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MAY 27

Technoscience and Social Change

Wednesday, May 27 / 5 PM / Engineering  2, Rm. 599

Technoscience can interact with social change in unexpected ways.  On the one hand, new forms of technoscience often reshape social and political landscapes.  On the other hand, they can further entrench those same landscapes, making them more resistant to change and social justice agendas.  Much attention has been paid to this dynamic in information and communication technologies [ICTs], but less so in biotechnologies and genomics. Caroline Bassett, Warren Sack, and Fred Turner will join members of the Science and Justice Working Group to explore the relationship between ICTs and social and political change, and to think comparatively about the case of genomics. Kate O'Riordan will moderate.

Caroline Bassett is Reader in Media and Director of the Center for Material Digital Culture at the University of Sussex. She researches the intersection of culture, information technology, and social power. Her early research explored gender and the Net. The Arc and the Machine (MUP, 2007) explores narrative dynamics and new media as a cultural form. She is now researching campaigns against computing.

Fred Turner is Assistant Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. He is the author of From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago, 2006) and Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory (Anchor/Doubleday, 1996; Minnesota, 2001).

Warren Sack is Associate Professor in the Film and Digital Media Department; graduate faculty in the Digital Arts and New Media M.F.A. Program; and affiliated faculty with the departments of Community Studies, Computer Science, History of Art and Visual Culture and Sociology at UCSC. He is a software designer and media theorist whose work explores theories and designs for online public space and public discussion.

Kate O'Riordan is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Film at the Center for Material Digital Culture, University of Sussex, and an affiliate of the Center for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Lancaster University. Her current project, provisionally titled The Genome Incorporated: The Construction of Biodigital Identity, focuses on the intersections of media technologies and human biotechnology in relation to the body. She is a Resident Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies at UCSC.

For more information, contact Jenny Reardon,

Sponsored by the Science and Justice Working Group (, the Center for Cultural Studies, and the History of Conciousness Department.

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Last modified: December 11, 2008
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