Symposium by the WTMC graduate school and the University of Twente
‘The Future of Science and Technology Studies’
On 2 November 2022, 13:00 – 17:00 WTMC and University of Twente organize the symposium ‘The Future of Science and Technology Studies’ at U-Park Hotel on the campus of the University of Twente, Enschede. You are cordially invited to attend this symposium.
Introduction to the topic
The field of Science & Technology Studies (STS) has contributed to unravelling the many relationships between science, technology, policy, and society. It has detailed how relationships between the production of scientific knowledge and technologies and their use in policy and society are not straightforward or linear, and how the authority of experts is often questioned. Moreover, it has documented how science and technology are not evidently sources of good; they have contributed not only to improving human and non-human lives but have also strengthened unjust and unsustainable practices on global to local scales. In response to these findings, STS has productively engaged to improve the societal and political embedding of science and technology. Particularly, we have seen various proposals in STS to strengthen public engagement in science and technology ensure effectiveness and legitimacy. Yet, urgent and intensifying crises in democracy, inequality, and sustainability – and the role of science and technology in blocking or catalysing needed transformations to cope with these challenges – arguably demand a reorientation of STS.
In part, reorientation involves institutionalization. We have seen the uptake of STS approaches into many social science and interdisciplinary domains, for example in policy studies, sustainability studies, health sciences, technology, design, decolonial studies and many more, and even into research programming. While this marks the success of STS, it also raises challenges as to its relationships to these adjacent fields. At the same time, STS has also arguably, at least partly, grown apart from historically constituting branches such as philosophical, ethical, historical, and other forms of humanities inquiry about science and technology. Reorientation also concerns intellectual identity. Addressing new challenges requires reflection on the values that underpin STS scholarship, the strengths and limitations of established theoretical and methodological approaches, and potential to innovate.
In view of these challenges and opportunities, this symposium addresses two key themes:
- STS’s relationship to other scholarly fields and communities:
Can STS effectively reach out and open up to adjacent disciplines, including new allies, estranged companions as well as old friends? What inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations can be forged? Can and should STS reach out and open up, and what are the potential risks as well as rewards?
- STS’s identity and values:
How can STS position itself in the context of changes in research and policy systems and in response to crises and challenges? What comes after public participation and engagement, and what role can STS play in relation to developments of politicization, activism and social-environmental justice? How can STS go beyond its Western biases, what new topics should be addressed, what methods are appropriate, and what values should drive STS scholarship?
Please register for the symposium via
You will receive the invitation with detailed program early October.