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TECNOSCIENZA: Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2038-3460 - ISSN (Online) 2038-3460
Published by STS Italia Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Probots (2015-) by Chris Csíkszentmihályi

    • Authors: Redazione Tecnoscienza
      Abstract: Probots are teleoperated robots designed to replace or augment human protestors in demonstrations and manifestations. They are designed to disassemble into a suitcase, be reassembled in short order, and to picket for up to eight hours. They are controlled via smart phones, and each has a megaphone and can either produce synthesized speech or relay a human voice. They can protest in Santiago, controlled by a clicktivist in a café on the Left Bank.

      Should protest be conducted by robots' What does it mean to have a vacant body in public space, that neither understands nor benefits from a direct action, but is only a proxy' Can movement solidarity be maintained through telepresence' Regardless of the answers to these questions, governments are funding research and development of next-generation autonomous weapon systems: UCAVs, USVs, UGVs, LAWs, ARSS, SUGVs, VIPeRs and Ripsaw MS1s, ULAQs and Krunks... Thousands of different models, increasingly used by police forces in addition to armies, all built atop decades of civilian research by computer scientists and electrical engineers. Should war be conducted by robots' Too late! Rhetorical question!

      Probots were developed (1) on the island of Madeira with engineers Victor Hugo Aguilar and Victor Azevedo, based in part on an idea from Julio Fernandez Ostolaza. They are part of a series of politically engaged robots that Csíkszentmihályi has been developing since 1991, including hunter hunter, Species Substitute, Afghan eXplorer, and the DJ I, Robot Sound System. These projects and others may be found at https://www.edgyproduct.org/

      Chris Csíkszentmihályi is an artist and Associate Professor of Information Science at Cornell University, where he leads the Redistributive Computing Systems Group (2)

      Photocredit: Sara Tranquada

      (1) https://github.com/VitorHugoAguiar/ProBot
      (2) https://rc.infosci.cornell.edu/
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • STS Encounters in Pandemic Times

    • Authors: Simone Arnaldi, Stefano Crabu, Assunta Viteritti
      Abstract: Abstract: This short essay by the departing board of STS Italia (Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies) introduces a Special Section of the Journal collecting a set of writings that present and develop some of the key themes of the VIII STS Italia Conference, held in June 2021 as a virtual event. The Special Section features an invited essay by Dimitris Papadopulos and Andrea Ghelfi followed by a short commentary by Luigi Pellizzoni. In addition, the Section includes ten different “Conference Reflections” – as situated perspectives on the meeting – written by colleagues who had a major role in organizing the event, or who convened one of the conference thematic tracks. As a whole, the Conference Reflections help broaden and improve our understanding of the manner and extent in which contextualized meanings and local socio-material practices constitute the fabric of the socio-technical environments where we live, thus unveiling the inextricable entanglement of novel vulnerabilities and technoscience.

      Keywords: Dis/Entangling Technoscience; Conference Reflections; Vulnerability; Responsibility; Justice.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Ecological Transition: What It Is and How to Do It. Community
           Technoscience and Green Democracy

    • Authors: Andrea Ghelfi, Dimitris Papadopoulos
      Abstract: Abstract: The paper examines different practices, imaginaries and programs of ecological transitions whose articulation points towards a more-than-local and less-than-global green eco-social transformation. Translocal ecological transitions bring together climate action politics, environmental justice, and the everyday ecologism of experimental community-led technoscience. Within transition projects we see the emergence of new more-than-human political constituencies, the making of broad eco-social coalitions, and the implementation of innovative forms of reparative governance. Ecological transitions foster a new political space, green democracy, as an alternative to both regressive nationalism and green globalism that dominate contemporary politics.

      Keywords: Ecological transition; translocal infrastructure; more-than-human
      politics; green democracy; reparative justice.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Handle with Care. Transition, Translocalism and Experimentalism for a
           Green Democracy

    • Authors: Luigi Pellizzoni
      Abstract: Abstract: Commentary to the Lecture “Ecological Transition: What It Is and How to Do It. Community Technoscience and Green Democracy”, by Andrea Ghelfi and Dimitris Papadopoulos (this issue).

