Science & Dissent: Alternative Temporalities, Geographies, Epistemologies
The analysis of dissent, or the mobilization of scientific claims to challenge existing political arrangements, has a long history in STS and was central to the formation of the field of STS itself and its current contours. Based on a conference that sought to bring together analysts and activists from around the world and from varied disciplines, this collection illuminates new temporal, geographic, and epistemological lenses through which scientists and other people have creatively challenged relationships of power. First, by attending to long-past practices and to the long-term development of styles and forms of dissent and resistance in Latin America, South Asia, Africa, Europe, and the USA, contributors show how geography and situated forms of politics are mobilized in scientific dissent. Second, contributors also examine how political arrangements shape the ways that the movement of bodies, as well as their sensory qualities, is central to many forms of technoscientific dissent. A third focus, on epistemic politics, demonstrates how building parallel or alternative structures and systems of knowledge pose challenges to power arrangements, even when those systems are not mobilized to make formal legal or administrative challenges.
Agrawal, Arun, Ashwini Chhatre, and Rebecca Hardin. 2008. “Changing Governance of the World’s Forests.” Science 320(5882): 1460–2.
Alatout, Samer. 2014. “From River to Border: The Jordan between Empire and Nation-State.” In Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society, edited by Daniel Lee Kleinman and Kelly Moore, 307–31. London: Routledge.
Allen, Barbara L. 2003. Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor Disputes. Urban and Industrial Environments. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Arancibia, Florencia. 2016. “Regulatory Science and Social Movements: The Trial Against the Use of Pesticides in Argentina.” Theory in Action 9(4): 1–21.
⸻, and Renata Motta. 2018. “Undone Science and Counter-Expertise: Fighting for Justice in an Argentine Community Contaminated by Pesticides.” Science as Culture 28(3): 277–302.
Blum, Elizabeth D. 2008. Love Canal Revisited: Race, Class, and Gender in Environmental Activism. Reprint edition. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
Boudia, Soraya, and Nathalie Jas, eds. 2016. Powerless Science?: Science and Politics in a Toxic World. New York: Berghahn Books.
Bridger, Sarah. 2015. Scientists at War: The Ethics of Cold War Weapons Research. Boston: Harvard University Press.
Brown, Phil. 1987. “Popular Epidemiology: Community Response to Toxic Waste-Induced Disease in Woburn, Massachusetts.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 12(3/4): 78–85.
⸻. 1997. “Popular Epidemiology Revisited.” Current Sociology 45(3): 137–56.
⸻, and Edwin J. Mikkelsen. 1997. No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Callon, Michel, and Bruno Latour.  2015. “Unscrewing the Big Leviathan: How Actors Macro-Structure Reality and How Sociologists Help Them to Do So.” In Advances in Social Theory and Methodology: Towards an Integration of Micro- and Macro-Sociologies, edited by Karin Knorr-Cetina and Aaron A. V. Cicourel, 277–303. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
⸻, John Law, and Arie Rip. 1986. “How to Study the Force of Science.” In Mapping the Dynamics of Science and Technology: Sociology of Science in the Real World, edited by Michel Callon, John Law, and Arie Rip, 3–15. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
⸻, Pierre Lescoumes, and Yannick Barthe. 2001. Agir dans un monde incertain. Essai sur la démocratie technique. Paris: Le Seuil.
Carnino, Guillaume. 2015. L’invention de la science. La nouvelle religion de l’âge industriel. Paris: Le Seuil.
Carroll, Patrick. 2006. Science, Culture and Modern State Formation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Chen, Hsin-Hsing. 2011. “Field Report: Professionals, Students, and Activists in Taiwan Mobilize for an Unprecedented Collective-Action Lawsuit against a Former Top American Electronics Company.” East Asian Science, Technology and Society 5(4): 555–65.
Collins, Harry M.  1992. Changing Order. Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
⸻. 2014. Are We All Scientific Experts Now? New Human Frontiers Series. Cambridge: Polity.
Conde, Marta, and Mariana Walter. 2022. “Knowledge Co-Production in Scientific and Activist Alliances: Unsettling Coloniality.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 8(1): 150–170. https://doi.org/10.17351/ests2022.479.
