Willem Halffman, Institute for Science in Society, Radboud University Nijmegen, and chairman of the WTMC education committee, Cyrus Mody, Maastricht University, have been awarded an ERC Synergy Grant for their project “NanoBubbles: How, when and why does science not correct itself?” (October 2020). Co-winners of the grant are Raphaël Lévy (project coordinator, Université Paris Sorbonne Nord) and Cyril Labbé (Université Grenoble Alpes). Scientific research is based on the idea that any errors made must constantly be corrected. But in practice, it can be difficult to undo mistakes or exaggerated claims made in the past. This can lead to an erosion of trust in science. In the NanoBubbles project, data scientists, nano scientists and science researchers will investigate how erroneous claims in nanobiology can be rectified.
Nanobiology is a relatively young scientific field which has already seen a number of hotly contested claims. The researchers will study three controversies relating to what nanoparticles can do in the body. This will mean looking at how the controversies lead to polarisation among scientists, and at how new types of scientific communication might help build a consensus, or correct mistakes. For example, they will analyse how commentary on published research operates on systems such as PubPeer. The researchers will also design replication experiments in nanobiology. This will include participation by research sociologists and philosophers, looking at how to maximise the chances of a replication experiment in achieving scientific consensus.
Nicole Goedhart, Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, Jacqueline Broerse (Athena Instituut, Vrije Universiteit) and Christine Dedding (Metamedica, Amsterdam UMC) have been awarded one of the three 2020 STS making and doing prizes for their project ‘Learning while doing: vlogs about digital inequality’. In this project, in cooperation with the city of Amsterdam and multiple community centers, vlogs were co-created with women living in disadvantaged neigborhoods of Amsterdam to unravel the complex interactions between ICT use and socio-demographics. The vlogs give deep insights into (online) difficulties the involved women experienced in the digitized society and emphasize the complexity of digital inequality and urgency for action. With the making and doing award, the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) acknowledges researchers who have demonstrated scholarly excellence in not only formulating and enacting but also sharing theoretically-informed engagement practices beyond the academic paper and book. The project ‘learning while doing: vlogs about digital inequality’ is awarded especially for: “working with materialities and developing capabilities oriented to the resolution of interrelated social problems: digital, gender and income inequalities. The doing is in the making with others.”. Learn more about the project at: https://www.4sonline.org/prizes/makingdoing
Trudy Dehue, long-standing member of WTMC, has recently been awarded the KNAW Academy Medal.
Trudy Dehue, scientific sociologist, author and emeritus professor of the University of Groningen, will receive the Academy Medal from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The Academy Medal is awarded every other year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the flourishing of science in the Netherlands. The prize will be awarded to Dehue for starting the societal debate on important issues in science.
As a scientific philosopher and sociologist, Trudy Dehue focuses specifically on the sciences that study human beings: psychology, psychiatry and brain research. She thinks that researchers shouldn’t just describe their findings but also explain how they came to their conclusion. She applies this principle to her own work too, as well as happily and frequently discussing it with a wide audience.
Professor G.C.G. (Trudy) Dehue (1951) started her working life in the late seventies in the children’s psychiatry clinic in Groningen. In 1990, she was awarded her PhD with the distinction cum laude for her thesis about the changing meaning of the concepts ‘science’ and ‘objectivity’ in psychology. From 1995 to 2016, she was Professor of Theory and History at the University of Groningen.
The award ceremony will be on Thursday afternoon, 29 August in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam.
More details can be found on the KNAW website: https://www.knaw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/akademiepenning-voor-trudy-dehue
At the 2018 EASST conference in Lancaster, UK, the Chris Freeman Award was given to the book Emerging Technologies for Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease: Innovating with Care. The book was edited by Marianne Boenink, Harro van Lente and Ellen Moors, and published by Palgrave MacMillan. In honour of Chris Freeman, this award is given to a publication which is a significant collective contribution to the interaction of science and technology studies with the study of innovation. Selection is based on the successful development of social approaches to the dynamics of innovation, originality, and better understanding of the pursuit of innovation for societal and environmental goals. This book explores international biomedical research and development on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. It offers timely, multidisciplinary reflections on the social and ethical issues raised by promises of early diagnostics and asks under which conditions emerging diagnostic technologies can be considered a responsible innovation.
