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PhD Summer School, The Regulative Capacity of Knowledge Objects

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: March 1, 2014
  • Filed Under: Conferences, Events

The Post‐Graduate Program in Philosophy, Science and Values (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, and National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM) and the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) invite PhD students to apply for the interdisciplinary and international Summer School:

The Regulative Capacity of Knowledge Objects: Opening the Black Box of Knowledge Governance

Think of Climate Change, Wikileaks, nanotechnology, Responsible Innovation, neural implants, Linux, GMOs or the German Energy Transition. But when we think about it, do they actually exist? And if they do what should they be like in the future? What exactly are they? Are they symbols, technical artifacts, discourses, constellations of actors, scientific disputes? Are they political issues, societal problems, human-nonhuman-hybrids, modifiers of existence, problems for governance and regulation? In a way, they are all of these things and less – and probably more.

They are what this Summer School refers to as “knowledge objects”. These objects are peculiar, blurry, constantly unfolding and transforming entities that increasingly challenge contemporary societies and sciences and our understanding of knowledge. The knowledge in knowledge objects is always plural: scientific, public, mundane, interdisciplinary, speculative, uncertain. It is heterogeneously produced about, with, through or in them and contributes to their identification, contestation and transformation.

Yet, knowledge objects are also enablers of such knowledge productions and the societal controversies that go along with them. This intricate entanglement of knowledge objects and society poses various normative and regulative questions – which are part of these objects and due to them the problems societies face. This entanglement could be viewed as a fundamental challenge for knowledge governance. To address these complex challenges to societies and sciences, the Summer School aims to bring together two strands of science and technology studies (STS) which so far haven’t combined: the focus on “knowledge objects” and the perspective of “knowledge governance”.

The starting point of this summer school is the assumption that knowledge objects are subject and object of knowledge governance. They create the need for and they enable various forms of knowledge governance. In a way, this synchrony is a black box of knowledge governance. The Summer School proposes that this “governance black box” can be opened by focusing on an extended concept of knowledge objects and by analyzing their governance dimensions.

Keynotes by:
David Guston, PhD, Professor of Political Science, Arizona State University, US
Graham Harman, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, American University, Cairo, Egypt
Karin Knorr-Cetina, PhD, Professor emeritus of Sociology, University of Constance, Germany, and George
Wells Beadle Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago, US
Noortje Marres, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths University of London, UK

Applications are due by 28th March 2014.

Find out all the details at: http://www.itas.kit.edu/english/events_2014_summerschool.php

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Last Modified: March 1, 2014