The Co-Production of Knowledge: iCS Symposium, University of York, 18-20 July 2012: Call for Papers and Participation

Symposium  to  be  held  at   University  of  York,  UK   18-20 July  2012

Call  for  Papers:

The   ubiquitous   social   and   cultural   adoption   of   social   media,   such   as   Twitter,   Google,   Wikipedia,  YouTube  and  Facebook  can  be  seen  to  present  a  significant  example  of  scientific   and   technological   innovation   in   many   contemporary   societies.   While   some   studies   of   social   media   and,   more   specifically,   Web   2.0   platforms   built   around   user-­‐‑generated   content,   have   made   reference   to   the   importance   of   the   field   of   science   and   technology   studies   (STS)   for   understanding   their   development   and  diffusion,   scholars   working   within   this   academic   framework   have   yet   to   fully   turn   their   focus   on   this   area.   This   three-­‐‑day   symposium   is   intended   to   explore   the   intersection   between   STS   and   social   media  inquiry,  with  a  specific  focus  on  how  Web  2.0  is  both  generative  and  challenging  of  different  forms  of  knowledge  (co-­‐‑)production  and  the  authority  it  commands.
• The  user-­‐‑centred  and  mass-­‐‑collaboration  characteristics  of  social  media  platforms   have  a  clear  affinity  with  recent  STS  models  of  the  co-­‐‑construction  of   technologies.  Notions  such  as  ‘prosumerism’  have  been  used  to  describe  this   blurring  of  the  relationship  between  the  consumer  and  producer.  However,  we   need  to  ask  whether  this  is  to  be  seen  as  co-­‐‑construction  or  primarily  a  re-­‐‑ engineering  of  labour  relations  and  the  locus  of  production?  We  also  need  to  ask   whether  the  ubiquity  extends  across  all  social  media  for  all  types  of  content.  In   other  words,  are  new  forms  of  expertise  being  inscribed,  or  are  old  knowledge   hierarchies  being  reinforced?
• STS  challenges  the  traditional  perception  of  scientific  ‘discovery’  and   technological  advancement,  to  demonstrate  the  co-­‐‑production  of  claims  to   knowledge  and  the  different  forms  and  assemblages  of  knowledge  this  involves:   how  does  this  map  onto  commentaries  on  the  importance  of  lay  knowledge  and   ‘citizen  science’  found  in  Web  2.0  as  individuals  and  groups  distribute  ideas  and   information  across  their  social  networks?  Could  this  provide  a  new  impetus  for   ‘public  interest  science’?
• How  do  the  same  issues  relate  to  the  social  sciences  themselves:  how  might  Web   2.0  provide  opportunities  for  new  forms  of  data  and  data  analytics  (for  example,   as  ‘virtual  knowledge’  via  crowdsourcing,  real-­‐‑time  data  streaming,  by-­‐‑product
data  etc)  and  in  what  ways  do  these  challenge  conventional  social  science  by   opening  up  questions  about  what  data  itself  constitutes  and  what  order  of  being   it  represents?
• How  might  lay,  amateur  knowledge  be  mobilised  as  ‘citizen  science’  and  what   warrant,  authorisation  and  location  in  established  science  might  it  secure?  How   might  the  contribution  of  Web  2.0  science  platforms  differ  from  the  amateur   societies  of  the  19th  and  20th  centuries?
• It  has  been  claimed  that  algorithms  and  code  play  an  increasingly  powerful  part   in  shaping  and  constituting  everyday  life,  it  has  even  been  claimed  that   algorithms  are  creating  new  rules  and  power  structures  that  unknowingly  come   to  restructure  social  hierarchies  and  divisions.  How,  for  example,  do  algorithms   make  decisions  for  us?  How  do  algorithms  bypass  or  re-­‐‑craft  human  agency?   What  are  the  implications  of  this?  Exactly  how  do  algorithms,  code  and  metrics   shape  everyday  life  and  access  to  knowledge?
• Do  the  open  source  platforms  and  social  media  tools  of  Web  2.0  come  into   tension  with  the  international  standardisation  and  codification  of  global  ICT   infrastructures  and  local  and  global  knowledge  infrastructures?
• Finally,  the  more  celebratory  characterisations  of  social  media  emanating  from   the  marketing  world  typically  lack  a  critical  focus:  can  social  media  and  STS   analyses  build  a  political  economy  of  Web  2.0  to  provide  such  a  focus,  by   explicitly  addressing  issues  of  participatory  surveillance,  exclusion  and  control?
Papers  are  invited  that  explore  these  broad  questions  around  a  number  of  possible   themes,  including:

• The  boundaries  and  future  of  social  media  as  a  medium  of  knowledge  creation,   dissemination,  and  regulation
• The  co-­‐‑production  of  knowledge  via  Web  2.0  platforms   • Knowledge,  expertise  and  disruptive/disrupted  authority   • Capturing  social  media:  the  commercial/political  exploitation  by  or  empowering
of  Web  2.0   • Ownership,  dissemination  and  use  of  scientific  knowledge   • E-­‐‑governance  and  the  regulation  of  knowledge  within  social  media     • National  practices  and  global  opportunities   • Novel  forms  of  knowledge  creation  through  group  processes, archiving,  digitization  etc.   • Public  and  visible  science
Confirmed  plenary  speakers  include: Geof  Bowker,  University  of  Pittsburgh;  Leah  Lievrouw,  UCLA;   Adrian  MacKenzie,  Cesagen,  University  of  Lancaster;  Rob  Proctor,  e-­‐‑Research  Centre,  University  of  Manchester;  Robin  Williams,  ISSTI,  Edinburgh;  Sally  Wyatt,  e-­Humanities  Programme,  Royal  Netherlands  Academy  of  Arts  and   Sciences.

This  conference  is  intended  to  bring  together  some  of  the  leading  scholars  in  the  fields  of   STS,  Communication  and  Social  Media  analysis,  and  the  history  and  philosophy  of   science  to  critically  explore  these  issues.

Please  send  abstracts  of  proposed  papers  to  sarah-­‐‑shrive-­‐‑  by  29   February  2012      Registration  information  is  available  on  the  SATSU  site:

Conference  organising  committee:  David  Beer,  Darren  Reed,  Mike  Hardey,  Brian  Loader,   Sarah  Shrive-­Morrison,  Andrew  Webster,  Robin  Williams,  Sally  Wyatt

The  deadline  for  this  call  for  papers  is  29  February  2012.  If  you  are  interested  to  submit   an  individual  paper  or  panel  including  3  papers  please  go  to  web-­‐‑link  or  contact  email

Conference  Fees   The  ICS  conference  is  completely  funded  through  self-­finance.  iCS  therefore  needs  to   charge  a  conference  fee  applicable  to  all  participating  in  this  conference,  including   speakers.  However,  all  panel  organisers,  speakers  and  moderators  will  receive  a  £25   discount  on  the  conference  fee.  The  conference  fee  covers  the  administration  and   production  of  the  conference,  hire  of  venue  and  a/v  equipment,  and  the  catering  costs.   The  estimated  conference  fees  for  this  coming  year  are:  Full  fee  between  £100-­150;   Concessions  between  £75-­£125;  Day  fee  between  £75-‑125  (all  fees  to  include  lunch).

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