Monthly Archives: March 2014

CFP: Panel on Ethics and Affects of Environmental Government at AAA in December, Abstracts Due April 6

by Lyn

Ethics and Affects of Environmental Government

From the reverence that a geologist feels for the nature she encounters in her fieldwork, to conservation project designers’ aspirations to stewardship over national biodiversity, environmental institutions tend to be affectively and ethically complex sites.  This panel seeks to understand the ethical commitments, normative imperatives and affective charges that nourish or trouble the work of scientists, managers, consultants and others working in institutions tasked with knowing and managing the environment.  The ethnography of ethics and affect in environmental institutions might examine direct confrontations between full-blown ethical philosophies; crises in which habits of body or thought become problematized; moments of particular hope for specific projects or practices; or atmospheres of anxiety or malaise that facilitate a diagnosis of subjectification in the context of biological research or natural resource management.  While the environment will probably figure as a preoccupation in any of these ethnographic contexts, it is likely to exist amidst a constellation of other commitments or concerns (e.g. science, nation, democracy, race).  Work showing how affect, normativity and ethics are interrelated in environmental institutions is especially welcome, and may contend with the interplay between the affective tinges that adhere to specific scientific, technical or managerial practices; the regulations and prescriptions of techno-scientific disciplines; institutional norms; and more readily identifiable and articulable ethical positions.

The goal of the panel is neither to morally recuperate scientists and managers, nor is it to put the sincerity or sufficiency of their beliefs on trial.  The purpose is rather to foster an anthropological understanding of the sources and effects of ethical and normative subject formation in the context of those institutions charged with knowing, regulating or reconfiguring the environment.  The panel hopes to present a diverse range of ethnographic contexts and approaches.  Topics that might be treated include:

-Programs for environmental education or responsibilization
-The ethical and affective complexities of conservation interventions in local livelihoods
-The emergence of biodiversity or particular species as sources of national or local pride
-Contrastive framings of environmental issues and commitments in North-South collaborations
-The ethical stakes of specific technical or scientific practices for knowing and managing the environment
-The historical development and consequences of normative institutional cultures
-The impacts of institutional activities on affective relationships to particular landscapes or environments
-How similar ethical commitments can lead to divergent scientific or managerial practices

Send 250 word abstracts to Peter Taber at by April 6.

Harvard STS Summer School: Deadline Extended Until 4.11.14

by Lyn

STS Summer School: Science and Governance at the Frontiers of Life

This weeklong summer school is intended for graduate students and early postdocs in science and technology studies, history, philosophy, sociology, and anthropology of science, legal studies or related fields.  We also invite applications from students in the biomedical sciences, life sciences and bioengineering who can demonstrate strong commitment to investigating the interconnections between science and society. Graduate students must have completed at least one year of study at the doctoral level.

Developments in the biosciences in the last half-century have posed novel challenges for governance. These have emerged as biological knowledge becomes more central to matters of safety, health and welfare; as biology is called upon to address moral uncertainty around ideas of human nature, identity and dignity; and as biology plays an increasingly central role in the technological alteration of human bodies, non-human entities and environments. Governance challenges have unfolded across several domains: internally within the research enterprise itself; externally where the biosciences are called upon to address social problems; and in moments of ethical doubt, for example, when institutions of governance are called upon to distinguish bioengineered artifacts from entities with human dignity. Scholarship in Science and Technology Studies (STS) has developed varied approaches and techniques for examining such phenomena, and drawing theoretically grounded generalizations from site-specific studies. This summer school will introduce participants to major approaches, and explore new research frontiers and possible directions for synthesis and innovation. It will emphasize engagement with theoretical issues in STS, with particular attention to moments of friction between science and institutions of democratic governance.

Through a mix of lectures, group workshops and discussions of individual projects, participants will be exposed to contemporary STS research frontiers. The main emphasis of the summer school will be on discussion and exchange of ideas and insights across different research topics, methodologies and theoretical frameworks. Each day during the workshop faculty participants will give overview presentations addressing different themes. These will be accompanied by interactive, in-depth discussion sessions. Students in the summer school are expected to be present and actively involved throughout the course.

The summer school will be held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 27 to August 2, 2014. Room and board will be provided. Students are responsible for their own travel expenses and for their visa status, if relevant. Modest subventions may be available upon request, based on a demonstration of need.

The course is limited to 20 participants and the application deadline is April 4, 2014. Please complete the application form at The form includes a place to upload a statement of interest (300 words) and a short professional CV (maximum 2 pages), as well as space to enter the name and email address of a nominating faculty member. The statement of interest should describe the applicant’s background and qualifications and describe their current research and its relevance to the aims of the summer school. The nominating letter should be from a faculty member in the applicant’s program who is familiar with the applicant’s work and interests. The letter should be sent by the nominating faculty member to

Conveners: Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University), Krishanu Saha (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Benjamin Hurlbut (Arizona State University)

Faculty Participants

·         Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna)

·         Jeremy Greene (Johns Hopkins University)

·         Steve Hilgartner (Cornell University)

·         Benjamin Hurlbut (Arizona State University)

·         Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University)

·         Pierre-Benoit Joly (INRA and IFRIS)

·         Shobita Parthasarathy (University of Michigan)

·         Joanna Radin (Yale University)

·         Jenny Reardon (University of California, Santa Cruz)

·         Krishanu Saha (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

·         Giuseppe Testa (University of Milan, European School for Molecular Medicine)

·         David Winickoff (University of California, Berkeley)

Campus Mixer: Climate Change Solutions Initiative, 4.4, 4:00 PM

by Lyn

Climate Change Solutions Mixer

Friday, April 4, 2014

4:00 – 6:00 PM

Town Center Atrium, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

Join us to help launch a campus-wide design challenge to develop solutions to mitigate or adapt to climate change. During this mixer, you will meet dozens of people from across campus and the community who have the seeds of great ideas that may lead to widespread and practical impact. Bring your own ideas to share as well. Register now to enjoy appetizers, drinks and a short program at the Climate Change Solutions Mixer.

