Prof Jane Calvert to Deliver Andrew Webster Lecture on Science, Technology and Society

We are delighted to invite you to join us for the annual
Andrew Webster Lecture on Science, Technology and Society
on 7 September 2023
at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL 
1730 for 1800 start
Attendance is free, please register below.

This year’s speaker will be Professor Jane Calvert, University of Edinburgh who will talk on ‘Synthetic biology and the social sciences: making room for collaboration’.

Jane works in the sociology of the life sciences, and her current research focuses on attempts to engineer living things in the emerging field of synthetic biology. She has a long-standing interest in interdisciplinary collaborations of all sorts. 

We also have two respondents to Jane’s lecture: Dr Ros Williams‘(University of Sheffield) work spans across Science and Technology Studies (STS), critical media studies, sociologies of race and ethnicity, and of health and illness. Dr Koichi Mikami (Keio University in Japan) is interested in exploring the role of social sciences and humanities in the governance of science and technology. 

Book your place here: 

About Andrew Webster Lecture on Science, Technology and Society

To commemorate the life and work of Professor Andrew Webster, the Department of Sociology and SATSU established an annual lecture series that will showcase research in the broadly conceived area of science, technology and society. A Professor in the Sociology of Science at the University of York since 1999, Andrew was the founder and director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit, which he established originally at Anglia Ruskin University in 1988. He was Head of the Department of Sociology at York between 2004-2009 and then the Dean of Social Sciences. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in 2007.

STS Italia

The 9th STS Italia Conference was held at the University of Bologna, Italy, June 28th-30th, with the theme “Interesting Worlds to Come: Science & Technology Studies facing more-than-human challenges”. The conference is to explore the concept of “interest” in order to address global challenges and design future worlds with justice for all nations, species, and generations. The conference is to reflect on the recent events that have shown current challenges affecting diverse networks of humans and non-humans over the long term. From an STS perspective, the conference aims to understand “interest” as more than just concern but also as agency, involvement, and action.

The conference opened with the keynote of “Extreme infrastructures: transversal relationships between the technopolitics of climate change adaptation and international migration”, given by Professor Huub Dijstelbloem. The following panels revolve around the IPCC’s goals, medical and AI, to end wars or to prevent pandemics. Besides, topics, such as “In Memoriam of Bruno Latour” were also discussed at the round table. In addition, the conference coincided with the Bologna Cinema Ritrovato Festival, where global STS scholars were able to experience the multifaceted culture of Italy.

Foundations of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research

A Reader

Edited by Bianca Vienni-Baptista, ETH
Zürich, Isabel Fletcher and Catherine
Lyall, The University of Edinburgh

This groundbreaking reader is designed to lower the
barriers to interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity
in research. Edited by experienced researchers from
a range of different fields, it paves the way for future
scholarship and effective research collaborations across

Chapters offer extracts from key academic texts on
topics such as the design, funding, evaluation and
communication of research, providing those new to the
field with a thorough grounding. They highlight examples
of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary triumphs and
challenges. Concluding each chapter is a commentary
provided by practitioners from diverse backgrounds,
many of whom are themselves developing new
approaches to inter- and transdisciplinarity.

The book is:

• the first ever comprehensive reader for interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity;

• essential reading for those seeking to become effective collaborative researchers;

• complete with concise introductions, extracts, commentary and further reading in each chapter.

This is a much-needed primer that improves our understanding of the characteristics of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity, unlocking their exciting potential in research and teaching within and beyond academia.

Find out more here.

UKRI programme on Responsible AI led by Jack Stilgoe

Jack Stilgoe (UCL STS) is one of the leaders of a new £31 UKRI programme on Responsible AI, which was announced by the Secretary of State at London Tech Week in June. This 5 year programme is an opportunity to bring STS into conversation with computer scientists, engineers and others to inform new rules for AI. Contact Jack for more information.

Digital Festival for the History of Science 2023

The programme for the Digital Festival of the British Society for the History of Science is now available.

This is a major international event, with the opportunity to interact with colleagues from around the world.  Please spread the word via all your international contacts.

You can check out the contents of the various panels, discussions and activities at:

The Digital Festival is a single-line 4-day event.  It’s a festival, not a conference, meaning people are free to dip in and out.  There are no parallel panels, so you can enjoy all the exciting sessions live, if you want to. However, we know that this might be a lot even for the most enthusiastic people out there. So, pick your favourite sessions (we are aware that this might be tricky!) and join us either via the stage-button on Zoom or on YouTube. Please note that you can only ask questions via the Zoom Stage. The YouTube Chat will be closed. And if you missed a session, check out our recorded versions on YouTube later on!

