Science Studies Network 2009-2010
SSNet was founded in 2007 as a network of faculty and graduate students at the University of Washington who share an interest in science and technology studies. We have run two year-long bi-weekly colloquia: a cross-disciplinary exploration of current network members’ interests in 2007-2008, and a thematic readings-based seminar on “Democratizing Science” in 2008-2009.
Representations: A Science Studies Network Speaker Series 2009-2010
Please join us for Representations, a speaker series exploring both the practices of representing Nature in the sciences and the ways in which science serves to represent diverse communities and cultural perspectives in the study of the natural world.
The schedule of speakers follows, and notices of colloquia will be posted as details are finalized. All SSNet events are free and open to the public, but the lunchtime meetings will require an RSVP.
All lectures will be held in CMU 120 beginning at 4pm.
See the SSNet Calendar for more details.
Helen Longino (Depatment of Philosophy, Stanford University)
October 21: “Navigating the Social Turn”
Paul Rabinow (Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley)
April 19: “Synthetic Biology, Political Spirituality: Reflections on Some Actual Things”
Michael Lynch (Science and Technology Studies Dept., Cornell University)
May 10: “‘Seeing Atoms’: Instrument-laden Perception and the Production of Nano-images”
Upcoming Visiting Speaker 5/10 - Michael Lynch
Professor Michael Lynch
(Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University)
Monday, May 10, 2010 :
As part of our continuing speaker series, Representations, we are pleased to announce the details of Michael Lynch's visit on May 10th. Professor Lynch will join us for a lunch colloquium discussion and give an afternoon lecture. Both events are free and open to the public, but the lunchtime meeting does require an RSVP.
Michael Lynch is a Professor in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. His study of electron microscopic research in a neuroscience laboratory was one of the earliest ethnographic studies of visualization and discourse in day-to-day laboratory research. He also has investigated aesthetic judgments used by astrophysicists when preparing digital images, and is currently conducting a study of visualization in astronomy. Other research interests include the relations between law and science with a focus on forensic DNA analysis and the sociology of mental disorders. He is Editor of the journal Social Studies of Science, and past President of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).
Science Studies Network Public Lecture
May 10, 2010
4:00pm, Communications 120
Title: ‘Seeing atoms’: Instrument-laden perception and the production of nano-images
Abstract: Instrumentally mediated vision has long been a subject of wonder and skepticism. Although it is commonplace to speak of ‘seeing’ with instruments, there continues to be debate about what that means. Questions about seeing atoms with the probe microscopes used in nanoscience and nanotechnology research are particularly fraught, because such instruments work on different principles than optical instruments. Rather than extending sight, they extend ‘touch’ by probing surfaces. Probe microscopes produce arrays of measurements that can be translated into visual topography, but scholars who have taken interest in these instruments, as well as many scientists who use them, have difficulty coming to terms with what such topography means or indicates. Based on preliminary study of images of nanoscale objects, this paper examines the way instrument-laden perception is a matter of forming, shaping, and translating data into visually intelligible objects. Examples from probe microscopy suggest that ‘seeing’ nanoscale phenomena is a material craft that integrates data with visual conventions associated with molecular modeling as well as macroscopic objects and scenes.
Science Studies Network/Philosophy of Science lunch colloquium
May 10, 2010
12:00-1:20pm, Communications 202
Link to RSVP (required)
Professor Lynch will lead a discussion of some of his work related to visualization and representation in science:
• Michael, Lynch, "Discipline and the material form of images," Social Studies of Science 15(1): 37-66 (1985).
• Cyrus Mody and Michael Lynch, “Test objects and other epistemic things: a history of a nanoscale object,” British Journal for History of Science (forthcoming).
STS Speakers and Discussion Groups - UW 2009-2010
Philosophy of Science Reading Group
The UW Philosophy of Science Group is running a research reading group organized around the theme of "representations and models in science" during the 2009-2010 academic year. The aim of the group is to support and nurture research projects for faculty and grads. Each term, the group will meet for 5 sessions to discuss selected readings and 1-2 additional sessions to discuss work in progress by faculty and graduate students.
All interested faculty and grads are welcome to join us! Readings are made available on a catalyst website. Please contact Andrea Woody (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to receive information about the group and access to the readings throughout the term.
There are a great many other STS visitors and discussion groups taking shape this year, sponsored by SSNet members’ home departments and by working groups in related areas. If you have information about any event that might be of interest to SSNet members, be sure to send a notice out through the SSNet list and we will post the date and details on our calendar.
Curriculum Development in Science and Technology Studies
A primary goal of SSNet is to coordinate and build upon the rich array of courses and programs in science and technology studies (STS) currently offered at UW. We have several curriculum projects under way; see Curriculum Project for more details. Our priorities this year are to build on two intiatives begun last year:
* Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in STS: We are in the process of drafting the proposal for a graduate certificate that will serve both science students interested in the historical, social, and normative contexts of their research practice, and humanities and social science students engaged in science studies. We’d be glad of your input and advice: see the Certificate section of the Curriculum Project page for background on these plans and the proposal, when it’s ready to circulate.
* On-line Directory of STS Courses: We are actively searching for information about STS-relevant coursework offered at UW. If you are teaching courses in this area and would like to get the word out, please post a description of your courses on our SSNet Courses Wiki.
Northwest STS Consortium and Summer Institute
There is tremendous strength in STS in the Pacific Northwest; as a UW-based network, SSNet is committed to building on these collective strengths and finding ways to productively link our existing discipline and institution-specific initiatives.
This summer, SSNet members met with our UBC counterparts to discuss the feasibility of jointly sponsoring a NW STS Summer Institute and collaborating on a number of other fronts. We are actively developing plans to sponsor our first NW STS Summer Institute next year. Watch this site for details!
One immediate outcome of this meeting is a plan to develop a NW Regional STS Calendar – so information about all STS events at universities and colleges in the region is accessible in one place. We expect to have a regional complement to our local UW - SSNet calendar up and running in the next few weeks. Check back soon!
Congratulations to our UBC colleagues on the wonderful news that they are now in position to initiate a graduate program in STS!
SSNet Steering Committee:
- Alison Wylie (Philosophy and Anthropology), SSNet coordinator [Bio]
- Sarah Elwood (Geography) [Bio]
- Angela Ginorio (Women Studies) [Bio]
- Mott Greene (Earth and Space Sciences) [Bio]
- Phillip Thurtle (CHID and History) [Bio]
- Simon Werrett (History)
- Andrea Woody (Philosophy), Speaker Series coordinator [Bio]