Cooper, Caren. 2016. Citizen Science: How Ordinary People Are Changing the Face of Discovery. Woodstock: The Overlook Press.
Corburn, Jason. 2005. Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
da Costa, Beatriz, and Kavita Philip. 2008. Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience. MIT Press.
Daston, Lorraine, and Elizabeth Lunbeck, eds. 2011. Histories of Scientific Observation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Delborne, Jason A. 2008. “Transgenes and Transgressions: Scientific Dissent as Heterogeneous Practice.” Social Studies of Science 38(4): 509–41.
Demeulenaere, Elise. 2014. “A Political Ontology of Seeds: The Transformative Frictions of a Farmers’ Movement in Europe.” Focaal 69(2014): 45–61.
Egan, Michael. 2007. Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival : The Remaking of American Environmentalism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Environmental Data and Governance Initiative. 2020. https://envirodatagov.org/.
Epstein, Steven. 1998. Impure Science : AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Fair Tech Collective. 2020. www.fairtechcollective.org.
Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers (US). 1981. A New View of a Woman’s Body: A Fully Illustrated Guide. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Felt, Ulrike, and Maximilian Fochler. 2010. “Machineries for Making Publics: Inscribing and De-Scribing Publics in Public Engagement.” Minerva 48(3): 219–38.
Fiske, Amelia. 2018. “Dirty Hands: The Toxic Politics of Denunciation.” Social Studies of Science 48(3): 389–413.
Fredrickson, Leif, Christopher Sellers, Lindsey Dillon, Jennifer Liss Ohayon, et al. 2018. “History of US Presidential Assaults on Modern Environmental Health Protection.” American Journal of Public Health 108(S2): S95–S103.
Fressoz, Jean-Baptiste. 2012. L’apocalypse joyeuse : Une histoire du risque technologique. Paris: Le Seuil.
Frickel, Scott. 2004a. Chemical Consequences: Environmental Mutagens, Scientist Activism, and the Rise of Genetic Toxicology. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
⸻. 2004b. “Just Science? Organizing Scientist Activism in the US Environmental Justice Movement.” Science as Culture 13(4): 449–69.
⸻, Sahra Gibbon, Jeff Howard, Joanna Kempner, Gwen Ottinger, and David J. Hess. 2010. “Undone Science: Charting Social Movement and Civil Society Challenges to Research Agenda Setting.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 35 (4): 444–73.
⸻, and M. Bess Vincent. 2011. “Katrina’s Contamination: Regulatory Knowledge Gaps in the Making and Unmaking of Environmental Contention.” In Dynamics of Disaster: Lessons on Risk, Response, and Recovery, edited by Rachel A. Dowty and Barbara L. Allen, 11–28. London: Earthscan.
Gieryn, Tom F. 2002. “Three Truth-Spots.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 38(2): 113–32.
Harding, Sandra. 2011. The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader. Durham: Duke University Press.
Hernández Vidal, Nathalia, and Kelly, Moore. 2022. “Seed Schools in Colombia and the Generative Character of Sociotechnical Dissent.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 8(1): 171–188. https://doi.org/10.17351/ests2022.487.
Hess, David J. 2016. Undone Science: Social Movements, Mobilized Publics, and Industrial Transitions. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Hoover, Elizabeth. 2017. The River Is in Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Irwin, Alan. 1995. Citizen Science: A Study of People, Expertise, and Sustainable Development. London: Routledge.
⸻. 2001. “Constructing the Scientific Citizen: Science and Democracy in the Biosciences.” Public Understanding of Science 10(1): 1–18.
⸻. 2006. “The Politics of Talk Coming to Terms with the ‘New’ Scientific Governance.” Social Studies of Science 36(2): 299–320.
Jasanoff, Sheila. 1995. Science at the Bar : Law, Science, and Technology in America. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
⸻. 2002. “Science and the Statistical Victim: Modernizing Knowledge in Breast Implant Litigation.” Social Studies of Science 32(1): 37–69.
⸻. 2003. “Technologies of Humility: Citizen Participation in Governing Science.” Minerva 41(3): 223–44.
⸻. 2007. Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
⸻. 2010. States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and Social Order. London: Routledge.
⸻. 2016. “A Century of Reason: Experts and Citizens in the Administrative State.” In The Progressives’ Century: Political Reform, Constitutional Government, and the Modern American State, edited by Stephen Skrowonek, Stephen M. Engel, and Bruce Ackerman. 382–404. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Jobin, Paul, and Yu-Hwei Tseng. 2016. “Guinea Pigs Go to Court: Epidemiology and Class Actions in Taiwan.” In Powerless Science?: Science and Politics in a Toxic World, edited by Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas, 170–92. New York: Berghahn Books.
Kenner, Alison. 2018. Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Kiechle, Melanie A. 2022. “Collaborative Dissent: Noses as Shared Instruments in the Nineteenth-Century Fight for Public Health.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 8(1): 72–86.
Kim, Sung Hwan, Hyomin Kim, and Sungsoo Song. 2020. “Public Deliberation on South Korean Nuclear Power Plants: How Can Lay Knowledge Resist against Expertise?” East Asian Science, Technology and Society 14(3): 459–77.
Kimura, Aya H. 2016. Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after the Fukushima. Durham: Duke University Press.
⸻, and Abby Kinchy. 2016. “Citizen Science: Probing the Virtues and Contexts of Participatory Research.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 2: 331–61.
Kleinman, Arthur, and Joan Kleinman. 1994. “How Bodies Remember: Social Memory and Bodily Experience of Criticism, Resistance, and Delegitimation Following China’s Cultural Revolution.” New Literary History 25(3): 707–23.
Kline, Wendy. 2010. Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Women’s Health in the Second Wave. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Kuchinskaya, Olga. 2014. The Politics of Invisibility: Public Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects after Chernobyl. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Kuznick, Peter J. 1987. Beyond the Laboratory: Scientists as Political Activists in 1930s America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Latour, Bruno. 1999. Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Liboiron, Max, Manuel Tironi, and Nerea Calvillo. 2018. “Toxic Politics: Acting in a Permanently Polluted World.” Social Studies of Science 48(3): 331–49.
Macq, Hadrien, Élise Tancoigne, and Bruno J. Strasser. 2020. “From Deliberation to Production: Public Participation in Science and Technology Policies of the European Commission (1998–2019).” Minerva 58(4): 489–512.
Martin, Brian. 1991. Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.
⸻. 1993. “The Critique of Science Becomes Academic.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 18(2): 247–59.
Mayer, Brian, Kelly Bergstrand, and Katrina Running. 2014. “Science as Comfort: The Strategic Use of Science in Post-Disaster Settings.” In Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society, edited by Arthur Kleinman and Kelly Moore, 419–34. London: Routledge.
McCormick, Sabrina. 2009. Mobilizing Science: Movements, Participation, and the Remaking of Knowledge. Temple University Press.
⸻. 2010. No Family History: The Environmental Links to Breast Cancer. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Moore, Kelly. 2008. Disrupting Science: Social Movements, American Scientists, and the Politics of the Military, 1945–1975. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Mukherjee, Rahul. 2016. “Toxic Lunch in Bhopal and Chemical Publics.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 41(5): 849–75.
Murphy, Michelle. 2004. “Immodest Witnessing: The Epistemology of Vaginal Self-Examination in the U.S. Feminist Self-Help Movement.” Feminist Studies 30(1): 115–47.
Nash, Linda. 2007. Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Nelkin, Dorothy, ed. 1979. Controversy Politics of Technical Decision. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.
⸻, and Michael Pollak. 1982. The Atom Besieged: Extraparliamentary Dissent in France and Germany. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Nelson, Alondra. 2013. Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Nguyen, Victoria. 2020. “Breathless in Beijing: Aerial Attunements and China’s New Respiratory Publics.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 6: 439–61.
Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. 2010. Merchants of Doubt : How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
Ottinger, Gwen. 2009. “Buckets of Resistance: Standards and the Effectiveness of Citizen Science.” Science, Technology & Human Values 35(2): 244–70.
⸻. 2014. Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges. New York: New York University Press.
Peluso, Nancy Lee. 1995. “Whose Woods Are These? Counter-Mapping Forest Territories in Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Antipode 27(4): 383–406.
Petryna, Adriana. 2013. Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Phillips, Catherine. 2016. Saving More Than Seeds: Practices and Politics of Seed Saving. London: Taylor and Francis.
