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CSIS Event in St. Petersburg: Crossbreeding STS and Innovation Studies

When Dec 07, 2013 09:00 AM to
Dec 08, 2013 05:00 PM
Where European University at St Petersburg, Russia
Contact Name
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Crossbreeding STS and Innovation Studies Image

Innovation studies overlap with STS in object (R&D, technology), but differ in style. In addition to a prevalence of qualitative approaches in STS and quantitative methods in innovation studies, the latter tend to blackbox innovation and many related processes. STS, on the other hand, wants to open black boxes, but is often content just to show complexities and instabilities. Also, STS has had a blind spot when it comes to firms, though maybe that is changing now with the  growing interest in STS in emerging technologies. In sum, there are obvious complementarities between these two fields that can be exploited to mutual advantage, if the differences in style  can be overcome. These differences are also social, connected to the different institutional niches occupied by these two fields and their practitioners, with mutual stereotyping (STS scholars see innovations studies with their well-defined data sets as drawing valid but substantially empty conclusions; innovation studies scholars see STS as rich but it remains unclear to them whether it amounts to more than interpretive description). There is more than a grain of truth in these stereotypes, but our point here is that they are used as stereotypes, and hide interesting possibilities for mutual enrichment and collaboration.

This meeting wants to explore such possibilities and their institutional framing through an international network of STS and Innovation Studies centers and programs (INSTSIN)

Sponsored by EUSP's STS Center and UC Davis Center for Science and Innovation Studies

Organizers: Mario Biagioli (UC Davis) and Arie Rip (U Twente)

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