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This years 4S (Society for the Social Study of Science) Conference is being held in Buenos Aires 20-23 August. Along with colleagues – Amanda Windle and Bonnie Mac – have proposed an Open Panel.

Deadline for submitting abstracts is Monday 3rd March.

We are hoping to attract a wide range of interdisciplinary researchers who use a spectrum of materials, objects, performances and techniques in their work as a means of making and circulating ideas.


OPEN PANEL: Transmissions, entanglements and mess: the possibilities and pitfalls of new forms of description

The popularity of digital technologies has transformed not only the subject matter for many researchers but greatly expanded the possibilities of making, curating and circulating findings to new audiences. Yet debate and discussion about the tactics and techniques of translation has lagged behind their widespread use (Back 2012; Lury and Wakeford 2013; Orton-Johnson and Prior 2013). Despite pressure to open up access to data, innovative findings are predominantly transformed back into conventional presentational formats, with less attention focused on the possibilities of other forms of knowledge translation.

Traditional social science has been accused of tidying up the ‘mess’ left behind by the complexity of the world as it is formed into, for example, sociological categories, analyses and theoretical frameworks (Law 2004; Hine 2007). We might think that for knowledge to be transmitted to those outside our discipline, it is essential that complexity is reduced because we associate this with a clear and direct message. We tend to keep mess for the presentation of process. We are interested in how keeping IN the complexity in multiple and overlapping forms can be a productive way of representing research findings.

This panel explores alternative modes of knowledge transmission; how we make, share and exchange knowledge with others. We will debate how new forms of description (performance, film, installation, digital and material objects etc) might reconfigure our own understandings, reorient research dialogues with different disciplines and broaden exposure to new audiences, inside and outside traditional research settings. Mistakes and unexpected results will also be discussed, as will the challenges of the peer review process for unusual forms of knowledge exchange.


UPDATE: This is the panel


Crafting Complexities in Public Engagements: The Bicicultures Project
Sarah Rebolloso McCullough, University of California – San Diego; Adonia Lugo, League of American Bicyclists

Dressing in your data and other forms of sociological storytelling
Kat Jungnickel, Goldsmiths, University of London

Sound Systems, Drum Machines, and Contested Soundscapes of Rio de Janeiro
Alexandra Lippman, University of California, Irvine

Visualising Complex Data: A Workshop Approach to Infographics and Knowledge Transmission Amanda Nita Windle, University of the Arts, London

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