Event Archive

04 February 2015 :: Workshop :: Unsettling Life/Death through Encounters with Marine Life: A Cross-Disciplinary Research Generation Workshop

Byrne House, Streatham Campus

In light of climate change and new threats to life on earth and in the ocean, cross-disciplinary
collaborations seem crucial. No one way of knowing and meaning-making can capture our
changing relations to nonhuman forms of life. Recent studies of marine organisms have
generated new ways of figuring ‘life’. Snails that develop with two hearts, ‘immortal jellyfish’,
marine microbes that commit ‘suicide’ are some of the examples that challenge anthropocentric
conceptions of life and death. The goal of this workshop is to engender conversations among
social scientists, artists, and marine biologists around alternative conceptions of life/death
inspired by changing life styles of diverse marine organisms. In addition, we hope to explore
new ways of collaborating that are attentive to diverging meanings of experimentation and
representation within and across the disciplines.

If you are interested in attending the workshop please RSVP to Astrid Schrader at a.schrader@exeter.ac.uk by January 7th 2015. Please include a brief (one paragraph) biographical description about your
interests and expertise in relation to one or all of the following topics:

  • Philosophical, empirical, or cultural studies of the relationship between life and death,
    mortality and immortality, finitude and infinitude
  • Studies of the changing ways of how marine organisms make a living (e.g. life cycle
    studies) or pathways to death impacted by environmental changes
  • Explorations of different kinds of collaborations between arts, science and social

03 February 2015, 18:30-20:00 :: Annual Lecture :: Dorion Sagan, “Life and death on a symbiotic planet: Sex, Neo-Darwinism, and aging as an inside job”
Newman, C/D, Streatham Campus

Abstract: Four billion years of evolution on a crowded planet have made life on Earth richer probably still than dreamed of in the philosophies of modern biologists. American science writer and theorist Dorion Sagan takes us on a whirlwind tour of the new biology, focusing on aging and the need to re-introduce group selection to explain new and fascinating facts on aging as an internal process. Looking at older views, including the very popular but factually flawed Free Radical Theory, as well as the more sophisticated and evolutionary theories begun by Sir Peter Medawar, Sagan argues for a rapprochement between mainstream Darwinism and newer biological approaches with their focus on symbiosis, microbiome, and interspecies relationships. A new theory, better in accord with the facts and called The Black Queen, also the subject of a co-authored book, is introduced to explain senescence.

Register now for this event by emailing research-events@exeter.ac.uk.

27 January 2015 :: Workshop :: Materiality & Affectivity : An Interdisciplinary one-day STaC Workshop

Byrne House, Streatham Campus

The idea for this one-day workshop stems from an interest in the following general
questions: What is affectivity? What is materiality? And what is the relation between the
two? This workshop will bring together different disciplinary perspectives to address these
questions, with the aim of understanding what, if anything, these different perspectives
have in common; how they differ; and, most importantly, whether and how they can inform
one another and contribute together to further our understanding of the role of materiality
in our affective life.

Rebecca Coleman (Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London)
Giovanna Colombetti (Philosophy, SPA, University of Exeter)
Joel Krueger (Philosophy, SPA, University of Exeter)
Michael Schillmeier (Sociology, SPA, University of Exeter)
Sarah Tarlow (Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester)
John Wylie (Geography, University of Exeter)

Please email the organizer, Giovanna Colombetti (email: G.Colombetti@exeter.ac.uk), if you
would like to reserve a place. Please are limited, please RSVP by December 15th.

17 – 19 December 2014, 12:30 :: Workshop :: What is Data-Intensive Science?
Byrne House

This workshop is the first event in the project DATA_SCIENCE (www.datastudies.eu ). It brings together the key participants in the project, with the aim to start long-term discussions around what constitutes data-intensive science, compare the ways in which different scholars and fields conceptualise and enact data practices, and agree on the set-up, methods and themes to be pursued by the project team and collaborators over the next four years. Speakers will be presenting the specific sciences that they are researching, the methods that they use and the themes that they are interested in exploring in the future. The workshop is meant to provide an informal occasion for discussion, and will therefore not showcase full papers except from the keynote lecture provided by Professor Luciano Floridi, which will target the intersections between philosophy of science and philosophy of information in ways that will stimulate data-related discussions.

