Day 1 (Thursday, 16th June) – The Past of STS

09.00 – 09.20 Registration

09.20 – 09.30 Welcome and Opening from Prof Fiona Mackay, Dean and Head of School of Social and Political Science 

09.30 – 11.00 Historiographies of the SSU. A panel of experts will present different interpretations of the origins of the SSU. The aim is to generate discussion about the social factors that explain the emergence of the discipline of the sociology of scientific knowledge in the UK and social constructivist approaches of science more generally.

  • Prof Steve Sturdy – discussant and chair (UoE)
  • Dr Lawrence Dritsas (UoE)
  • Prof John Henry (UoE)
  • Tom Kelsey (KCL)
  • Dr Neil Terrant (UoE)

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee Break and instructions regarding “Research Posters”[1] and “Implausible Research Topics”[2].

11.30 – 12.00 Presentation of the book project “Talking STS”. Dr Pablo Schyfter, one of the co-editors of the collection of interviews with key founding figures in Science and Technology Studies (STS) will present a few key themes across the book.

12.00 – 13.00 Brainstorming about STS mythologies. As a preparation for the afternoon session, participants should gather in groups and identify any shared myths and beliefs about individuals, institutions or events in the history of STS. The aim is to write down a few shared myths in STS.

13.00 – 14.30 Lunch and “Research Posters”

14.30 – 16.30 Q&A about STS mythologies. A panel of individuals who were actively involved in the foundation of STS will contest or confirm the myths formulated by participants in the previous brainstorming activity. The aim is to give an opportunity for early career scholars (and others) to meet experts in the field and to discuss their understandings and expectations on the myths.

  • Prof Catherine Lyall – discussant and chair (UoE)
  • Prof Harry Collins (Cardiff)
  • Prof James Fleck (UoE)
  • Prof Anne Kerr (Leeds)
  • Prof Andrew Pickering (Exeter)
  • Prof Arie Rip (Twente)
  • Prof Brian Wynne (Lancaster)

16.30 – 17.00 Coffee Break and “Research Posters”

17.00 – 18.00 Walking tour about the history of science in Edinburgh and the SSU. Prof John Henry will take participants on a tour to the key sites in the history of science in Edinburgh as well as the sites in which the SSU has been successively located.

19.00 Dinner and SSU Alumni reunion at Veritas, 24 Deanhaugh St, Edinburgh EH4 1LY, UK

(Google Maps:


Day 2 (Friday, 17th June) – The Present and Future of STS

09.00 – 11.00 Geographies of STS. A discussion between (alumni/members of associations/ departments) of newly established STS departments in Europe, Asia and South-America. The aim is to identify trends in the geographical and thematic expansion of the field.

  • Prof Robin Williams – discussant and chair (UoE)
  • Dr Emma Frow (ASU)
  • Dr Morgan Chih-Tung Huang (National Open University, Taiwan)
  • Dr Minjeong Kang (Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology)
  • Dr Massimo Mazzotti (UC Berkeley)
  • Dr Koichi Mikami (UoE)
  • Dr Eugenia Rodrigues (UoE)
  • Álvaro Sáez (UoE)
  • Dr Antti Silvast (UoE)
  • Dr Diana Velasco (Del Rosario University, Colombia)
  • Dr Niki Vermeulen (UoE)

11.00-11.30 Coffee break and “Research Posters”

11.30 – 13.00 Naming STS. A role-playing activity where the participants will defend alternative names for STS. The aim is to use these names as a catalyst to discuss current challenges and debates in the field.

  • Prof Joyce Tait (UoE) – discussant and chair
  • Tim Squirrel (UoE) – moderator
  • Sara Beà (UoE)– “Studies of Technoscientific Practice and Processes”
  • Dr Jane Calvert (UoE)– “Collaborative STS”
  • Dr Stephen Kemp (UoE) – “Social Construction of Science and Technology”
  • Matjaž Vidmar (UoE) – “Innovation Studies” 
  • Prof Steven Yearley (UoE)– “Social Study of Science”

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 17ish Walking research lectures. Edinburgh-based researchers will explain their topics of research/give a short socio-historical rendition of a discipline whilst showing their sites of research. The aim of this activity is to illustrate areas of cutting edge-research in STS, and give participants a chance to visit research sites that they are curious about.

The list of site visits:

  • Down to Earth and Back Again. Field Sciences and Experimental Spaces [Arthur’s Seat/Field Sciences]
  • Burn Baby Burn! The Social Construction of Fire (Un)Safety [BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering]
  • Reaching for the Stars. Bridging the Past and the Future of Innovation  [Royal Observatory Edinburgh]
  • It’s All in Your Head! Medicine, Phrenology and the Age of Reason [University of Edinburgh Anatomical Museum]

19.00 STIS Cabaret in the Underground Bar, Teviot House (the Student Union Building), EH8 9AJ

(More venue info:

A night out in a pub to round off the workshop and SSU50 celebration. A group of Edinburgh STIS students and scholars will do a fun take about their research, followed by an artistic summary of the workshop. Participants will be able to order some food at the venue.


[1] All participants are encouraged to bring along a poster summarising their research interests and current projects. Posters will then be displayed in the Conference Hall and Breakout Room for the duration of the workshop. We further encourage ad hoc presentations during coffee and lunch breaks and discussions amongst participants regarding thematic developments and potential collaborations.

[2] This activity will consist of participants writing on the wall their silly suggestions for future STS research. A few of these ideas might be used for the STIS Cabaret on the second day. The aim is to stimulate the research imagination and to encourage interactions between participants. 

Programme launched (updated)!