Conference Presentation Title: Back to the Future: Situating the ‘T’ in ‘STS’
Author: Ranjit Singh
Workshop: Workshop on Social Construction of Technology Coming of Age: New Challenges and Opportunities Ahead
Venue: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Date: 3-5 June 2014
This paper explored the historical context within which the discussion paper on Social Construction of Technology (SCoT) emerged and the professional and discursive efforts of STS practitioners to sustain the eventual shift in focus of STS as an academic discipline from socio-cultural explanations of science to those of science and technology. Taking the SCoT paper as an exemplar of this turn to technology, this project traced the drafting, publication, and reception of the SCOT approach between 1982 and 1987 to provide insights into the development of STS as an academic discipline and extend the notion of boundary-work to professions beyond the sciences. Making a claim for expanding disciplinary boundaries is not a singular event in time. Boundary-work is a continuous practical accomplishment of professional practitioners who use accountably rational criteria of intelligibility to determine the boundaries of their professional work. An expansion claim, thus, is only as good as the work done to maintain it.
Award: The Sheila Jasanoff Prize for Academic Excellence in Science Technology Studies for the best graduate student paper within the previous three semesters (May 2015)
Secondary Venue: Ranjit Singh, ‘Back to the Future: Situating the ‘T’ in ‘STS’‘, at the Science Studies Reading Group Meeting (Ithaca: Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University, 22 September 2014).