Theme: Rescaling the World: Multiscale Conversations of Technology, Medicine, and Society
Venue: Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab at TAF Innovation Base
No. 177, Jianguo South Road sec. 1, Daan District, Taipei, Taiwan (Website: https://clab.org.tw/about/)
Submit your proposals: link
The theme of the 2023 Taiwan Science, Technology & Society Association Annual Conference is “Rescaling the World”. We cordially invite researchers across disciplines to gather at the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab on September 2-3 to explore the keyword “scale” together. “Scale” is an indispensable aspect in our daily lives, government policies, capitalism expansion, engineering designs, and humanities and social science research. However, what is scale? What are the epistemological and ontological foundations of scale? What are the past, present, and future of scale? What is the most suitable scale for understanding the past, present, and future world? What insights can science and technology studies (STS) and the history of science bring to these questions?
There are generally two definitions of scale: one is the standard for measuring things, such as meters, kilograms, liters, decibels, etc.; the other is the level for understanding phenomena, such as individuals, communities, regions, the world, decades, centuries and millennia. It can be seen that technology plays a crucial role in determining the scale. Take a meter for example. In the late 18th century, the scientific community divided the semicircle from the North Pole to the equator by one millionth and defined this length as a meter, while the definition of a meter today is the distance traveled by light in vacuum in 1/299792458 seconds. However, even if scientists and engineers can develop sophisticated theories and technologies to define scales, a certain scale can only become a standard when it has gained sufficient authority and legitimacy with social consensus. And where do this authority and legitimacy come from? As evidenced by history, this often involves modern states’ capacity in establishing institutions and laws with coercive force and even maintain the infrastructure that keeps this standard from falling. Interestingly, states often have to rely on science and technology to ensure their legitimacy and authority. In other words, by studying scales, researchers must consider technology, society, politics, instruments, scientific communities, and other related subjects at the same time. This constitutes a great challenge for researchers and requires interdisciplinary cooperation and dialogue to address.
This is why we set scale as the theme of this year’s conference. In the past three years, the world seems to have stagnated due to the impact of COVID-19. However, after the epidemic ended, the world seems to operate at a speed that was unrecognizable before. Between the previous stagnation and recent movement is an array of dazzling rescaling. Regardless of the scales that have already undergone considerable changes, such as body, local, national, regional, and global scales, scales that are extremely small or large, such as viruses and planets, also urgently need researchers to critically examine.
The venue of the conference is at Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-Lab), which is one of the most important venues for technology and experimental art in Taiwan. Through cooperation with C-Lab, we hope to create a different academic conference experience by creating a space suitable for communication among participants and congenial to a sense of community that will encourage more interdisciplinary exchanges. We sincerely invite researchers to form panels (three to four papers) or submit single papers. We also welcome everyone to participate in art creation, exhibitions, and technical objects to explore various possibilities about “presentation” and “academic conference” with us.
We welcome (but not limited to) the following topics:
– History and STS analysis of specific scales
– Scale technology, engineering and social controversies
– Scale, scientific instruments and infrastructure
– The spreading of scale
– Cross-society and cross-cultural comparison of scale
– Scale and philosophy of science
– Scale and ethics
– Scale and governance
– Aesthetics and poetics of scale
Formats of presentation:
- Oral presentations:
(1) Self-organized sessions include paper presentations, panels or workshops:
- Paper presentation: generally with 3 to 4 articles. Please arrange commenters should you decide to have one. Please agree amongst yourselves on the paper submission method and deadline. Please provide a theme abstract description and abstracts of each paper, each within 500 words. Suitable for research papers with clear results.
- Panel submission: Please provide a panel abstract within 500 words, as well as the list of moderators and discussants and their backgrounds. Suitable for sharing experiences, discussing issues, etc.
- Workshop: Please provide an abstract within 500 words, as well as the moderator and activity planning. Suitable for brainstorming and development of research topics.
(2) Individual paper submission: Please provide an abstract within 500 words. If accepted, the conference will arrange a commentator for you. The presenter must provide a draft paper within the time specified by the conference, which will be forwarded to the commentator by the conference organizing team. Suitable for research papers with clear results.
- Poster and other forms of presentation
Please provide a 500-word summary and formats of presentation, which can be, but not exclusive of, posters, videos, art creations, etc. The author must interact with attendees on-site.
1st June: Registration open
1st July: Submission of abstracts closed
15th July: Announcement of acceptance
15th August: Registration closed
Organizors: Taiwan Science, Technology & Society Association and the Department of Geography of National Taiwan University
Co-organizer: Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab