Engaging Science, Technology, and Society https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests Open Access Journal Society for Social Studies of Science en-US <p>Authors of all content published in <em>ESTS</em> retain the copyright to their work, and agree to license them under the <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)</a> license. Please read our <a href="https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/open_access_policy">open access policy</a> for more information.</p> estsjournal@gmail.com (ESTS Editors) estsjournal@gmail.com (ESTS Editors) Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:47 -0800 OJS 3.1.2.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Editorial Note of Farewell and Gratitude to ESTS Reviewers https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/849 <p>In response to the desire of the governing council of the Society for Social Studies of Science to have an online open access Society journal, we were asked to build <em>Engaging Science, Technology, and Society</em>. We did so and launched the journal in 2015. Today, in December 2020, we write to say farewell, and to thank the many reviewers who selflessly gave their time, energy, and expertise to support the journal and the efforts of other authors. On the eve of our departure, we delight in the strength of <em>ESTS</em> and the quality of papers that have been published over the six annual volumes realized since 2015. And in this moment in history, when so many incentives exist for scholars to confine their energy to self-serving activities and show indifference to the quality of literature produced, the good will and actions of the reviewers who have enabled the development and growth of <em>ESTS</em> are what we deeply appreciate. To those <em>ESTS </em>reviewers who are shown below, Thank You. And to those of you who read this, when you see those listed you should know, “There is someone who demonstrated a commitment to quality STS scholarship and to the field.”</p> Daniel Lee Kleinman, Katie Vann Copyright (c) 2020 Daniel Lee Kleinman, Katie Vann https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/849 Mon, 14 Dec 2020 19:30:07 -0800 A Five-Year Engagement https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/749 <p>In this editorial essay, Abby Kinchy, Shobita Parthasarathy, and Jason Delborne look back at the editorial and publishing practices of the first five years of the journal <em>Engaging Science, Technology, and Society</em> (ESTS), the open access journal of <em>The Society for Social Studies of Science</em> (4S). As three members of the inaugural <em>ESTS</em> Editorial Board, Kinchy, Parthasarathy, and Delborne reflect on what they value in academic practice, including publishing, and consider some of the highlights and accomplishments of <em>ESTS</em>’s first five years (2015-2020).</p> Abby J. Kinchy, Shobita Parthasarathy, Jason Delborne Copyright (c) 2020 Abby J. Kinchy, Shobita Parthasarathy, Jason Delborne https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/749 Sat, 24 Oct 2020 15:16:21 -0700 Social Dynamics of Expectations and Expertise: AI in Digital Humanitarian Innovation https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/459 <p>Public discourse typically blurs the boundary between what artificial intelligence (AI) actually achieves and what it could accomplish in the future. The sociology of expectations teaches us that such elisions play a performative role: they encourage heterogeneous actors to partake, at various levels, in innovation activities. This article explores how optimistic expectations for AI concretely motivate and mobilize actors, how much heterogeneity hides behind the seeming congruence of optimistic visions, and how the expected technological future is in fact difficult to enact as planned. Our main theoretical contribution is to examine the role of heterogeneous expertises in shaping the social dynamics of expectations, thereby connecting the sociology of expectations with the study of expertise and experience. In our case study of a humanitarian organization, we deploy this theoretical contribution to illustrate how heterogeneous specialists negotiate the realization of contending visions of “digital humanitarianism.”</p> Guillaume Dandurand, François Claveau, Jean-François Dubé, Florence Millerand Copyright (c) 2020 Guillaume Dandurand, François Claveau, Jean-François Dubé, Florence Millerand https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/459 Fri, 27 Nov 2020 16:30:51 -0800 What I Learnt About How I Learnt About Behavioral Economists https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/343 <p>This paper is a discussion of the role of the experimental methods and the dissemination practices of behavioral economists in capturing public imagination. The paper is framed by auto biographical accounts of two episodes in my own exploration of behavioral economics as a topic of study: participating in a MOOC on the basics of behavioral economics and sharing my work in progress to a group of staff and students in Singapore. Drawing on Shapin and Shaffer’s notion of “virtual witnesses” (Shapin and Shaffer 1985) I develop the argument that a consequence of the dissemination practices of the Heuristics and Biases Program is the creation of both “virtual subjects” and “virtual experimenters.” I then give an account of Thaler’s use of rationality and Kuhnian paradigm shifts as a rhetorical device to persuade mainstream economists and policy makers of the value of behavioral economics and to establish the narrative of behavioral economics as critics of neo-classical economics. I argue that the reflexive approach adds to accounts of the success of behavioral economics as a story of persuasive techniques of behavioral economists embedded in their practices of experimentation and dissemination. </p> Zara Thokozani Kamwendo Copyright (c) 2020 Zara Thokozani Kamwendo https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/343 Sat, 10 Oct 2020 16:09:42 -0700 STS, Post-truth, and the Rediscovery of Bullshit https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/265 <p>Post-truth politics has led to a number of prominent reflections on the extent to which the basic tenets of STS (social construction, the symmetry thesis, etc.) must be amended (Briggle 2016; Latour 2004; Sismondo 2017a). Alternatively, others have argued that the basic principles of STS should be maintained and the similarities of STS with post-truth should be embraced (Fuller 2016b; Woolgar 2017). After first critiquing other scholars read on post-truth politics, I argue that one of the central drawbacks of STS is the absence of epistemic grounds to identify people who are plainly bullshitters (Frankfurt 1986). I contend that the lesson that post-truth politics has to offer STS is that a minimal standard of an epistemological system is that it must have the intellectual resources to endorse the claim “Trump is full of shit.” Yet it is not clear how one could go about reconciling central STS tenets with the clear and present need to oppose dangerous trends in contemporary politics. Despite arguing that STS should change, I contend that it should not do so at the expense of what is distinctive and valuable about STS. After considering Steve Woolgar’s (2017) list of the strengths of STS scholarship I propose that with slight modification they can be preserved. As an example of an epistemology which does so, I introduce Helen Longino's critical contextual empiricism and then use it to analyze a case study of the recent FDA approval of flibanserin for hypoactive sexual desire disorder. I conclude by arguing that social epistemology, as developed in philosophy of science, is reconcilable with opposing post-truth politics and retains many of the primary virtues of STS.