Sensory STS: A blog-post series

— Co-editors: Nicole Charles, Marianne de Laet, Jia-Hui Lee, Christy Spackman — A reviewer of one of our recent papers bluntly stated, ‘Instruments don’t sense.’ ‘Don’t they?’, we wondered, perplexed, visions of pH meters, spectrometers, and disease-sniffing rats dancing through our heads. The reviewer’s statement in turn opened a world of questions: What does it mean … Continue reading Sensory STS: A blog-post series

Authoritarianism and Indigenous peoples in the development of forensic genetic technologies

— Mark Munsterhjelm — A powerful new class of forensic genetic technologies being adapted by security agencies, called next generation sequencing (NGS) or massively parallel sequencing, have been sharply criticized by a number of scholars for resurrecting once discredited racial categories (Duster, 2015; Fullwiley, 2014). We might see NGS technologies in other terms, as well: … Continue reading Authoritarianism and Indigenous peoples in the development of forensic genetic technologies

Sensibilities of the flesh

— Nicole Charles — In an interview with a well-known Barbadian pediatrician about parents’ hesitancy toward the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Dr. Jones (a pseudonym) said to me: ‘I think after a while, people will come to their senses, do what’s best and protect [their children].’ But for Bernadette (also a pseudonym), a 39-year-old Afro-Barbadian mother … Continue reading Sensibilities of the flesh

The new watchdogs of science

—Emmanuel Didier, Catherine Guaspare-Cartron— On March 3rd, 2016, we hosted a conference entitled ‘Destabilized Science’ at the University of California, Los Angeles, to which we invited two representatives of core actors within the new science watchdog pack: Ivan Oransky, co-founder in 2010 of Retraction Watch, and Brandon Stell, co-founder in 2012 of PubPeer. After the … Continue reading The new watchdogs of science

Sticky technologies

—Tom Scott-Smith— It is easy to love fluidity. Fluid movement implies grace and effortless beauty. Fluid materials yield and flow. Fluids fill gaps, change in response to new conditions and are inherently smooth and adaptable. These qualities have seemed particularly useful in development and humanitarian aid. The Zimbabwe bush pump, as described in an article … Continue reading Sticky technologies