UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

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Staff books include:

Balmer - Science and Secrecy spacerAthena Swan Bronze Award


Archive of events calendar

<< 2012 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2014 >>

STS Seminar: Andrew Balmer

Start: Mar 4, 2013 4:15:00 PM
End: Mar 4, 2013 5:30:00 PM

Abstract: In this paper I reflect on two years of ethnographic experience in synthetic biology, and on other sociologists’ accounts as developed through the ESRC Seminar Series on Social Science and Synthetic Biology. I am interested in the ways in which social scientists and natural scientists/engineers work together, or fail to do so. In particular, I propose that we need novel theoretical articulations of these collaborative spaces and relations in order to think about the ethics of working together. I develop one theory centred on ‘playfulness’ that highlights the ‘work’ of playing. I argue that orienting ourselves towards playfulness provides one possible mode of discussing collaboration that might help us focus on social dynamics of collaboration and to venture out of the instrumental obsession with the objects of collaborative work. Importantly, it may help refocus some attention on the practices of working together and on self-constitution in these contexts.

Past Imperfect Seminar

Start: Mar 4, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 4, 2013 8:00:00 PM

Dr Simon Werrett will be giving a seminar on Fireworks in Art as part UCL's History of Art Departments Past Imperfect Seminar Series.

STS Seminar: Francesca Rochburg

Start: Mar 11, 2013 4:15:00 PM
End: Mar 11, 2013 6:00:00 PM

In the historical discourse about nature, especially about nature's relationship to gods, or God, the invocation of law as a way to describe perceived order and regularity in the world of physical phenomena shows nearly continuously from Greek and Greco-Roman antiquity down to the 17th century.  Asking the question Where the Laws of Nature were before Nature is meant to dislodge the discussion of the
'laws of nature from the mostly Greco-Roman period and later Greek and Latin sources that speak explicitly in those terms, and to bring within the framework and history of this concept cuneiform evidence from the 2nd and 1st millennia B.C.E. that does not speak of nature at all, indeed has no terminology equivalent to ³nature² in its vocabulary.  Whereas the cuneiform corpus altogether lacks a lexical counterpart to the word or the conception 'nature,' and thus, strictly speaking, belongs prior to and outside the bounds of the western discourse about nature, that is to say, it is literally 'before nature,' a juridical terminology, including the word "law," for describing the relation between the divine and the world is attested in ancient Mesopotamia.

PUS Seminar: Jean-Baptiste Gouyon

Start: Mar 13, 2013 4:15:00 PM
End: Mar 13, 2013 6:00:00 PM

Natural history film-making, as a practice generating visual representations of animals behaving undisturbed in their natural habitat, took off in the first decade of the 20th century. In this talk, I will reflect on the contention, formulated very early on—in 1913—, that natural history films are objects of knowledge, that is objects which can be used to obtain knowledge about the natural world, and that the set of practices and beliefs that we can call natural history film-making is a culture of knowledge production. The  approach will be two-fold. First, I will discuss the origins of the practice, and how the basic tenets of this culture came about. Second, based on one specific example, I will discuss the way natural history film-makers construct researchers in the field sciences, and their relationship with them, in a way that typifies natural history film-making as an enterprise of knowledge production, different from science and not subservient to it. The paper will be illustrated by extracts from natural history films.

conference: Cultures of Ancient Science

Start: Mar 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM
End: Mar 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM

STS Seminar: Noortje Marres

Start: Mar 18, 2013 4:15:00 PM
End: Mar 18, 2013 5:30:00 PM

Abstract: In this presentation I will consider a particular method, co-word analysis, and its re-mediation in online research. Developed in STS in the 1980s to locate 'pockets of innovation' in scientific literatures (Callon et al, 1983), co-word analysis is today quite widely applied in online research. It figures in various applications for real-time analysis, such as Infomous and the Twitter Streamgraph. I will discuss the implications of this for our understanding and deployment of co-word analysis as an STS method. I propose that the renewed relevance of co-word analysis in online contexts provides opportunities for its critical deployment. I will discuss a particular project that takes up this challenge, an online research tool for 'associational profiling' currently under development.

Speak Out! Mental Health Documentary

Start: Mar 18, 2013 5:00:00 PM

Join STS's Global Citizenship in Action (HPSC2017B) students for this free event.

Darwin in London: Lecture

Start: Mar 20, 2013 6:00:00 PM

[broken image] (and it's an 'Inaugural Lecture')
<< 2012 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2014 >>

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)
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