Summer School “Biomedicine and STS: Emerging Themes”

STS Italia Summer School


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Registration (deadline 31st of July)

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Call for Applications

STS Italia, the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies – in collaboration with the University of Padova, FISSPA Department – is organizing its 3rd Summer School, “Biomedicine and STS: Emerging Themes”, to be held in Padova (Italy) from September 15th to 19th, 2015.

Goals and main topics

Biomedicine and related fields (such as genetics, biotechnology and the life sciences) play an increasing role in social, economic, political, and personal life. Recent developments in the field of biomedicine have posed novel challenges for the politics and ethics of health care, as they raise a great number of ethical, moral and social issues. Scholarship in Science and Technology Studies (STS) has developed a variety of approaches, theoretical frameworks and methodological insights for investigating these complex phenomena. This summer school introduces participants to major approaches, exploring new research frontiers and emerging themes:

  • co-production of biomedical knowledge
  • patient organizations and engagement
  • biomedical imaging and visualization
  • health, ageing and environment
  • gender, body and emerging configurations of biomedical technologies.

The Summer School will offer PhD students and early career researchers the opportunity to interact with STS international scholars with a transdisciplinary background in social studies of science, technology and medicine.

Confirmed speakers

  • Madeleine Akrich, Mines ParisTech University, France
  • Attila Bruni, University of Trento, Italy
  • Regula Valerie Burri, HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany
  • Manuela Perrotta, Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom
  • Vololona Rabeharisoa, Mines ParisTech University, France


The Summer School will be organized around lectures and seminars. To make lessons more responsive, the participants will be engaged in seminars in which they will investigate the main themes of the Summer School working in small groups, through activities, discussions, inputs and examples. A group of scholars from STS Italia will participate in all the activities as facilitators. Moreover, the School will include a guided tour of the Museum of the History of Health and Medicine (Musme, in order to offer further materials and inspiration for workshop activities. All lectures and seminars will be in English.

Schedule, costs, and accommodation

All participants are expected to attend the entire duration of the Summer School and a Certificate of Attendance will be provided at the end.

The fee for participation is 250 €. The fee includes:

  • access to all lectures and workshops
  • lunches and coffee breaks
  • a welcome aperitif
  • a guided tour of MUSME

Accommodation is not included in the fee. A list of selected hotels, B&B and budget accommodations will be provided to participants.

Who should attend?

This Summer School is intended for PhD students and junior researchers from different fields and disciplines (including science and technology studies, social study of health and medicine, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and or related fields) whose research is related to biomedicine and who are interested in developing a STS sensibility toward this field of study. We also invite applications from students in the biomedical and life sciences, who are interested in exploring the relation between biomedicine and society.

The number of participants is limited to 25 people. Candidates will be selected on the basis of their CV and research interests, maintaining a balanced participation in terms of gender and nationality of candidates.


Three scholarships (covering the participation fee) will be available for talented students. Scholarship applicants must send a statement of purpose (maximum 500 words) explaining why attending this summer school would be important for their academic studies or career, outlining also the reasons why a scholarship is required. Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of documented academic performance, personal achievements and financial needs.

Benefits from attending

Through both attending lectures and practising concepts, theories and empirical methods in group discussions and workshops, students will gain insights and suggestions on how to develop STS sensibility in relation to the study of biomedicine. Moreover, the school is intended to act as an intellectually and socially stimulating environment. Drawing upon previous experience, the school is organized to foster informal learning opportunities, sharing ideas, and developing networks among participants. Moreover, a workshop on “how to get published” will be run by some members of the editorial board of Tecnoscienza – Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies (, where participants will have the opportunity to discuss their papers and submission process to the journal.

How to apply

The application form is available here. After space for personal details, the form includes a place to upload a short scientific CV (maximum 2 pages) and a statement of interest (maximum 500 words), which should describe the applicant’s current research and its relevance to the aims of the summer school. Finally, a statement of purpose (maximum 500 words) is mandatory only for scholarship applications.

Applications must be submitted electronically to the Summer School Organizing Committee at:
Applications deadline is June 30th, 2015.

Important dates

June 30th, 2015: Applications deadline.

July 10th, 2015: Notification for participation and for scholarship eligibility.

July 31st, 2015: Registration deadline

Scientific and Organizing Committee

  • Attila Bruni, University of Trento
  • Stefano Crabu, Institut Mines-Telecom/Telecom ParisTech
  • Paolo Magaudda, University of Padova
  • Federico Neresini, University of Padova
  • Giuseppina Pellegrino, University of Calabria
  • Manuela Perrotta, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Assunta Viteritti, University of Rome “La Sapienza”
  • Paolo Volontè, Milan Politecnico

Please do not hesitate to contact the Organizing Committee via email at for any further questions regarding the school.


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