      Keywords: technofix; prefiguration; neoliberal governmentality; Anthropocene; Gaia.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Managing Uncertainty in Biomedical Innovation from Below. Exploring
           Tensions and Contradictions in Oncology and Pregnancy Cases

    • Authors: Barbara Morsello, Veronica Moretti
      Abstract: Abstract: The contribution originates from Track 1, “Genetics and biomedical innovation: Between risky and promising scenarios”, held within the VIII STS Italia conference. The session was intended to promote reflection on the implications of the latest innovations in genetic research and molecular biology for the formation of new care practices, as well as new surveillance and risk management. The objective of the paper is to highlights the contradictions and ambivalence that may rise from biomedical innovation through analysing two specific cases: 1) off-label practice in the context of rare disease in oncology and 2) pre-natal screening technology and surveillance practices. In both cases, these biomedical innovations, although very promising, produced high uncertainty, and the technologies and/or processes developed to cope with the ‘unknown’ were challenging. However, at the same time, tensions and contradictions were observed that originated unexpected practices ‘from below’. In particular, the following section is focused on the ambivalence that has increasingly taken root in the management of risks related to health with respect to individual contributions and to research and scientific work practices.

      Keywords: Biomedical research; genomics; digital pregnancy; selfsurveillance; off-label.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Has COVID-19 Changed Everything' Exploring Turns in Technology
           Discourses and Practices Related to Ageing

    • Authors: Francesco Miele, Francisco Nunes
      Abstract: Abstract: This article presents reflections resulting from the conference session “Dis-entangling Later Life: Ageing Processes, Innovative Practices and Critical Reflections”, organized in the context of the VIII STS Italia Conference. The paper expands the discussions from the session and touches on three topics regarding the multiple relationships between COVID-19, ageing and health, namely: (1) the decline of a hyper-responsibilizing rhetoric in the public sphere over the last decades, along with concepts of active ageing and successful ageing; (2) the reinforcement of the representation of ageing as a process with homogenous effects on population, transforming older adults into a social group characterized by shared frailties and needs; and (3) the growing role of public and third sector institutions in supporting older adults in the use of technology during the COVID-19 outbreak, expanding the network of involved actors. Proposals for future research paths are addressed in the conclusions, encouraging the further analysis of the topics discussed in the conference session.

      Keywords: Ageing; COVID-19; discourses; practices; technology.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Disentangling Digital Technologies and Power Relations in Work and

    • Authors: Attila Bruni, Lia Tirabeni
      Abstract: Abstract: This contribution stems from the thematic track “Digital technologies and power relations in work and organizations. Theoretical and empirical perspectives”, held during the VIII STS Italia conference. Referring to the contributions and the discussions we had during the track sessions, we present two main themes that emerged as crucial issues: 1) the hidden dynamics of digitalized interactions in workplaces and organizations; 2) the role of algorithms and digital platforms in organizational and work practices. Not with the aim of summarizing the variety and richness of the discussions we had, with this text we want to raise the curiosity and the attention of the readers toward some of the conversations emerging from the encounters between “the digital” and “the organizational”.

      Keywords: Digital technologies; work practices; organization; power; algorithms.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Weak Systems. Unveiling the Vulnerabilities of Digitization

    • Authors: Paolo Bory, Philip Di Salvo
      Abstract: Abstract: This article discusses digitization weaknesses, biases, and malfunctions to challenge popular, almost hegemonic visions of contemporary technologies. By focusing on examples provided by recent mediated cases, controversies, and critical research about biases, we aim to propose an analysis of anything digital starting from its vulnerabilities, to look beyond polarized deterministic views, both optimistic and pessimistic. The article generates from the thematic track: “Weak Systems. Exploring bias, bugs and the vulnerability of digitization” that took place at the VIII STS Italia Conference. The panel brought together scholars from different backgrounds, including STS, history of technology, sociology of communication and critical data and media studies to discuss instances of technological weaknesses in various contexts. The article sums up some of the panel takeaways and pleas for a cooperative and interdisciplinary effort focusing on “weak systems”.

      Keywords: Digital vulnerabilities; infrastructures; artificial intelligence; cybersecurity; critical data studies.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Infrastructures and Platforms in Media and Cultural Industries

    • Authors: Tiziano Bonini, Paolo Magaudda
      Abstract: Abstract: This article offers an overview of the topics explored during a conference track, titled Platforms and Infrastructures in Media and Cultural Industries, organised by the authors within the VIII STS Italia Conference held virtually in June 2021. The text starts outlining how infrastructural research, which emerged in science and technology studies (STS) and has been then adopted in different branches of media studies, evolved. To this end, it reviews some of the major works that embraced the so-called ‘infrastructural turn’ in media studies. The emergence of platform studies is then outlined, a field that stemmed from game studies and, largely owing to the social relevance of social network platforms, subsequently became a major intersectional space between STS and media studies.

