STS Staff and Students at Landmark Conference
26 October 2012
Several staff and postgraduate students from the STS department attended an important conference in Copenhagen, Denmark that took place last week (October 17-20th 2012). With around 1800 delegates, the conference, Design and Displacement – Social Studies of Science and Technology, was the largest ever joint meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST). The picture shows UCL STS-ers Kajsa-Stina Magnusson, Melanie Smallman, Brian Balmer, Simon Lock and Christine Aicardi just before the conference reception in Copenhagen Town Hall. During three days of lively discussion and debate, the UCL STS party presented papers on topics as diverse as scientists' experience in public dialogue; a suspicious outbreak of anthrax and the role of scientific expertise; the conspicuous absence of STS work on science and sexuality; and neighbourhood, moral economy, and dissident interdisciplinary research. Simon Lock also chaired a panel discussion of senior STS academics on the theme of 'Why Should We Promote Public Understanding of Science?' The session – organised with STS’s Jack Stilgoe – was an extremely popular event, with standing room only. “I found there was a wealth of impossible-to-attend-them-all excellent sessions on an amazing variety of topics” said STS postdoctoral researcher, Christine Aicardi after the conference, “ it was a terrific conference, as surprising and interesting as the New Nordic cuisine we got to thoroughly sample”.