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CICS lecture series at Ghent University

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CICS lecture series at Ghent University

The CICS is an international lecture series organized by the Centre for Social Theory of the department of sociology at Ghent University, with the support of the Internationalisation@Home fund of the faculty of political and social science. The CICS welcomes three young and rising international scholars who will speak about their current work in the field of citizenship and participation. Friday 13 October, 10:00-11:30: ‘volunteerism on demand’, Ane Grubb (Aalborg University Copenhagen, DNK) Friday 10 November, 13:00-14:30: ‘donor perspectives on local and global blood and plasma use’, Zainab Afshan Sheikh (Copenhagen University, DNK) Friday 24 November, 13:00-14:30: ‘social bonds, intersectionality and relational sociology’, Greti-Iulia Ivana (Uppsala University, SVE) All lectures take place in Filmplateau, Paddenhoek 3 at Campus AULA of Ghent University, admission is free and open to all interested audiences. Alongside these public lectures, all three scholars will go into a more in-depth exchange of thought about their work during an informal research seminar that is open to all interested researchers and students. To register for this event, please send an email to Nathan Wittock (Nathan.Wittock@UGent.be). Ane Grubb: Thursday 12 October, 17:30-19:00 Zainab Afshan Sheikh: Friday 10 November, 9:30-11:00 Greti-Iulia Ivana: Thursday 23 November, 13:30-15:00 These seminars will take place in the meeting room on the first floor of the Communication Science department (Korte Meer...

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WTMC Workshop (Re)inventing Responsibility and Innovation

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WTMC Workshop (Re)inventing Responsibility and Innovation

18-20 December 2017 Conference centre Soeterbeeck, Deursen-Dennenburg (previously Ravenstein), the Netherlands In this WTMC Workshop, we look at innovation in its social context, as well as current perspectives on how innovation can and should be made ‘responsible’. We will discuss some of the standard views of innovation, and see how research from innovation studies and innovation management provide handles to think through innovation, and to manage it in specific ways. STIS (Science, Technology and Innovation Studies) has intensively engaged with this new discourse of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). How is RRI new – if at all – given the historical engagement of STIS with issues of responsibility and normativity? We will also look at how STIS scholars critically engage with some of the field’s built-in assumptions. What tends to be assumed under ‘innovation’, and what kinds of phenomena does that tend to make invisible – think of social innovation, resistance, recycling, repair and maintenance? What normativities are built into the framework of RRI – is innovation always ‘good’, and should we always have more innovation? What is meant by ‘responsible’, and for whom? Who are assumed to be the key actors in innovation? How can we enrol actors who are often excluded from innovation discourses and processes, such as users, and more particularly users in the ‘Global South’? And how can we conceptualize non-use and resistance? This workshop is aimed at PhD students across STIS. An explicit background in innovation studies is not required. Confirmed speakers include: Lotte Asveld, Stefan Kuhlmann and Annapurna Mamidipudi. The registration form for this workshop is now available here. Please register by 31 October 2017!   Costs for WTMC members: meals 10 EUR /day. Costs for everyone else: 695 EUR, including fee, accommodation and meals. If you have any content-related questions regarding this workshop, please feel free to contact Govert Valkenburg: g.valkenburg@cwts.leidenuniv.nl or Bernike Pasveer: b.pasveer@maastrichtuniversity.nl For practical questions please contact Elize Schiweck:...

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International Workshop: (Un)taming Citizen Science – 4/12/2017 – KU Leuven

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International Workshop: (Un)taming Citizen Science – 4/12/2017 – KU Leuven