      Keywords: Infrastructures; platforms; digital media; cultural industries; STS.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • The Ambivalence of Platforms. Between Surveillance and Resistance in the
           Management of Vulnerable Populations

    • Authors: Lorenzo Olivieri, Annalisa Pelizza
      Abstract: Abstract: This contribution aims to summarize and highlight the main themes emerged during the panel “Surveillance infrastructures or open platforms' Aid and control of vulnerable populations through digital data” that took place at the VIII STS Italia Conference. The panel invited to reflect upon the ambivalence and ambiguity of digital platforms and data infrastructures for population management as well as on the highly diversified functions and users they support and attract. More precisely, presenters were encouraged to enquire how platforms and data infrastructures affect vulnerable populations and reconfigure the boundaries between the private and public domains: how do they allow empowering and innovative communication and resistance strategies' How, on the contrary, do they produce novel or exacerbate already existing vulnerabilities' How is the modern distinction between government, business, and civil society de facto reshuffled as a consequence' Although panel’s presentations discussed remarkably different types of platforms – from online maps and social networks to public health databases and migration technologies – they overall emphasized that only a careful, situated analysis of the multiple socio-technical factors shaping users’ engagement might help to understand how – and why – those technologies become tools for control and surveillance or empowerment resources.

      Keywords: platforms; surveillance; resistance; vulnerable populations; data infrastructures.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Dis/Entangling the Worlds of Education through a STS Perspective

    • Authors: Assunta Viteritti, Leonardo Piromalli
      Abstract: Abstract: All fields of education are affected by technological and digital processes. Blackboards (physical and digital), information infrastructures, chairs (mobile and immobile), online platforms, educational data, they are all weaving together with humans the very fabric of educational and research processes and practice in school, university, and training settings. These entangled processes are shaping educational scenarios through heterogeneous practices. In this short contribution, we shall unpack such processes and explore the emergence of relational textures across educational scenarios.

      Keywords: sociomateriality; digitalisation; education; learning; knowledge.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Affective Engagement in Knowledgemaking

    • Authors: Michela Cozza
      Abstract: Abstract: This article provides an overview of the discussion animating the track “Doing research in technoscience as affective engagement” organised at the VIII STS Italia Conference. By acknowledging the inheritance of feminist STS scholars in expanding the theoretical scope of care beyond its traditional sites, this session was devoted to exploring knowledge production as a matter of care as well as a form of affective engagement and entanglement with multiple Others while doing research. Two contributions were presented. The first ethnographically investigates Canadian blood donation practices by drawing on Haraway’s SF figure to develop what the speaker calls ‘Sanguine Figuration’. The second presentation relies on research of women’s animist practices amongst horses in Swiss Alps through a filmmaking practice influenced by Haraway’s work on the natureculture continuum and situated knowledge. Both studies embody efforts to develop non-representational research practices and experimental approaches showing the affective entanglement between researchers and researched, subject and object. Further, these contributions have highlighted the importance of conceptual creativity and imagination in building an apparatus that enables accounting for affective engagements in doing research in STS.

      Keywords: Affect; body; entanglement; posthuman feminism; postqualitative.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • What if Siri and Alexa Unionize' Disentangling Digital Feminist
           Technoscience, between Gender Bias and Self-determination

    • Authors: Mariacristina Sciannamblo, Letizia Zampino
      Abstract: Abstract: This contribution takes shape from the conference track titled “Disentangling Digital Feminist Technoscience”, held in occasion of the VIII STS Italia Conference. The article discusses the main insights emerged from the research works presented in the track, identifying digital technologies as assemblages made up of relationships, cultural and social values, as well as imaginaries that can disambiguate, but also overturn, gender bias. The contributions presented reflect, and thus are summarized around, two central issues developed in the literature about feminist technoscience in digital domains, focusing on how digital technologies reproduce gender bias and power asymmetries, but can also generate responsible and conflictual interventions. Ultimately, the article reflects on the potential of technologies and design as important tools to develop a gender-sensitive reflexive stance towards cultures of technology, as well as to subvert gender clichés and create possibilities of transformations.

      Keywords: Feminist technoscience; digital STS; gender; digital technologies; transformations.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Responsible and Inclusive Citizen Science. Comparing Initiatives and
           Assessing Impacts

    • Authors: Paolo Giardullo, Rosa Arias, Leire Leguina, Joana Magalhães
      Abstract: Abstract: This contribution develops from the panel titled “Responsible and inclusive citizen science: comparing initiatives and assessing impacts” organized for the VIII STS Italia Conference. We conceived our panel as a place to gather experiences and perspectives about the study and assessment of inclusiveness, effectiveness, and impact of Citizen science (CS) initiatives. A better understanding about CS, even taking into a perspective for policy-oriented interventions, may intercept crucial issues about participation and engagement into science and technology. These issues are getting increasingly explored but research about how and, moreover, what to assess as the positive outcome of CS is still in its infancy. The original idea was to build upon experience and methods to develop a common reasoning, but the discussion went beyond our expectation, elaborating the value of participation beyond the pure enlargement of the number of participants into CS activities. Accordingly, this paper explores the variety of notions of participation, citizenship, and democratization of science entailed in the idea of assessing participation and inclusion as addressed during the track.