</p><p> </p> Bennett Holman Copyright (c) 2020 Bennett Holman https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/265 Sat, 10 Oct 2020 16:07:29 -0700 Producing the “Highway to Nowhere”: Social Understandings of Space in Baltimore, 1944-1974 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/327 <p>The “highway to nowhere” is a 1.32 mile fragment of an arterial expressway located in Baltimore, Maryland. This segment was designed to contribute to a proposed limited access highway system that was never constructed after years of activism, debate, and lawsuits. This article examines the history of the construction of this highway segment to suggest that conflicts over the design, sitting, and construction of infrastructure are fundamentally struggles over the definition and production of space. This analysis utilizes Henri Lefebvre’s triad of spatial production as an analytical framework to identify distinct spatial forms that surface during the process of infrastructure building. Utilizing this analytical framework may enrich the STS-based infrastructure inquiries by bringing to the surface the multiple forms of spatial production that structure system-building activities. In conclusion, I suggest that utilizing Lefebvre’s triad within studies of infrastructure surfaces important, and potentially transformative, local claims to space. Such claims are of renewed importance as cities across the US confront the segregationist histories of the built environment.</p> Amanda K. Phillips de Lucas Copyright (c) 2020 Amanda K. Phillips de Lucas https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/327 Thu, 01 Oct 2020 20:58:44 -0700 Anachronistic Progress? User Notions of Lie Detection in the Juridical Field https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/433 <p>In recent years, progress in the field of lie detection has been linked to technological advances from classic polygraphs to neuroscientific brain imaging. In our empirical investigation, however, we found different notions of progress that do not comply with the popular understanding of progress as technological innovation. We follow the users of lie detection procedures in Germany in order to discern how they embrace seemingly old technologies and frame them in terms of novelty and improvement. We identify two notions of progress: one view of the polygraph in the juridical field as an instrument for procedural justice, and another view in which the device functions as a symbol of openness to improvements in the judicial system. These insights complement contemporary scholarship on lie detection by shining a critical light on the rhetoric of progress in relation to the promises of brain-based lie detection procedures. When analyzing the way polygraph tests are seen as progress, it becomes clear that the promises and hopes that are linked to this technology are of more relevance for its appraisal than its placement in time.</p> Bettina Paul, Larissa Fischer, Torsten H. Voigt Copyright (c) 2020 Bettina Paul, Larissa Fischer, Torsten H. Voigt https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/433 Sun, 16 Aug 2020 20:15:32 -0700 On Half-Built Assemblages: Waiting for a Data Center in Prineville, Oregon https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/447 <p>In 2010 the mega-corporation Facebook finalized an agreement to build a massive data center in Prineville, a small town in central Oregon previously known for logging, cattle ranching, and as the headquarters of the Les Schwab tire company. This was a largely unanticipated event that local leaders nonetheless prepared for several decades before when they designated a rural economic zone on the outskirts of town. However, the enterprise zone sat mostly unused, an empty and dusty piece of high desert land dotted with sagebrush and juniper trees. I describe the preparatory efforts that laid the groundwork for the data center as effecting a “half-built assemblage.” Through such anticipatory reconfigurations, local leaders recognized the limits of regional government to overcome the challenges of their peripherality. In the controversy surrounding such data center deals, critics have often cast rural leaders as naive or as pandering to voters. However, I argue that the alliance with Facebook was one of the few courses of action available to local leaders that had any chance of realizing regional economic development goals. In seeking to understand the data center deal from a local perspective, I contribute an alternative notion of temporality to materialist theorizing by looking across much longer durations of time in relation to the political economy, the natural world, and other elements as a way to temper exaggerations of anthropocentric agency and the narrow attribution of blame.</p> Jenna Burrell Copyright (c) 2020 Jenna Burrell https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/447 Sat, 20 Jun 2020 11:44:20 -0700 Engaging Theatre, Activating Publics: Theory and Practice of a Performance on Darwin https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/403 <p class="Abstract"><span>The Theatre Workshop in Science, Technology and Society (TWISTS) is a unique public engagement project. Theoretically, TWISTS seeks to activate publics around contemporary science and technology issues by producing agonistic cultural spaces in which participants are confronted with and engaged by multiple perspectives. It thus seeks to enact a model of Public Engagement with Science and Technology (PEST) that is oriented toward neither individualized educational models nor policy deliberation and consensus. Its engaged STS performance model instead merges expanded notions of expertise with challenges and techniques derived from critical performance theory, such as recentering participants, rethinking purpose and evaluation, and reworking narrative structure. Practically, TWISTS’ four existing performance cycles have been sites for both extending and challenging the theory. Using a unique system of expert interviews, writing, and theater games, these performances were collaboratively derived by a range of participants. The “Living Darwin” performance serves as a case study for exploring the tensions of this collaboration. Negotiating a set of different perspectives over the place of Darwin in contemporary life, and the proper way to represent him and his influence, was challenging, but proved productive in developing a performance that raised these issues for the audience within an agonistic space.