Dept. of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento
November 24, 2016 – November 26, 2016
The 6th STS Italia Conference will be held in Trento, Italy, November 24 through 26, 2016, by the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Trento.
As for past editions, the Conference aims at offering the opportunity to discuss empirical and theoretical work addressing diverse aspects of the social study of science, technology and innovation from a variety of disciplines and fields (sociology, anthropology, law, philosophy, design, psychology, semiotics, history, and economics, etc.).
The focal theme of this year’s conference is Sociotechnical Environments. On the one hand, we are conscious that everyday and professional environments we inhabit are increasingly shaped by science, technology and innovation processes. However, these environments are not mere results of technical solutions and rational choices, but they rather emerge from a collective, dynamic and open-ended process of co-production, involving social arrangements and technoscientific processes, human actors and material artifacts, natural resources and cultural frameworks. At the same time, reflecting on the sociotechnical co-production of our social world brings to the foreground the relationship between technoscientific innovation and natural environment, turning environmental practices, politics and materialities as decisive focal points for the current research in multiple fields and intellectual domains.
Under this unifying framework, the conference will be articulated in 25 different thematic sessions, focusing on several different topics, including: environmental issues, biomedical settings, robotics and algorithms, communication and digital media, scientific and professional work, design, urban infrastructures and innovation processes at large.
It’s not all about numbers: Gendering processes in technologies and technological careers
to be held at the Dept. of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, November 24-26, 2016
The under-representation of women at all levels of scientific and technological careers is a phenomenon closely connected to the lack of recognition of the relevance of gender in science and the ways in which it affects contents, methods and priorities. This situation produces a growing negative impact on the quality of the research and its policies, as well as on the use of scientific and technological results in economic and social terms.
Looking at the literature on gender and technological careers, particularly in the academic system, one of the most studied phenomena is the strong gender discrimination which still characterises them. Various metaphors have been used to describe it: from the ‘Matilda effect’ (Rossiter, 1995) – which emphasises the systematic undervaluation or denial of the contribution of women in scientific domains – to the image of the ‘leaky pipeline’ (Alper, 1993) – to illustrate the progressive reduction in their number along the trajectory of scientific careers, a trend which is exacerbated in times of scarce resources and employment instability.
However, the asymmetrical presence of women and men in professional careers is only one of the critical elements of the gender-technology relationship. In order to critically address this issue, we shall consider not only technological careers, but also technology itself. Drawing inspiration from Haraway’s work, the concept of technofeminism, introduced by Wajcman (2004), helps us to critically assess how technologies are shaped in ways which tend to exclude women and, at the same time, how technological careers, including academia, are shaped in numerically and symbolically male-dominated work environments.
This interdisciplinary stream invites theoretical and/or empirically informed papers that deepen understanding of gendering processes in technologies and technological careers. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:
• How can we reflect critically on the gender-technology relationship?
• How are gender asymmetries constructed in scientific and technological careers?
• How do the decreasing resources and the temporary character of funding affect gender differences in scientific and technological fields?
• Which organisational strategies can promote a gender-sensitive culture in work environments?
• How are technologies shaped in ways which tend to reproduce gender asymmetries?
• How can feminist perspectives combine research and political practices in order to change socio-technical networks?
Abstracts of approximately 300 words are invited by May 30, 2016 with decisions on acceptance to be made within one month. All abstracts will be peer reviewed. New and young scholars with ‘work in progress’ papers are welcomed. Papers can be theoretical or theoretically informed empirical work.
To submit your proposal please send an e-mail – indicating the title of the chosen session – to:
April 1, 2016: Conference announced with track listing, call for abstracts
May 30, 2016: Deadline for abstract submission
June 30, 2016: Authors notified of abstract acceptance or rejection
September 15, 2016: Closing date for registrations (mandatory to be included in the programme)
October 30, 2016: Deadline for paper submission (to be included in the proceedings)
November 1, 2016: Publication of final conference program
Call for Abstracts
The conference will be articulated in 25 tracks, focusing on several different topics, including: environmental issues, biomedical settings, robotics and algorithms, communication and digital media, scientific and professional work, design, urban infrastructures and innovation processes at large.
Abstracts should be submitted by May 30, 2016 through the conference platform. Submission should include:
1. Author’s name and surname, institution and email address
3. Abstract’s text (no more than 300 word all included)
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the emails of convenors’ selected track