2nd National Conference of AsSIST-UK: the UK Association for Studies in Innovation, Science and Technology
Part of SSU50: Celebrating 50 years of STIS

Tuesday 29th November 2016 9.30am (for 10am) – 5pm

 Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI)

High School Yards, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LZ


In 2016, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Science Studies Unit, The University of Edinburgh is delighted to host the second national conference of AsSIST-UK: the UK Association for Studies in Innovation Science and Technology. We are particularly pleased to welcome public lectures by two leading international figures in our field – Professor Bruno Latour and Professor Helga Nowotny – who are receiving honorary doctorates.

The conference will take stock of achievements and consider future prospects and challenges for the dynamic and heterogeneous field of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS). We will revisit some of the foundational debates between various conceptual frameworks and methodologies in the History and Sociology of Science and Technology and Innovation Studies and how they inform current understandings of the relationship between techno-science and society. The goal however is to throw light upon current analytical tensions and debates, and look for ways forwards. We then shift our focus toward the evolving strategies and practices of STIS. This includes combining with other research traditions and disciplines to produce new insights as well producing outcomes accessible and relevant to wider audiences including policy makers, practitioners and civil society at large.

Programme committee:

Robin Williams, Andrew Webster, Vicky Singleton, Jane Calvert and Matjaz Vidmar.


09.30   Coffee and registration

10.00   Welcome and introduction to the day – Robin Williams (University of Edinburgh)

Morning focus: Between History, Sociology and Politics: 50 Years of STIS

How different disciplinary traditions and currents have contributed to Science, Technology and Innovation Studies and its strength today

10.15   Arie Rip (emeritus, University of Twente) – The History of STS

11.00   Gregory Radick (University of Leeds) – History and STS

11.45   Johan Schot (Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex) – Innovation Studies and STS

12.30  Lunch


Public lectures by Honorary Doctorands 13.30 – 15.00 Anatomy Lecture Theatre (Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place, EH8 9AG see map on page 3):

13.30   Bruno Latour – Sciences Po, Paris – The importance of science studies for the present political situation

14.15   Helga Nowotny – Former President of the European Research Council – STS seen from outside in

15.00   Return to ECCI for Coffee

Afternoon focus: Future challenges, areas of excitement and opportunity and thorny issues that need to be tackled

15.20   Panel : New ways of working with scientists, engineers and other academics

Jane Calvert (University of Edinburgh) Des Fitzgerald & Felicity Callard (University of Cardiff), Kate Lyle (University of Southampton)

15.55   Panel : New ways of engaging with policy, practice and diverse publics
Celia Roberts (Lancaster University), James Wilsdon (University of Sheffield), Jason Chilvers (University of East Anglia)

16.30   AsSIST-UK report of work done and future plans – Andrew Webster (University of York)

17.00   Drinks Reception (sponsored by the Science Policy blog at The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science)

18.00   Close



We gratefully acknowledge generous support from the University of Edinburgh, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies subject group, the University of York, Science and Technology Studies Unit, UK-AsSIST and the British Society for History of Science.

As a result this event is free of charge to members of AsSIST-UK.

Please, register here: http://bit.ly/50yearsSTS_AsSSIST-UK_SSU50

If you are not a member of AsSIST-UK, you can apply for free membership here: https://assist-uk.com/members/

Joining Instructions

The main venue for this event is the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI).

For the lunchtime lectures by our Honorary Doctorands we will relocate to the Anatomy Lecture Theatre (Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG). Edinburgh staff and students will guide you to the new location. PLEASE NOTE: Disabled access to the Anatomy Lecture Theatre is limited. Please advise us in advance if you have any mobility difficulties. More information can be found at the Medical School Access Guide.

Please contribute to and follow this event on Twitter using: #SSU50

Anniversary celebration’s website: http://www.stis.ed.ac.uk/ssu50

Department homepage: http://www.stis.ed.ac.uk/