Professional Activities

  • President, Society for Social Studies of Science (2013-2015)

4s-logo3The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is a nonprofit, professional association.  It was founded in 1975 and now has an
international membership of over 1200.  The main purpose of 4S is to bring together those interested in understanding science, technology, and medicine, including the way they develop and interact with their social contexts.

  • Editor, Engineering Studies Series, MIT Press

Mitpress_logoEngineering Studies Series foreword We live in highly engineered worlds. Engineers play crucial roles in the normative direction of localized knowledge and social orders. The Engineering Studies Series highlights the growing need to understand the situated commitments and practices of engineers and engineering. It asks: what is engineering for? What are engineers for? Drawing from a diverse arena of research, teaching, and outreach, engineering studies raises awareness of how engineers imagine themselves in service to humanity, and how their service ideals impact the defining and solving of problems with multiple ends and variable consequences. It does so by examining relationships among technical and nontechnical dimensions, and how these relationships change over time and from place to place. Its researchers often are critical participants in the practices they study. The Engineering Studies Series publishes research in historical, social, cultural, political, philosophical, rhetorical, and organizational studies of engineers and engineering, paying particular attention to normative directionality in engineering epistemologies, practices, identities, and outcomes. Areas of concern include engineering formation, engineering work, engineering design, equity in engineering (gender, racial, ethnic, class, geopolitical), and engineering service to society. The Engineering Studies Series thus pursues three related missions: (1) advance understanding of engineers, engineering, and outcomes of engineering work; (2) help build and serve communities of researchers and learners in engineering studies; and (3) link scholarly work in engineering studies to broader discussions and debates about engineering education, research, practice, policy, and representation.

  • Editor, Global Engineering Series, Morgan & Claypool Press [Assistant Editor: Kacey Beddoes]

The Global Engineering Series challenges students, faculty, administrators, and working engineers to cross the borders of countries, and it follows those who do. Engineers and engineering have grown up within countries. The visions engineers have coverhad of themselves, their knowledge, and their service have varied dramatically over time and across territorial spaces. Engineers now follow diasporas of industrial corporations, NGOs, and other transnational employers across the planet. To what extent do engineers carry their countries with them? What are key sites of encounters among engineers and non-engineers across the borders of countries? What is at stake when engineers encounter others who understand their knowledge, objectives, work, and identities differently? What is engineering now for? What are engineers now for? The Series invites short manuscripts making visible the experiences of engineers, engineering students, and faculty across the borders of countries. Possible topics include engineers in and out of countries, physical mobility and travel, virtual mobility and travel, geo-spatial distributions of work, international education, international work environments, transnational identities and identity issues, transnational organizations, research collaborations, global normativities, and encounters among engineers and non-engineers across country borders. The Series juxtaposes contributions from distinct disciplinary, analytical, and geographical perspectives to encourage readers to look beyond familiar intellectual and geographical boundaries for insight and guidance. Holding paramount the goal of high-quality scholarship, it offers learning resources to engineering students and faculty and working engineers crossing the borders of countries. Its commitment is to help them improve engineering work through critical self-analysis and listening.

Engineering Studies journalEngineering Studies is an interdisciplinary, international journal devoted to the scholarly study of engineers and engineering. Its mission is threefold: (1) to advance research in historical, social, cultural, political, philosophical, rhetorical, and organizational studies of engineers and engineering; (2) to help build and serve diverse communities of researchers interested in engineering studies; and (3) to link scholarly work in engineering studies to broader discussions and debates about engineering education, research, practice, policy, and representation. Engineering Studies is published three times yearly by Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group.

 

  • Co-founder and Co-Organizer, International Network for Engineering Studies (with Atsushi Akera, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Maria Paula Diogo, University of Lisbon, and Chyuan-Yuan  Wu, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan)

ineslogo

The International Network for Engineering Studies (INES) was founded in Paris in 2004 and currently has 275 members. INES operates as a collection of overlapping intellectual communities, linked by workshops, conferences, its journal Engineering Studies, and this website. The field of engineering studies is a diverse, interdisciplinary arena of scholarly research and teaching built around the question: What are the relationships among the technical and the nontechnical dimensions of engineering practices, and how do these relationships change over time and from place to place? Addressing and responding to this question can sometimes involve engineering studies researchers as critical participants in the practices they study, including, for example, engineering formation, engineering work, engineering design, equity in engineering (gender, racial, ethnic, class, geopolitical), and engineering service to society. Membership in INES is designed to complement memberships in other professional societies. Its missi

  • Anchor Teacher, WTMC Summer School 2014

The field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) has had many successes critiquing the diffusion model of knowledge.  Yet this model, which assumes separate phases of creation, dissemination and utilization, provides a safe haven when STS scholars assess and celebrate their own work. We highlight the production of articles and books for academic audiences and many of us hope our messages travel beyond the boundaries of the field to have consequences, whether modest or profound, among other audiences. The asymmetry is striking: if the practices we analyze turn out to rely on more dynamic models for successful knowledge production and transfer, then why not so for STS? Do STS notions – whether we prefer ‘translation’, ‘(social) construction’, or ‘socially robust knowledge’ – only apply to the fields we study? They don’t. Many STS scholars develop practices that help them to make a difference beyond the field, in both academic and non-academic arenas. Many such practices are crucial to the production of STS knowledge and expertise, yet the community of STS scholars rarely gives them privileged attention. They get bracketed and subordinated rather than empirically unpacked in our writings, discussions, and annual meetings. This Summer School moves these practices to center stage. What can we learn from analyzing what STS scholars do to produce their knowledge and techniques and make these count in public debates, policy practices, scientific controversies, pedagogy, or technology development? To what extent have STS scholars been able to scale up their knowledge? How has this affected practices within STS itself? And how does it affect our understanding of STS as a scholarly discipline? What can we learn from this to address the twin, almost-existential questions that frame this Summer School: What is STS for? What are STS scholars for?

  • Participant, Virginia Tech Research in Engineering Studies Group.

The Research in Engineering Studies (RES) Group at Virginia Tech joins with INES in pursuing three objectives: (a) to advance research in historical, social, cultural, and philosophical studies of engineers and engineering; (b) to build a visible extended community of researchers interested in engineering studies; and (c) to draw upon research in engineering studies to contribute to public discussions and debates about engineering education and policy. The cross-departmental, cross-college RES group includes graduate students and faculty from the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Department of Philosophy, and Department of Engineering Education, as well as other individuals across campus and from other campuses. Regular meetings provide opportunities to share ongoing research as well as to participate in discussions of emerging issues that pertain to engineers and engineering. Sample research interests include history of engineering, engineering professional identities, philosophy of engineering, gender and race in engineering, women engineers, engineering discipline formation, and engineering education reform movements. RES meets 3-4 times per semester.  At each meeting participants review one another’s work using a unique method that invites authors to be silent and transforms critics into co-authors.