THOMAS GIERYN: Where have we traveled?
Right on the front. Pop-up Delphi.
Is it on? Are you set now?
Last week, I visited the Oracle at Delphi in Greece to consult with the Pythia about my prospects for writing a book on how places lend credibility and legitimacy to beliefs and claims. Following custom, I first cleansed myself in waters gushing from the Castalian Spring under the Phaedriades on Mount Parnassus. I then proceeded to climb the sacred way, passing by treasuries and monuments built by the great city-states of Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes as testimonials to the helpful prophecies received. And with their gratitude, I arrived at the temple of Apollo and waited my turn as a non-Greek at the end of a very long line.
At last, there was the Pythia before me seated on her tripod, holding laurel leaves and sacred water with the omphalos nearby and the two golden eagles of Zeus, intoxicating vapors emanating from a little fissure at her feet. I put my money down and a sacrificial cake, which was promptly burned on the altar. I got no immediate response from the Oracle.
And sensing that the priestess needed a little background, I recited a passage from Eudora Welty that serves as the epigraph for my book. "Being shown how to locate, to place, any account is what does most towards making us believe it, not merely allowing us to, make the account be the facts or a lie." Still no prophecy.
I thought maybe it would help if I gave several examples of what I meant by Truth Spot, each a chapter of the book-- Walden Pond where Thoreau, in solitude, unlocked the mysteries of the universe from his hut in the woods; Linnaeus Botanical Garden in Uppsala, a materialization of his new system for naming plants and a pulpit from which he preached its superiority over other classifications to epigones who spread his message far and wide; Henry Ford's Greenfield Village near Detroit, an outdoor museum designed to retell American history as the triumph of self-made entrepreneurs by assembling the places where such heroes got their start; the Wright brothers; bicycle shopping from Dayton Edison's laboratory from Menlo Park, Ford's own first factory.
Three commemorative birthplaces where transformative identity-based social movements supposedly began, referenced in speeches by Barack Obama, to evoke a distinctively American kind of inclusivity-- Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall.
The Pythia, by now, is overwhelmed and ready to faint. And her attendants asked me to pause while she inhaled a deep breath of the Neuma. Relentlessly, I continued the list-- the Old Courthouse in St. Louis where Dred and Harriet Scott, their case was first tried; the Pilgrimage Way of St. James ending at Santiago de Compostela; an ultra clean laboratory for geochemistry at Caltech where discoveries about lead in the air and water resulted in a ban of the chemical from gasoline. No response, I was running out of things to say.
And then-- oh, yes. There's the Oracle at Delphi. Indeed, it is the mother of all Truth Spots. Now obviously elated, the Pythia began to speak, channeling Apollo himself. Now I had hoped for something like number seven on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller list with movie rights sold for millions. Instead, I got this-- "To be read, the book must be written."
Her attendants all had smiles of satisfaction, and so I thanked the Pythia for her words of what I thought were encouragement. But, most important, I believed her. This was Delphi, after all, not some tarot card reader on the Jersey Shore. So I immediately started to scribble down some ideas in my memory book about what made Delphi a place and how exactly this place made people believe. Here's what I've got so far one week later.
Three distinct assertions about Delphi, each made more credible, for certain groups of believers at distinct and specific moments in historical time because of identifiable qualities of the place itself. First, Delphi is the center of the universe, the sanctuary home of Apollo Pythios, the place where humans engage the divine, a claim whose certainty was not well-established before the end of the 8th century BC, although residents of that tiny village clinging to the side of Parnassus had good reasons to make it so.
Second, the prophecies provided by the Pythia at Delphi are not only useful for settling affairs of state, but they are more useful than prophecies received at other oracles found almost everywhere in the classical world during the 6th through the 4th centuries BC and that political elites and ordinary tyrants in Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes had good reason to attest at Delphi for all to see that this is true.
Third, Greeks during the archaic and early classical periods really did come to believe that these other two assertions that I just said are true and that they acted on those beliefs, an assertion whose veracity does not come naturally to the tourist of the 21st century AD who visits magical Delphi from an enlightened culture of disenchantment but who gets persuaded by what this place, Delphi, has become for visitors today. Each of these three assertions relies on different aspects of place for their credibility. The idea that Delphi is the center of the universe and home to Apollo rests primarily on its location in geographic space and its natural wonders.
