Wild research: Radical openings in technoscientific practice and the transformation of STS - WS 16/17




 Tomás S. Criado

PhD TechnoScienceStudies

January 13, 2017, 10-14pm

A collaborative spectre is haunting science and technology. In the past decades we have witnessed an explosion of radical openings of research practices where increasingly technified citizens and engaged professionals collaborate in the most diverse forms of knowledge production in both online and offline platforms of all kinds. In these efforts they generate and put into circulation documentation on the most diverse range of issues, attempting to materially intervene their everyday worlds with different political aims. Practices that, for lack of a better term, might be described as ‘wild research’ not only signal collaborative redistributions of the who, how, when and where of knowledge production, circulation and validation, but also expansions in the range of contents, means, and knowledge registers there emerging: a whole constellation of practices forging different versions of ‘science and technology by other means’. Paying attention to these transformations this doctoral workshop seeks to analyse different nuances of ‘wild research’ projects, helping to expand what STS up to date has considered more collaborative or more democratic forms of technoscientific production (participatory engagements of lay people in expert-driven processes, such as in citizen science; articulations of counter-expertise and evidence-based activism by affected communities, concerned groups, embodied health and environmental justice activisms to engage in conversations with experts). Furthermore, beyond an attempt at classifying and describing their differences the second part of the seminar will address not only how these forms of ‘wild research’ entail different forms of knowledge and the political, but also the alternative forms of doing STS–with particular attention to ethnographic and conceptual work–these radical collaborative openings in technoscientific practice might be bringing to the fore.
Doctoral researchers will be asked to prepare an essay (max. 3000 words long) dwelling on their research subject; for this they should dialogue with 2 readings from Part I and 2 readings from Part II.

Part I:

Callon, M. (1999). The Role of Lay People in the Production and Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge. Science Technology & Society, 4(1), 81–94.

Callon, M., & Rabeharisoa, V. (2008). The Growing Engagement of Emergent Con-cerned Groups in Political and Economic Life: Lessons from the French Association of Neuromuscular Disease Patients. Science, Technology & Human Values, 33(2), 230–261.

Callon, M., Lascoumes, P., & Barthe, Y. (2011). Chapters 1 ‘Hybrid Forums’ (pp. 13-36), 3 ‘There’s Always Someone More Specialist’ (pp. 71-106), 4 ‘In Search of a Common World’ (pp. 107-152) & 5 ‘The Organization of Hybrid Forums’ (pp. 153-190). Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Corsín, A. (2014). The right to infrastructure: Prototype for open source urbanism. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 32(2), 342–362.

Kuznetsov, S., & Paulos, E. (2010). Rise of the Expert Amateur: DIY Projects, Communities, and Cultures. In NordiCHI 2010, October 16-20 (pp. 295–304). Reykjavik: ACM.

Murphy, M. (2004). Immodest witnessing: The epistemology of vaginal self-examination in the US feminist self-help movement. Feminist Studies, 115–147.

Murphy, M. (2006). ‘Indoor Pollution at the Encounter of Toxicology and Popular Epidemiology’ (pp. 81-110) & ‘How to Build Yourself a Body in a Safe Space’ (pp. 151-178). In Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Rabeharisoa, V., Moreira, T., & Akrich, M. (2014). Evidence-based activism: Patients’, users’ and activists’ groups in knowledge society. BioSocieties, 9(2), 111–128.

Wylie, S., McLaughlin, M., & McIlvain, J. (2013). Public Laboratories: Designing and Developing tools for Do-It-Yourself Detection of Hazards. Limn, 3. URL

Part II:

Fortun, K. et al. (2014). Experimental Ethnography Online: The asthma files. Cultural Studies, 28(4), 632–642.

Holmes, D. R., & Marcus, G. E. (2005). Cultures of Expertise and the Management of Globalization: Toward the Re-Functioning of Ethnography. In A. Ong & S. J. Collier (Eds.), Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (pp. 235–252). Oxford: Blackwell.

Holmes, D. R., & Marcus, G. E. (2008). Collaboration Today and the Re-Imagination of the Classic Scene of Fieldwork Encounter. Collaborative Anthropologies, 1(1), 81–101.

Kelty, C. et al. (2009). Collaboration, Coordination, and Composition: Fieldwork after the Internet. In J. D. Faubion & G. E. Marcus (Eds.), Fieldwork is Not What it Used to Be: Learning Anthropology’s Method in A Time of Transition (pp. 184–206). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Korsby, T. M., & Stavrianakis, A. (2016). Moments of Collaboration: Experiments in Concept Work. Ethnos. DOI  

Marrero-Guillamón, I. (2017). Making fieldwork public: Repurposing ethnography as a hosting platform in Hackney Wick, London. In A. Estalella & T. Sánchez Criado (Eds), Experimental Collaborations: Etnography through Fieldwork Devices. Oxford: Berghahn.

Sánchez Criado, T. & Estalella, A. (2017). Introduction: Experimental collaboratons. In A. Estalella & T. Sánchez Criado (Eds), Experimental Collaborations: Etnography through Fieldwork Devices. Oxford: Berghahn.

Course materialWS16/17 Wild Research.pdf