As part of our ongoing collaboration with the Gada for the civic-engagement in the digital age project, we participated in the Connected Life 2016 conference that was held at the Oxford Internet Institute on June 20th and 21st. We were particularly interested in this conference because of the deliberate efforts by the (student) organizers to include not only academics but also activists and civic/civil-society NGOs among the speakers and discussion panels. While the first day of the conference consisted of academic talks, the second day was organized around workshops and panel discussions by activist/NGOs.
Connected Life 2016 is a two-day student-run conference dedicated to sparking exchange between disciplines and showcasing emerging Internet research. Bringing together participants from across the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, Connected Life seeks to foster collaborations within and beyond Oxford in pursuit of an enhanced understanding of the Internet and its multifaceted effects.
The theme for this year is Collective Action and the Internet. The Conference explores how the Internet affects collective action; both in big social movements, such as the Arab Spring and the Hong Kong Protests, and in more everyday forms of collaboration. Though other social science research relating to the Internet is most welcome as well
Conference programme is here.
On June 2nd and June 3rd the biennale Danish conference on STS (DASTS16) was held at Aarhus, Denmark. The tagline for the conference was the “quintessential anti-determinist and anti-essentialist mantra of STS ‘It could have been different'”.
“It could have been different” is the quintessential anti-determinist and anti-essentialist mantra of STS. This mantra is a simultaneous reflection on being and becoming, a concern with the past, present and the future. It is a mantra that implicates a care of the possible.
The concern with future(s) is unprecedented and ranges across all scales. Climate change; financial technologies – ‘futures’ – allowing investment on presumptions; and gene tests for diagnosing (the probability) of ailments to appear later in life, are but a few evident examples. Predicting, forecasting, foresighting future(s) is an inextricable part of the present and the role of science and technology in the production as well as the anticipation of the future(s), is paramount. Arguably for the first time in centuries the future looks gloomy, rather than bright.
A concern with future(s) is central to the field of STS. When future(s) are made – not given – as suggested above, how they are made becomes a central and painstaking concern. What constitutes the practices and sociotechnical arrangements of future making? What future(s) follows from our current arrangements, infrastructures and ways of engaging? What diagnosis of the present – what nature(s) – does specific future making practices rest upon? And when future(s) are not entirely up to us and escapes us continuously, how are we disposed? The DASTS 2016 conference committee invites the Danish STS research milieu to engage with the practices of future(s) and future making.
The conference committee invites participants, paper abstracts and track proposals concerned with, but not limited to, future(s). The spirit of the conference is as always inclusive and exploratory. The conference welcomes contributions from scholars at all academic levels that consider themselves affiliated with STS to share and discuss their work. DASTS 2016 is a biennial conference of the Danish Association for Science, Technology and Society Studies.
Thursday the 2nd
|10:00-11:00||Keynote by Isabelle Stengers|
| – Publics, politics and participation – Part I – Room 091
| – Introducing STS and social work – Part I – Room 184
| – Technologies of the self – Part I – Room 192
|13:30-14:30||DASTS General Assembly|
|14:30-14:45||Tea & Coffee|
| – Fabricating STS – Room 091
| – Introducing STS and social work – Part II – Room 184
| – Technologies of the self – Part II – Room 192
|17:00-19:00||Future Lecture by Bruno Latour (registration closed but livestreamed here)|
|19:30-?||Conference dinner at FrüdNo16.|
Friday the 3rd
|9:30-10:30||Keynote by Nikolas Rose|
| – Publics, politics and participation – Part II – Room 091
| – Dreams for the Future – Part I – Room 184
| – Exploring data driven governance assemblages – Part I – Room 192
| – Research practices and knowledge creation – Room 091
| – Dreams for the Future – Part II – Room 184
| – Exploring data driven governance assemblages – Part II – Room 192
|15:00-15:30||Tea & Coffee|
| – Anticipation, Scenario Planning & STS – Room 091
| – Dreams for the Future – Part III – Room 184
| – Future Making – Room 192
On March 1st I participated in a debate on Digital Ethics organized by the Digital Enlightenment Forum (DEF). The debate was a follow-up of previous discussions at the DEF in 2015 and brought together lawyers, engineers, economists, social scientists and philosophers to discuss challenges and possible framework for digital ethics that might help people, organizations, businesses and societies deal with the fast and complex ways in which digital technologies are impacting human lives. What follows is an abbreviated summary of the event. A more complete version is available from the DEF website.
On 25th February 2016, the Digital4EU Stakeholder Forum, organized by the European Commission, took place in Brussels. This one day conference was centred on the progress made in creating a Digital Single Market in Europe. The agenda of the day started with a pre-conference breakfast session about the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)’s financing opportunities for digital projects, especially for extending the roll-out of Broadband internet connections in rural areas that have not yet achieved full internet penetration.
The whole CaSMa team joined ETHICOMP2015 at De Montfort University (Leicester) early last week. EHICOMP2015 was a fantastic ‘old school reunion’ that gathered well established researchers in the field – to discuss the role of computing in our societies and the question of the ethical values and consequences linked to the ever-growing importance of technology in our lives. The ETHICOMP community claims to be more than a highly multidisciplinary group of academics and industry related partners, and definitely more than a conference. ETHICOMP aims to be a ‘community mentor’ that would go beyond the usual conference academic output, and I could not disagree with this statement. A notorious aspect of this conference was the non-hierarchical, approachable and friendly attitude of delegates, presenters and keynote speakers and an obvious willingness to be as inclusive as possible. Continue reading 20 Years of ETHICOMP: A Celebration
The 2015 ACM Web Science conference WebSci’15 is being held at the Oxford e-Research Centre and Keble College, Oxford, with an excellent programme of over 60 papers and posters, alongside seven exciting Web Science workshops, plus keynotes, panels and Late Breaking Research. The conference runs from Sunday 28 June to Wednesday 1 July, and is the seventh in the conference series organised by the Web Science Trust.
Web Science is the emergent study of the people and technologies, applications, processes and practices that shape and are shaped by the World Wide Web. Web Science aims to draw together theories, methods and findings from across academic disciplines, and to collaborate with industry, business, government and civil society, to develop our knowledge and understanding of the Web: the largest socio-technical infrastructure in human history. This year’s paper sessions are themed around Politics & Culture, Data Challenges, Online Social Behaviour, Innovating Methods, Ethics, Digital Narratives, and Social Safety and Wellbeing.
CaSMa participated in this conference with two ‘Late Breaking Research’ presentations:
- ‘A tailored web, filtered to your personal profile’, by Ansgar Koene, related to a project we are developing with regards to Ethical, Privacy and Agency implications of personalized information filtering systems.
- ‘Acting Out Digital Dilemmas to Promote Digital Reflections’, by Elvira Perez Vallejos, related to the iRights project.
From February 9 to 11 Ansgar participated on behalf of CaSMa at the ICISSP 2015 (1st International Conference on Information System Security and Privacy) conference in Angers, France. The conference featured talks covering both technical and social issues that were addresses both from practical and theoretical perspectives. Topics included Data and Software Security, Trust, Privacy and Confidentiality, Mobile Systems Security, and Biometric Authentication.