With contributions from James Griesemer (UC Davis), Alberto Cambrosio (McGill University), Sharon Traweek (UCLA), Friedrich Steinle (TU Berlin), Wendy Parker (Ohio University), Alison Wylie (University of Washington), Koray Karaca (University of Wueppertal), Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide), Werner Callebaut (Konrad Lorenz Institute), Luciano Floridi (University of Oxford), Mary Morgan (LSE), Koray Karaka (University of Wueppertal), David Sepkoski (MPIWG), Elena Anorova (MPIWG), Kaushik Sunder Rajan (University of Chicago).

Exeter-/ STAC Based Participants: John Dupré, Staffan Müller-Wille, Brian Rappert, Nick Smirnoff, Steve Hinchliffe, Gail Davies, David Studholme, Susan Kelly, Gregor Halfmann, Jennifer Cuffe, Nadine Levin, Adam Toon, James Lowe

15 – 16 December 2014, 9:00 :: Workshop :: Dark Data: Absences, Interventions and Digital Worlds
Byrne House.

The fifth meeting of the Knowledge / Value series will be held at the University of Exeter (UK), on 15–16 December 2014, and will explore the intersections between knowledge, value and dark data. Current discourse around data, and particularly scientific data and ‘big data’, are infused with the importance of the available, the pre-existing, the present. Data are givens, things that are and thus can be used as evidence; they are also tangible goods, the result of investments and labour, which need to be spread and used to improve human life and understanding. As one delves into actual ongoing attempts to handle, visualise, disseminate and interpret data, however, one realises that absence is at least as conspicuous as presence, and that it comes in different forms. Data are often missing, incomplete, unreliable, unobtainable, ignored or untagged. They can be hard to capture, store, perceive and disseminate, depending on their format, available technology and the degree of commitment and capital underlying these efforts. And sometimes, rather than providing evidence for what is there, they provide evidence for what is not.

Within this conference, we wish to focus on the absences of data. The dark side of evidence — that which is not there, not readily available, not usable to prove claims or foster discoveries — brings us to confront questions concerning what do not constitute formalized knowledge — what is tacit, ignored, denied, forbidden, private, inaccessible, unknown and/or unexplored. While several scholars have broached aspects of this issue in relation to biotechnology, biomedicine and the bioweapons industry, ranging from studies of ignorance (McGoey 2012, Proctor and Schiebinger 2008), to studies of what is impossible to know (Gross 2012, Wynne 1992), inaccessible or secret (Rappert 2009, Balmer 2012), there has been no attempt to theorize the dark side of data, with their political, scientific, psychological, institutional and ethical origins and implications that take account of all these different aspects and brings them into systematic dialogue with one another.

More details can be found at the Knowledge/Value website.

11 – 12 December 2014 :: Winter School :: Transforming Digital Methods

This winter school will endeavour to reflect critically upon the extant range of research practices and methodological frameworks that seek to access, visualise and analyse ‘natively digital’ activities and objects—considering how they might transform the ways in which we explore, understand and engage the social processes shaping our contemporary environment.

In order to consider and advance the current state of knowledge concerning digital research methods, this event will bring together a community of scholars and practitioners who are either investigating or employing digital systems to explore key social questions. This includes social scientists and humanities scholars who are interested in the growth and development of digital research methods and the consequences this may have for how their disciplines are understood and enacted.

For more details about the event, follow this link. 

28 – 29 November 2014 :: Symposium :: Concerning Relations: Sociologies of Conduct, Care and Affect
Byrne House.

This interdisciplinary symposium, funded by Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness (FSHI) and Exeter University, aims to interrogate the implications of shifting the focus of health care away from delivery towards care as an ongoing everyday accomplishment. This symposium examines spaces of collisions, elisions or alignments of social worlds, within which the affective dimension of social life in healthcare may be fruitfully examined. Drawing upon relational concerns as a distinct and distinctive mode of sociological inquiry, the symposium seeks to develop an understanding of care and its consequences that help us get beyond the economics of care as a commodified and managed form of engagement with the other.

Further details can be found here.

27 November 2014, 17:00-19:00 :: Book Launch Party :: Michael Schillmeier’s Eventful Bodies: The Cosmopolitics of Illness

Byrne House

Join us for a celebration of Michael Schillmeier’s recent book, Eventful Bodies. Wine and nibbles will be on hand. We’ll hear reflections on the book from Michael Hauskeller (SPA, University of Exeter), Steve Hinchliffe (Geography, University of Exeter), and Steve D. Brown (University of Leicester).

