Call For Papers: “Technoscience as Activism”

Hosted by the Triple Helix GK-12 NSF Program
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York

Conference Dates: June 27-29, 2012
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2012

This conference seeks new approaches to interweaving social justice and science/technology. Some that are already known include DIY and “maker” communities, Open Source Science, “Technologies for Non-violent Social Change,” and other new hybrid forms of collaboration that put technoscience in the hands of non-experts, local communities, indigenous groups and the less powerful. Typical approaches to “ethics in science” treat ethics as a police officer that operates at the borders, slapping science on the wrist when it over-steps. How can we treat ethics instead as a pro-active force, integrated from the start? Social scientists studying scientific controversy may know very little about the particulars of the science, and the scientist embroiled within the controversy may not know very much about the dynamics of communities or the relations of power between experts and the public. This conference will highlight ways to provoke engineers, social scientists, and the educators of future thinkers into considering new and innovative methods of merging social and technical dimensions of science and engineering research, teaching and practice. It will contribute to the possibilities for a “two way bridge” across the lay/expert divide; one in which social justice is informed by technoscience and not just technoscience informed by social justice. To this end, we are looking for papers and proposed panels that can discuss transformative possibilities for every level of making science, scientists, technology, engineers, and knowledge. Existing categories in which pertinent (and important) discussions are taking place are, but is not limited to, K-12 STEM education, advanced pedagogy in the natural/physical/life sciences, ethics, public engagement/understanding of science, theoretical and social studies on information and communication technology, political sociology of science, Science and Technology Studies, appropriating technology, feminist studies, emerging nanotechnology, postcolonial studies, engineering education, urban studies, and experimental art.

What:
We are accepting 250-word abstracts for presentations made by individuals, to be placed into themed panels. We are also looking for hands-on workshop format presentations or activities to be done in groups by people with a variety of technical and social expertise. Workshop sessions can be submitted by individuals or groups. Limited travel reimbursement may be available.

US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

As we prepare to meet in Colombia for our annual conference, here are two videos on the impending US -Colombia Free Trade Agreement, negotiated in 2006 but only now coming to the U.S. Congress for final ratification before its August recess. The following videos from the US Office on Colombia, a non-profit group, discuss the impacts of the FTA for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, and for small-scale farmers and workers.

 

Follow the link for US folks to get involved, or learn more about how Colombian workers will join the AFL-CIO’s campaign in Washington in July to defeat ratification.

Engineering/Social Justice Zine (Reconstruct)

Call for submissions: Online and printed zine about the intersections of social justice & engineering
Title: Reconstruct, Volume 3
Deadline for submission: May 31, 2011
Call: See attached file

The editors of Reconstruct are asking for submissions for Volume 3 of the zine to be printed in July 2011. We are asking for submissions from practitioners, students, and academics, who have something to say about the intersections of social justice and engineering/technology/engineering education. We are accepting art, writing, prose, poetry, essays, collages, lyrics, photos, reviews of films/books, or any other type of media that can be included in an online/printed zine. To see the type of submissions included in previous volumes of the zine, view Volume 1 and 2 of Reconstruct following this link: http://esjp.org/zine.

 

We believe that zines such as this are important in reconstructing our practices as engineers, reaching out to those outside our communities, and sharing our self-reflections with each other. Please consider contributing to this important effort.

Send all submissions to webmaster@esjp.org by May 31, 2011. If it can’t be emailed, email us and we will figure out a way to get your work submitted.

In your submission, please include:
– Your name (or name you want to be published)
– Contact information (in case we need to talk to you about your work — will not be published)
– A brief (50-100 word) bio or description of who you are/what you do, etc (not required).
– Your piece/submission should be in an attachment, not copy/pasted into the email. (If you have trouble with attachments, email us for help!)

What is ESJP?
ESJP is a network of academics, students and practitioners across a wide range of disciplines, who are asking two basic questions:
What does engineering look like which is socially just?
What does the education of these engineers look like?
For more: http://esjp.org/

What is Reconstruct?
Reconstruct is an online/printed open zine put together by member contributions. It explores the intersections of social justice, engineering, and technology. It is a zine committed to envisioning and practicing engineering in ways that identify and dismantle specific occurrences of injustice related to engineering and technology. Some contributions are from members of the ESJP network, others are not.

Here are some questions that could serve as starting points for submissions to Reconstruct:
– How do we talk about race/racism/colonialism in engineering education?
– Have you felt your personal identity or one aspect of your identity (trans, woman, differently abled) to be excluded from the culture of engineering?
– How do we practice engineering in a way that promotes accountability to our community(ies)?
– Is there a particular protest/direct action/occupation you are involved in that you would like to talk about?
– Is there a film/book/artwork that challenges technological injustice (anti-mining murals come to mind)?