“Things Can Be Done Here That Cannot So Easily Be Done Elsewhere”: Jane Calvert Talks with Arie Rip

Keywords: constructive constructivism, reflexive modernization, mainstreaming, pedagogy, European Society for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)


In this interview, Arie Rip talks to Jane Calvert about his life in STS and the history and future of the field. He begins in the late 1960s, when he started teaching a course in “chemistry and society.” He then gives a first-hand account of the formation of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) and the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), and the growth of research in the “melting pot” that STS became. He goes on to discuss recent work on new and emerging technologies and responsible research and innovation. His narrative shows the connections, historically and in the present, between the different strands of STS, including sociological work, science policy and innovation studies. He argues that we are seeing a “mainstreaming” of STS as it permeates other academic disciplines and arenas such as government agencies and charities. He suggests that this mainstreaming may mean STS will disappear as an independent discipline. In her reflection following the interview, Jane Calvert focuses on Rip’s point that STS is both a social movement and an academic discipline. She argues that this raises questions about what type of work we want to do as STS researchers, and how much freedom we have to choose.

12 Jul 2018