• 11 FEB 14
    • 0

    Conference: A Matter of Design. Making Society through Science and Technology

    A very interesting conference on the societal impacts of new technologies. Note mention of the Internet of Things which encompasses smart grids and smart meters. The huge controversy over heath impacts of wireless technology should be an essential topic for discussion at this meeting but deadline for submissions is 15 Feb. I see in the link below mention is made of the need “for the identification of potential consequences of future

    Well worth keeping track of this conference, especially Sheila Jasanoff’s presentation.



    Emerging ICT and Citizens” Values: Anticipating and Responding to Challenges

    In this session, we consider the relationship between citizens” values and emerging information and communication technologies (ICT). In particular, we consider how we can anticipate problems and proactively design social, technical and regulatory responses to them. Technologies such as wearable sensors, internet of things, social media, bio-banking and autonomous systems present several moments of design. The values that are intentionally and unintentionally “designed in” to technologies achieve greater longevity and reach. As our lives are increasingly mediated by digital artefacts “” to the extent that we live in a digital society and experience a digital culture “” certain values, such as openness, can be amplified at the expense of others, such as privacy. Those technologies that achieve massive proliferation and normalisation profoundly affect the experience of contemporary life, for example by exaggerating our capacity to measure and remember events and adjusting the norms of our relationships with others over time and space. This capacity to transform the way we live, often in unpredictable ways, has been met with both delight and caution.

    We will explore the significant challenges in anticipating and proactively responding to the future effects of ICT development on different groups. How can we identify which benefits are at stake and anticipate which rights are at risk before development has occurred, and how can we use this knowledge to protect citizens” values without foregoing the benefits of technical development? In exploring the possibilities, we particularly welcome submissions on the following topics:

    · Designing social, technical and regulatory methodologies for the exploration of the relationship between ICT and citizens” values, and for the identification of potential consequences of future developments.
    · Evaluating existing social, technical and regulatory responses to issues raised by emerging ICT (e.g. sousveillance, privacy-by-design and citizens” juries).
    · Designing social, technical and regulatory responses to specific issues such as cyber-bullying, dual-use, surveillance, digital memory and the right to be forgotten.

    The track will be presented in English.

    Session announcement

    Abstract submission:
    Conference details
    A Matter of Design. Making Society through Science and Technology
    Milano (IT), Politecnico di Milano
    June 12, 2014 “” June 14, 2014

    The 5th STS Italia Conference will be held in Milan, Italy, June 12 through 14, 2014, by the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies, in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano Doctoral School in Design.

    The conference is an opportunity to present empirical and theoretical work from a variety of disciplines and fields (sociology, anthropology, law, philosophy, design, psychology, semiotics, history, and economics, etc.). It focuses on diverse aspects of the social study of innovation processes, technology, science and design.

    The 5th STS Italia Conference theme is design processes. Design, on the one hand, is a process that gives rise both to artifacts and to their accompanying social networks, those that are brought about by the artifacts as well as those that make the artifacts possible. On the other hand, design processes cannot be explained as the result of independent, rational choices by isolated individuals, whether designers, producers or users. They are, rather, collective processes in which humans and nonhumans interact. When science and technology studies meet the latest design thinking, new scenarios and new perspectives arise for both these research communities. This occurs – as the many thematic sessions of the conference reveal – in studying communication tools, workplaces, robotics, innovation processes, smart fibers, medical products or even the human body.

    We are delighted to announce that the confirmed keynote speakers will be:
    Kjetil Fallan (University of Oslo)
    Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University)
    Elizabeth Shove (Lancaster University)
    Charis Thompson (London School of Economics)


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