Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures


ImprimirThe 2016 4S/EASST conference, held in Barcelona August 31-September 3 aims to explore the ways in which science and technology are increasingly performed ‘by other means’, in a variety of exploratory activities that include the articulation of collectives that do not fit with the traditional actors in science and technology, or in ways that problematize the established value systems involved in the production of knowledge and technologies.

Researchers from GenØk participate in two sessions during this conference:

2 September (1600): Governance of Agricultural Biotechnologies
Governance of agricultural biotechnologies is typically limited to regulatory frameworks that assess health and environmental risks. A broader range of concerns about these technologies is not addressed. Instead attention focuses only on the adequacy or otherwise of the risk scientific knowledge, against a barrage of assertions that no more risk research is necessary, since these technologies have been proven safe. Yet for multiple complex reasons, agricultural biotechnologies remain significantly controversial.

There is an urgent need for understanding what could help to design and enact improved forms of governance to address prevailing limitations, and respond to environmental, economic and social/ethical sustainability challenges. These discussions are particularly timely as policy-makers and regulators globally are evaluating the adequacy of existing regulatory frameworks in light of new and evolving agricultural genomic tools and products.
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2 September (1600): Enacting responsibility: RRI and the re-ordering of science-society relations in practice
A variety of approaches are currently being pursued as a means for mediating the relations between science as society towards what is sometimes described as a new ‘social contract’. For instance, in Europe there is a current policy commitment to advancing RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation), which is formulated as a ‘cross cutting principle’ in the Horizon 2020 funding programme.

What are the tangible effects of these attempts to encourage a new relationship between science and society? Can we observe a re-ordering of science and society relations in research practices? What shape do these new relations take? How do scientists enact responsibility demands? Which new assemblages are emerging?
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