83. Marxism and STS: Past, Present and Future

Gerardo Ienna, University of Verona (in collaboration with SftP); Calvin Wu, Science for the People; Edward Millar, Toronto Metropolitan University (in collaboration with SftP);

The organizers of 4S in Cholula, Mexico (2022) emphasized the importance of retracing the legacy of the STS founders through the "In memoriam" project. This panel thus seeks to develop the project by exploring the relationship between STS and Marxist social studies of science on three main axes. The first theme draws attention to the historical and theoretical connections between the first generation of STS scholars and Marxist social studies of science, including the legacy of Bernalism or the relationship between Radical Science Movements and STS in bringing to light the non-neutrality of science during the 1970s and 1980s. The second theme highlights the gradual weakening of the interaction between STS and Marxist approaches with the institutionalization of STS and the consolidation of related approaches such as SSK, EPOR, SCOT, and ANT. Indeed, this process has led to the crystallization of an incommunicability between these two approaches both politically and epistemologically. Today, the situation has changed little even though contemporary Marxist traditions have made vital contributions to topics of interest, including the labor of science, the relationship between science and activism, scientific citizenship, the roots of ecological crises, and the technopolitics of computation and algorithmic governance. Finally, the third theme discusses possible future interactions between STS and Marxist approaches. The panel seeks papers that examine the sporadic interactions between Marxism and STS in contemporary debate, address the historical reasons for the lack of dialogue, and explore ways of reconnecting and enriching each's theoretical and empirical work.

Contact: gerardo.ienna@univr.it, secretary@scienceforthepeople.org, edward.millar@torontomu.ca

Keywords: Social Movements and STS, Forms and Practices of Expertise, Method and Practice, Marxism; History of STS; Politics; Radical Science Movements; Bernalism; Cultural Cold War

Published: 04/07/2023