The Finnish Society for Science and Technology Studies


Call for papers: "Experimentation and Evidence." Annual symposium of Science and Technology Studies, 8.–9.6. 2017

House of Science and Letters, Helsinki.


The Finnish Society for Science and Technology, The Finnish Association for Medical Law and Ethics; Funded by The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies

Keynote speakers:

Professor Barbara Prainsack, Kings College, London
Professor Michael Guggenheim, Goldsmiths, University of London

The 2017 symposium titled "Experimentation and Evidence" calls for papers examining the ontological, epistemological and practical issues in the process of creating, validating, and revisioning knowledge.

Science studies have rendered science as a social and cultural practice. Classic STS- studies have described upstream “truth factories” such as laboratories and the processes of producing knowledge, while others have taken a downstream perspective, to examine the social and political effects of such knowledge. However, increasingly making and arguing for a political, administrative, or corporate decision requires more often than not drawing on items of knowledge (conventionally called ‘facts’) for support (legitimacy, justification), regardless of whether the decision concerns a public issue or is made in a laboratory, court of law, financial or medical institution, or in some other closed social domain.

What makes all this very interesting is that in many of these occasions that require choosing, the ‘facts’ are based on experimental methodology or research design. Actually, experimental methodology may well be in contradiction with the common idea that decision making should be based on reliable facts. As the experiments in our focus now tend to be on the cutting edge of knowledge, resulting ‘facts’ may be less secure than expected.

How, then, does one arrive at a credible ‘fact’ in any of these contexts? What constitutes, through which kind of hierarchies of authority and lobbying, evidence in different contexts, and how do ‘facts’ translate when traveling across epistemic boundaries between different social domains? How and why is the relevance of experimentation and experimental research design in different social domains argued for? How have the relations between experimentation and evidence changed historically, and how does the current cultural, intellectual and moral climate (Zeitgeist) influence their interrelation? How do social movements’ knowledge claims relate to mobilizing citizens’ experiences to governmental purposes?

Call for presentations and sessions
We are welcoming presentations and sessions on, but not limited to,

* different topologies for evidence, for both creating and assessing evidence * experimentation in medicine

* science studies and activism
* challenges of public engagement in science, technology and governance
* the study of issues such as citizen science, biotechnology and regulation
* social movements and civil society as challenges to research agenda settings * social accounting, auditing, and reporting
* funding access to decisive materials as a part of argumentation
* transformation of natural entities into scientific objects
* organizations as knowledge-machines
* hybrid knowledge more anti-disciplinary than interdisciplinary
* textual vs. visual, translations
* limits of design
* experimental methodology (e.g. imitation game).


Presentations can relate to any aspect of experimentation or evidence, or any other aspect of science and technology studies.

Maximum length of presentation abstracts is 300 words, including possible references. Maximum length of presentations is 20 minutes + 10 for discussion.

Abstracts of presentations together with contact details (name, organization, e-mail) should be sent to Minna Saariketo <> by 23rd April 2017 as a DOC or RTF attachment.


Session conveners are requested to invite 3-5 presentations on a topic of their choice and to draft a description of the session (up to 500 words). Session conveners are also requested to provide the abstracts of presentations in their session.

Session proposals (description and presentation abstracts) and contact details (convener’s name, organization, e-mail; speakers’ names, organizations and e-mails) should be sent to Minna Saariketo <> by 31st March 2017 as a DOC or RTF attachment.

Call for Papers: "Expertise and its Tensions" – A special issue of Science & Technology Studies

Contemporary societies are permeated by, and depend on, many kinds of expertise. Furthermore, expertise is commonly contested in various domains, such as environment, health, medicine and economics. Debates on expertise may involve struggles over ontologies or epistemic authority. These struggles can be about relations between lay and expert knowledges, but they might also emerge among scientific experts, or between distinct forms of expertise and ways of knowing. Furthermore, inter- or multidisciplinary endeavors create tensions as scientific experts from various fields need to fit together their approaches and unspoken or tacit aspects of their expertise.

Articles can relate to any aspect of expertise, targeting, for example, any of the three pre-established topic groups: 1) expansion of expertise in the public domain, 2) multidisciplinary expertise and its tensions, 3) experts, politics and policy.

Proposals are welcome on (but not restricted to) the following topics:


Emergence of multiple expertises around specific phenomena

Multidisciplinary expertise and tacit knowledge

Expertise and wicked problems

Expertise, law and regulation

Socio-material aspects of expertise

The place of expertise in social services

Trust in science and/or think tanks

Science-policy dynamics

Expertise and the Triple helix

Expansion of expertise in the public domain

Social media and expertise

Personal values, stances, and expert knowledge

Expertise concerning risk

Experience-based expertise

Politically and economically motivated dissent in science

Public questioning of medical expertise

NGOs as policy experts

Participatory expertise

Contingency of the boundaries of public expertise

How information systems and databases affect medical expertise

Big data and expertise

Tensions in multi-disciplinary expertise

The interfaces of expertise

Semantic difference and loss of context in multidisciplinary scientific work

Emotional tensions in multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary interaction

Multiple ontologies and professional languages

Scientific misconduct and its relation to expertise

Total quality management of expertise

The efficiency of expertise


The guest-editors of this special issue of Science and Technology Studies are: Steven Yearley, Maria Åkerman, Otto Auranen, Harley Bergroth, Ismo Kantola, Sampsa Saikkonen, Jaakko Taipale.