Powell, Maria, Jim Powell, Ly V. Xiong, Kazoua Moua, et al. 2011. “Invisible People, Invisible Risks: How Scientific Assessments of Environmental Health Risks Overlook Minorities—and How Community Participation Can Make Them Visible.” In Technoscience and Environmental Justice: Expert Cultures in a Grassroots Movement, edited by Gwen Ottinger and Benjamin R. Cohen, 149–78. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Prasad, Shambu C., and Mathieu Quet. 2022. “Creative Dissent in India: Knowledge Swaraj and the People’s Health Movement” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 8(1): 87–104.
Public Lab. 2016. https://store.publiclab.org/products/balloon-mapping-kit.
Sánchez Barba, Mayra G. 2020. “‘Keeping Them Down’ Neurotoxic Pesticides, Race, and Disabling Biopolitics.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 6(1): 1–31.
Schmalzer, Sigrid, Daniel S. Chard, and Alyssa Botelho, eds. 2018. Science for the People: Documents from America’s Movement of Radical Scientists. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Shapiro, Nicholas, Nasser Zakariya, and Jody Roberts. 2017. “A Wary Alliance: From Enumerating the Environment to Inviting Apprehension.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 3: 575–602.
Spackman, Christy. 2020. “In Smell’s Shadow: Materials and Politics at the Edge of Perception.” Social Studies of Science 50(3): 418–39.
Strasser, Bruno J. 2022. “The Shapes of Dissent: Masculinities, Protest, and Nuclear Expertise.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 8(1): 105–127.
Strasser, Bruno J., Jérôme Baudry, Dana Mahr, Gabriela Sanchez, et al. 2019. “‘Citizen Science’? Rethinking Science and Public Participation.” Science & Technology Studies 32(2): 52–76.
Subramaniam, Banu. 2019. Holy Science: The Biopolitics of Hindu Nationalism. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Suryanarayanan, Sainath, and Daniel Lee Kleinman. 2013. “Be(e)Coming Experts: The Controversy over Insecticides in the Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder.” Social Studies of Science 43(2): 215–40.
Tarrow, Sidney. 1993. “Cycles of Collective Action: Between Moments of Madness and the Repertoire of Contention.” Social Science History 17(2): 281–307.
Technoscience Research Unit. 2022. https://www.technoscienceunit.org/.
Topçu, Sezin. 2022. “From Resistance to Co-Management? Rethinking Scientization in the Contestation of the Technosciences.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 8(1): 128–149.
United States Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network. 2022. https://usindigenousdata.org/.
Väliverronen, Esa, and Sampsa Saikkonen. 2020. “Freedom of Expression Challenged: Scientists’ Perspectives on Hidden Forms of Suppression and Self-Censorship.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 46(6): 1172–1200.
Welsh, Ian, and Brian Wynne. 2013. “Science, Scientism and Imaginaries of Publics in the UK: Passive Objects, Incipient Threats.” Science as Culture 22(4): 540–66.
Werskey, Gary. 2007. “The Marxist Critique of Capitalist Science: A History in Three Movements?” Science as Culture 16(4): 397–461.
Woodhouse, Edward, David Hess, Steve Breyman, and Brian Martin. 2002. “Science Studies and Activism: Possibilities and Problems for Reconstructivist Agendas.” Social Studies of Science 32(2): 297–319.
Wylie, Sara Ann. 2018. Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds. Durham: Duke University Press.
⸻, Kirk Jalbert, Shannon Dosemagen, and Matt Ratto. 2014. “Institutions for Civic Technoscience: How Critical Making Is Transforming Environmental Research.” The Information Society 30(2): 116–26.
Wynne, Brian. 1998. “May the Sheep Safely Graze? A Reflexive View of the Expert–Lay Knowledge Divide.” In Risk, Environment and Modernity: Towards a New Ecology, 44–83. London: SAGE Publications.
⸻. 2006. “Public Engagement as a Means of Restoring Public Trust in Science—Hitting the Notes, but Missing the Music?” Public Health Genomics 9(3): 211–20.
Copyright (c) 2022 Kelly Moore, Bruno Strasser
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors of all content published in ESTS retain the copyright to their work, and agree to license them under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. Please read our open access policy for more information.