The idea that the Delphic Oracle is a legitimate and privileged brand of consultancy rests on buildings constructed in what would become a demarcated sanctuary. The idea that tourists today would accept as true these other two assertions rests on the annotation and reconstitution of the present site by experts from archeology, geology, and philology who make Delphi into evidence for stories about Apollo's home and dependable prophecies, location, its natural attributes, what gets built there, and the interpretations that give the place name and sense. That's a workable definition of place.
38.5 degrees north, 22.5 degrees east, why did everything happen here at this geographic location at this spot? Stories about the origins of the Oracle Delphi were all written after-- typically well after-- the moment when divine and votive activities actually got underway, according to archaeological remains. The myths are colorful. But because they all are written after Delphi became famous and influential, they are perhaps better read as post-talked legitimations of Delphi's privileged position as the top dog oracle in a world replete with oracles.
Stories suggest that Delphi was the home of Gaia, the earth goddess from whom everything sprang, who guarded the sacred place with a python, hence Pythia, which Apollo killed and left the carcass to rot so that he could usurp the sacred space at Delphi and make its temple his own, not Gaia's. Or another story, Zeus, Apollo's father, released two eagles from the ends of the earth. And flying towards each other, they met exactly above Delphi, which thus became the center of the universe. And a stone was dropped, the omphalos, to signify the spot that was indeed the navel of the universe.
Or Apollo assumed the form of a dolphin in Greek-- delphini, Delphi-- and pushed Cretan sailors towards the northern coast of the Corinthian Sea, getting them to land quite unexpectedly at a spot just below Parnassus. At landfall, Apollo assumed a human form and instructed the sailors to climb partway up the mountain and build a community explicitly focused on the veneration of Apollo. Wonderful stories designed to convince even the die-hard skeptic that Delphi was a legitimate oracular site going back, well, forever-- unfortunately, there is no archaeological evidence of cult activities at Delphi before the mid 7th century BC.
And, indeed, such evidence even for earlier human habitation of any kind on the spot is sketchy and inconsistent. Yet, the spot was propitious for Delphi's eventual emergence as a place of divination for reasons that were prophetically spelled out by Apollo himself. When the Cretan sailors hiked up the mountain to arrive at the chosen spot, they complained bitterly to Apollo that the pristine place offered no opportunities for livelihood or economy. Literally, it clung to the side of a barren mountain.
Apollo told the sailors that the spot was actually perfectly suited for his exaltation because of these three attributes. It was tranquil. It was accessible to travelers. And it was bereft of natural resources.
Now I remain properly agnostic about whether Apollo ever existed or ever issued those words. David Bloor's principle of impartiality and symmetry, the strong program, echoing in my ears. But, sociologically, Apollo is on the money. This location and its natural geographic features turns out to be exactly the right place for the job of an oracle.
Tranquility might refer to the physical site itself or did the fact that it was far from the agitated world of Greek city-states emerging in the 7th century. Being perched on a mountain cliff with the Phaedriades behind-- they're called the shining ones-- an enchanting cleft to the right from which the cleansing waters of Castalia flowed in the fertile valley below leading to the sea, the spot has probably never been unremarkable, even before anything of stature was actually built there. The place remains awe-inspiring today. And I suspect that it created the same impression among Greeks three millennia ago.
But I believe Apollo wanted a tranquil spot so that none of the city-states could easily claim it as their own. It was simply too far away from all of them to be incorporated and, as the Cretan sailors indicate, possessing no natural resources for them to covet. This distinct, distant, and inhospitable location secured an understanding among Greeks that this was forever autonomous terrain, politically neutral, where residents of Athens, or Sparta, or Corinth, or Thebes could all engage the gods without worry of oracular subterfuge.
Geographic separation from all city-states made Delphi a navel of the universe that nobody, in particular, could possess, or control, or cajole, so that its prophecies could take on the objectivity of Apollo himself. Delphi's bleak terrain, however, virtually distinctive and full of wonder it might be, forced inhabitants of the community there to do one thing that might enable them to prosper on the cliffs of Parnassus. That is worship Apollo and get others to believe that this was the best place mortals could enjoy divine consultation.
In addition to being tranquil and without natural resources, Apollo Pythia was asked that his home be accessible to humans but not so close or bounteous that some bunch would seek to annex it. And so it was. From the 8th century onward, pottery shards found at Delphi show stylistic signatures of objects made to the north in Thessaly and from the south in the Peloponnese, suggesting that Delphi was becoming a spot on a north, south trade route whose traffic, of course, would intensify as belief in the oracle's legitimacy grew throughout Greece and beyond.
