2017-18 Colloquium Series

The Science Studies Colloquium Series takes place every Monday of the quarter from 4:00p-5:30p in Room 3027, Humanities & Social Sciences Building, Muir College campus, unless noted otherwise.

A reception for the colloquium speaker takes place before the talk from 3:30p-4:00p in Room 3005, Humanities & Social Sciences Building.

Fall Quarter 2017

October 2, 2017

Science Studies Program Meeting

SSP faculty and students only

October 9, 2017

Rebecca Herzig

Professor, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Bates College

Banu Subramaniam

Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
UMass Amherst

(Be)laboring Biopolitics: Genealogies of Labor in STS

Labor has been and continues to be an indispensable category of analysis for understanding asymmetrical social relations in and across post-industrial settings, as evidenced by the proliferation of new terms deployed by activists and scholars: “affective” labor, “immaterial” labor, “digital” labor, and so forth. In this talk, we trace the recent advent of a concept alternately referred to as “biological,” “biomedical,” or “clinical” labor, and consider how it might be used to rethink the politics of academic labor.

October 16, 2017

Lilly Irani

Assistant Professor, Communication &Science Studies
UC San Diego

October 23, 2017

Robert Johnson

Professor of History, College of Letters and Sciences, Social Sciences
National University

October 30, 2017

Rafael Nuñez

Professor, Cognitive Science, UC San Diego

November 6, 2017

Akos Rona-Tas

Professor, Sociology, UC San Diego

Knowing What We Don’t: Uncertainty in Food Risk Science in the United States and the European Union

The relationship between scientific knowledge and uncertainty in science has been a central question in risk analysis. There have been several conceptualizations of uncertainty but most have been normative efforts to construct an ontology based on theoretical considerations. There have been few empirical attempts to build and test such an ontology through textual analysis. Methods assisted by machine learning we do not know of.
We developed empirically an ontology to investigate uncertainty in risk assessment in food safety, comparing the EU and the US, and the two main domains of food safety: biohazards and contaminants over the period 2000-2010 with a four year grant from the French National Science Foundation (ANR), and support from the US FDA, and EFSA. The ontology gauges expressions of uncertainty in two ways: one classifies the content of the uncertainty expressed in the documents, the other looks for stylistic clues of judgment. We built a large database of English language risk assessment documents issued by the agencies responsible for food safety, double coded by humans using our ontology. We also used machine-learning algorithms to reproduce and correct our coding and to test its internal consistency. (http://www6.inra.fr/holyrisk )
 We ask four questions: Is scientific uncertainty different in the US and the EU? Are there different epistemic cultures of perceiving uncertainties across different subfields of science? Do uncertainties decrease with more research? And, finally, do policy makers act differently when scientific evidence is weak?

November 13, 2017

Kristopher Nelson

PhD Candidate, History and Science Studies, UC San Diego

November 20, 2017

James Delbourgo

Associate Professor, History, History of Science & Atlantic World
Rutgers University

November 27, 2017

Arthur Petersen

Professor of Science, Technology and Public Policy
University College London

Values in Science Advice: The Case of the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reviews scientific literature on climate change in an attempt to make scientific knowledge about climate change accessible to a wide audience that includes policy makers. Documents produced by the IPCC are subject to negotiations in plenary sessions, which can be frustrating for the scientists and government delegations involved, who all have stakes in getting their respective interests met. This seminar draws on the work of Bruno Latour in order to analyze the role of different values in science advice and the need for ‘diplomacy’ between them.

December 4, 2017

Ramya Rajagopalan

Visiting Scholar, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

December 11, 2017

No Colloquium

Finals Week

Winter Quarter 2018

January 8, 2018

Science Studies Program Meeting

SSP faculty and students only

January 15, 2018

No Colloquium

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 22, 2018

Allen Tran, Anthropology'12

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Bucknell University

January 29, 2018

Elena Aronova'12

Assistant Professor, History, UC Santa Barbara

February 5, 2018

Harun Küçück'12

Assistant Professor, History & Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

February 12, 2018

Alan Richardson

Professor, Distinguished University Scholar, Philosophy
University of British Columbia

February 19, 2018 

No Colloquium

President's Day

February 26, 2018

Steve Epstein

Professor of Sociology and John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities
Northwestern University

March 5, 2018

Hal Pashler or Nancy Cartwright


March 12, 2018

Hal Pashler or Nancy Cartwright


March 19, 2018 

No Colloquium

Finals Week

March 26, 2018

Spring Break

Spring Quarter 2018

April 2, 2018

Science Studies Program Meeting

SSP faculty and students only

April 9, 2018

Don Everhardt

PhD Candidate, Sociology & Science Studies, UC San Diego

April 16, 2018

Michael Hardimon

Associate Professor, Philosophy, UC San Diego

Lucy Allais

Henry E. Allison Endowed Chair in the History of Philosophy, Philosophy, UC San Diego

April 23, 2018

Brynna Jacobson

PhD Candidate, Sociology, UC San Diego

April 30, 2018

Dan C. Hallin

Professor, Communication, UC San Diego

Charles Briggs

Professor, Anthropology, UC Berkeley

May 7, 2018 

J. Rogers Hollingsworth

Professor Emeritus, History, University of Wisconsin

May 14, 2017

Rebecca Hardesty

PhD Candidate, Communicaton & Science Studies, UC San Diego

May 21, 2017 

Benoit Berthelier

Postdoctoral Scholar, Transnational Korean Studies, UC San Diego

May 28, 2017

No Colloquium

Memorial Day

May 30 & 31, 2017

Student Choice Speaker: Ruha Benjamin

Assistant Professor, African American Studies, Princeton University

June 4, 2017