</span></p> Saul E. Halfon, Cora Olson, Ann Kilkelly, Jane L. Lehr Copyright (c) 2020 Saul E. Halfon, Cora Olson, Ann Kilkelly, Jane L. Lehr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/403 Sat, 20 Jun 2020 11:40:32 -0700 The Myths and Moral Economies of Digital ID and Mobile Money in India and Myanmar https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/276 <p>The diffusion of major new technologies in society is often accompanied by a set of myths that tell us how these technologies will change, clearly for the better, the social and economic fabric of a community. Digital technologies are associated with myths such as the death of distance and of mediators, the end of history and of politics (Brown and Duguid 2000; Mosco 2004). We build on Mosco’s idea of myth as a force shaping discourses around the introduction of new technologies in the context of the deployment of digital artifacts such as digital ID systems and mobile money platforms in the Global South (Mosco 2004). Using the examples of the Unique Identification system (Aadhaar) in India and mobile money in Myanmar, we show how these myths persist long after technologies are in common use. We also examine how, in practice, the use of these technologies seldom aligns with the mythology surrounding them, and it is, instead the moral economy of the communities where they are deployed that mediates their use (Thompson 1971). We argue that local histories of state-making and the larger political economy of technology design can help explain the persistence of the mythology around digital technologies despite the disconnect between myths and reality.<strong></strong></p> Janaki Srinivasan, Elisa Oreglia Copyright (c) 2020 Janaki Srinivasan, Elisa Oreglia https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/276 Thu, 28 May 2020 13:09:45 -0700 Scaling Techno-Optimistic Visions https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/283 <p>Techno-optimism, or the enduring belief that technology use and production are promising for humanity, is bound up in past and ongoing ideals of modernity, progress, and “development.” As a particular form of hope and aspiration, techno-optimism is harnessed for nation-building and economic development projects that invest in the promise of scaling. This article demonstrates that this enduring techno-optimism requires various forms of entrepreneurial labor, and that the promise of scaling and technological progress together form a contemporary technique of governance.</p> Seyram Avle, Cindy Lin, Jean Hardy, Silvia Lindtner Copyright (c) 2020 Seyram Avle, Cindy Lin, Jean Hardy, Silvia Lindtner https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/283 Thu, 28 May 2020 13:12:48 -0700 Keep Diversity––Make Standards! Spaces of Standardization for Diversity Analyzed through Cattle Breeding Industry https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/287 <p>Standardization as spaces of diversity was introduced by Loconto and Demortain (2017) to advance the sociology of standards. Their analytical framework for studying standardization processes in interactive spaces is mobilized and expanded upon in this article in order to address the problematic relationship between standards and diversity. Studying industrialized animals highlights the existing tensions between these opposing forces and the socio-technical attempts to reconcile them. Using a socio-historical approach, we analyze cattle breeding standards as they pass through three interactive spaces of standards: “standards in the making,” “standards in action,” and “standards in circulation.” Drawing from the notion of ecology, we highlight the need for contextualization in order to better understand processes of standardization in a fourth space of “standards in interaction.” The contours of this space are demonstrated through an analysis of the International Bull Evaluation Service (Interbull), which is a space of commensuration for cattle breeding values. Linear interpretations of standardization processes are thus challenged with an empirical demonstration of how standardization can be harnessed to preserve and even enhance diversity.</p> Lidia Chavinskaia, Allison Marie Loconto Copyright (c) 2020 Lidia Chavinskaia, Allison Marie Loconto https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/287 Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:34:02 -0700 The Blank Slate E-State: Estonian Information Society and the Politics of Novelty in the 1990s https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/284 <p>This article looks at how the discourse of an emerging information society in 1990s Estonia both rejected and depended on expertise from the Soviet Period. It traces the influence 1960s-trained cyberneticians and sociologists had on expanding the concept of an information society in the 1990s, to encompass issues such as regional inequality, national culture, and poverty, instead of focusing solely on hardware purchasing and telecomms liberalization. This process was both enabled and occluded through "rupture-talk,” a rhetorical strategy emphasizing the novelty of digital infrastructure development compared to the Soviet past. The article argues that a shared belief in the power of information processing for both empowering and containing civil society enabled ideologically divergent actors to work together. The resulting vision diverged from neoliberal visions of information societies in hitherto unacknowledged ways.</p> Aro Velmet Copyright (c) 2020 Aro Velmet https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/284 Sat, 14 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 When Mental Walls Lead to Physical Walls: The US-Mexico Border Wall, Art, and Public Conversations about the Social Responsibility of Engineering https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/379 <p>The fact that engineering is involved in highly political issues—from climate change caused by fossil fuel extraction to how we understand truth itself because of deepfakes—makes it imperative that we find new ways to highlight the crucial role that engineers and engineering play in shaping society, and new ways to hold engineers and engineering accountable. We have designed, built, and installed an interactive art installation called <em>When Mental Walls Lead to Physical Walls</em> to generate public conversation about the social responsibility of engineers and engineering, using the US-Mexico border wall as a case study. We find that the politically charged nature of the topic might make it difficult for attendees to speak directly to ideas of social responsibility. At the same time, the installation provides opportunities for attendees to question, critique, and reflect on the effectiveness and impacts of the design of the border wall and the motivations engineers might have in working on this project. With proper planning and execution, the installation can be used as a research tool to understand how diverse audiences—from engineering students to those who may not have any experience in engineering—understand the role of engineering in society.</p><p class="paragraph"> </p> Madison May Macias, Peter Pohorily, Jorge Morales Guerrero, Darshan M.A. Karwat Copyright (c) 2020 Madison May Macias, Peter Pohorily, Jorge Morales Guerrero, Darshan M.A. Karwat https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/379 Tue, 10 Mar 2020 21:09:13 -0700 Labor Out of Place: On the Varieties and Valences of (In)visible Labor in Data-Intensive Science https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/341 <p>We apply the concept of invisible labor, as developed by labor scholars over the last forty years, to data-intensive science. Drawing on a fifteen-year corpus of research into multiple domains of data-intensive science, we use a series of ethnographic vignettes to offer a snapshot of the varieties and valences of labor in data-intensive science. We conceptualize data-intensive science as an evolving field and set of practices and highlight parallels between the labor literature and Science and Technology Studies. Further, we note where data-intensive science intersects and overlaps with broader trends in the 21<sup>st</sup> century economy. In closing, we argue for further research that takes scientific work and labor as its starting point.