Recently established, the Red eSCTS (Network of Science, Technology and Society of the Spanish State) is holding its first meeting under the title “Making the invisible visible” on 25, 26 and 27 of May in Madrid, at MediaLab Prado.

The eSCTS is a network of nonprofit professionals, who join together with the aim of bringing together and fostering communication of all who work in the area of social studies of science and technology (STS). Its purpose is to consolidate the STS studies in Spain and to create a space for participation, communication and reflection for researchers already established and those younger who begin their careers of doctorate. A discussion and meeting space to account for diversity academic, cultural and political life of the Spanish State.

We talked to Vincenzo Pavone, staff scientist at the Public Policy Institute of the CSIC and one of the coordinators of the Red eSCTS on the next meeting of this community of researchers and practitioners.

Q: Tell us about the need that arises to undertake this network among researchers.

A: The area of research known as Science, Technology and Society is an area where researchers from various disciplines such as history of science, sociology of science, anthropology, political science, attempts to explore and understand the complex relationships between innovation, science, society and politics. The idea of forming a network of social studies of science and technology in Spain emerged as an almost utopian proposal from a group of researchers at a conference of another international network, the Science and Democracy Network , which took place in June 2010 in a residence of the Royal Society , near London.The conference was the annual meeting of this network is a few years ago at Harvard and directed by Sheila Jasanoff.

At that conference, these researchers felt that, given the fragmentation of CTS research groups in Spain, and considering the lack of recognition that this area of research is as autonomous area and consolidated in the Spanish academic world, needed a tool of connection and exchange between researchers and institutions that facilitate collaboration among researchers, support the training of PhD students, expedite the formation of consortia to carry out research projects and, ultimately, promote the consolidation of CTS in the Spanish academic context.

Some of them, at the International Congress of CTS in Tokyo in August 2010, took up the case and began to consider the possibility of creating a telematic group. Back from vacation, the researchers gathered all emails from known researchers in Spain and abroad and invited them to join the CTS googlegroup Spain .

Q: A hard work. How to organize your first meeting at such short notice?

A: Yes, we began to organize the first meeting with a call for papers and proposals for dissertations, and little by little, thanks to the availability of free and generous MediaLab Prado, got to shape the meeting

Q: What do you expect?

A: The meeting will have the participation of some renowned researchers in CTS, with the inaugural lecture of Brian Wynne, from Lancaster University, and also with representatives of many research groups and lines of CTS from all over Spain.

We expect a significant participation, of thirty or more researchers at all stages of their career from the beginning of a doctoral thesis to teachers of recognized standing and long career in CTS. We believe it is a good start, not so much by the numbers of participants, but this is very good for a first encounter, but for the variety of topics, from lines of research, institutions, and junior and senior researchers involved.

Q: An interesting and necessary challenge, no doubt, how did you focuss the work of this group?

A: Everything serves a dual purpose, creating STS Group of the Spanish State has, on the one hand, an academic purpose because we expect a network to exchange data, ideas, articles and proposals to facilitate progress in the studies of science, technology in Spain, and on the other, has a corporate purpose because a well-organized network can be an important reference for all STS researchers who want to work on science and technology in Spain and seek cooperation in creating partnerships and collaborations and because it may facilitate the consolidation of this area of academic research and political in the sense or policy-making.

Q: What will be the thematic focus of this first meeting?

A: The theme of the meeting is “Making the invisible visible”. All are invited to consult he full program of the meeting as well as summaries of communications. This first meeting aims to make visible the STS studies in Spain, at least in three aspects. In one hand, we make visible the issues and challenges, especially in relation to the current trend of CTS studies in Europe and worldwide. Secondly, we want to expose, in a shared and horizontal, all the institutions, opportunities, groups and agencies dedicated to CTS, giving them space and time to meet, recognize, interact, discuss, look beyond and think about the future of CTS in Spain. Finally, there is also an objective epistemological: we wonder about what our work brings to light, but also about what is hidden, the invisible, so obscure and marginalize. We hope, in short, that is a first step in developing a virtual reality and real, and at the same time, consolidated all participants, so horizontal and not hierarchical, they can provide ideas, proposals and visions, and share questions, concerns, and training.

More information: Red eSCTS

If you can not attend, follow us on streaming, here you can see the video of the meeting: MediaLab Prado.

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