Justice and Counter-Expertise for Science as Culture

Страна: N/A

Город: N/A

Дедлайн: 11.04.2016

Даты: 11.04.16 — 11.04.16

Е-мейл Оргкомитета: [email protected]

Организаторы: Justice and Counter-Expertise for Science as Culture


Research, design and development perpetuates inequality because the broader structure of how it is funded has led to scientific knowledge and technology production that typically benefits the wealthy and most powerful segments of society globally (Moore et al., 2011; Woodhouse et al., 2002; Woodhouse & Sarewitz, 2007). The unequal distribution of benefits and burdens stemming from science and technology can contribute to the marginalization of the poor and those with less power or status (e.g., non-western, laypersons, low-income persons, persons of color or low caste, disabled persons, and LGBTQI persons, etc.). Many sciences and technologies also have embedded politics (Winner, 1980): in contrast to the linear progress of technology narrative, the politics of artifacts may serve to further disadvantage those whom are already marginalized. Meanwhile, the “undone sciences” (Hess, 1998; Frickel et al., 2010) and “undone technologies” (Woodhouse, 2010) that may be of most utility to marginalized populations are not getting done. Frequently, and for a variety of reasons, scientists, engineers and policymakers exclude the marginalized from decision-making in research, design and development. Resolving this problem is, in part, a challenge of recognition justice (Fraser, 1998), which calls for identifying the marginalized populations affected by particular decisions, recognizing their right to participate, and ultimately facilitating their integration into the decision-making process. Downstream solutions to this problem are concerned only with distribution justice: the re-allocation of benefits and burdens in a more equitable fashion after science and technology has been produced. However, this focus on distribution justice accepts the status quo of current inequitable practices of research, design and development agenda setting (Woodhouse & Sarewitz, 2007). An upstream solution has been to increase the diversity amongst science and engineering experts through, i.e., affirmative action programs. A proposed upstream (or midstream, see Fisher et al., 2006) solution has been to create policies to re-configure the institutions of science and industry during research, design and development: increasingly utilizing diverse perspectives will counter structural biases in scientific and technology agenda setting (Harding, 1992; Cozzens, 2008). Greater inclusivity in agenda setting may help to counter the asymmetric distribution of rewards and burdens; this new inclusivity in agenda setting may involve utilizing the perspectives advanced by social movements about science and technology. Thus amongst scientists, engineers and policy-makers there is an emerging interest in democratizing participation in research, design and development. Democratic participation is needed but often marginalized groups are not recognized as having legitimate knowledge claims in areas relating to research, design and development. In response to science and technology injustices, some marginalized groups, NGOs, professional workers and lay experts have found ways to use their own knowledge(s). Some examples include: crowds using mobile phone cameras as surveillance of police behaving badly or for participatory sensing (Banks, 2011; Shilton, 2010); low-income women technology users pointing out structural injustices while disputing the digital divide (Eubanks, 2011); non-credentialed laypersons (or credentialed STS scholars) intervening in natural science or health controversies (Fortun and Cherkasky, 1998; Lave, 2011; Scott et al., 1990); citizen scientists collecting data about pollution in their communities (Ottinger, 2010); laypersons engaging in public exercises that feed into decision-making about clinical trials, energy choices or climate change (Epstein, 1996; Delborne et al., 2013); ethnic and gender minority volunteers donating genetic material who question their inability to access appropriate health care (Benjamin, 2013); non-western physicians producing new sciences and technologies (Williams, 2013); and non-western physicians, scientists and engineers challenging unequal partnerships with wealthy institutions in the West (Crane, 2013; Hwang, 2008; Nieusma and Riley, 2010). As demonstrated by the above examples, civil society organizations and social movements have become more visible in grappling with complex questions related to the domain of science, technology and social life. Each of these examples is a break from the normal reliance upon high-status science and engineering expertise, indirectly illustrating that the counter-expertise of marginalized populations is typically excluded from decisions related to science and technology. Citizen-based groups are resisting dominant knowledge discourses and offering alternative visions of science and technology in society (Hess, 2007; Seyfang and Smith, 2007). Studying these individuals and organizations is a strategic area of interest for science and technology studies theory (Martin, 2006; Woodhouse et al., 2002). In this special issue we pose the following questions in order to better understand the relationship between justice and the counter-expertise of marginalized populations: Whose justice? Whose counter-expertise? Whose vision? How are particular politics embedded in future visions for science and technology and in current or historic artifacts (Ninan, 2009; Turner, 2010)? When marginalized groups contest dominant discourses, how is their counter-expertise defined? To what extent are the boundaries around scientific, design and managerial expertise solidified, or permeated, by the perspectives of the marginalized? Where does contribution of such counter-expertise fall along a spectrum from “participation” to “influence”(Lave and Ottinger, 2013)? In other words, what is the relationship between expertise “from the margins” and decision-making (Allen, 2013)? This special issue is interested in papers that address these questions across a wide range of topics including, but not limited to, energy, environment, health, and information technology. All papers should carefully define justice using an appropriate scholarly framework (e.g., Fraser, 1998; Eglash, 2013, Mamo and Fishman, 2013, Ottinger and Cohen, 2011; etc.). Please submit your paper to both Logan Williams ([email protected]) and Sharlissa Moore ([email protected]) on or before the deadline of Monday, April 11, 2016. The submission should be a maximum of 7000 words including all text (to allow for additions during the peer-review process), and it must follow the Science as Culture editorial guidelines for research papers. Please feel free to contact the guest editors with any questions.

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