</p> Michael J. Scroggins, Irene V. Pasquetto Copyright (c) 2020 Michael Scroggins, Irene V. Pasquetto https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/341 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 12:11:21 -0800 Enchanted Determinism: Power without Responsibility in Artificial Intelligence https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/277 <p>Deep learning techniques are growing in popularity within the field of artificial intelligence (AI). These approaches identify patterns in large scale datasets, and make classifications and predictions, which have been celebrated as more accurate than those of humans. But for a number of reasons, including nonlinear path from inputs to outputs, there is a dearth of theory that can explain why deep learning techniques work so well at pattern detection and prediction. Claims about “superhuman” accuracy and insight, paired with the inability to fully explain how these results are produced, form a discourse about AI that we call <em>enchanted determinism</em>. To analyze enchanted determinism, we situate it within a broader epistemological diagnosis of modernity: Max Weber’s theory of disenchantment. Deep learning occupies an ambiguous position in this framework. On one hand, it represents a complex form of technological calculation and prediction, phenomena Weber associated with disenchantment. On the other hand, both deep learning experts and observers deploy enchanted, magical discourses to describe these systems’ uninterpretable mechanisms and counter-intuitive behavior. The combination of predictive accuracy and mysterious or unexplainable properties results in myth-making about deep learning’s transcendent, superhuman capacities, especially when it is applied in social settings. We analyze how discourses of magical deep learning produce techno-optimism, drawing on case studies from game-playing, adversarial examples, and attempts to infer sexual orientation from facial images. Enchantment shields the creators of these systems from accountability while its deterministic, calculative power intensifies social processes of classification and control.</p> Alexander Campolo, Kate Crawford Copyright (c) 2020 Alexander Campolo, Kate Crawford https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/277 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:06 -0800 Breathing Late Industrialism https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/673 <p>Breakdown, trespass, seepage, degradation: this is late industrialism. Over the past decade, the term has become synonymous with collapse, describing everything from crumbling infrastructure to outmoded paradigms. But the “late” in “late industrial” carries radical potential, too. It points toward the possibility of another world taking shape within the wreckage as people retrofit broken systems, build flexible coalitions, and work creatively with time. In this collection, we train our eyes on these refashionings, asking how late industrial systems might be put to life-affirming work. Specifically, we track cases where breath, air, and atmosphere help inaugurate a “phase shift” (Choy and Zee 2015) from breakdown toward worlds otherwise. Breath has sentinel qualities: it can warn of trouble in the air. But it is also an animating force. Taking conceptual cues from this duality, contributors attend to late industrialism as it is sensed and transformed into something vital.</p> Chloe Ahmann, Alison Kenner Copyright (c) 2020 Chloe Ahmann, Alison Kenner https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/673 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:54:44 -0800 Breathless in Beijing: Aerial Attunements and China’s New Respiratory Publics https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/437 <p><span>For all of its protean and ephemeral qualities, air exerts a remarkably muscular influence on urban form and contemporary life in China. In recent years, as the breakneck speed of China’s development has altered the very chemistry of the atmosphere, the boundaries between breathing subjects and their toxic environments have become increasingly blurred. In this climate, Beijing inhabitants have sought out various modes of respiratory refuge, reorganizing the city into new spaces of atmospheric fortification. As deadly air divides Beijing into a series of protected insides and precarious outsides, life is increasingly being reoriented toward the dangers and imperatives of breathing in the Chinese city. Yet alongside the growing stratification of breathing experiences in the capital, shared exposure is also reconfiguring public life and landscapes through new solidarities and entwined fates. Engaging Beijing’s emergent respiratory publics online, behind face masks, and inside conditioned air spaces, I explore how collective exposure is galvanizing new modes of atmospheric recognition in China. Specifically, I suggest that </span><span>respiratory publics make invisible threats visible by mobilizing everyday objects, practices, and social life to render air both an object of concern and a site of intervention. </span><span>Ultimately, by attending to how attunements to air pollution emerge through everyday practices and quotidian habits, this article expands upon a growing body of STS scholarship investigating how social life is increasingly constituted in and through atmospheric entanglements.</span></p> Victoria Nguyen Copyright (c) 2020 Victoria Nguyen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/437 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:55:30 -0800 Atmospheric Coalitions: Shifting the Middle in Late Industrial Baltimore https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/421 <p class="Body"><span>STS scholars offer the atmosphere as an antidote to the homogenizing Anthropocene. They teach us that atmospheres are good to think because they are both diffuse and differential; they reflect the scale of planetary problems without forgetting that those problems manifest unevenly. The atmosphere has, then, become a useful tool for theory work. But it is also being picked up on the ground as a model for grassroots coalition building. This article follows one group we might call an <em>atmospheric coalition</em>, which coalesced to fight a trash incinerator proposed in south Baltimore City. That incinerator would have had a major impact on the local air, particularly due to heavy-metal toxics that land close to their source. But it also would have affected a large regional airshed and released thousands of tons of greenhouse gases. Taking a cue from these multi-scalar impacts, the coalition to stop the incinerator both used the medium of air to trouble insider/outsider dichotomies and valued an uneven distribution of power, letting youth from the frontline community lead. Participants, in other words, built a flexible alliance—and they utilized its flexibility. Sometimes it was advantageous to call the incinerator “everyone’s problem.” Sometimes it was necessary to underscore its differential effects on local people. And sometimes the transience of atmospheric claims worked to transfer jurisdiction over the plant from one group to another. In the process of exploring these maneuvers, I argue that activists used the atmosphere to define a <em>problem-space</em> with pliant parameters of authority and vulnerability.