‘Bodies may indeed be everywhere in contemporary social theory, but rarely are they articulated with such feeling and conceptual rigour as in this beautiful and insightful book. The cosmopolitical approach to bodies under challenge that Schillmeier develops here looks certain to set the agenda for social approaches to embodiment for some time to come.’
Steven D. Brown, University of Leicester, UK

15-16 November 2014 :: Conference :: ‘Smaller than a mouse’ Annual British Animal Studies Network Event

Innovation Centre

With Gail Davies (University of Exeter), Elisabeth Wallmann (University of Warwick), Natalie Hempel de Ibarra (University of Exeter), Catherine Cassel (University of Michigan), David Tucker (University of Chester), Reuben Message (London School of Economics), Stephanie Lavau (University of Plymouth), Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent), Franklin Ginn (University of Edinburgh), Anne Kelly (University of Exeter), Eleanor Morgan (University College London), Angelica Caiza (University of Groningen), Jamie Lorimer (University Oxford), Jacob Bull (University of Uppsala), Astrid Schraeder (University of Exeter), Senna Middelveld (University of Aberdeen), Elizabeth Johnson (University of Exeter). The full program and recordings from the conference are available here: http://www.britishanimalstudiesnetwork.org.uk/PastMeetings/SmallerThanAMouse.aspx

28 October 2014 :: Workshop :: Developing a collaborative agenda for humanities and social scientific research on laboratory animal welfare

London, Friend’s House, UCL

A dialogue workshop which aims to identify the 20–30 most important questions at the social science/humanities and laboratory animal research interface.
For more information see http://www.labanimalstudies.net/workshop2.html.

24-25 June :: Workshop :: Social Science and Humanities Research on Laboratory Animals This is part of a small Wellcome and HASS funded project that Gail Davies is running with Rob Kirk (History, Manchester), Beth Greenhough (Geography, QM), Carrie Friese (Sociology, LSE), Elisabeth Ormandy (Animal welfare, UBC) and Pru Hobson-West (Veterinary Ethics, Nottingham).

23 June 2014 :: Workshop :: Symbiology

Event included talks from Professor Sally Shuttleworth (English, Oxford), Professor Clare Hanson (English, Southhampton), Professor Steve Hughes (Biology Exeter) and Professor Hans-Joerg Rheinberger (STS, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science).

06 May 2014 :: Lecture :: Simon Penny, Art and Cognition—Embodiment, Processual Dynamics and Material Engagement
MR1 Queens Building

With respondents from Exeter will be Aron Vinegar, Director, Programme for Art History and Visual Culture, Giovanna Columbetti, SPA, and Andrew Pickering, SPA.

10 April 2014 :: Workshop :: Topologies of Immunity 

With Warwick Anderson (University of Sydney), Gail Davies (Exeter), Jamie Lorimer (Oxford), Nadine Levin (Exeter), Helen Scalway (RHUL), Nik Brown and Rosalind Williams (York), Astrid Schrader (Exeter), Nigel Clark (Lancaster)

Followed by trip to the Eden project (11th April)

16 December 2013 :: Workshop :: Symbiology :: “Nightshades: You say potato, I say patata”
Venue Phoenix

With Sandy Knapp (Natural History Museum London), Åsa Sonjasdotter (Academy of Contemporary Art and Creative Writing, Tromsø), Paul Brassley (University of Exeter), & Staffan Müller-Wille (University of Exeter)

12, 13 December 2013 :: Workshop ::: The Value of Open Science

With John Dupré and Sabina Leonelli (Exeter), Laura Clarke (EBI), Ian Overton (Edinburgh), Nadine Levin (Exeter), Dagmara Weckowska (Edinburgh), David Castle (Edinburgh), Javier Lezaun (Oxford), Barbara Prainsack (KCL), Jean-Paul Gaudillière (Cermes3, Paris), Brian Rappert (Exeter), Brian Balmer (UCL) and Gail Davies (Exeter).

4 December 2013 :: Workshop :: STAC Science Culture Futures

A series of short papers and panel discussion on future research themes and directions for Science, Technology and Culture, with STAC external advisory board members in attendance
Innovation Centre, Streatham Campus. Start 11am, finish 4.30

4 December 2013, 17:30-19:30 :: STAC Annual Lecture :: Andrew Barry

Professor Andrew Barry (UCL) Scientific Controversies and Political Situations

17 September 2013 :: Workshop :: On the Emerging Sites and Synergies of Experimental Science and Law
Organised by Katie Ledingham (Geography) with BTG support
Programme and details here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/events/details/index.php?event=1212


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