XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010

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Research Committee on
Sociology of Science and Technology RC23

Programme Coordinators
Jaime Jiménez, IIMAS, UNAM, México, jjimen@servidor.unam.mx
Czarina Saloma, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, csaloma@ateneo.edu

Congress Programme


Science and Technology on the Move

In a world that is in perpetual flux, Sociology of Science and Technology (and Innovation) changes at the same pace with the new ways of doing science, new purposes for the development of technology, and new impetus and organization for innovation. Thus, the RC23 sessions in the XVII World Congress of Sociology carry with them a central and important agenda: to understand the transformations in the social and cultural spaces of science, technology and innovation. Countries that traditionally have been behind in the production of science are now in the forefront. New inter-disciplines and trans-disciplines consolidate by their own right. New opportunities evolve for scientific development of Third World countries. New means for information interchange open unexpected opportunities for collaboration between the countries that “have” and those that “have not”, between their respective scientists, and between scientists and other social actors in a myriad of new fora outside the traditional channels of academic exchange. New “invisible colleges”, connecting scientists both North and South emerge. Technologies offer new modes of work and leisure. These and many other topics will be examined in our sessions on Science & Technology on the Move.

Sessions descriptions

Session 1: Science, technology and innovation on the move: the changing trends in global society. Part I

Special session on the Congress theme.
Organizer: Hebe Vessuri, IVIC, Venezuela, hvessuri@gmail.com
This session aims to explore the consequences of science, technology and innovation (S,T&I) for global society. Is society harnessing S,T&I or is it the other way around? Why does society rapidly adopt a new technological devise without the assessment of any possible negative consequences? Is society convinced that “what is good for science is good for humanity”? These and other related questions ought to be explored and the positive and negative consequences of “progress” should be reconsidered.

Session 2: Science, technology and innovation on the move: the changing trends in global society. Part II
Special session on the Congress theme.
Organizer: Hebe Vessuri, IVIC, Venezuela, hvessuri@gmail.com

Session 3: Ciencia y tecnología para el desarrollo del tercer mundo. Science and technology for the development of the third world (Spanish language session)

Organizer: Judith Zubieta, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, zubieta@servidor.unam.mx
Esta sesión está destinada a explorar el quehacer científico y tecnológico en los países del tercer mundo, con la intención de discutir la naturaleza que subyace a esta actividad. ¿Qué se entiende por CyT para el desarrollo? ¿Es válido que el científico y el tecnólogo que trabajan en centros de investigación de estos países, persiga  trascender en el mundo de la ciencia y la tecnología aportando a las investigaciones efectuadas en países avanzados? ¿Qué beneficio aporta a nuestros países? ¿Cómo apoyar a aquellos que investigan para resolver problemas de las regiones donde laboran? ¿Reciben el mismo reconocimiento que aquellos trabajando en temas de la “big science”? Estas y otras interrogantes serán tratadas durante esta sesión.

This session focuses on the exploration of the scientific and technological work done in Third World countries. What is the meaning of S&T for development? Should the scientist and technologist working in research centers of these countries pursue the research agenda of advanced countries? What benefits are bestowed upon countries in the Third World? How can scientists who do research to solve problems of the regions where they work be supported? Do they receive the same recognition as those working in “big science” themes? These and other questions will be dealt with in this session.

Session 4: Business Meeting
Traditional dinner in the evening.

Session 5: Academic response to changing science and technology in developing economies
Organizer: S.L. Hiremath, Gulbarga University, India, slhiremath@rediffmail.com
Several developing countries have emerged as leading knowledge societies and economies, with change in the focus, strategy and techniques of enterprises. In the wake of liberalization, privatization and globalization, the traditional institutions of education, their structures, pedagogy and focus have changed giving rise to new patterns. Having been viewed as a source of requisite human resources by society and a means, mechanism and avenue of status and mobility by the populace, education has come to be the prime focus of policy makers in the nations wedded to the objective of rapid development with equity and social justice.  Owing to these developments, there has been a commensurate change in the purpose, quality, cost, access, regulation, and outlay of education as well as challenges that need to be addressed and need to be sociologically focused upon and analyzed. The core question that needs to be addressed empirically is how academics and particularly technical education at higher levels are responding to the changing science and technology scenario and what is the nature of their interface.

