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STS seen from Denmark - or: Making Kin in Techno-Anthropology

Techno-Anthropology has been a degree program at Aalborg University (AAU) for more than 5 years now. There is a BSc program in Danish and an MSc program in English. I teach on both programs, but my emphasis is on the 3rd semester of the BSc, where I give a course on ethnographic methods and socio-technical and anthropological analysis.

Some of my brilliant students asked what wider international network of similar minded scholars and students might be available for somebody calling themselves techno-anthropologists. The aim of this post is to provide some pointers.

Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an increasingly well-established field that I believe has a lot to offer in this regard. Techno-Anthropology at AAU is not the same as STS, since the degree programs are shaped also by engineers, biotech scientists, philosophers, and more. But a lot of the curriculum belongs to what could be broadly conceived as the STS literature, so my pointers take STS as the main place for techno-…
Recent posts

Tracing the digital social impact of a research project

Getting cited by other researchers is a welcome indication that your work has an impact on your field. Increasingly, however, researchers in the social sciences and humanities are asked how their work impacts society in broader ways and beyond academia.

Last week, I finished a project on the wider societal impact of a large research project carried out by my colleagues at the Centre for Youth Research (CeFU). The centre is committed to an increased focus on how their research makes a difference for the young people they study and society more generally. But how do you measure that?

Digital media come with new opportunities for data collection and analysis. One way of exploiting these opportunities is to deploy various digital methods - a growing interdisciplinary field associated with science and technology studies (STS) and media research. In the words of Richard Rogers of the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam (Rogers 2013:1), digital methods can be understood…

STS and Democracy workshop happening!

Together with my co-organizers Irina Papazu (CBS) and Anne-Kathrine Pihl Vadgaard (ITU), I'm hosting an international workshop on "STS and Democracy" from 23-24 November 2017 at Aalborg University Copenhagen.
The workshop comprises 17 participants from 7 different European countries, including keynote presentations by Kristin Asdal (University of Oslo) and Andrew Barry (University College, London).
The aim of the workshop is to discuss and further develop chapter drafts for a future anthology on the topic of STS and Democracy, as laid out in the original call for participants: 
"Politics has been conceptualized in incredibly broad terms in STS (Brown 2015). At the same time, the more specific question ofdemocraticpolitics has often been left under-explored, allowing notions such as public participation to be imported as “off the shelf” ideals in STS (Marres 2012:ix). In this workshop, we ask what it would mean to work with democracy not as an implicit repository of ide…

Paper Workshop Announcement: STS and Democracy

Politics has been conceptualized in incredibly broad terms in STS (Brown 2015). At the same time, the more specific question of democratic politics has often been left under-explored, allowing notions such as public participation to be imported as “off the shelf” ideals in STS (Marres 2012:ix). In this workshop, we ask what it would mean to work with democracy not as an implicit repository of ideals, but as an explicit object of study in STS. We ask how democratic politics can be understood and studied based on the practice-oriented empirical commitments and conceptual repertoires of STS. Such an effort might require a redescription of democratic political institutions and concepts, paying close attention to the situated practices and entanglements that their operations require. Despite a number of notable contributions in recent years, we believe that the vast majority of the work on what STS has to offer democracy is yet to be done.
Format  The purpose of the workshop is to invite 1…

Introducing: The Twitter-thing!

Context: The Twitter-thing is the (awkward?) translation into English of 'Twittertinget' - a project I worked on last year with two Danish colleagues, Irina Papazu (CBS) and Tobias Bornakke (Uni. of Copenhagen) in collaboration with the Danish newspaper Politiken. The Twitter-thing is a tool that draws on TCAT in order to build a network visualisation of how Danish MPs use hashtags on Twitter. Here follows my abstract for the upcoming Data Publics conference in Lancaster, where I'll be exhibiting the Twitter-thing.

Parliaments could seem to be highly issue-agnostic places. All sorts of problems move in and out of these large and expensive devices (Dányi 2015), while the membership stays more or less the same in-between elections. But as issues are taken up and left behind by parliaments, they also make cuts in the parliament in the sense that specific sets of parliamentarians become attached to specific issues. The aim of the Twitter-thing tool is to trace these cuts and v…

PhD defended and now available online

I haven't posted here for a year, but there is a reason for that: I have been finishing my PhD thesis! Now it is all over and done - I defended the thesis publicly (in the Danish tradition) on 25th May 2016, and have received my diploma. So I thought it was high time to post an update here.

First, let me point to the Danish Association for Science and Technology Studies website, where the PDF version of the thesis can be downloaded: (direct link to PDF).

Second, here is a short blurb about the thesis content that I wrote for the announcement of the defense. There is a longer abstract in the PDF.
Caring for publics - how media contribute to issue politicsThe thesis investigates how media become part of processes of formulating issues and organizing publics in practice. It draws on the pragmatist approach to publics developed by Dewey, Lippmann and recent literature in Science and Technology Studies (STS) in order to get out of an idealized notion of p…

London update

(This is an expanded version of a post I wrote for the new TANTlab website)

It has been very quiet here on my blog, as it often happens with blogs in these days of social media. But here is a nice occasion to write an update: I've spent the last couple of months in London. This is my second stay abroad as part of my PhD. For the first half of 2014, I worked in Paris. Now it's London, where, more specifically, I am spending the summer term at Goldsmiths. Even more specifically, I am a visiting fellow at the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP), Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. Lots of fancy names, but what goes on here? Here are some brief examples. Back in May, I was at an all-day workshop on ’doing screen work ethnographies’ together with a group of highly interesting researchers, including Lucy SuchmanAdrian MackenzieAnne BeaulieuDaniel Neyland and Christine Hine. The reason why these people (and more) came together at Go…