</span></p> Chloe Ahmann Copyright (c) 2020 Chloe Ahmann https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/421 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:53:14 -0800 Toxic Gaslighting: On the Ins and Outs of Pollution https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/431 <p class="BodyA"><span>Outdoor images predominate in cultural conceptions of “air pollution,” whilst indoor air quality (IAQ) is typically tenfold more contaminated. Recent no</span><span>nprofit research revealed that </span><span>“green label” carpet contains up to 44 hazardous substances. How and why do school administrators not know this? </span><span>When people speak colloquially about “toxic” schools, they typically refer to </span><em><span>social </span></em><span>environments whose power dynamics are manipulated by difficult people (bullies, narcissists, gaslighters, etc.). In this article, I borrow the </span><em><span>cultural</span></em><span> concept of gaslighting to query how and why the literal off-gassing of banal objects like carpet have escaped scientific inquiry. </span><span>In dialogue with recent innovative air studies in California that blur the boundaries of in/outdoor pollution, this auto-ethnographic paper chronicles a carpet controversy at “Beacon” Elementary, a bilingual school in the Central Valley. Even as outdoor smoke from California wildfires in 2017 pushed PM<sub>2.5</sub> levels past red into unprecedented magenta alerts, children were sickened <em>inside</em> school classrooms after new carpets were laid in 2017. By “outing” internal school board communication through repeated public records requests, Beacon mothers discovered how a chemical risk manager on the board manipulated confusion about patterns of pollution to dismiss the mothers’ citizen science of the chemical abuse of their children. When pollution occurs out-of-sight (in locked classrooms) or affects groups rarely studied in exposure (minors), institutions can easily deploy gaslighting techniques of doubt, denial, and disavowal of the chemical abuse of children. </span><span>Given the slow (Nixon 2011), delayed, incremental, and “gaslighted” nature of modern chemical violence, even those harmed by chronic pollution may misrecognize the symptoms; those that do </span><span>recognize the symptoms </span><span>may be perceived or portrayed as delusional in stories worthy of Hollywood noir.</span></p> Liza Grandia Copyright (c) 2020 Liza Grandia https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/431 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:55:14 -0800 Scrapping the Workshop of the World: Civic Infrastructuring and the Politics of Late Industrial Governance https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/391 <p>To understand harm in breathing spaces requires analysis of the ways in which structural violence is built into technologies of environmental governance; a script that cannot recognize the dynamic relationships between bodies, atmospheres, and the industrial practices that condition both. In this paper, I show how community members in a small, Philadelphia neighborhood came to understand that toxic air is made permissible through late industrial political techniques. One of these techniques is a civic engagement platform, designed to more efficiently and transparently connect the public with municipal agencies, and recommended to community members as a means to address atmospheric hazards. Despite initial public optimism, the City’s civic engagement platform failed to address environmental hazards. Rather than abandon the platform, however, community members appropriated the City’s digital infrastructure to run an environmental reporting project. Drawing on the work of STS scholars, I describe the community’s work as civic infrastructuring, a sociotechnical process that utilized public infrastructure to better understand government failure and build community capacity to engage the administration, even if on late industrial terms.</p> Alison Kenner Copyright (c) 2020 Alison Kenner https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/391 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:52:47 -0800 Aggregate Airs: Atmospheres of Oil and Gas in the Greater Chaco https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/423 <p>In the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico, new fracking technologies are stirring up lands, chemicals, and relations that concentrate attention in the surround. This article argues that extraction’s cumulative atmospheric effects are experienced by Diné residents of the region in ways that cannot be accounted for by the agencies that manage oil and gas. The state’s presumption of atmospheric commensurability is reinforced by techniques of settler governance that fragment ecological and ontological domains like air and land. This fragmentation often preempts the possibility for Indigenous claims to meaningfully disrupt administrative or judicial actions. Unfolding extraction’s atmospheres across three cases, I examine how scale mediates the problem of commensurability. I describe how prevailing approaches to regulating impacts of the oil and gas industry manipulate scale in ways that obscure the cumulative effects of extraction. Drawing on fieldwork with Diné residents of the region who have mobilized to study how fracking affects their wellbeing, and I show how this scalar work facilitates the commensuration of extraction’s impacts across Indigenous and non-Indigenous worlds––as well as when this commensuration fails.</p> Sonia Grant Copyright (c) 2020 Sonia Grant https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/423 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:54:10 -0800 Breathing Fire into Landscapes that Burn: Wildfire Management in a Time of Alterlife https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/429 <p>Across the globe, settler nation-states are being forced to contend with the large-scale ecological and social disruptions caused by settler colonialism. Wildfires are a charismatic example of this: when anthropogenic climate change combines with colonial forest management practices, wildfires act in ever changing ways with often violent and uneven impacts to human and nonhuman life. In a context of environmental change, managers, fire ecologists, and politicians alike are increasingly looking to reintroduce fire as a way of restoring “natural” forest landscapes while reducing fire suppression costs. In this paper, I examine one such policy of fire re-integration, in what is currently the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, the homelands of more than 50,000 Indigenous people (Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis) who live in the province’s Boreal Forest region. In 2004, the Province implemented a controversial policy that locals colloquially refer to as “Let-it-Burn,” where fires are allowed to burn until they encroach upon something designated of “value” (typically human life, community structures, public infrastructure, and commercial timber). While wildfire managers, scientists, and politicians alike consistently advocate for policies of fire-reintegration as ecologically-sound and financially responsible ways forward with fire management, many locals have argued that “Let-it-Burn” is a direct affront to Indigenous sovereignty, destroying contemporary forest landscapes and rebuilding them through state-sanctioned settler values. Breathing fire back into landscapes that burn is a peculiar solution that at once acknowledges and erases the effects of fire’s removal through policies of restoration that risk ignoring the ongoingness of life in forested areas. Through interviews and archival and ethnographic fieldwork, this paper traces the history of the province’s “Let-it-Burn” policy, asking the question, “how to burn well in compromised lands?” As a way forward with fire reintegration (or not), I highlight the necessity of Indigenous partnership, leadership, and direction within fire management practices on Indigenous territory, which may include fire suppression. This paper adds to STS scholarship on ecological ruination and alterlife, arguing that wildfire management practices are likely to cause harm so long as the effects of settler colonialism are placed in the past and Indigenous rebuilding is erased.