Participation in Denver, Colorado – Panel and Talk at Society for Social Studies of Science

Denver – Society for Social Studies of Science
November  11th – 15th 2015

Panel with Basil Bornemann, Basel University
Abstract: In this panel, we regard the “Anthropocene” and the related debates as triggering points for a renewal of sustainability thinking. In particular, we see an opportunity for STS scholarship to enlighten sustainability thinking in such a way that it becomes more reflective with respect its roots in modern thought, and correspondingly its ecological effects. To explore the potential of STS for sustainability thinking in light of the “Anthropocene”, we propose three sets of questions that cut across recent STS debates: First, What can sustainability thinking learn from STS’s insights into the co-­‐constitution of science and the world? Second, is the ecological condition that structures sustainability thinking really a theoretical imperative in favor of realism and what benefits have constructivist traditions? Third, can STS unravel the performativity of sustainability debates by „following the actor“?

Talk
Abstract: While today computer education is largely seen as a mere instrument in the creation of workforce, emancipatory ideals and even educational theories permeate the computer industries ever since their beginning in the 1960s and 70s. So when and how did the emancipatory pedagogy get lost, and how does that closure relate to the rise of personal computing? The paper describes the pedagogics and educational efforts involved in three critical phases of programming and the hardware of personal computing. First, the engagement of Bob Albrecht in the rise and distribution of timesharing and the BASIC programming; countercultural groups like the Homebrew Computer Club but also less prominent efforts like the Bob Albrecht’s Dymax division at the Portola Institute were explicitly addressing educational concerns; Montessori educators like Dean Brown and Liza Loop followed a explicit, even academic theory of self-guided learning and thereby also gave shape to computer technologies.

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