140. Studying with: building infrastructures for collaborative work

Koichi Mikami, Keio University; Jane Calvert; Emma Frow; Tara Mahfoud, University of Essex; Robert Smith, University of Edinburgh; Erika Szymanski, Colorado State University;

Science and technology studies often adopts an observational mode, producing knowledge about science and technology. Sometimes STS researchers aim to intervene in their fields of study to achieve certain normative goals. In this track, we are interested in a third mode, neither distantly observing nor actively trying to change scientists and engineers or their research, but studying with them. We want to engage and grapple with the affective work, opportunities and challenges that practicing this mode of STS entails. How do we tack between the competing disciplinary and policy winds of STS, STEM, funders, and others who might (try to) anchor our work? We invite stories of collaboration with scientists, engineers, artists and policy makers. How do they arise and what emerges from them? Rather than dwelling in the land of conflict and complaint, we hope to collectively explore how we have wandered, flown, or dived into interdisciplinary contexts. What theories, methods, and strategies do we use to navigate these spaces? What (perhaps productive and necessary) discomforts, disappointments, and opportunities are engendered? What do we do when we get swept up in waves of hype and money? Where do we trudge, fly, swim, sink, or struggle through the mud? What should we call this STS territory? And what architectures can we construct there together? Our aim is to create a community of STS researchers interested in further exploring this mode of research, and to move beyond diagnosis to develop spaces and infrastructures for its practice.

Contact: kmikami@keio.jp, jane.calvert@ed.ac.uk, emma.frow@asu.edu, tara.mahfoud@essex.ac.uk, robert.dj.smith@ed.ac.uk, erika.szymanski@colostate.edu

Keywords: Method and Practice, collaboration, interdisciplinarity, affect, reflexivity, modes of STS, emerging technologies, synthetic biology, spelunking

Published: 04/07/2023