</p> Alex Zahara Copyright (c) 2020 Alex Zahara https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/429 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:55:01 -0800 A Commentary: Breathing Together Now https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/771 <p>It is a challenging and important time to breathe together. A reflection on the timeliness and resonance of the thematic collection "Breathing Late Industrialism."</p> Timothy Choy Copyright (c) 2020 Timothy Choy https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/771 Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:54:28 -0800 From Sideline to Frontline: STS in the Trump Era https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/385 <p>The Trump presidency and its relationship to science and truth have prompted considerable reflection as well as significant action by STS scholars.&nbsp; Among those thinking, speaking, and acting are the authors of the articles in this thematic collection.&nbsp; This brief introduction summarizes the major strands in each of the articles, placing them in the context of current political trends.</p> Daniel Lee Kleinman Copyright (c) 2020 Daniel Lee Kleinman https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/385 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:18 -0800 We Have Never Been Anti-Science: Reflections on Science Wars and Post-Truth https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/309 <p>This essay addresses the so-called "post-truth" era in which scientific evidence of, for example, climate change, is given little weight compared to more immediate appeals to emotion and belief, and examines the relationship of alleged anti-science and populist irrationality to left- and right-wing political alignments. It also addresses charges of anti-science that were once leveled at Science and Technology Studies (STS) itself, and particularly in relation to the “symmetrical” posture taken toward scientific controversies. Recently, "symmetry" in STS has been linked to the media conventions and argumentative strategies that have sustained controversies over climate change and other health and safety concerns. This essay argues that "symmetry" was originally set up in a circumscribed way to encourage research on controversies, but that it does not amount to a general conclusion to the effect that science is no different from any other system of belief. Instead, an effort to pursue "symmetrical" research on scientific controversies can document how, far from being displaced from all relevance, scientific authority and its institutional supports are being duplicated along parallel tracks which sustain disputes and delay concerted action. </p> Michael Lynch Copyright (c) 2020 Michael Lynch https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/309 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:20 -0800 Du Boisian Propaganda, Foucauldian Genealogy, and Antiracism in STS Research https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/311 <p>This essay explores the relationships between the “new” anti-science formation under Trump and the kinds of anti-Black racisms we are experiencing at present. What appears at first glance to be a new anti-science formation, isn’t new at all, but old wine in new cloth, all dressed up to confound and distract our gaze from power. The vast majority of Black and Brown people are not surprised nor fooled by Donald Trump and the danger he represents to truth, to our lives, to our precious Earth. For that matter, how are STS scholars working to produce anti-racist knowledge that directly benefits Black people? In this commentary, I briefly respond to these questions by exploring how wildly contrasting accounts of propaganda, truth, and science by W.E.B. Du Bois and Michel Foucault might help STS scholars make sense of the relationship between anti-Black racism and the current anti-science moment in American society.</p> Anthony Ryan Hatch Copyright (c) 2020 Anthony Ryan Hatch https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/311 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:23 -0800 Drought, Hurricane, or Wildfire? Assessing the Trump Administration’s Anti-Science Disaster https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/297 <p>We describe the Trump Administration as an “anti-science disaster” and approach study of the phenomenon as other disaster researchers might study the impacts of a drought, hurricane, or wildfire. An important, but rare, element of disaster research is identification of baseline data that allow scientific assessment of changes in social and natural systems. We describe three potential baselines for assessing the nature and impact of Trump’s anti-science rhetoric and (in)action on science, science policy, and politics.</p> Scott Frickel, Christopher M. Rea Copyright (c) 2020 Scott Frickel, Christopher M. Rea https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/297 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:25 -0800 STS Currents against the “Anti-Science” Tide https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/305 <p>This essay considers some possible relationships that STS scholars can have with activists who are resisting attacks on environmental science. STS scholars can document the counter-currents to the “anti-science” moment, work in partnership with activists outside of academia, use access to institutional resources to give environmental movements strength, use STS research to help activists better understand the policy process and the history of science funding, and help people to develop a sociological imagination about science and the environment.