The Science Studies Network was established in Fall 2007 as an inclusive, university-wide network of faculty and graduate students who share an interest in science studies. The University of Washington has great strength in the sciences and rich, widely dispersed resources in sciences and technology studies, so our goal has been to create a forum in which practitioners in the sciences and science studies scholars can explore common interests in a sustained way. We are also committed to developing an interdisciplinary curriculum in science studies that integrates existing course offerings and programs, and to fostering regional links between STS scholars and programs in the Pacific Northwest.
SSNet initiatives include Biological Futures in a Globalized World, a cluster of projects hosted by the Simpson Center for the Humanities in partnership with the Center for Biological Futures at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that we initiated in 2011; a speaker series on “Representations” (2009-2010); and a series of colloquia linked to graduate microseminars and public lectures on the theme, "Democratizing Science" (2008-2009). We build on a long standing tradition of reading and discussion groups in History and Philosophy of Science, and on a high profile Science Studies Speaker Series that ran for two years in 2003-2005.
For current events see the homepage and calendar, and for details of past SSNet programs see the Archive. Podcasts are available for most SSNet events.
SSNet is animated by an expansive vision of the interdisciplinary field of STSS, one that takes the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in all their complexity — their practice, their history and socio-cultural formation, their philosophical underpinnings, their impact on our lives — as a subject for systematic investigation.
The point of departure is an appreciation that the STEM fields are a jointly intellectual, material, and social enterprise; they bring diverse resources to bear on the project of constructing stable, reliable systems of knowledge about the natural and social world. It is the goal of STSS to understand how such knowledge is produced and authorized; what distinguishes it as scientific, technical knowledge; how it evolves and is inflected by the contexts of its production and use; and what its normative implications are: what ethical obligations and other forms of accountability constitute “research integrity” in particular contexts of practice.
To address these questions STSS scholars necessarily draw on the resources -- conceptual, methodological, empirical – of a wide range of disciplines, including the cognate fields of history and philosophy of science, social and cultural studies of science and technology, and interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, and policy issues in the STEM fields.