On 26 January 2018, during its 42nd Dies Natalis, Maastricht University awarded an honorary doctorate to Lucy Suchman, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology of Technology at Lancaster University. Professor Sally Wyatt, former Academic Director of WTMC, was her ‘honorary supervisor’.
Professor Suchman is well-known to the WTMC community, as she was the summer school anchor teacher in 2003, and a member of the international committee that reviewed WTMC in 2010. And of course, she is the author of Plans and Situated Actions (1987, and substantially revised in 2007), a book which did much to stimulate the field of human-computer interaction. Through her research and teaching, she has also made major contributions to feminist technology studies, ethnography, and science and technology studies. Her work has also been recognised by others. Lucy Suchman was the recipient of the 4S Bernal Prize in 2014, and of the Lifetime Research Award from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction.
More details, pictures and videos of Lucy Suchman’s lecture & acceptance of the honorary degree (and a short video about her work), the bestowal of the honorary degree, and Sally Wyatt’s Dies lecture can all be found on the Maastricht University website. https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/news-events/corporate-events/42nd-dies-natalis
and her Edinburgh colleague, Bill Jenkins, have created app-based walking tours of Edinburgh that explore the city’s heritage in the history of science, technology and medicine. They have been awarded the Tam Dalyell Prize, awarded annually for excellence in engaging the public with science. If you are in Edinburgh on 15 April 2018, you can hear Niki give the Tam Dalyell Prize Lecture on April 15th as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2018. More about the app and the tours can be found here: http://www.curiousedinburgh.org/
gave her inaugural lecture on 24 November, De geest voorbij: Geesteswetenschappelijke reflecties op gezondheidszorg. The full text (in Dutch) can be found here: http://www.jennyslatman.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/De-geest-voorbij-Slatman.pdf
received Special Recognition Awards from the World Cultural Council on 9 November. These awards are made to talented women researchers who, in the words of the WCC, are particularly skilled at making their research findings accessible to the general public. Details, photos and films available here: https://www.cwts.nl/news?article=n-r2r2b4&title=two-award-winners
Ernesto Andrade Sastoque (Twente) won the Best PhD Student Paper Award at the 15th Globelics (http://www.globelics.org/) International Conference, held on 11-13 October in Athens. Globelics is a worldwide community of scholars working on innovation and competence building in the context of economic development.
Congratulations to Anna Harris, Susan Kelly and Sally Wyatt on winning the 2017 SHI book prize for their fascinating book CyberGenetics. Health genetics and new media (Routledge 2016). The award is given each year by the Medical Sociology group of the British Sociological Association for the book that makes “the most significant contribution tot he sub-discipline of medical sociology/sociology of health and illness”.
In Cybergenetics, the authors critically examine the market of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing from a social science perspective, asking: “What happens when genetics goes online?” Drawing upon empirical examples of DTC genetic testing websites (using online methods) and in-depth interviews in the United Kingdom with people using healthcare services, Harris, Kelly and Wyatt describe the new social arrangements which emerge when a traditionally clinical practice (genetic testing) is taken into new spaces (the internet).
Cybergenetics is the first scholarly monograph on the topic, and the first book which brings together the social study of genetics and the social study of digital technologies. Or as Barbara Prainsack, one of the reviewers of the book, put it: “This book is a powerful antidote to simplistic portrayals of online genetics as either empowering or harming test-takers. Using novel and innovative methodologies to explore how users and health professionals make sense of online genetics, it provides fascinating and also troubling insights into the meaning of online genetics at the personal, social, and political levels”.