Workshop outline We are presently witnessing a global explosion of citizen science initiatives covering a wide range of topics, from counting hummingbirds to actively researching new medical treatments, to the use of smartphones to measuring radioactivity in the environment. European policymakers and societal stakeholders hail citizen science as a means of (re)building trust in science, which may in turn lead to “more democratic research based on evidence and informed decision-making” and more responsible innovation (Sanz et al. 2014). Others see it as a means of enabling citizens to become researchers, advocates, or watchdogs of science, or to become their own sensors and create their own expertise and communities, distinct from established organizations and practices. In this workshop, we explore these and related issues through the notion of ‘(un)taming,’ which refers to the mutual adjustment of technology and the social, and links to ‘domestication’ and domestication theory in science and technology studies (Latour, 1987; Callon, 1986; Williams et al. 2004). It allows us to highlight how citizen science is incorporated into science and other subsystems of society through a wide array of interrelated and unconnected mechanisms, programs and procedures, such as research and development processes, the fabrication of new technologies and systems (e.g. DIY technologies), science policy making, educational activities, science journalism, and contemporary art forms, among others. As these processes elicit both support and controversy, they evoke several significant questions as to how citizen science is changing the confines of science and citizenship in contemporary society: Who and what is citizen science (not) for? How is citizen science tamed, and why? Which citizen science forms are amenable to taming, which forms are not? How is citizen science made public or politicized? How is it professionalized? How is it promoted, and to what effects? How do citizen scientists engage with the above questions? How will citizen science fare in the years ahead?   References Callon, M. 1986. “Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St. Brieuc Bay”. In Power, action, and belief, Edited by: Law, J. 196–233. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Latour, B. 1987. Science in action: how to follow scientists and engineers through society. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Sanz, F.S. et al. 2014. EU White Paper on Citizen Science for Europe (White Paper); http://socientize.eu/sites/default/files/white-paper.pdf Williams, R., Stewart, J, Slack, R. (2004). Social Learning in Technological Innovation, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar. Registration Participation is free of charge but registration is required before 15 November. If you would like to join us in Leuven on 4 December, send an email confirming your registration to Michiel Van Oudheusden: michiel.vanoudheusden@kuleuven.be Workshop venue Collegium Veteranorum (COVE) 02.10 Sint-Michielsstraat 2-4 3000 Leuven Building number: 109-20 How to get there: https://www.kuleuven.be/kulag/en/gebouw/109-20 Program 10.00-10.30 – (Un)taming citizen science, Ine Van Hoyweghen (KU Leuven) and Michiel Van Oudheusden (KU Leuven, SCK-CEN) 10.30-11.15 – Engaging citizens in European research and innovation activities, Philippe Galiay (DG Research and Innovation, European Commission) 11.15-12.00 – Citizen science and its promotion at the European Commission level, Hadrien Macq (Université de Liège) and Elise Tancoigne (Université de Genève) 12.00-13.30 – Lunch 13.30-14.15 – Citizen Science as Communication in Japan, Yasuhito Abe (Doshisha University) 14.15-15.00 – Citizen science after Fukushima: an opportunity to learn, Joke Kenens (KU Leuven, SCK-CEN) 15.00-15.30 – Coffee break 15.30-16.15 – Popularizing citizen...

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Guest lecture Joanna Latimer at KU Leuven: Working with Models of Ageing – Entanglements of Human and Animal Health and Wellbeing

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Guest lecture Joanna Latimer at KU Leuven: Working with Models of Ageing – Entanglements of Human and Animal Health and Wellbeing

On October 24 Joanna Latimer (Professor of Sociology, Science & Technology & Director of the Science & Technology Studies Unit (SATSU), University of York, UK) will give a lecture on ‘Working with Models of Ageing: Entanglements of Human and Animal Health and Wellbeing’ ABSTRACT This paper offers an empirical case study of how human and animal health become entangled as animal models are created and used to understand human ageing. We draw on ethnographic observations undertaken at a prestigious UK institute of life sciences. We focus on care and practice in their mouse house, and extend our analysis to how scientists’ and animals’ bodies become entangled in the day-to-day practices of doing the science of ageing. We explore these entanglements within the interdisciplinary scholarship on modelling and animal models, which we seek to extend through Anna Tsing’s (2012) twin notions of entanglement and nonscalability. Specifically, we focus on the ways in which human and animal health becomes entangled through the specific and local practices of animal modelling, but in ways that exceed the designed forms of experimentation. In other words, we explore the nonscalable elements involved in the scalar practice of animal modelling in biomedical research.   Practical info: –          24 October; 14h00 – 16h00 –          Room AV 91.21 (Faculty of Social Sciences, Parkstraat 45, Leuven – http://www.kuleuven.be/lokalen/50075058.htm) Details about the guest lecture can be found on our website: http://soc.kuleuven.be/ceso/life-sciences-society-lab All welcome, please register by sending a mail to Annet Wauters:...

