STS and Interdisciplinarity

The intellectual, pedagogical, and administrative aspects of making STS have spilled over into editorial and writing projects that embody my sense (and sensibilities) regarding STS as a recognized discipline in the social sciences. I co-edited the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1995) with Gerald Markle, James Petersen, and Trevor Pinch. This was the first STS Handbook officially sponsored by the Society for Social Studies of Science, and hence a milestone in the development of the field. I also edited the first Section on Science and Technology Studies Section in the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Oxford: Elsevier, 2001). This was the first time IESBS included STS in its roster of the social sciences. As Section Editor, I was personally responsible for soliciting and editing some 65 articles.

Two groups of papers capture my thinking about STS as a field: (1) contributions to handbooks and compendia that seek to represent STS to broad audiences; and (2) writings that actively engage with theories and methods in other disciplines.

Handbook and Encyclopedia

  • “Science and Technology Studies,” in K. Bäckstrand and E. Lövbrand, eds., Handbook on Climate Governance (Cheltenham, Glos: Edward Elgar, forthcoming).
  • The Floating Ampersand: STS Past and STS to Come,” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 2 (2016).
  • “A Field of Its Own: The Emergence of Science and Technology Studies,” in R. Frodeman, J.T. Klein, and C. Mitcham, eds., Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 191-205.
  • “A Social Contract for the Life Sciences: The U.S. Case,” in S. Rodota and M. Tallacchini, ed.,Trattato di Biodiritto (2010), pp. 103-121.
  • “Making Order: Law and Science in Action,” in E. Hackett et al., eds., Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, 3rd ed. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007), pp. 761-786.

Cross-Disciplinary Interventions

  • “Fields and Fallows: The Normative Logics of STS,” in A. Barry and G. Born, eds., Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2013), pp. 99-118.
  • “Dismantling Boundaries in Science and Technology Studies” (with P. Dear), Isis: Journal of the History of Science in Society 101(4):759-774 (December 2010).
  • “An STS Scholar Reflects on Philosophy,” in Robert Rosenberger, ed., Five Questions in Philosophy of Science (Copenhagen: Automatic Press/VIP, 2010), pp. 109-127.
  • “Border Crossings: Social Sciences and Public Policy,” in A. Pereira and S. Funtowicz, eds., Science 4 Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. xi-xxvi. [This article connects STS to environmental economics.]
  • “Reconstructing the Past, Constructing the Present: Can Science Studies and the History of Science Live Happily Ever After?” Social Studies of Science 30(4):621-31 (2000).
  • “Science and Norms in International Environmental Regimes,” in F. O. Hampson and J. Reppy, eds., Earthly Goods: Environmental Change and Social Justice (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), pp. 173-197. [This article provides an STS-based critique of the influential concept of epistemic communities used by international relations scholars.]
  • “What Judges Should Know about the Sociology of Science,” Jurimetrics 32(3):345-359 (1992); adapted and updated in Judicature 77(2):77-82 (1993). [Published in a law journal, this article was an early attempt to distill some insights from STS for legal audiences.]