IAS-STS / Former Activities / Programme_Conf.Artikel / Programme 11th Annual IAS-STS Conference

Programme 11th Annual IAS-STS Conference

May 7-8, 2012

Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS)


The IAS-STS in Graz, Austria, which is hosted by the IFZ - Interuniversity Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture promotes the interdisciplinary investigation of the links and interactions between science, technology and society, technology assessment, as well as research on the development and implementation of socially and environmentally sound technologies. Therefore, IAS-STS hosts international fellows and research associates through its fellowship programme. Additionally, the institute organizes an annual conference on "Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies".


Gender - Technology – Environment
Special Session: Mobile learning and working – how ‚smart technologies‘ change our lives

The former, rather theoretical, concepts of tele-working and e-learning became reality when the Internet found its way into our daily routines, and the old promises of location- and time-independency finally became true when ‘smart technologies’ like smart phones brought learning and working to another level of mobility. However, there is also a price to pay. People who work outside office hours and office walls or learn remotely do not only win freedom and self-determination, they may lose relationships, for instance, when they miss informal exchanges during coffee breaks. Moreover, when working and learning never officially starts, as a consequence it ‘never’ ends. Thus, not only job-related but also private relationships are in danger of de-synchronisation.

Additionally, team spirit, support from supervisors and the feeling of being part of an organization may wither, too. And finally, with each new technology that constitutes our social lives, we have to ask ourselves where we learn to not only work self-organised but also critically reflect all these mentioned consequences of ‘smart technologies’?

We therefore invite scholars with papers based on theoretical reflection as well as empirical studies from work in progress to finished research on this topic. In this session we will discuss possibilities, chances, limits, critical aspects and utopias of mobile learning and working and we ask: How do ‘smart technologies’ change our lives?

Special Session: Queerness in science and technology studies

This session is interested in queer perspectives in and on science and technology studies which challenge heteronormative and hegemonic point of views in these fields of research. First of all, this calls for papers dealing with the basic theoretical question: If a ‘queer’ point of view stands for opposing the hegemonic views – how useful, then, is the concept of ‘queerness’ for science and technology studies? Secondly, we are interested in papers analysing STS on a meta-level: How do hegemonic views become established? What structural role does heteronormativity play in STS?

Furthermore, we invite scholars who discuss queer STS based on empirical research, asking for instance: Who are ‘the others’ in discourses about ‘average users’ of technology? How much deviation from the norm is implied or tolerated when standard procedures in science and technology are defined? What are methodological consequences when critique on heteronormativity in research is taken into account? How does this perspective influence the role of the researcher?

Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Human Genetics and Agricultural Biotechnology

A main focus of the conference will lie on research projects providing a critical analysis of human genetic research or of agricultural biotechnology. Researchers investigating either ethical, legal and social aspects of genetic testing in the medical domain or risk policy and wider governance issues related to agricultural biotechnology are especially encouraged to contribute.

Special Session: Knowledge Brokerage as participatory interaction processes linking research, policy and civil society

We invite colleagues from research, policy and practice to report about their practical experiences in knowledge brokerage (KB) in the context of sustainability challenges. In particular, we are looking forward to contributions giving practical examples of, and lessons learned from concrete knowledge brokerage activities engaging people from different communities.

The session will be organized as an interactive workshop where participants will discuss and reflect on the potentials and limits of linking research, policy and practice through KB. The contributions may address issues such as:
 • Choice of appropriate KB-tools: online versus face-to-face activities (well-proven tools; specific challenges)
 • Strategies to support capacity building for KB within different communities
 • How does social learning take place in the context of KB?
 • What are the main characteristics of effective and successful KB?

Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)

SCP seeks to promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems. Researchers investigating the field of innovative, green or social responsible public procurement, including benefits, strategies for the implementation or case studies are encouraged to give a presentation.

Special Session: Stimulation of innovation through public procurement

What is the potential of public procurement to stimulate sustainable innovation?
Which context conditions are supportive?
What do existing cases show?
What do public organizations need in order to successfully procure innovation?

Energy and Climate

Presentations in this field should develop appropriate measures and strategies for the promotion of renewable energy sources and for the transition to a sustainable energy system. Regional governance, climate policy strategies, innovation policy, technology assessment, and the role of users in the area of energy technologies should play an important role.

Special Session: Energy Poverty

This session focuses on the emerging problem of energy poverty in developed countries, but proposals that analyse energy poverty from a more global perspective are also welcome. We encourage submissions to following topics: energy poverty from the perspective of energy consumption on the household level, energy poverty as a socio-technical figuration of society, qualitative and quantitative case studies, cross-country comparisons, energy justice, inequalities and vulnerability, energy practices as well as other relevant research approaches.



The 11th IAS-STS conference invites interested researchers (especially postgraduates and young researchers) in the areas of science and technology studies and sustainability studies to give presentations. The conference provides a forum to discuss on a broad variety of topics in these fields – especially papers are encouraged which include some aspects of the above mentioned conference themes.


Abstracts should include no more than 250 words, comprising detailed contact information, affiliation and specification of the conference theme you are referring to. Submission of abstracts should please be send to Thomas Berger by Monday, February 20, 2012.

We also appreciate proposals for poster presentations and specific sessions in line with the conference themes. Proposals for sessions shall include a preliminary title of the session, names of possible speakers and a short outline on the issues to be discussed (max. 250 words) and should be send to the above mentioned email address by Monday, February 20, 2012.

We also welcome participants attending the conference without presenting a paper themselves.

Potential participants will be notified about the acceptance of their abstracts until the end of February.

Conference fees

100 € (including conference folder, coffee breaks, lunch sessions, social event)

No conference fees for current fellows of the IAS-STS fellowship programme 2011/12.

Conference Venue

IFZ- Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture
Schlögelgasse 2
8010 Graz, Austria

Options for accommodation will be posted on the conference website.

For more information:www.sts.tugraz.at

Contact: Thomas Berger, berger@ifz.tugraz.at

Save the Date

STS Conference Graz 2020
May 4-6

STS Conference Graz 2019

The STS Conference Graz 2019  took place from May 6 and 7, 2019.

Thank you to all who participated and contributed!

More Details: Programme