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
The United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) recently launched a call for papers to contribute to an e-book “that examines how the uses of current technologies, and the development of new ones, can contribute to guarantee and protect human rights within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development framework. Hence, considering that every Sustainable Development Goal aims to protect one or more human rights, and that states will rely on the use of technological innovations and global interconnectedness to implement the 2030 Agenda, we are looking for articles that explore one or more of the following topics:
At the heart of current online consumer protection is the concept of informed consent where by the prospective consumer makes a conscious decision to sign up to a service with full knowledge and consent to the consequences of doing so. Even in the newly signed EU General Data Protection Regulation, which will go into effect in 2018, this will not fundamentally change. For anyone who has ever used a commercial internet service however, and this included policy makers, it is glaringly obvious that there is a fundamental flaw in this approach, namely the assumption that the consumer has a good understanding of the contract that is being entered into.
Cyberbullying is becoming an alarming problem among children and young people, not only because of its links to mental health and well-being but because it is so widespread that is becoming to be considered a worse problem among teenagers than drug abuse.
Not all news are disheartening though…
This week saw the publication of the report on ‘Online platforms and the Digital Single Market’ by the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee. This reports presents the findings of the inquiry that was held from October 2015 till spring 2016, receiving 85 written responses and 20 oral evidence sessions. Included in the written responses were two from Horizon Digital Economy Research, one by Prof. Rodden and one by myself which we partially posted on this blog about in October 2015. The main driver for this inquiry was the publication in May 2015 by the European Commission (EC) of its ‘Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe’ (DSM), which drew attention to the growing role of online platforms as key players in social and economic interactions on the internet, and was followed on 24 September by the launch of an EC consultation ‘A fit for purpose regulatory environment for platforms and intermediaries’. For the purposes of both the EC consultation and the Lords’ inquiry online platforms were considered to ‘represent a broad category of digital businesses that provide a meeting place for two or more different groups of users over the Internet, examples of which include search engines, online marketplaces, the collaborative or sharing economy, and social networks’. What follows is an incomplete summary of the findings in the report, with a focus on the issues related to fundamental rights of platform users (e.g. privacy), the role of algorithms and user consent, which are most closely related to our work at CaSMa.
The European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, a.k.a DG Connect recently launched a survey (deadline April 10th 2016) on the ‘future of the internet’ as part of its Net Futures agenda, which was established to “pioneer and coordinate research, innovation, and policy initiatives on what lies beyond the current internet architecture, software and services.” Below is a copy of my submission to the survey.
While exploring the Internet And Human Rights Resources Center at the Internet Society, I encountered a highly informative report from the Global Commission on Internet Governance (CIGI), which was published in January 2016, on the extent to which the management of individuals’ fundamental rights, e.g. privacy and free speech, is in the hands corporations.
The report presents an excellent overview of the various ways in which the dominance of a small set of companies that control the web platforms where most people spend the majority of their time online has produced a situation where these companies have become major actors in determining the state of human rights online.
A one-day conference dedicated to the topic of Ethics and Social Media Research, by the Academy of Social Science. #SoMeEthics.
10:00 Registration and coffee – 7th floor
10:30 Keynote 1 – 3rd floor, seminar room 12
“The Ethical Disruptions of Social Media Research: tales from the field.” Professor Susan Halford, Director Web Science Institute, University of Southampton
11:30 Parallel Session 1 – 3rd floor
A: Ethical Practicalities (I) – seminar room 11
B: Blurred Lines – seminar room 12
C: Social Media Research Ethics: Sharing Best Practice – seminar room 13
1300 Lunch – 7th Floor
1400 Parallel Session 2 – 3rd floor
D: Critical Ethical Reflections – seminar room 11
E: Ethical Practicalities (II) – seminar room 12
F: Panel Session – seminar room 13
1600 Keynote 2 – 3rd floor, seminar room 12
“Where next for #SocialEthics?” Steven Ginnis and Harry Evans, Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI
1700 Closing remarks
Followed by a Wine Reception, kindly sponsored by Sage Publishing – 7th floor
Policy and business leaders are urgently trying to understand how digital technologies are changing Europe’s economy. How can digitalisation be turned into an opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs? What cutting-edge research currently exists? And critically, how can researchers, businesses and policy-makers collaborate to set Europe’s Digital Economy on the right course?
Nesta’s European Research Alliance for Digital Economy “Readie” organized this Research Summit as an event to network and hear from the most influential experts on the subject including:
• Robin Chase, Founder of Zipcar and Veniam
• Dane Stangler, Vice President of Research and Policy, Kauffman Foundation
• Enrico Giovannini, member of the Club of Rome
• Nicklas Lundblad, Head of EMEA Public Policy and Government Relations at Google
• Claire Tansley, EPSRC Senior Portfolio Manager at RCUK
• Irene Lopez de Vallejo, Director R&D at the Digital Catapult
• Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester
• Ivo Spigel, Co-Founder and Contributing Editor, Tech.eu
• Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, Oxford Internet Institute
Delegates will have the unique opportunity to:
• Hear from leading thinkers about the key trends affecting Europe’s Digital Economy
• Explore new datasets and big data methods to analyse the Digital Economy in real-time
• Join the experts on each panel to contribute your insights, experiences and top questions
• Hear from funders about upcoming research priorities
• Network with businesses to explore partnerships that generate actionable evidence
• Meet researchers from across Europe to forge new collaborations
• Translate their work into impact at Readie’s ‘policy hack’
This Research Summit brings together leading researchers, policy professionals and businesses with an interest in cutting-edge evidence, big data methods, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth. It is organised by Readie, Europe’s Research Alliance for a Digital Economy. Our partners include Nesta, Google, rkw, Nemode and Greenwich University.