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Guest lecture Jim Dratwa at KU Leuven: New health technologies in the Open Beta Society and the search for a new ethics

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Guest lecture Jim Dratwa at KU Leuven: New health technologies in the Open Beta Society and the search for a new ethics

On October 10 Jim Dratwa (Head of The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies) will give a lecture entitled ‘What world do we want to live in together? New health technologies in the Open Beta Society and the search for a new ethics’   Abstract From precision/personalised/stratified medicine to genome editing to mHealth, the ‘participatory turn’ in health offers new roles to citizens, be it as experimenters or experimentees, stakeholders, data providers, or prosumers. On the one hand, an ever-wider public participates in the production of knowledge and innovation. On the other hand, in stark contrast to ideals of open science and data commons, new power asymmetries and digital divides (in relation to data access, infrastructures, types of expertise) are emerging alongside large private actors and reshaping even the research agenda. The defining feature to unpack at the heart of our Open Beta Society is the ambiguity bringing together empowerment and exploitation. Associated key transformations lie in several areas of tension: notions of health and illness; notions of the body, the self and otherness; legitimacy, trust and the doctor-patient relationship; individual vs collective; national vs European/international; public vs private; distribution, access and inequality; science, expertise and citizenship. They have pressing implications for notions of human dignity, solidarity and justice. What ethics is required, if any, in the digital and genetic age? How to understand and reinvest with meaning the perplexing European adventure, past and present, in that regard? Between public debate, citizen science and democratic deficit, in sum, how to build the world in which we want to live in together?   Practical info: –          10 October 2017; 14h00 – 16h00 –          Room AV 91.21 (Faculty of Social Sciences, Parkstraat 45, Leuven – http://www.kuleuven.be/lokalen/50075058.htm) Details about the guest lecture can be found on our website (http://soc.kuleuven.be/ceso/life-sciences-society-lab). All welcome, please register by sending a mail to Annet Wauters:...

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Guest lecture Daniela Schuh at KU Leuven: Cross-border surrogacy and the coproduction of kinship and the state in Germany

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Guest lecture Daniela Schuh at KU Leuven: Cross-border surrogacy and the coproduction of kinship and the state in Germany

In December 2015, Germany’s highest court recognized a gay couple as the birth parents of a child . The judgment broke with long-held assumptions about the countries family law, which previously considered a child as always descending from a woman and a man and therefore received great attention in the media and among legal observers. Many organizations concerned with children’s rights and LGBT parenting publicly welcomed the verdict as a step towards a more inclusive society. Other institutions, however, diminished the ruling as having failed to recognize that a child can – by nature – never stem from two persons of the same sex. The child, whose civil status was debated so controversially, was born by a surrogate worker in California. A gay couple from Berlin had hired the surrogate worker since the practice was prohibited in Germany. While the men were recognized as birth parents under Californian state law, the question of legal parenthood under German law kept national courts busy for several years. Controversies in this case grounded in the fact that Germany does not only ban surrogacy but also defines the woman who gives birth as legal mother. Legislators did, however, not clarify how to proceed if surrogacy was conducted abroad, in countries that accept the practice. In my talk, I discuss how parenthood was negotiated in the course of this trial. In contrast to many legal commentaries concerned with this case, I show that the judgment did not only mark a break in understandings of descent, but also in assumptions about the relationship between the German state and it’s individuals, which implicitly guided legal decision making in cases of cross-border surrogacy. In doing so, I also investigate former confrontations with surrogacy in Germany to show how convictions about the children’s legal parents in these cases became inseparable from understandings about children’s needs as well as assumption about Germany’s sovereignty and responsibility for citizen’s conduct abroad. My study builds on scholarship in social sciences and critical legal studies that investigates the relationship between scientific and technological progress in the area of human reproduction and transformations in our perceptions of kinship. In contrast to many contemporary studies about cross-border surrogacy, I locate the source of challenges to parenthood and nationality, and with this the motor of societal change, not only within the area of new reproductive technologies and practices. Rather, my study investigates cross-border surrogacy as a window that allows us to observe how technology and legal cultures interact to challenge ideas about familial and national belonging.   Practical info: 3 October 2017; 14h00 – 16h00 Room AV 91.21 (Faculty of Social Sciences, Parkstraat 45, Leuven – http://www.kuleuven.be/lokalen/50075058.htm) Organised by Life Sciences & Society Lab (CeSO, KU...