Interestingly, although archaeological evidence, including a tripod, suggests that votive activities at Delphi occurred as early as the 8th century BC, there are no ruins to suggest buildings specifically devoted to the worship of Apollo until about the middle of the 7th century. Around 650 BC, Corinth built-- this isn't actually Corinth-- Corinth built the first treasury, followed soon by Athens, which is this one of what would become a gauntlet of treasuries that would line the sacred way, the switchback path leading up to its climax at the Temple of Apollo whose first incarnation dates to about the same time, 650 or so BC. The Temple, the treasuries, and a host of monumental structures encrusted over the next several centuries at Delphi did a lot to persuade people that the consultations they receive from the Pythia at this place had serious authority.
On their face, the treasuries, where riches, and silver, and gold were stored, were built by the city-states as expressions of gratitude to Apollo for the useful consultations on matters of war, colonization, and other affairs of state. They are also the result of kind of ancient pissing match where the biggest, and most sumptuous, or most strategically-located treasury could win a city-state privileged access to the Pythia. And it should be noticed that she sat for consultation only nine days a year, and the lines could get very, very long. In other words, you could jump the line if you build a big treasury.
For me, the treasuries and other monumental structures represent testimonials in stone, materializations of a belief in the legitimacy of the Oracle's pronouncements built to convince citizens of the city-state back home that the Pythia's recommendation needed to be considered seriously before political action was taken but also to convince all other visitors to Delphi, including recalcitrant city-states, all foreign powers who were slow to concede its status as the first among oracular equals. The treasuries, the built place of Delphi, made everybody believe in the truth of what they received at the Temple of Apollo. Why go to the expense and trouble of building the monuments and with walls demarcating a sacred space if the fortunes told that Delphi were no more useful or possibly even less reliable than those told by the soothsayer around the corner?
Delphi continued as an oracular site for 1,000 years, playing up its role as a consultant for all powers even as the Greeks faded from glory. Romans later sought valid knowledge there until Christians shut the place down as pagan in about 394 AD. From that point, nature, once again, did most to shape Delphi. Earthquakes, weathering, the ravages of time eventually turned the center of the universe into a ruin, more or less lost to view until archaeologists, especially from France, began to poke around the rocks in the late 19th century.
What had once been a sanctuary, a consecrated place became with the arrival of the scientists, scholars, and important for my story, the tourists, a site now an object of inquiry rather than a veneration where the beliefs and practices of ancient Greeks would be discovered, displayed, and affirmed, scientists, and scholars, and eventually curators at the adjacent museum reconstituted and annotated Delphi for the benefit of throngs of tourists.
Six columns of the Temple of Apollo are rebuilt from fluted stones and capitals found laying about the mountainside. The Athenian treasury is reassembled. The sacred way assumes its original path but now for people who arrive from a world where Apollo is a myth and oracle is a global corporation selling database management systems.
Signage abounds the archaeologists, geologist, philologists, curators, and docents have remade Delphi into a place to make moderns believe that the Greeks long ago had come to this very place right here where you are standing to seek and receive divine wisdom that would enable them to deliberate and resolve weighty issues of the polis.
Everything at Delphi is now arranged carefully, and labeled, and captioned so that tourists come to believe what makes the omphalos-- this is yet another stone-- the omphalos significant and meaningful as evidence for a world in which Apollo and the Pythias existed. Delphi-- Delphi is strategically represented just a few hundred yards from the authentic, real thing in models, precisely to scale on interactive touch screens and in ubiquitous, definitive guidebooks.
I did not lie to the Pythia. Delphi is indeed the mother of all Truth Spots. It is a place found, a place built, and a place named and narrated to make people believe, to believe that here is the fount of oracular wisdom or here is the fount of scientific wisdom about oracular wisdom. It is a place where people once visited to receive an authoritative consultation about the future.
It is now a place where people visit to receive an equally authoritative depiction of the past. Oh, yes. Before I was ushered away from the Pythia last week, I turned back to her with a second question. Knowing that I would be in Ithaca with all of you to celebrate the 40th anniversary of 4S, I asked the priestess whether or not something like 4S or STS would be around 40 years hence. Perhaps because I was trying to squeeze in a second consultation, two for the price of one, I received not an original prophecy from her but a recycled one.