Session 6: Global structures, scientific cultures
Organizer: Richard Woolley, University of Western Syndey, Australia, r.woolley@uws.edu.au
Globalization has had a profound impact on national research institutions, industrial R&D and technology-linked innovation and development strategies. In recent years scientific knowledge production has become increasingly global. Shares of scientific publications have changed and a series of knowledge hubs have emerged across South and Northeast Asia (Singapore, Bangalore, Shanghai, Beijing, etc.). The flow of multi-national R&D investment into the Asian region has grown dramatically. South-South collaboration has also grown; with research collaborations involving scientists from Brazil, PR China, India and Mexico, for example, on the rise. The emergence of trans-national Diaspora knowledge networks makes the picture of global science both more complex and more inclusive of the worlds’ scientific researchers. These dynamics can be added to the established patterns of scientific mobility in and out of the centres of scientific excellence in North America and Europe, for research training, postdoctoral research positions and for migration.

This session focuses on the impact of the global on the local cultures of science and on the working practices of scientists and engineers across the developed and/or developing worlds. For example, what impact is the global having on different fields of research and on the types of questions science researchers are asking? On the capacity-building objectives of developing countries (brain drain/circulation). On the organisation of scientific knowledge production? On national publicly-funded research programmes, priorities and problems? On the flows of scientific and technical human capital around the world? Or on the nature and structure of scientists’ careers? To try and make sense of some of these questions, the session would welcome papers on the roles, practices and careers of scientists that highlight the intersection of global structures and concerns with particular scientific cultures and their spatial and intellectual organisation.

Session 7: Liberalizing research in science and technology: institutional and policy aspects. Part I
Organizer: Binay K Pattnaik, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India, binay@iitk.ac.in
This session focuses on the inward-looking and outward-looking character of liberalization in research in science and technology that is perceived to be significant for developing as well as developed countries. “Outward looking” is characterized by the development of an appropriate normative framework for international collaboration in research projects, joint ventures in research, international collaborations in teaching programmes through MoUs (exchange of students and faculty members), and cultivating diaspora and alumni links for furthering research. It encourages deregulation of restrictions on foreign travel, funding for visiting scholars, bidding for R&D projects abroad in areas of specific or shared expertise and the acquisition of instruments (equipment) and machines, etc. In contrast, “inward looking” involves the introduction of domestic institutional reforms for cutting down bureaucratic procedures and deregulating restrictions that previously created barriers among the triple-helix of S&T organizations. It likewise includes the development of institutional mechanisms and a detailed normative structure for improving triple-helix interactions for more innovative joint works such as developing new products or production processes and increasing productive efficiency, and for achieving self-sufficiency in terms of organizational earnings by universities and research institutes and laboratories through the patenting and transfer of technology.

Session 8: Liberalizing research in science and technology: institutional and policy aspects. Part II
Organizer: Nadia asheulova, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, asheulova_n@mail333.com


Joint sessions hosted by RC23 (pending confirmation)

Session 9: Towards a dialogue between scientists, civic groups and social movements. Part I
Joint session of RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee], RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements, and RC48 Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change

Session 10: Towards a dialogue between scientists, civic groups and social movements. Part II
Joint session of RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee], RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements, and RC48 Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change

Session 11: Changing forms of university-society relationship. Part I
Joint Session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Session 12: Changing forms of university-society relationship. Part II
Joint Session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Session 13: Science, technology and innovation in cities and regions
Joint session of RC02 Economy and Society and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Session 14: The role of the internet in the future development of science in third world countries
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Session 15: Gender, science, technology and innovation, and the future
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research, RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee] and RC32 Women in Society

Session 16: Surveillance and popular culture
Joint Session of RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Session 17: Local manifestations of global surveillance
Joint Session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]

Session 18: Climate change, governance and the sustainability of cities
Joint session of RC09 Social Transformations and Sociology of Development and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology [host committee]


Joint sessions hosted by other RC

Joint session: Emerging technologies and leisure
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research, RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee], and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology

Joint session: Technological futures
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research [host committee] and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology

Joint session: Towards a dialogue between scientists, civic groups and social movements. Part III
Joint session of RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology, RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements [host committee] and RC48 Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change

Joint session: New media futures. Part A. Theoretical Perspectives
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research [host committee], RC14 Communication, Knowledge, and Culture and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology

Joint session: New media futures. Part B. Collective action and politics
Joint Session of RC07 Futures Research [host committee], RC14 Communication, Knowledge, and Culture and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology

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Integrative Session 1: Social change and the mitigation of climate change: Future scenarios
Tuesday, July 13, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC24 Environment and Society, RC23 Science and Technology, RC07 Futures Research