      Keywords: Citizen science; public engagement; impact assessment; inclusivity.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Rethinking the Nexus between Science, Politics and Society in the Age of
           the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

    • Authors: Paolo Bory, Stefano Crabu, Barbara Morsello, Marta Tomasi, Simone Tosoni
      Abstract: Abstract: This crossing boundaries section addresses the substantial aspects at stake in reshaping the nexus between science, politics and society triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, three main dimensions are explored: first, the emerging forms of science-related populism and how political narratives challenge and dispute prevailing scientific knowledge; second, the platformization of science communication and the active role of users and communities in consuming and spreading online misinformation; third, the role of lay expertise in contesting the epistemic authority of science during the health emergency. The authors explore the related topics by mobilizing different theoretical frameworks from STS studies, media studies and legal science, also moving from empirical to theoretical level in order to challenge the “surface” of a multilayered phenomenon.

      Keywords: science-related populism; lay expertise; online communities; pandemic; public controversies.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Thinking with Maintenance and Repair to Account for Obduracy of Macro
           Orders. The Case of Informational Migration Management in Europe

    • Authors: Yoren Lausberg, Annalisa Pelizza
      Abstract: Abstract: Ongoing work and theorizing in the field of STS has made important progress in conceptualizing agency, and stressing contingency and dynamic processes in science, technology and society. However, this focus on case studies and micro dynamics has left the field ill equipped to account for obduracy and stability. We suggest a framework for understanding obduracy in STS can be found by reassessing various insights from the social sciences and STS on the processes of maintenance and repair (M&R). To illustrate our framework, we offer a concrete example in one of Europe’s crises: alterity processing or the collection of practices and infrastructures to manage Europe’s ‘migration crisis’ (Pelizza 2019). We make explicit how maintenance and repair can be used to consider the obduracy of large scale orders without losing the empirical edge that the STS offers.

      Keywords: maintenance; repair; migration management; alterity processing; Europe; obduracy.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Book Reviews

    • Authors: Redazione Tecnoscienza
      Abstract: A. Balzano
      Per farla finita con la famiglia. Dall’aborto alle parentele postumane [Doing Away with Family. From Abortion to Posthuman Kin]
      Milano, Meltemi, 2021, pp. 200
      by Federica Timeto

      S. Cervia
      Genere e scienza come costruzione sociale. Il ruolo delle istituzioni nello sviluppo della ricerca [Gender and Science as a Social Construction. The role of institutions in research development]
      Milano, FrancoAngeli, 2018, pp. 216
      by Ilenia Picardi

      F. Cugurullo
      Frankenstein Urbanism. Eco, Smart, and Autonomous Cities. Artificial Intelligence and the End of the City
      London and New York, Routledge, 2021, pp. 228
      by Claudio Coletta

      A. Escobar
      Designs for the Pluriverse. Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds
      Durham and London, Duke University Press, 2018, pp. 312
      by Atsuro Morita

      S. Grosjean and F. Matte (eds.)
      Organizational Video-Ethnography Revisited. Making Visible Material, Embodied and Sensory Practices
      Cham, Palgrave, 2021, pp. 182
      by Barbara Pentimalli

      A. Jaque / Office for Political Innovation
      Mies e la gatta Niebla. Saggi su architettura e cosmopolitica [Mies and
      Niebla the kitten. Essays on architecture and cosmopolitics]
      Leonforte, Siké, 2021, pp. 226 [Italian translation, edited by Gianluca Burgio and Ramon Rispoli, of Mies y la gata Niebla. Ensayos sobre architectura y cosmopolitica, Barcelona, Puente, 2019]
      by Alvise Mattozzi

      V. Moretti e B. Morsello (eds.)
      Interferenze Digitali. Prospettive Sociologiche su Tecnologie, Biomedicina e Identità di Genere [Digital Interference. Sociological Perspectives on Technologies, Biomedicine and Gender Identity]
      Milano, FrancoAngeli, 2019, pp. 184
      by Angela Balzano

      Y. Strengers and J. Kennedy
      The Smart Wife. Why Siri, Alexa, and Other Smart Home Devices Need a Feminist Reboot
      Oxford, MA, the MIT Press, 2018, pp. 320
      by Linda Paxling
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
  • Tecnoscienza Nr. 24 (FULL PDF)

    • Authors: Redazione Tecnoscienza
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2022)
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