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2018 SRA-Benelux Conference “Change in Risk – Risk in Change”: Call for Papers

Posted by on 12 h 29 min in Agenda, Call for papers | 0 comments

2018 SRA-Benelux Conference “Change in Risk – Risk in Change”: Call for Papers

Our world is changing at a rapid pace and we are changing with it. New and emerging technologies, enhance, disturb, or transform existing societies, markets, and networks, as do organizational shifts and innovations designed to meet societal or environmental needs. Furthermore, the national and international political landscapes are undergoing profound changes as the balance of power is shifting in several directions. Existing conventions and policies are unable to address these problems and may even exacerbate the risks these changes pose. These trends profoundly affect the social, economic, environmental, and cultural outlooks of societies and individuals alike, creating momentous opportunities for change, as well as challenges, and risks. They evoke questions for risk analysis, policy, and management in the following ways: What kinds of risk do contemporary societies confront? What is new or different about these risks and which approaches are best suited to tackle them? Which practices, problems, and people contribute to the shaping of risk and change management? Can change and risks be governed in socially responsible ways? How are risk and change understood, performed, or framed? Is risk best understood as a physical attribute or as a social construction, or both? How is risk analysis adapting, responding, being extended or “innovated,” in view of technological, economic, and social changes and disruptions? This conference invites papers that engage with these interconnected processes of change in risk and risk in change, as institutions, norms, and practices, are reconfigured, dissolved, or transformed in manifold ways – including the fields of risk analysis, management, and policy (SRA 2015). Theoretical, methodological, and empirical perspectives on the above topics are welcomed. Abstracts for individual presentations and symposia that are not restricted to this year’s focal theme but are well within the scope of the SRA-E-BeNeLux’s research agenda, will also be considered. Potential topics include: risks to human health and the environment, digital risks and security, risk perception and communication, risk ethics, risks and regulation, and risk literacy and education. References: SRA (Society for Risk Analysis), “Risk Analysis Foundations.” May 7, 2015; http://sra.org/sites/default/files/pdf/FoundationsMay7-2015-sent-x.pdf   Conference date: 26 March 2018 Location: Lakehouse SCK-CEN, Mol, Belgium Procedure:  SRA-E-Benelux welcomes your abstracts for oral presentations. Abstracts (maximum 250 words) must include a title, the names and affiliations of all authors (presenting author underlined), and maximum five keywords. The abstract should be sent to srae_benelux_2018@SCKCEN.BE. The deadline for submissions is 17 November 2017. All abstracts will be reviewed by the SRA Conference Review Board. Acceptance notifications will be sent by early February 2018. Click here to go to the conference...

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Interuniversity Course on Clinical and Research Genomic Data Sharing and Access

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Interuniversity Course on Clinical and Research Genomic Data Sharing and Access

In order to make the promises of genomic medicine a reality, various national and international organizations have endorsed responsible genomic data sharing in both clinical and research settings. Sharing individual-level genomic data however could generate various concerns. Individual-level genomic data contains sensitive personal information which are worthy of robust privacy protection. Additionally, further processing of data, originally accumulated for a single project, gives a new twist to the discussion on the adequacy of informed consent mechanism.  In order to ensure responsible data sharing, it is crucial to discuss the challenges and promises associated with genomic data sharing with clinicians and the researchers in the field. To address this goal, on August 31st  and September 1st 2017,  Leuven Institute for Human Genomics and Society will be organizing the interuniversity course on clinical and research genomic data sharing, which aims to discuss the current state of the art in clinical and research genomic data sharing and address the associated ethical, legal and social challenges. The interuniversity course will be a combination of lectures and interactive discussions. All participants should register for the event using the registration form before July 31st, 2017. To download the registration form and for program information and practical details, see:...