Alexander the Great had visited Delphi before me to consult with the Oracle about his prospects, not for writing a book but conquering the known world. Evidently, Alexander arrived at Delphi on a day that was not scheduled for delivering oracles. But after he grabbed the Pythia by her hair, she finally spoke, giving him what he wanted to hear and indeed what I wanted to hear about the future of 4S and STS. You are invincible.
MICHAEL MASCARENHAS: Now for something a little different. Thank you. Thanks for coming. Thanks for inviting me.
I'm actually not sure why I'm on the panel. Perhaps someone couldn't make it at the last minute. Or perhaps Trevor thought I was the only one foolish to talk about race and STS and surprise. I"m going to do that.
So, before I start, a couple of things. I must say I am dearly indebted to many esteemed scholars here for blazing a stage and forging a path that many of us continue to use and build on. I remember as a graduate student reading Tom, and Sal, and Trevor's, and Sheila, and [INAUDIBLE].
And it's actually taken me a while to actually call you by your first name. And, Bruno, don't worry. We won't throw you in the lake yet. But, like all inquisitive children, we sometimes question our parents' decisions. So that's what this talks to me about.
I also want to suggest another thing or another point. And that is that racism is a divisive-- it tends to be a very, very divisive topic to talk about, tremendously so. It's as divisive-- and that is true on the streets of Ferguson and Flint as it is in the pages of academic scholarship and the null curricula of schools.
In this talk, I'm going to be using what sociologist Elijah Anderson has labeled the white space. I'm going to argue that STS is and continues to be primarily a white space. Now, for people of color, in particular, white space is very unkind. But the most visible and distinctive feature is the overwhelming presence of white people and the absence of people of color.
White spaces are not just about counting, though. They are also about accounting for the ways in which the dominant culture adopts a white habitus. That is stratified by color.
So STS students read Marx and not WEB Du Bois. STS scholars populate white laboratories and not the polluted rivers of Flint. And colleges and universities continue to be hostile places for students, staff, and faculty of color. And this is particularly true, I think, in STEM and STS.
And I think it's important to remember this that, in thinking about white spaces, it's important to note that what many whites see as diverse, blacks and people of color may often perceive as very homogeneous and relatively privileged. As a sociologist, I was taught that different theoretical frameworks within sociology have influenced STS scholarship. One particular version of that genealogy is presented here.
There's no question that Bruno Latour and STS was very heavily influenced by symbolic interactionism. Geoff Bowker and Leigh Starr spent a year in Paris with Bruno, and Bruno later came over in the '80s to San Francisco and worked with them, as well. But Bruno did much more than conventional SI, Symbolic Interaction, literature.
And Leigh Starr took a feminist perspective from the beginning doing quite a bit of work on nurses' social reproduction. From a functionalist perspective, STS scholars have contributed to the fact that society collectively makes science, which appears as if it was external from social processes. Latour's piece on dinosaurs is a really good illustration here. So is Merton's norms of science.
But after dinner last night, I'm not too sure he belongs in that box anymore. And, of course, Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions. Critical theorists have made substantial contributions to STS literature. Feminist perspectives and theories, I think, in particular, have been a tremendous resource for STS. Feminist science has become an alternative way of thinking for many STS scholars.
However, the same cannot be said for critical race theory. With few notable exceptions, race and new racial formations in science, technology, and society are, at best, under-theorized and, at worst, simply ignored. Moreover, in an era of colorblindness, it is race to use race as itself. So it's racist to use race in discussions. And also, as a factor of college admissions, it's seen as reverse racism.
It's unnecessary, of course, as race no longer continues to be a factor of American life. Absent of this formulation, however, is the way in which the discipline of sociology is also a white space. For example, white universities at the turn of the 20th century did not hire or were not interested in collaborating with black scholars, even the brilliant WEB Du Bois.
Moreover, white scholars were not interested in producing a scientific body of knowledge to combat scientific racism. In fact, Max Weber, after visiting the infamous Tuskegee Institute in 1904, wrote this. "It was only in Tuskegee I found enthusiasm for the south at all." For Weber, Tuskegee represented "an effort aiming at the reconstitution of the moral order and human personality of blacks."
The idea about black inferiority and black inequality was later embraced by the Chicago School of Sociology in the 1920s. The Philadelphia Negro was largely ignored for decades by Robert Park and his scholars in Chicago. And this white space of sociology effectively erased the contribution of a generation of black scholars so much so that today we often think of the Chicago School of Sociology as the birthplace of American sociology, while the Du Bois Atlantic School is often ignored.