Papers to be submitted should not be published or under review elsewhere. All submissions will be peer-reviewed according to Science & Technology Studies’ guidelines and procedures. For further manuscript guidelines, please see ‘manuscript submissions’ on the Science & Technology Studies website (

Deadline for manuscript submissions is 15th of February 2017.


For further information, please contact Ismo Kantola ( It is highly recommendable for anyone considering submission to this special issue to send an abstract as soon as possible by e-mail to the editors via Ismo Kantola (

Forthcoming events


Past events


Symposium on Science and Technology Studies:
Expertise and its tensions

Helsinki, 2 June 2016
Venue: The House of Science and Letters (Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki, Finland)

Keynote speakers: 
Professor Steven Yearley, University of Edinburgh
Principal Scientist Maria Åkerman, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland


Science and Technology Studies Symposium: Digitalization and Science
Helsinki, 9 June 2015

Venue: University of Helsinki, Metsätalo building (Unioninkatu 40, Helsinki)

Plenary speakers:

Reader Dhiraj Murthy, Goldsmiths, University of London
Professor Timo Honkela, Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki

Further information:

Ilkka Arminen (ilkka.arminen at
Otto Auranen (otto.auranen at


Local knowledge, global networks
Turku, Finland, 19 September 2013

Time: 17.30-18.45
Venue: University of Turku, Publicum building, hall Pub3, Assistentinkatu 7, Turku

- Professor Steve Woolgar (Saïd Business School, Oxford University): Mundane Governance: ontology and accountability
- Commentaries by Senior Researcher Seppo Poutanen (University of Turku) and Team Leader, PhD Eveliina Saari (The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health)
- Discussion

Event is open for all.

Further information:
Ismo Kantola (ismo.kantola [at]
Website of Steve Woolgar:

Organized by:
The Finnish Society for Science and Technology Studies
Sociology, Department of Social Research, University of Turku
The Finnish Post-graduate School for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

About the speakers:

Professor Steve Woolgar is Chair of Marketing and Head of Science and Technology Studies at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. He is world renown for his path breaking research with Bruno Latour (1979) in modern science and technology studies. He is highly esteemed as a sociologist of science, technology, organizations, accounting and innovation. His current work focuses on the areas of mundane governance, neuromarketing and web-based rating and ranking schemes, and the shift from epistemology to ontology in STS.

Professor Woolgar's lecture in the Local Knowledge, Global Networks Event will expose his thesis about the shift towards ontology in Science and Technology Studies.

Dr. Eveliina Saari, team leader, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, has studied construction of new research areas, dynamics of collaboration of research groups, systems of innovation, learning in networks, etc. She has published in Science, technology, and human values, Science studies, American journal of evaluation, International journal of quality and service sciences, and Technology analysis and strategic management.

Dr. Seppo Poutanen, adjunct professor, Sociology, University of Turku, has studied genetic screening, epistemic communities, and the discussion on critical realism. He has published in Critical public health, Journal of Critical realism, Sociological research online, Social epistemology, International journal of the humanities, and International journal of gender and entrepreneurship.

The Conference on Higher Education and Innovation Research: Visions of Higher Education in 2030

22–23 April 2013
Helsinki, Finland

The Conference on Higher Education and Innovation Research will contemplate the future and visualize what kind of higher education we should have in the year 2030. The visualisations will encompass several dimensions of higher education, e.g. academic professions, financial basis of higher education, higher education policy, teaching and learning, as well as the role of higher education in solving the grand challenges facing society and humankind.

Deadline for submitting abstracts of presentations is 11 March 2013. Both Finnish and English language abstracts may be submitted.

Further information about the conference and its workshops can be found at conference website.

Conference is organized by HEGOM research group (University of Helsinki), Consortium of Higher Education Researchers in Finland, Edistyksellinen tiedeliitto, The Finnish Society for Science and Technology Studies, and The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL).

Salla Sariola: The power to know: epistemic differences in an AIDS vaccine study in Coastal Kenya
Karoliina Snell: Tietojärjestelmät ja geenitieto lääkärin asiantuntijuuden muokkaajina
Vienna Setälä-Pynnönen: (Lack of) tensions in the multidiciplinary expertise – Case health and economic growth in Finland
Marjaana Jones: Kokemukseen perustuva asiantuntijuus terveydenhuollossa
Arja Haapakorpi: Asiantuntijuuksien rajapinnalla: laajentumisen ja erikoistumisen tausta ja ristiriita
Antti Lempinen & Marianne Silvan-Lempinen: Semantic difference and loss of context in multidisciplinary scientific work