</p> Abby J. Kinchy Copyright (c) 2020 Abby J. Kinchy https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/305 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:28 -0800 Learning in Crisis: Training Students to Monitor and Address Irresponsible Knowledge Construction by US Federal Agencies under Trump https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/313 <p class="Normal1">Immediately after President Trump’s inauguration, US federal science agencies began deleting information about climate change from their websites, triggering alarm among scientists, environmental activists, and journalists about the administration’s attempt to suppress information about climate change and promulgate climate denialism. The Environmental Data &amp; Governance Initiative (EDGI) was founded in late 2016 to build a multidisciplinary collaboration of scholars and volunteers who could monitor the Trump administration’s dismantling of environmental regulations and science deemed harmful to its industrial and ideological interests. One of EDGI’s main initiatives has been training activists and volunteers to monitor federal agency websites to identify how the climate-denialist ideology is affecting public debate and science policy. In this paper, we explain how EDGI’s web-monitoring protocols are being incorporated into college curricula and how, in this way, EDGI’s work aligns with STS work on “critical making” and “making and doing.” EDGI’s work shows how STS scholars can establish new modes of engagement with the state that demand a more transparent and trustworthy relationship with the public, creating spaces where the public can define and demand responsible knowledge practices and participate in the process of creating STS inspired forms of careful, collective, and public knowledge construction.</p> Chris Tirrell, Laura Senier, Sara Ann Wylie, Cole Alder, Grace Poudrier, Jesse DiValli, Marcy Beck, Eric Nost, Rob Brackett, Gretchen Gehrke Copyright (c) 2020 Chris Tirrell, Laura Senier, Sara Ann Wylie, Cole Alder, Grace Poudrier, Jesse DiValli, Marcy Beck, Eric Nost, Rob Brackett, Gretchen Gehrke https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/313 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:31 -0800 Hidden Injustice and Anti-Science https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/381 <p>This essay responds to the five articles on Anti-Science in this journal issue by discussing a significant theme identified across all of them: hidden injustice. Some of the ways that injustice is hidden by organizational forces related to anti-science are identified. In response, the essay points to the need for empirical data on anti-science policies, a symmetric approach to anti-science contexts, and institutional analysis of anti-science power imbalances. Additionally, a reflexive question about whether anti-science analysis in STS leads the field toward racial justice is raised. The essay calls for further organizational level research with a critical STS lens to uncover hidden injustice.</p> Laurel Smith-Doerr Copyright (c) 2020 Laurel Smith-Doerr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/381 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:42 -0800 Science and Democracy Reconsidered https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/383 <p>To what extent is the normative commitment of STS to the democratization of science a product of the democratic contexts where it is most often produced? STS scholars have historically offered a powerful critical lens through which to understand the social construction of science, and seminal contributions in this area have outlined ways in which citizens have improved both the conduct of science and its outcomes. Yet, with few exceptions, it remains that most STS scholarship has eschewed study of more problematic cases of public engagement of science in rich, supposedly mature Western democracies, as well as examination of science-making in poorer, sometimes non-democratic contexts. How might research on problematic cases and dissimilar political contexts traditionally neglected by STS scholars push the field forward in new ways? This paper responds to themes that came out of papers from two Eastern Sociological Society Presidential Panels on Science and Technology Studies in an Era of Anti-Science. It considers implications of the normative commitment by sociologists working in the STS tradition to the democratization of science.</p> Joseph Harris Copyright (c) 2020 Joseph Harris https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/383 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:44 -0800 Unintended by Design: On the Political Uses of “Unintended Consequences” https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/497 <span>This paper revisits the term “unintended consequences,” drawing upon an illustrative vignette to show how it is used to dismiss vital ethical and political concerns. Tracing the term to its original introduction by Robert Merton and building on feminist technoscience analyses, we uncover and rethink its widespread usage in popular and scholarly discourses and practices of technology design.</span> Nassim Parvin, Anne Pollock Copyright (c) 2020 Nassim Parvin, Anne Pollock https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/497 Sat, 01 Aug 2020 08:40:42 -0700 Regimes of Patienthood: Developing an Intersectional Concept to Theorize Illness Experiences https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/389 <p>In this paper, we develop the concept <em>regimes of patienthood</em>. Regimes of patienthood highlights the micro and macro dimensions of illness, paying close attention to how the interplay between the two creates expectations and points of intervention for people when they are ill. Such expectations may vary across time, place, and social position (e.g., age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality). Regimes of patienthood are always regimes of power and resistance, where the forms of resistance may vary based on individuals’ intersectional positions. We draw on two cases—a study of 45 mostly white, middle class adults living with autoimmune illnesses and a study of 20 Black women living with advanced cancer—to examine one dimension of regimes of patienthood—control. Although a number of social positions, such as age and race, co-produce illness experiences, we focus on three—class, insurance status, and gender—that are particularly salient in our data in relation to control. Such a move illustrates the theoretical power of regimes of patienthood for science and technology studies (STS).</p> Kelly Ann Joyce, Jennifer E. James, Melanie Jeske Copyright (c) 2020 Kelly Ann Joyce, Jennifer E. James, Melanie Jeske https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/389 Sat, 14 Mar 2020 13:49:14 -0700 The Methodologists: a Unique Category of Scientific Actors https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/345 <p>This essay introduces a new analytical category of scientific actors: the methodologists. These actors are distinguished by their tendency to continue to probing scientific objects that their peers consider to be settled. The methodologists are a useful category of actors for science and technology studies (STS) scholars to follow because they reveal contingencies and uncertainties in taken-for-granted science. Identifying methodologists is useful for STS analysts seeking a way into science in moments when it is no longer “in the making” or there is little active controversy. Studying methodologists is also useful for scholars seeking to understand the genesis of scientific controversies, particularly controversies about long-established methods, facts, or premises.</p> Nicole C. Nelson Copyright (c) 2020 Nicole C. Nelson https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/345 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:11 -0800 Zero Waste––Zero Justice? https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/649 <p>Plastic is slowly covering the earth, accumulating in oceans, soil, air, and human and non-human bodies. In the face of this catastrophe, zero waste activists call upon us for action, detailing, how we, too, can change our lifestyle to eliminate plastic waste and save the planet. Yet, who it is that is called upon, who speaks, and whose voices and lived realities might be ignored? In this contribution, we explore the social politics of the zero waste movement. This leads us to ponder: might popular environmental movements that relegate social justice to the back seat ultimately do more harm than good?