I got ahead of myself, I guess. I Today STS scholars and departments have cultivated robust interdisciplinary networks, disciplines, and programs. Sustainability is one, certainly. Many departments have developed curricula and hired faculty in the area of sustainability studies in STS. The same can be said of big data, digital humanities, science fiction, design, medicine, space, the military, women's studies.
Even food and animal production have become popular subject matters and fields for STS scholars, but race continues to be ignored. We study normal, undone and street science. Artifacts, boundary objects, trading zones, fault lines, and laboratories fascinate us at a time when a lot of science is increasingly being done outside the laboratories on streets by people of color. We also include primates, scallops, dinosaurs, even sheep in our analysis.
We rarely include race in our multi-sided and multi-species discipline. Race, according to British sociologist Paul Gilroy, has a "changing same" character. It is in constant flux and continuously remade by social processes.
And I want to point out a few of the ways in which it is made in the white space of STS today. So we can look to our departments to get a sense of this color line. In front of you, you have a gender and race makeup composition of some of the STS departments in the United States. Some departments have made gains in terms of gender balance, some-- some schools like Berkeley, Michigan, Brown where the women actually outnumber the men. But this tends to be the exception to the rule.
There are places like where I work, RPI, Stanford University, Drexel where males continue to be the dominant gender-- 2/3 at Drexel, 2/3 at RPI, 2/3 at Stanford. When we really start to see-- and here's another way of presenting the same data-- we really start to see, though, disparities in faculty of color and major gaps in under-represented faculty of color-- Hispanics, Latinos, and African-Americans-- in many of the departments.
It's also important to note from this chart because this is a little bit misleading-- so while some places like WPI seem to be more diverse here on the far-right, it's important to recognize that most of those faculty do not hold tenure track jobs.
Moreover, under-represented faculty are disproportionately located in the contract side of the Academy. Excuse me-- contract side of the Academy. They are instructors, adjuncts, post-doctoral associates, research scientists, assistant teaching professors, and professors of practice. The important thing to note from this data is that, while the analysis is in percentages-- sorry, the last chart was-- we are often talking about one person of color in the department.
I was struck by Marybeth Gasman, a professor of higher education in the graduate school at the University of Penn. Her recent response to a question pertaining to the lack of faculty of color at many major institutions, especially more at the elite institutions-- especially so at the elite institutions-- her reply was simply that we don't want them. I love those honest replies.
She went on to say-- you know, she gave five reasons why that's not the case. These reasons include they're simply not good enough quality. There's simply not enough of them in the pipeline.
We have to play by the rules. We have hiring committees. We all know when we want someone in our department, we find a way. They have to be the right fit. And quite often, that fit is someone just like you.
And we have no will was her last reason. And the last reason for me, will, was actually revealed quite recently in a recent position in our department. So our department is hiring a new hire. Graduate students please apply.
But it was conspicuously absent from the draft of our job call was any mention of race as a hiring priority. Actually, gender is couched as a perspective if you want to read the announcement. Only after I mentioned that race was not included in our affirmative action statement, it was actually added on to the job call.
I take Gasman's candid response also quite seriously because to be a faculty of color in STS has become a fault-line for, in addition to being a micro-minority, the topics and areas of interest, resources, the acknowledgements, even mentoring of graduate students, publication opportunities, and, yes, even promotion and tenure are largely determined by one's ability to do white STS. We don't talk about this, though, in our department. I'm sure you don't talk about it in yours.
We can also look more broadly at our society. Figure two illustrates the gender and race compositions of our society's past presidents in the four decades. So during our 40-year history, we have elected one president of color, Sheila Jasanoff.
We can also reflect on the white space of our past council members over the last four decades. Of the 119 past council members, eight members have been faculty of color. And two have been underrepresented faculty of color.
We can also examine program highlights from the 2015 4S conference, which included a presidential plenary in which eight scholars reflected critically on important issues to STS. And the panel was comprised of five women, and three men, and zero under-represented faculty or scholars. They talked about democracy, design, digital technologies, and even environmental pollution but not race. In the 269 panels, the word race was found in six titles-- racism, two. 8 out of 269 panels and 1,489 panelists saw fit to talk and present on issues of race, and racism, and science, technology, and society.
Lastly, I want to suggest that this white space is not limited to the number of faculty, presiders, or presenters at our annual meetings. It also includes the journals we publish in whose topics and editorial boards also constitute a white space. The same can be said of our national funding agencies-- the NSF, the NIH, and other funding agencies-- whose program offices and review panels remain predictably white.
