Archive for January, 2011

Romani in the Bundestag

27 January 2011

Zoni Weisz, holocaust survivor, the first ever Sinti and Roma guest of honour at Germany’s official Holocaust remembrance day in the Bundestag today, speaks out against discrimination [00:24:30-00:55:55]. Introduced [00:18:38-00:24:30] and followed [00:57:00-01:02:06] by the Hungarian Roma guitarist, Ferenc Snétberger.

Watch the video with English translation here (or in German here).

Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism

On 27 January, the German Bundestag held a Ceremony of Remembrance for the victims of National Socialism. Parliament has held a ceremony each year since 1996 on this date, on which the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated in 1945. The guest speaker this year was Mr Zoni Weisz, a Holocaust survivor from the Netherlands and representative of the Sinti.

Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Heidegger

20 January 2011

Søren Riis is one of those few people out there who have also been intrigued with the Heidegger-Latour relationship (see his paper (Riis, S. (2008). “The Symmetry between Bruno Latour and Martin Heidegger: The Technique of Turning a Police Officer into a Speed Bump.” Social Studies of Science 38(2): 285-301.) This time he has come out with a book on Heidegger and technology, though it does sound like there is also a Latourian twist to it.

Riis, Søren (2011) Zur Neubestimmung der Technik: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Martin Heidegger, Francke Verlag, Tübingen

Contrary to Heidegger, Riis advances a number of contentious arguments, which goes to show that biotechnology may indeed hold the “saving power” of modernity, complex modern machines are kinds of artworks, and ancient craftsmanship may be as dangerous as modern technology. Turning Heidegger’s arguments against himself, Riis demonstrates how Heidegger’s thinking in his principal work ”Being and Time” lays the foundation for a radical attack on human existence, which concerns ancient as well as modern technology.

In making the different arguments, emphasis is given to Heidegger’s hermeneutic tricks and techniques, which Heidegger utilizes in order to make his own thinking seem more coherent.

Hat tip OOP.

Beyond the PDF (and books and journal articles)

17 January 2011

I haven’t had the time to read through all the materials of the Beyond the PDF workshop but the whole thing is very intriguing. The main premise seems to be that the popular PDF format in which scientific articles tend to be published and disseminated these days is hindering the development of scientific knowledge. These guys for example argue that

Scientific publications are becoming more imaging and multimedia intensive. Although the publication format for scientific research papers has transitioned from printed magazines and journals to digital formats in recent years, the widely used PDF digital format lacks imaging support for high-resolution images and multimedia. Papers in PDF format available on the Internet have dramatically increased the accessibility of scientific information. However, communication of complete research data is not being realized due to the technical limitations of the PDF format.

Scientific papers in PDFs only tend to contain the final output of the research process, when contemporary technologies would already enable researchers to share many other artefacts involved in the scientific process:

What is a piece of science? That is up to a researcher but in general one can think of it as an experiment or all the things done to lead to a paper. During the course of doing a piece of science, a researcher will produce many different artifacts: data, slides, papers, experiment write-ups. For all these types of artifacts, different outlets (i.e. websites) are useful in sharing and communicating these artifacts.

The links section is also worth checking out. There is an interesting summary at the bottom of the page about the pros and cons of PDF.


Débordements: Mélanges offerts à Michel Callon

11 January 2011

A collection of essays celebrating the work of Michel Callon; half of them in French,  half in English.

Table of Contents

Vers un modèle d’agir autonome [PDF] 9

Rémi Barbier

« De l’arbitraire à l’arbitrage » : les indicateurs de S&T en débat [PDF] 13

Rémi Barré

Transparency as a political device [PDF] 21

Andrew Barry

Le client du poste téléphonique : archéologie des êtres intermédiaires 41

Dominique Boullier

The ontological priority of mediation 61

Geoffrey C. Bowker

La sociologie est un sport collectif : petit match avec Michel Callon 69

Franck Cochoy

La dynamique de l’innovation : une interprétation de l’approche de Michel Callon en termes de communautés de connaissance 87

Patrick Cohendet, Jean-Alain Héraud & Patrick Llerena

Traduction et résonance morphique 107

Jean-Pierre Courtial

Quand l’économie échoue à être performative. Une étude de cas 129

Hervé Dumez & Alain Jeunemaître

Avec les armes de la sociologie de l’innovation : critique d’un travail récent d’économie expérimentale sur l’innovation et la propriété intellectuelle 143

Dominique Foray

Procrustean transformations: Climategate, scientific controversies and hope 153

Raghu Garud & Joel Gehman

Michel Callon : une « socionomie » contemporaine ? 169

Armand Hatchuel

Vous avez dit attachements ?… 179

Antoine Hennion

Thin air 191

Sheila Jasanoff

On the economics of techno-scientific promises 203

Pierre-Benoît Joly

Material disruptions in electricity systems: can wind power fit in the existing electricity system? 223

Peter Karnøe

La démocratie électronique et l’Open Government de Barack Obama sous l’œil critique des STS 241

Pierre Lascoumes

Avoir ou ne pas avoir de réseau : that’s the question [PDF] 257

Bruno Latour

The Greer-Bush test: on politics in STS [PDF] 269

John Law

What can heterogeneity add to the scientometric map? Steps towards algorithmic historiography 283

Loet Leydesdorff

Michel Callon et le « tournant performatif » de la théorie de l’acteur-réseau. Vers une anthropologie des objets techniques en situation 291

Christian Licoppe

Models as coordination devices 299

Donald MacKenzie

Table des matièresDe l’usage dans l’échange. Quelques propositions issues de la perspective de l’économie des qualités 303

Alexandre Mallard

Accounting for others 315

Peter Miller

Bami goreng for Mrs. Klerks and other stories on food and culture 325

Annemarie Mol

Cooling down and heating up: a stress test on politics and economics 335

Fabian Muniesa

La stratégie comme exercice de traduction. Une illustration sur le marché dermo-cosmétique 343

Hervé Penan

The politics of hybrid forums 357

Dominique Pestre

Performativity and economic demonstrations: pitching quality and quantity 369

Trevor Pinch

Processes of entanglement 381

Arie Rip

Callon and the life of democracy 393

Nigel Thrift

Latour in The Hindu

6 January 2011

An interview with Bruno Latour in The Hindu.

You have been working on the idea of eco-theology. Could you talk about that?

Given that we have to look for alternatives to the politics of Nature, I was interested in seeing if there is in the old tradition of Christian theology – I don’t know enough about Indian tradition — about respect for Creation. Not about Nature but respect for Creation. And it happens that in the Orthodox Christian tradition of Central and Eastern Europe there is a large body of theological work around the question of Creation. My interest is that there is a disconnect between the science and the size of the threat that people mention about Nature, the planet and the climate and the emotion that this triggers. So we are supposed to be extremely frightened people, but despite that we appear to sleep pretty well. So either the threat is not that strong, or we have not built the kind of emotion we have built for war, for religious conflict and all sorts of other issues which make us very emotive.

Peter Neilson, Secateurs, 2009

1 January 2011

After my previous post on The Speculative Turn (which sounds like a runaway success, with downloaders having crashed the website on Christmas day) I realised that it was almost criminal of me not to have mentioned the artist’s name, having praised his work. So he is Peter Neilson from Melbourne, and the piece is called Secateurs (2009, charcoal and chalk on paper, 70 x 50 cm). There are lots of other lovely charcoal drawings of various tools on the artist’s website, do check it out.