CFP: Holtz Center Outreach Fellowship, Applications Due 4.25.14

by Lyn

The Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies invites proposals from UW-Madison faculty and academic staff for its Outreach Fellowship program for 2014-15.  The fellowship provides the successful applicant with $5,000 in flexible funds.

The Holtz Center seeks, as one of its key missions, to promote public engagement with questions concerning the relationship of society and culture with science, medicine, and technology.  We offer this fellowship to a faculty or academic staff member who proposes an innovative way to engage the broader community in matters of science and technology that have general social and political importance.  We are open to any possible program—from a thematic blog, to panel discussions at local libraries, to a theatrical performance, and so on.  We are particularly interested in proposals that make scholarly work accessible to broader audiences.  Proposals must involve new activities beyond the applicant’s ongoing efforts.  The financial award may be used for direct support of the proposed outreach activity; remaining money, if any, may be used by the fellow on a flexible basis.

Applications should include the following:

• The applicant’s CV.

• A description of the proposed outreach activity, not to exceed two single-spaced pages, specifying the issues addressed and the audience to be reached.

• A preliminary budget, if relevant.  If funds from other sources will be used to support the proposed initiative, these should be specified.

• If the proposed activity requires cooperation with other individuals or organizations, evidence of agreement to collaborate should be provided.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 6:00 pm on Friday April 25.  All documents must submitted in .pdf format by email to  Applicants are encouraged to visit the Holtz Center’s website at for information about the field of science and technology studies and about the Center’s mission.  Questions should be directed to Associate Director Lyn Macgregor at

Outreach fellows are required to submit a brief report on their activities at the end of the project, but no more than one year after receiving the award.

Call for Nominations: Holtz Center’s 2014-15 Visiting Lecture Series

by Lyn

The Holtz Center is pleased to call for nominations for its 2014-15 Visiting Lecture series.  Please forward your nomination and a paragraph or so explaining what you believe a lecture by your nominee would contribute to the UW STS community to Lyn Macgregor ( by April 3.

Job Announcement: Science in Environmental Policy and Management, UW-Madison

by Lyn

This PhD project with the Rissman research group will focus on how science is used (or isn’t) as evidence in environmental management, policy, and politics. Scientific knowledge about environmental conditions can inform problem definition, analyze the expected effects of management options, and evaluate prior actions. However, the role of scientific knowledge in decision-making is challenging to predict and may even worsen political disagreement. This research will improve our understanding of the feedbacks between monitoring and modeling of environmental conditions and changes, environmental management, and policy argumentation.

One aspect of the position is to work as part of the Novel Ecosystems IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship), funded by the National Science Foundation ( This dissertation will examine how research conducted through the Novel Ecosystems IGERT is extended and used in diverse environmental management contexts, including wildlife and fish management, conservation planning, water quality, and forestry. The position will examine how decision-makers in these different sectors use and perceive information and plan for novel and changing environmental conditions. There is also an opportunity to select a PhD minor in Science and Technology Studies through the Holtz Center,

University, Department, Lab:
The University of Wisconsin –Madison is one of the major research universities in the United States ( It ranks 2nd in research expenditures among all U.S. universities and first among public universities. Total student enrollment is 41,500, out of which 8,800 are graduate students. Employees include 2,000 faculty. UW-Madison has a long history of excellence in ecology, conservation biology, and remote sensing science. This project will be housed with the Rissman group ( in the Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology (

Madison, Wisconsin consistently ranks as one of the best places in the United States to live, work, and study. It is Wisconsin’s capital city, with a vibrant population of approximately 200,000 that combines small town charm with a variety of leisure and cultural opportunities. For more information on campus and town see

Current annual stipend levels are $20,808 per year before taxes, plus tuition remission and health care benefits. Financial support is provided by USDA and NSF, available for four years. A start date of September of 2014 is envisioned.

A BS degree in environmental studies, science studies, geography, political science, sociology, public administration, natural resources, forestry, wildlife ecology, or other related disciplines is required. Applicants with a Master’s degree are desired but not required.
Experience with social science research is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants with some background in science policy, science and technology studies, or human dimensions of ecosystem management. Preference also given to an applicant with some background in environmental science related to forestry, wildlife, biodiversity, or water quality. Work experience in conservation agencies or nonprofit organizations also desired. Good English writing and verbal communication skills, as well as the ability to work in a team, are essential.

Application Process:
Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and review will continue until candidates are chosen. Applications received before March 21st 2014 are guaranteed consideration. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. The position to open to both US citizen and international candidates.

Interested applicants are asked to e-mail the documents listed below to our Student Services Coordinator Sara Rodock ( (in ONE PDF file please).
– Our departmental graduate application cover sheet (
– Letter outlining research interests, academic and professional backgrounds
– Resume or CV
– Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)
– GRE scores if available
– Reprints of publications if available
– Names and contact addresses of three references

Dr. Adena Rissman
Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin
1630 Linden Drive
Russell Laboratories
Madison WI 53706