We have continued to maintain this white space, while racism on American campuses, for many of us, our workplaces, continues to be a national concern and a social problem. Racist graffiti painted on the side of this woman's center at Eastern Michigan University's campus is the latest case. There are similar instances, of course, at Yale University, and Missouri, and Oklahoma, as well San Jose State and death threats to all students at Howard University, a traditionally black college. RPI is not without its racist incidents either as illustrated by a noose hung in a tree last December and a post on Reddit warning white students to never relax around blacks.
Today our academic institutions remain as segregated as they were at the time of Brown versus the Board of Education. That's six decades ago. And this is particularly true in STEM disciplines, the research and teaching cites for many of us.
In 2004, for example, 9,568 doctorates were awarded in engineering, many of them going on to be future faculty and leaders in industry and government, the same government that funds our research. Only 1.7% of these doctorates, 167 students, were awarded to blacks, 2.5 to Hispanics, 243. Similarly, for every 100 students matriculated in medical school, only 15 are students of color. In 2012, the total of 1,690 doctorates were awarded in computer science. 39 were awarded to blacks-- that's 2%; 26 to Hispanics, 1.5%; two to American Indians, 0.1%.
Moreover, 1/3 African-American men admitted to colleges today will graduate. So we may get them there, but we still have a problem with retention. This segregation in higher education is occurring at a time when the nonwhite students outnumber whites in our K to 12 public education system. Three out of every four children born in California are nonwhite children. These institutions are not simply white in number. They are white in culture.
And it is this culture of white privilege that ensures that college life and achievement remain separate and unequal. And this is particularly true for the under-represented staff, students, and faculty. And, in a recent ethnographic research with students of color at my campus, they express being severely stigmatized and segregated on campus on our college. And I can't imagine their experiences are unique.
How is it possible to have this tremendous degree of racial inequality in a country where most white scholars claim that race is no longer relevant to their research, teaching, and scholarship? Why have we adopted a colorblind perspective to science, technology, and society when neo-liberal racism continues to fuse technologies of the racial domination?
Science and technology continue to direct the processes by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and legitimated. Isn't it time we turned our collective gaze to this distinctive racial formation of modern America? We can only achieve this goal if we recognize our collective investment in white privilege and find the collective will to ensure that the color of STS-- to change-- sorry-- the color of STS' black box.
Peggy McIntosh defines white privilege as unearned race advantage and conferred dominance. White privilege is a form of racism that both underlies and is distinct from institutional, and overt, and hostile acts. In this form of racism, privilege is preserved not through intentional or hostile acts or even government regulation or coercion but rather by consenting to every day policies and practices that work to the benefits of white people at the expense of minority populations. In other words, white privilege is deeply hegemonic because it works through consent not force.
This form of racism is particularly powerful and pervasive because we're taught that race is something that puts people at a disadvantage. And we're not taught institutional racism's correlated aspect. And that is white privilege, which puts whites at an advantage.
In focus on white privilege, Laura Pulido argues, "enables us to develop a more structural and deeply historicized understanding of racism. But opening up this black box will take more than our collective will because we know, as scholars and students of science and technology and society, that schools of thought cannot develop if necessary resources remain unavailable. We also know that social scientific research is always a political enterprise. Regrettably, our collective approach to the subject matter of race speaks volumes about the politics of our discipline."
So I want to end by paraphrasing a quote by one of America's foremost sociologists, WEB Du Bois. "The problem of the 21st century, like the problem of the 20th century, remains the problem of the color line. And many of us do not have the privilege of living, learning, and working in ignorance of this essential fact. If social science research is to be used as a liberating force, then isn't it time that we start to redraw the color line in science, technology, and society?" Thank you.
SPEAKER: As many have said already, I'm delighted to be here in such esteemed company. It's an interesting meeting for a lot of ways. But one way I've noticed since I got here is that I'm part of almost a missing middle that there is representation from the-- because of the way it's organized as kind of a memorial, commemorative panel--
And I'm delighted to see how many-- I was not intenti-- how many students are here. So it's kind of neat, but this is a generation that's less here, so that makes me feel luckier to be in the room. I'm very grateful to Mike for inviting me to comment on these provocative papers, disobedient even, which was a call that we heard from the earlier session.
