Science and Technology Studies has long concerned itself with a proliferation of “hybrids” (messy mixings of science and politics, nature and culture) but it seems that we now face a proliferation of methods and devices for studying them. Under various banners, from The Social Lives of Issues to Mapping Controversies, teams of social scientists, programmers and designers have developed a staggering array of technical tools for analysing, profiling, locating and visualising these issues, controversies and matters of concern. Many of the people who developed these tools were present at an exploratory workshop at Goldsmiths last week, the first of two planned for this year.… Continue reading
It was a completely full house last week (7 March) in the Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre for Richard Rogers’ and Bruno Latour’s joint presentation as part of The New in Social Research – with students and lecturers lining the steps and craning their necks from the upper deck.
Both speakers were gracious co-hosts: Rogers referring to himself as “the appetiser for the main course”, while Latour framed his talk as “a footnote” to Rogers’. But the two lectures, which addressed “digital methods” and “digital ontology” respectively, were more closely entwined: Rogers’ cutting edge mapping and internet research techniques provided “an occasion” for Latour to vindicate the theories of Gabriel Tarde, while Latour’s Tardian ontology provided validation and grounding for Roger’s methodologies.… Continue reading