Environmental data from below

The 7th STS Italia Conference will be hosted at the University of Padova, Italy, June 14 through 16, 2018, by the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies, in collaboration with the FISPPA Department and the University of Padova. The focal theme of the 7th STS Italia Conference will be Technoscience from Below.
The conference will be an opportunity to present empirical and theoretical work from a variety of disciplines and fields: sociology, anthropology, design, economics, history, law, philosophy, psychology and semiotics.  By focusing on Technoscience from Below, the 7th STS Italia Conference will offer the opportunity to explore alternative co-productive paths of science, technology, and innovation.
The conference will be articulated in 26 tracks, clustered in five main thematic streams: 1) Participation, citizen engagement and democracy from below; 2) The shaping of biomedicine, medical expertise and healthcare from below; 3) Innovation, design and standardization from below; 4) Imaginaries, knowledge and networks from below; 5) Including and connecting from below.

The panel on “Environmental data from below” is about the governance of the environment, inextricably linked to data. Interventions, policies and future scenarios for sustainability are all based on data generated and analysed
within specific institutional settings, such as supranational agencies, environmental protection agencies and official statistics.
In this sense, the activities of analysis, publication and diffusion of environmental data actively contribute to shape and delimit the field of environmental governance’s authority through expertise.
Whatever the strategy pursued by decision makers may be (e.g. to defuse possible conflicts; to enlarge consensus), procedures of data collection and analysis, as well as
their purpose, tend to be restricted to within accredited settings and further performed in institutional loci.
Currently, these patterns may be bypassed by new trajectories of engagement that develop alternative processes of empowerment for non-experts.
Social movement research has signalled the growing tendency of grassroots movements, NGOs and activists to contest official data. Statactivism is conceptually a
specific kind of participation as well as contestation by non-institutional actors using
data analysis. Other research fellowships refer to data activism as particularly focusing
on digital technologies adopted for the collection of data. This general tendency invests the environmental domain as well, and it offers new forms of participation through data. Indeed, environmental movements as well as other concerned groups not only put the role of institutional expertise under scrutiny; they can also contribute to developing alternative forms of scientific knowledge production. Thus, participation is transforming through the challenge of creating evidence and the organisation of data collection from below. This contrasts with solicited forms of participation through data, such as citizen-science projects.
An S&TS perspective, paying attention to socio-technical assemblages of data  infrastructures and the practices related to them, may bring a better understanding of these ongoing processes.
Therefore, the present track aims to gather theoretical as well as empirical proposals focussed on combinations of heterogeneous actors in relationship to data collection, management and sharing of environmental issues, such as (but not only limited to):
– heterogeneous assemblages for the generation of environmental data from below;
– design and creation of ad hoc infrastructures for data collection, analysis and sharing of environmental data;
– practices of maintenance and management of bottom
– up data infrastructures;
– analysis of expertise aligned for the implementation of data infrastructures from
below;
– practices of civic hacking for the environment; and
– the role of alternative baselines as new tools of political environmental participation

Convenor: Paolo Giardullo, University of Padova (Italy) paolo.giardullo@unipd.it

Conference website

Call for abstract beforeFebruary 15th

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