I have to get something out of the way first, and it's a little awkward because it's advice to a senior colleague, Tom. If we have any collective hope of creating a more diverse space in STS, then the imagery of a man grabbing a woman by the hair in order so that she will tell him what he wants to hear is probably not the best way to go.
Now I'm worried that you'll think I'm not being nice--
--in the nicer space of 4S. In spite of the slightly off-putting ending to your talk, I find the concept of a Truth Spot very compelling. I look forward to the elaboration in your book, which I expect will drop any day now that you've had divine inspiration-- drop as like an album dropping, you know, publication.
I'm left after this teaser that we've just had about what you've been working on for a long time now with many questions about Truth Spots. How exactly are just the right ingredients assembled in a particular place? Can a Truth Spot be designed, contrived, or coerced, or is there always an element of serendipity or enchantment, a kind of after-the-fact post-talk noticing that something happened there?
Does the opposite of a Truth Spot exist, a place from which nothing credible can ever emerge? This, I imagine, is kind of a knowledge black hole where one could study the production of ignorance, to use the concepts from Steve's paper.
Is there such a thing as a private Truth Spot, or must they be shared or socially significant in some way? I use Walden as an example, which a lone man meditating, which is a common trope. But how do they then become famous, in a sense?
Finally, I can't resist this. Are we in one right now? Is this Ithaca? There are Greek towns all around here. If you get a chance to travel, there's Lodi and-- there's all kinds of them.
So I had a chance to read the paper ahead of time and inevitably thought about the extent to which Cornell, Ithaca, the commemoration of a 40-year anniversary of the founding of 4S, was being perhaps cultivated as a kind of Truth Spot. So this is half tongue in cheek, half not. So you describe Delphi as a place of tranquility, far from the agitated city-states.
In my mind, Sparta and Athens became New York and Boston. The Oracle of Delphi is even perched on a mountain cliff. Although we have a shuttle bus to get tickets from the hotel, there is some geographic similarity. I wonder if, when Tom was speaking of Delphi, anyone else was thinking of this very room, which may or may not be this room. And perhaps the Truth Spot was in the men's room where people were practicing how to say controversy.
Commemorative events of the kind we're participating in are kind of post-hoc legitimation of the significance of a space. Are we in the navel of the STS world? As a Cornell STS alum, I am as much caught up in this origin story as anyone. And I'm delighted to be here with my mentors and my students. But I do think we Cornellians need to be careful of another legacy of ancient Greece, which is hubris.
Is there water? I didn't see where you pu--
AUDIENCE: I put it down here.
SPEAKER: Oh, perfect. Thank you.
Tom spoke of the great authority of Delphi by comparing it to some-- "some tarot card reader on the Jersey Shore." And I admit, I was drawn to the "tarot card reader on the Jersey Shore." I'm drawn to the unexpected, the maybe lurid potential of the unexpected.
In other words, one potential use of the concept of the Truth Spot is to unmask the elaborate staging of credibility performances. Pins and archival programs, in my current analogy, would be part of that. The flip-side is to ask what spots are denied authority while we are busy attending to the oracles, the labs, and the birthplaces?
And this brings me to Michael's contribution. My main response, as was in much of the room, is, yes. Fair cop, is a phrase I learned from Trevor. With the global warming, the kinds of problems that Bruno was speaking about earlier and that STS tools might be used for, I think the resurgence of the racists right is one that we could think more about, collectively.
But I also want to suggest that the claim that STS ignores race is possibly a claim made while looking at Delphi, at the Cornells of the field and neglecting the "tarot card readers on the Jersey Shore." For the claim that STS doesn't do race rests on the notoriously difficult question, what is STS? And I want to suggest that it is something more, something other than past presidents and advisory councils.
I want to be absolutely clear that this recovery work is not meant as a refutation of your argument, Michael, but I hope a friendly amendment to a slightly whitewashed history of the field. If your claim is that STS interest in race by scholars of color and otherwise is a drop in a bucket, my suggestion is that has been more like a teaspoon in a bucket. Work by STS scholars of color in my field sites, which are genetics and human biology, is absolutely foundational. And I think of Troy Duster, Alondra Nelson, others here.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s when I was a student at one of my first 4S's, I remember a fantastic full-day-- at least one full-day session-- that was tied together with a website that existed at the time-- I was going to call it up, but I haven't-- called [INAUDIBLE]. And it was cultivated and curated by Michelle Murphy and a number of other feminist scholars in STS. It still exists on the web. And it was a place where resources were gathered up, including syllabi explicitly about race, science, and STS.
