STS Interventions: Preparing, Defending, Learning

  • Brian Martin University of Wollongong
Keywords: controversy, vaccination, intervention, preparation, support, learning


Intervening in the Australian vaccination debate, I found that STS perspectives helped me understand the controversy but gave little guidance on how to defend against attacks. Max Liboiron comments that preparation, including support networks, should precede interventions. I was well supported in my involvement in the vaccination debate, but those who openly advocate a stigmatized view may have difficulty gaining support. Teun Zuiderent-Jerak asks what is being learned when interventions reinforce existing categories. Controversy participants can learn by being exposed to STS perspectives; controversy researchers, when attacked, can gain new information and develop new research ideas.

Author Biography

Brian Martin, University of Wollongong
Professor of Social Sciences
25 May 2016