Monday 15 May 2017, 6.00 pm – Istituto Svizzero di Roma, via Liguria 20

“Research is the future of research.” More than a century ago Max Weber mused in these terms on the prospective outlook of modern science (cf. Aron 1967). In hindsight, Weber’s efforts at distinguishing between scienti c vocation and political profession may seem vain. His efforts tended indeed to cover up the mutual dependency, common characteristics, and intricate relationships between the two. Yet Weber’s sociological emphasis on the prospective outlook of science still resonates with the “economy of promises” (Joly 2010) that current technosciences draw upon, not least of which the grand promise of “Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance” (Roco and Bainbridge 2002). Have nano- and biotechnologies met the expectancies that they continue to nourish? Have cognitive and computer sciences lived up to their promises? And upon which basis is and should that be decided? This research workshop takes up the outlined questions by homing in on the promises and poetics of technoscience. In particular, the workshop examines the discursive promotion of scienti c breakthrough and technological innovation, whilst making explicit the imaginaries, intricacies, and ironies that this promotion entails. Discursive moves and political resonances, in and through rhetorical gestures of “science ction,” will be examined more closely. Therefore, the workshop brings together leading and upcoming scholars in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. The workshop is organized by the Swiss Institute in Rome, in collaboration with STS Italia and Interface Science- Sociétés of the University of Lausanne.


Joëlle Comé (Swiss Institute in Rome) Welcome
Philippe Sormani (Swiss Institute in Rome) Introduction

Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna, Austria) Anticipation, promise and speculation:
Narrative practices at the science-society interfaces 

Marc Audétat (University of Lausanne, Switzerland) Scientific promises and literature: action as method 

Paolo Magaudda (University of Padova) A technocultural short-circuit: Black Mirror, Google Glass and the Anxiety for Posthuman Media Technology 

Final Discussion

Chair: Assunta Vitteriti (Sapienza University Rome)

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