The Festival features 28 sessions with speakers from 15 countries, focused on discussion of key topics for everyone interested in the history of science, technology and medicine.

July 3


Scholars from across the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) sector discuss the relationship between the history of science and their audiences.

July 4


A day exploring the role of people, place and perspectives; and the problem of historical erasure.

July 5


A fascinating interdisciplinary look and hands-on advice, on how historians of science can enhance their methodologies and develop new approaches.

July 6


Digital technologies have transformed our discipline. Colleagues at the forefront discuss the potential of this revolution for scholarship.

Dr Charlotte Sleigh

Vice-president, British Society for the History of Science

Twitter: @KentCHOTS

Science in Public Early-Career Workshop, 14th July

The Science in Public Network Committee ( is immensely pleased to announce we will be running an Early-Career Workshop on the 14th July, University of Exeter, with the support of the International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society (INSBS), Exeter Engagement Network, and Egenis, Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences.

This will be the first opportunity for new generations of ‘early-career’ researchers and professionals interested in science in the public sphere – in the very broadest sense – to come together: with each other, senior colleagues, SiP Committee members, and expert practitioners, to discuss the present and futures of our community in the UK. Our speakers include Hanah Ayoob, science communicator and illustrator, Professor Emily Dawson of UCL, and the day will also include roundtable reflections on research and practice in SiP, plenty of sticky notes, and lots of time to network. Do come along, meet some great people, and have your say on next steps for the Network.

The full programme is available on the SiP website at this link. Attendance is FREE but please book your place (in-person or online) in advance using Eventbrite: If you have any questions, then please contact us using our webform here.

Member publication!

Andy Yuille (2023) Beyond Neighbourhood Planning: Knowledge, Care, Legitimacy.

 This new book, published on June 30, centres around an STS analysis of a form of small-scale, community-led land-use planning in England called neighbourhood planning. Described as “The best thing I’ve ever read about urban planning. Razor-sharp and cutting through jargon and convention” (Quintin Bradley, Leeds Beckett University), it demonstrates the power of STS approaches to transform understanding of public participation at the nexus of diverse forms of knowledge and expertise. There has been an international turn to participatory democracy – enabling people to play an active role in decision-making that affects them – over the past three decades.

Neighbourhood planning is a particularly striking example of this turn, with community groups given the power to write statutory planning policies for their areas. Its promoters portray it as a straightforward transfer of power from state to community which prioritises local knowledge and care for place. This book examines the complex realities behind that simple picture and the ways in which communities are simultaneously empowered and constrained by the process. It uses neighbourhood planning as a lens to explore how some things are made to matter in participatory practices and others are marginalised. It uses theories and approaches drawn from Science and Technology Studies to understand how community voices achieve legitimacy and become effective or excluded through the selective enactment of different types of knowledge and care, and explores how this approach might be utilised in other sites of participatory democracy. This new perspective opens possibilities for interventions in research and practice that could better deliver on the democratic claims made for participation, and provides lessons for a wide range of participatory practices that promise community empowerment by giving voice to local knowledge and concerns.

Bristol University Press

Call for papers: “Numbers”: Sociological Review Magazine

The Editor of the Sociological Review Magazine is inviting pitches for papers. They have just published their first themed magazine issue which is on the theme of Artificial Intelligence.

Link to June issue – AI:

They are now preparing a second issue linked to this one, out on 10 October. The issue will be titled “Numbers” and continues the theme of digitalisation started in the June issue. Link to October Issue: Numbers (deadline for pitches 27 June, full articles 18 July):

The magazine writes for a broad interdisciplinary audience including readers outside academia, and we are open to unconventional formats (interviews, podcasts, videos, photo-essays, Q&As, literature lists, or any other ideas contributors may have). They provide extensive editorial support and want to encourage also authors whose first language isn’t English to write for them.

For more info: Milena Kremakova
Dr Milena KremakovaThe Sociological Review | Magazine

Twitter: @idlEthnographer

Instagram: the_idle_ethnographer

Marginalisation and the Microbe: how to mobilise around antimicrobial resistance (AMR) without increasing social inequalities.

Dr Catherine Will wishes to share updates on her project with the Wellcome Trust with the title Marginalisation and the Microbe: how to mobilise around antimicrobial resistance (AMR) without increasing social inequalities. More information can be found here, or on Twitter, @AMRinterrupted.

Catherine currently has one post-doctoral fellow working with her, Dr Kashouris, who got her PhD on UTIs and her previous research fellow, Dr McKnight, who is now a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sussex.