‘The Leiden Manifesto‘ by Diana Hicks, Paul Wouters, Ludo Waltman, Sarah de Rijcke and Ismael Rafols was awarded the EASST Ziman Prize, given for ‘a significant innovative cooperation in a venture to promote public interaction with science and technology’. ‘The Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics’, originally published in Nature in 2015, provides 10 principles for guiding research evaluation. The Manifesto is not only a Nature article but also a website (where you can find the Manifesto translated into 12 languages), a video, and a blog.
The 2016 4S Mentoring Award goes to Professor Arie Rip for his incredible dedication to his PhD students and other colleagues, providing detailed advice, feedback and wise counsel. Arie Rip was chair of the WTMC Board from 1995 until 2001, and scientific director of WTMC from 2000 until 2005.
In September 2016, WTMC received the 4S Infrastructure Award. This is a new award, to recognise the work done to promote the field. The committee congratulates the many people who have contributed to WTMC over the past 30 years. This is in recognition not only for what WTMC has done for Dutch STS scholarship but also our contribution to the field internationally.
received the ‘Best Formal Paper by a Graduate Student’ Award for her paper “Objectivity Beyond the Red Line: A case for binocularity in war reporting“, in February 2016, from the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE).
Simone van der Burg (Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, RadboudUMC) received one of the two prizes awarded by the Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Programme. These prizes are awarded to top researchers in the life sciences, to support their work and to provide them with a sabbatical opportunity. The prize includes an award of €25,000 to support the winner’s research, and a sabbatical at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Wassenaar. This is the third year that the prizes have been awarded.
Dr. Felix Schirmann, WTMC alumn, has been awarded one of the five Studieprijzen 2015 of the Stichting Praemium Erasmianum for his dissertation “The Good, the Bad and the Brain: Theory and History of the Neuroscience of Morality”. Prof. Trudy Dehue was his promotor and Dr. Stephan Schleim was co-promotor. Schirmann defended his dissertation on 9 October 2014, at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Ernst Homburg (Maastricht) has been awarded the American Chemical Society’s Historical Division Award for Outstanding Achievement in the History of Chemistry for 2014. The event to honour Ernst’s contributions to the history of chemistry will take place on 12 August 2014 at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco.
Wytske Versteeg (Twente) won the BNG New Literature Prize for her novel Boy. The prize is awarded annually for a writer who is not yet 40 and who is still establishing him/herself as a writer. Wytske has one other published novel. She is also a member of WTMC, and working on a PhD at the University of Twente, about how expertise is constituted in interaction, both online and offline.
Was awarded the 2013 Student Paper Prize of the Middle East Section (MES) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). The prize committee selected her paper “The Colonizer in the Computer: The British and Israeli Influence on Palestinian Authority Cartography in the West Bank” based on criteria for innovation, quality of writing, and the rich use of ethnographic data. The AAA is the largest anthropological association in the world, and the award was officially presented at the AAA annual meeting in November 2013.
Was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Medal during the Annual SHOT Conference in Copenhagen on 5 October 2012. This medal is the highest recognition from the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), the leading international association for scientists in the field of technology history.
Was awarded the 4S Nicholas Mullins prize for best student paper, for his chapter entitled ‘Sound Sterile: Making Scientific Field Recordings in Ornithology’, that appeared in the Oxford Handbook fo Sound Studies, edited by Trevor Pinch & Karin Bijsterveld (2012, Oxford University Press). The prize was awarded during the 4S/EASST conference in Copenhagen , in October 2012.
Rob Raven, Jochen Markard and Bernhard Truffer were jointly awarded the first-ever Freeman prize for the special section on Sustainability Transitions that appeared in Research Policy earlier this year. The award ceremony took place in Copenhagen in October 2012.
The Freeman prize is awarded by EASST for a significant collective contribution to the interaction of science and technology studies with the study of innovation.
Niki Vermeulen, Sakari Tamminen & Andrew Webster were jointly awarded the first-ever Amsterdamska prize for their edited book Bio-Objects, Life in the 21st Century (2012, Ashgate) in Copenhagen, October 2012.
The Amsterdamka prize is awarded by EASST for a significant creative collaboration in an edited book in the broad field of science and technology studies.