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Think(er)ing with Epigenetics – 15-16th June 2017 – KU Leuven

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Think(er)ing with Epigenetics – 15-16th June 2017 – KU Leuven

In the context of our research group at KU Leuven on challenges in the postgenomic era, we would like to bring together ongoing discussions from various disciplines about the vast field of epigenetics. Epigenetics (re-)emerges in a politically and morally charged history of eugenics, biopolitics, and related debates on nature/nurture. Epigenetics is heralded by some as finally helping us to move beyond that history and its violent assumptions, while others warn for a reiteration of precisely those assumptions in terms of individual biochemistry (thereby obscuring socio-political and historical environmental factors again). Agendas of environmental justice seem as much strengthened as weakened by epigenetics, depending on the epistemological as well as ethical values performed by the respective research-designs. Indeed, the notion of ‘evidence’ cannot be taken for granted, and therefore we propose to ‘think and tinker with’ epigenetics as a mode of attention towards body-environment interactions, thus asking how these challenge scientific, moral and political assumptions. Programme: Thursday, 15th June (room 00.74) 13h15 -13h30: Welcome & Registration 13h30 -14h00: Introduction by Katrin Solhdju (VUB & KU Leuven) & Kim Hendrickx (FWO & KU Leuven) 14h00 -15h00: Hype and Challenges of Molecular Epigenetics – Vanessa Lux (Ruhr University Bochum) 15h00 -16h00: Of Rats and Women: Figurations of Motherhood in Environmental Epigenetics – Ruth Müller (TU München) 16h00 -16h30: coffee break 16h30 -17h30: The Postgenomic Body: Another Plasticity is Happening – Maurizio Meloni (University of Sheffield) 17h30 -18h30: Turtling all the way down”? Some notes on interspecies epi- and symbiogenesis – Katrin Solhdju (Vrije Universiteit Brussel & KU Leuven)   Friday, 16th June (room 00.74) 9h30 -10h30: Can we Learn to Speculate with Epigenetics? – Kim Hendrickx (KU Leuven) 10h30 -10h45: coffee break 10h45 -11h45: Which Metaphysics for Epigenetics? – Didier Debaise (Université Libre de Bruxelles) 11h45 -12h15: Final Discussion 12h15: Goodbye lunch For more information, see: https://soc.kuleuven.be/ceso/life-sciences-society-lab/calendar/InternationalWorkshopOnTThink%28er%29ingWithEpigenetics Participation is free but please register before June 9th: kim.hendrickx@kuleuven.be...

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The Economisation of Lifestyle/Lifestylisation of Economy – May 9th 2017, KU Leuven

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The Economisation of Lifestyle/Lifestylisation of Economy – May 9th 2017, KU Leuven

We are pleased to announce that the International Workshop ‘The Economisation of Lifestyle/Lifestylisation of Economy’, organised by the Life Sciences and Society Lab (KU Leuven), will be hosted in Leuven (Belgium), on May, 9th, 2017. Processes of behaviour-based personalisation are penetrating everyday life through wearable technologies, such as smart phones, fitness trackers, and new analytical tools, such as predictive modelling. Big data, and the different forms of personalisation that accompany it, is promising to revolutionise the way we ‘live, work and think’. The workshop reflects on the dynamic relation between processes of economisation of life and knowledge practices to calculate ‘the way we live’, which are at the same time processes of lifestylisation of economy. The focus will be on emerging shifts in the ways different actors are mobilized and on how new technologies contribute to economize lifestyles resulting in new classifications and social ramifications with regards to the ways we live. The invited speakers of this one-day workshop are Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (University of Tampere, Finland), Kean Birch (University of Toronto/York University, Canada) and Liz McFall (Open University, UK). You can find the full programme on the website of the Life Sciences and Society Lab. Practical info: Date: May 9th 2017, 9.45AM-03.45PM Meeting venue: Institute of Philosophy, Kardinaal Mercierplein 2, 3000 Leuven This workshop is open to everyone, but registration is necessary Registration: gert.meyers@kuleuven.be Organisation: Gert Meyers & Ine Van Hoyweghen, Life Sciences & Society Lab, KU Leuven  ...

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