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Work in Progress Seminar - Raquel Velho - "They're in charge, but you're in control": how wheelchair users shape London's public transport

Start: Jan 19, 2017 4:30:00 PM
End: Jan 19, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Public transport in London is a behemoth of an infrastructure, including over 400km of underground tracks and a fleet of 8000 buses, totalling over 3.7 billion annual journeys. It also has a rich, 153-year history that turned it into a symbol of the English capital. While there has been scholarly work on infrastructures more generally, it has often focused on their moments of inception, and little has been said about user groups left at the margins and their impact on the network over time. Using the case of wheelchair users and transport in London, this presentation highlights the experience of a marginalised group to investigate how they embed (some of) their needs into the network despite struggles with accessibility.

This talk has two main arguments. The first contends that the barriers faced by wheelchair users in transport are the result of infrastructural stabilisation that occurred in a period of social segregation (1850s-1950s). This will be discussed through a brief history of the transport network in London, using illustrative examples of the difficulties still faced by wheelchair users today. However, it would be premature to end our story there, as infrastructures can gradually change. The second argument therefore holds that wheelchair users, despite segregation and exclusion, have taken an active role in the process of shaping the transport system in London. In this role, they have developed inclusion mechanisms through collective and political activism, as well as on an individual ad-hoc level.

This project places the experiences of wheelchair users at the forefront of academic research. In doing so, it shows their engagement with and impact on transport infrastructure, but also deconstructs the commonly held assumption that disabled people are passive members of society.

STS OneBook - Philip Ball talk

Start: Feb 23, 2017 6:00:00 PM
End: Feb 23, 2017 8:00:00 PM

As part of the STS OneBook programme, author Philip Ball will be coming to give a talk to STS students on his book 'Invisible'. The talk will take place on 23rd February 2017. Further details to follow.

Jane Francis (British Antarctic Survey) Colloquium

Start: Mar 15, 2017 4:00:00 PM
End: Mar 15, 2017 6:00:00 PM

As part of the MAPS Faculty Colloquium series, Professor Jane Francis of the British Antarctic Survey will be speaking to the faculty on 15th March 2017, in the JZ Young room of the Anatomy building.

STS Haldane Lecture - Prof Ludmilla Jordanova

Start: Mar 20, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Professor Ludmilla Jordanova will hold an STS Haldane lecture on March 20th 2017, entitled "Institutions, Identities and Historical Practices in Science and Medicine".

Salon for the City - Simon Werrett / Martin Rowson

Start: Mar 30, 2017 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 30, 2017 11:00:00 PM

On March 30, 2017 the Westminster Arts Reference Library’s Salon for the City will host a double-bill of UCL STS’s Simon Werrett and Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson on the theme of “Natural Histories” exploring the career of Sir Joseph Banks.

STS Haldane Lecture - Professor Trevor Pinch

Start: May 22, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Professor Trevor Pinch will give an STS Haldane Lecture on 22nd May 2017, on "Sound studies and STS: the Moog synthesizer as a sound object". Location TBC.