STSING is a way of doing STS in and with Germany. STSING is informed by international discussions, receives attention from plenty of early career researchers, and participants value creative and experimental formats that draw on but go beyond the more traditional presentations. Even though this might translate into an affinity towards certain topics, we have not tackled topics systematically yet. However, it’s quite clear that STSING has no narrow disciplinary focus. We appreciate and foster diversity, which is not self-evident and where a lot of work still has to be done (see below under ‚Organizational Form‘).
Since Kassel (see the report) the people involved with us have been part of many productive meetings in working groups. What exactly STSING is and will become is still being negotiated though.
With the Access Points we have developed a formalized yet flexible and democratic instrument through which people can join/contact/engage with particular initiatives. Thus, we can keep things going, but these structures are tentative and responsibilities may also shift, since the working groups have to find their own strategies. We also re-organized the meta-organization of the initiative, see here for the protocol of the last meeting of the former ‚infrastructure group‘.
The Groups and Access Points
For a generel overview, here are all the groups, their recent activities, and a list of access points you can contact to get in touch with the groups.
The Orga-Group sees its task to be the formulation of a proposal for an organisational form of STSING. After the Lancaster meeting in 2018 the “Infrastructure Group” was formed out of the people who had initiated this meeting plus additional people joining after Lancaster. Due to the formation of six working groups on the follow-up meeting in Kassel the “Infrastructure Group” became obsolete and dissolved itself on a meeting in spring 2019, which was attended by additional people joining after Kassel. On that meeting it was decided to form the Orga-Group that would be in charge of suggesting an organisational form for STSING. More people have joined since then and the current members are: Kathrin Eitel, Ingmar Lippert, Jörg Niewöhner, Songi Park, Martina Schlünder and Estrid Sørensen. The current state of the work is that a suggestion of a organisational structure has been formulated and is now shared with the community in a document (see below) to which anyone interested can add changes and additions until 01.01.2020. The guiding idea for this organisational structure is to create a decentral organisation that will mobilise and support independent local and thematic groups, while also maintaining a group of “caregivers” (officially the board). The caregivers’ role is not to govern the organisation but to collect information from the individual groups and communicate it to the whole community while also discussing the interrelations between the groups and their contribution to the general goal of the organisation. The idea is to found the “Verein” on a meeting 24 April in Frankfurt am Main. Please find the description of the organisational form here.
The working group ‘funding proposals’ currently consists of four active members: Sandra Calkins (FU Berlin), Simon Egbert (TU Berlin), Kathrin Eitel (Goethe Universität Frankfurt) und Tanja Schneider (Universität St. Gallen). Our aim is to identify and apply for funding opportunities (including conference funding, network funding etc.) that support efforts to initiate and sustain network. To date we have received support by the EASST fund towards organising an inaugural conference for establishing a network. Currently we are developing a proposal to be submitted towards the DFG-network funding scheme. We already successfully checked with DFG-representatives, if our approach is suitable for this scheme. In the proposal, our aim is to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of STS research, what tends to be transverse to the otherwise usual mono-disciplinary oriented professional societies. Therefore, STSING will be presented as an option to implement a transdisciplinary scientific network, whose denominator is the common interest in the study of science, technology and society. We are still looking for collaborators. Please get in touch, if you would like to join us!
Web-Platform and Communication Devices
The Web Group assembles roughly 15 people and explores the various challenges and opportunities of digital communication and collaboration. This includes mailing lists (internal and external, such as DESTS), the website and other tools that potentially facilitate collaboration. Our meetings were held using digital tools, live via Adobe Connect and documented on an Etherpad. We are strongly oriented towards Free Software and Open Access, and together with the consolidation of the organizational structure we want to build an infrastructure. We also collaborated intensively with the mapping group (and potentially with all the other groups).
Mapping of STS landscape in Germany
This group explores the width of STS research in Germany, and has met multiple times digitally.
Where we are now:
- mapping both organizations and individuals
- preparing some kind of formular to contribute new profiles, and of a map and a kind of filter function to show the data under certain criteria.
- We’ve got a beta questionary to send around for building a beta dataset <https://medienpad.de/p/stsing_mapping_form>
- Next steps:
- evaluation, and improving the questionary
- setting up categories and filtering options for a) the database and b) the data visualization
- Jakob Roschka (roschka@ uni-kassel.de)
- Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda (Katharina.Kinder-Kurlanda@gesis.org)
The Events Group has explored the possibilities of content workshops and is in close contact with the Organizing Group. After (probably) finding a form in 2019, the focus is more on small formats, also due to other big events such as the EASST/4S conference and the sociology congress.
- Veit Braun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jens Hälterlein (email@example.com)
- Jutta Weber (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Code of conduct
During the workshop in Kassel, a Code of Conduct was a potentially central element of a new organisation. The group already reflects the inclusivity of the process in advance. STSING generally strives for an open and inclusive way of working together, not least as a counterweight to the sometimes rigid academic structures. This is about power relations.
Formal Ways of Peer-Support
How do we practice STSING as a supportive environment?
Contact the Access Points
Please also follow us on Twitter: @German_STS_ORG (STSinGermany)