</p> Ruth Müller, Sarah Maria Schönbauer Copyright (c) 2020 Ruth Müller, Sarah Maria Schönbauer https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/649 Mon, 02 Nov 2020 19:45:56 -0800 Pandemic Sociology https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/523 <p>In 1990, the sociologist Phil Strong wrote about “epidemic psychology” as part of his research on the recent history of AIDS. Strong described vividly how epidemics of fear, of explanation and moralization, and of (proposed) action accompanied the epidemic of the AIDS virus per se. In this essay, I draw on these formulations to think through the current COVID-19 crisis, illustrating too a pandemic of inequality. In so doing, I provide a sketch of a pandemic sociology.</p> Martyn Pickersgill Copyright (c) 2020 Martyn Pickersgill https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/523 Tue, 25 Aug 2020 19:41:41 -0700 The Conjoined Spectacles of the “Smart Super Bowl” https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/295 <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This essay examines the Super Bowl and the smart city as conjoined spectacles. A focused case study on Super Bowl LIII and its staging in Atlanta, Georgia in 2019 allows us to investigate how the use of cutting-edge smart technologies, including cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence, image recognition, and data collection techniques to secure Mercedes Benz stadium naturalizes a broader anticipatory logic of state and corporate intervention, often evoked in the name of public safety and terrorism-prevention. Together the spectacles of sport and smart technologies gloss over systemic inequality and legitimize security infrastructures as well as related ideas that social problems such as a lack of affordable housing, police brutality, and environmental degradation are best addressed through technological solutions. Foregrounding the conjoined spectacles of the smart city and Super Bowl problematizes seemingly necessary security processes and social relations among people, events, technologies, and cities, inviting further research and discussions necessary for strengthening critical interventions and theorizing in these areas.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></span></p> Renee Shelby, Sarah Barnes, Nassim Parvin, Mary G. McDonald Copyright (c) 2020 Renee Shelby, Sarah Barnes, Nassim Parvin, Mary G. McDonald https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/295 Fri, 26 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 Lessons from Theranos: Changing Narratives of Individual Ethics in Science and Engineering https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/411 <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The meteoric ascent and equally dramatic fall of Theranos has been covered prolifically in the media. Presented as an ambitious inventor gone rogue, the discursive construction of the Theranos scandal in popular media and in the biomedical community reifies tired narratives of the role of ethics in science and engineering fields more generally: narratives that emphasizes individual integrity and common sense rather than the structures and norms that leave scientists and engineers vulnerable to ethical quandaries. In this short critical engagement, I argue that the ways Theranos has been captured obscures important conversations about ethics in bioscience and biotechnology, both in the private sector and in university spaces. I call for STS scholars to engage with scientists and engineers to imagine ways to structurally embed ethics and justice in future technoscientific endeavors.</span></p> Melanie Jeske Copyright (c) 2020 Melanie Jeske https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/411 Fri, 26 Jun 2020 19:12:43 -0700 Sticks, Stones, and the Secular Bones of Indian Democracy https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/393 <p>While being inspired by the compelling social protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens in India, the authors of this critical engagement argue that now, more than ever, is time to reflect on the nature of secularism that is being invoked by nonviolent protesters. What can a focus on <em>lathi</em>-wielding and stone-throwing, all low technologies of governance, tell us about the practices and challenges of liberal democracy in India? This piece excavates a brief history of the lathi and stone-pelting to show what kinds of "illiberal" protests are deemed aesthetically pleasing and palatable to elites in India and abroad, which ones are not, and the dangers of this kind of exclusion with respect to new forms of Islamophobia.</p> Monamie Bhadra Haines, Sreela Sarkar Copyright (c) 2020 Monamie Bhadra Haines, Sreela Sarkar https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/393 Tue, 10 Mar 2020 06:51:39 -0700 Low-Carbon Research: Building a Greener and More Inclusive Academy https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/363 <p>This essay examines how the fossil fuel energy regimes that support contemporary academic norms in turn shape and constrain knowledge production. High-carbon research methods and exchanges, particularly those that depend on aviation, produce distinct exclusions and incentives that could be reformed in the transition to a low-carbon academy. Drawing on feminist STS, alternative modes of collective research creation and collaboration are outlined, along with an assessment of their potential challenges and gains. This commentary concludes with several recommendations for incremental and institutional changes, along with a call for scholars of social and technical systems to uniquely contribute to this transition.</p> Anne Pasek Copyright (c) 2020 Anne Pasek https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/363 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:14 -0800 Upgraded to Obsolescence: Age Intervention in the Era of Biohacking https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/361 <p>Popularized by DIY scientists and quantified-selfers, the language of “biohacking” has become increasingly prevalent in anti-aging discourse. Presented with speculative futures of superhuman health and longevity, consumers and patients are invited to “hack” the aging process, reducing age to one of the many programs, or rather “bugs” that can be re-written, removed, and rendered obsolete. Drawing on recent examples from popular media and anti-aging promotional materials, I explore how the language of biohacking signals an orientation to the body that denies the acceptability of a body that is anything but optimal. In the endless strive towards the latest and greatest, the language of biohacking renders the old body obsolete, standing as nothing more than a relic of an outdated operating system.</p> Kirsten L. Ellison Copyright (c) 2020 Kirsten L. Ellison https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://estsjournal.org/index.php/ests/article/view/361 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:16 -0800