has taught at METU (2013–16) and at TU Delft (2017–21) and contributed to TU Delft’s MOOC portal as a course developer (2017–19). She is currently an assistant editor for 4S Backchannels. Gökçe’s research departs from an interest in the accelerating regime of image production and screen labor in architecture, and investigates the performative component of electronic images in the production of spatial knowledge. Attending to the question what images do from within the infrastructures of sensing Earth, her work seeks a productive ground between elemental media theory, STS, and architecture studies.

Global South Team

Gloria Baigorrotegui is Professor at the Advanced Studies Institute (IDEA in Spanish) at the University at Santiago de Chile. She is an STS scholar (PhD in Philosophy of Science at University of the Basque Country, Spain) with a previous formation in Industrial Engineering at the University of Santiago de Chile. She was National Council Member at the Chilean Environmental Ministry (2017-2018) and Council Member of the Society for Social Studies of Science (2017-2019). Her research focuses on the sociotechnical analysis of energy policy, energy community initiatives and collective actions; and environmental thinking, waste, maintenance and repair. She currently leads the ANID-REDES AWARE project on Agri Food Waste Experiences in Chile and UK. Fondecyt-ANID on Maintenance and Repair Practices and Energy Communities and VIME-USACH project that links Engineering and Social Studies in remote places in Chilean Patagonia on Repair and maintenance of energy infrastructures. She is Editor-in-Chief of the EstuDAv – Estudios Avanzados Journal (ERIHPLUS, LATININDEX), which includes interdisciplinary studies from the Americas, including STS studies. Her main publications can be found here:

Shashank Deora is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. His doctoral research involves looking at watershed landscapes’ emergence as infrastructures in urbanising regions of India. His research concerns how watersheds as infrastructures are constructed and maintained to deliver certain functions and services to certain groups and individuals while leaving out others. Before joining his doctoral research, Shashank worked with the VikasAnvesh Foundation (VAF), a research organisation in India. At VAF, he engaged in primary research on land and water resource management and governance in central India. From 2014 to 2018, Shashank was associated with Professional Assistance for Development Action, working with the women collectives in rural areas in the Chhattisgarh state of India to promote alternate livelihoods.

David Kananizadeh is a PhD candidate at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany and a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. In his PhD, he looks into human-forest entanglements by inquiring how inhabitants of eastern Sierra Leone’s forested landscapes care, cultivate and foster – but also control, exploit and destroy – ecological relations in striving for well-being. He received both his B.A. and M.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. Before joining the Max Planck Institute in 2021, he held a scholarship from the Research Cluster Society and Culture in Motion at the University of Halle-Wittenberg (2018-2021). David’s research is situated at the intersection of environmental and moral anthropology. He is particularly interested in questions of care and ethics, in pragmatism and practice theory, and in attempts of decolonizing science and technology. He is a member of the LOST Research Group.

María Elissa Torres is an Ecuadorian anthropologist. She has been part of several interdisciplinary projects framed in a STS perspective such as the LGBTIQ+ rights in the Andean Region, urban anthropology, nutrition, and violent deaths in Ecuador. Her current interests are the relationship between abortion data production and its influence in the access to human rights. At 4S she serves as the editor of posts for Backchannels from Latin America.

Joseph Satish Vedanayagam is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Xavier Research Foundation, St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai (India). He currently leads a research project on Missionary science and social justice in postcolonial India: The evolution of Jesuit science in the Madurai Province, 1952-2019. He is also a PhD Candidate of Science, Technology & Society Studies at the Centre for Knowledge, Culture & Innovation Studies, University of Hyderabad, India. Joseph’s PhD research explores the relation between the missionary spirituality and the scientific activities of Jesuit priests in southern India. At Backchannels, Joseph helps to coordinate the editorial work of the editors of the Global South and North teams. His writings have appeared on the blogs of the Journal of History of Ideas, Toynbee Prize Foundation and in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Rural Development and Arcadia. Joseph has degrees in Electronics Engineering and in Rural Management, and has worked in the information technology industry as well as the non-profit sector.

Xu Xu is a Lecturer in the School of Philosophy at Inner Mongolia University. He graduated from North Eastern University (China) as a joint doctoral student at Northeastern University and Arizona State University. His research focuses on the Philosophy of Technology and Philosophy of Risk. He has published widely on post-humanism, technological risk, epistemology of risk and his publications include: Research On Neil Postman’s Technology Risk Perspective (Xu Xu & Chen Fan,2018), Artificial Intelligence Ethics Design: Dilemma and Transcendence in Contemporary (Xu Xu & Chen Fan,2020), Unmask Modernity of technology—Response to Latour’s Reset Modernity from the Perspective of Risk Epistemology (Xu Xu,2021)