These were from major STS centers in the US, and they were taught by the likes of [INAUDIBLE] Thompson, Stefan Helmreich, Evelynn Hammonds, Donna Haraway, Troy Duster, and others. One link on [INAUDIBLE] points to a 14-session stream, as I mentioned, at the 2001 4S. The roundtable was called "Why Race Now?" So the fact that that's 15 years ago and is probably less common discourse now is something that we can think about as a group.
The website still exists but has not been updated since 2002. And many of its links will send you to pages in Chinese that have nothing to do with the field. So it's hardly what you mentioned, robust networks. I think that that's evidence that supports your claim.
I do want to pose two questions that were not addressed in Michael's talk to you or to others in the room. One is backward-looking, and one's forward-looking. First, why is STS a white space? And I think what we would compare it to is comparable disciplines, maybe, around 40-years-old, American, and British, and certainly other places in Europe but starting from those places. And that's a certain story, of course, that could probably be contested.
So why? What is it about our field that lends itself to white academics and not to brown ones? Implicit in Michael's talk is a moral economy that I see at work in conversations I'm sometimes a party to about women in STEM.
They're at all of our universities. They're often not including STS scholars who have expertise on decades of feminist writing on this question. And they're often by insider women who are asking this question, why? Where are the women?
The underlying assumption is that there should be more. There should be quantitatively more, more women of color, more people of color. The conversation inevitably takes on a quantitative urgency.
But what I notice is it doesn't call into question the container. The central metaphor of this conversation, as you know, is a pipeline, a leaky pipeline with hard edges. Women are leaking out all over the place, and the goal is to get more in and to keep them there longer to plug those leaks. But often there isn't much STS-informed insight into what it looks like inside the pipe. Like is it a party always or what?
As a woman who leaked out of science somewhere between my undergrad and grad school, I get the point of the metaphor, and I dutifully teach it. But what if the leaked has more agency in the way we tell the story or ask this question? What if getting out is not just about discriminat-- and I take your point, Michael, that it absolutely is about these thing. But it's not just about discrimination and loneliness, not just about a lack of structural supports and collegial affirmation but sometimes because the leaked have somewhere else to go that's better, more creative, more inspiring, more friendly to world-making projects that they want to be a part of. For me, that was STS.
To return to the topic at-hand, race and STS, I'm suggesting that mainstream STS has not been a place that many people with critical or anti-oppressive politics have wanted to dwell in and that this is something we should think about. It's curious given some of the reminiscences about activist origins and Marxist roots of the field 40 years ago. This may not hearken as much from an overt exclusion-- and, certainly, the theory about white privilege is less about an overt exclusion.
It's about a covert exclusion. And that has, no doubt, happened. But could it also be an aesthetic distaste by those would-be STSers for a field founded on, among other things, impartiality, neutrality, social relativism, politically neutral terrain, to talk again about Delphi?
When I introduce STS literature written by many in this room to my sociology PhD students-- I'm in sociology and STS. Sociology is much less white than the STS group at York. When I introduce STS to sociology PhD students, they inevitably get to the end of a great deal of reading and complain that it isn't political, it isn't critical. What am I going to use from this? It's not giving me the tools I want to take to my field of study and then go back to sociology and do it a little bit informed by STS.
I try to tell them this is a misreading of the radical, political possibilities of early STS. Bracketing prepackaged identity politics going into a study is not the same thing as being politically naive. Myself, I read SSK agnosticism about what's true of the world as a kind of appealing humility. And this might be because one of my most formative mentors in the field, who, ironically, hasn't been mentioned much yet, is Mike Lynch, a profoundly humble scholar.
Nonetheless, my objections fall flat to these students. They want to work to inspire change along the lines of plain old identity politics. Fair enough.
STS, in my view, has not been a good place to do that. As part of the well-warranted reflexivity that Michael calls for, I hope we might avoid a simple "get more in and keep them" politics, a pipeline politics, if you will, and instead look to radically alter the container, to make it attractive to more dissenting voices.
So this is my second question, and I don't have much more to say, is how? And I have a number of ideas and thoughts. How do we purposefully alter the dynamics of our field not as a kind of human rights generosity to those who want in but as a way to make our field stronger and better-positioned to be useful in the future? And there are sociological answers to that about changing the structure of institutions and so on.
I may be overly sanguine or too white, but I think it's already happening in STS. I was not at the 2015 meeting that Michael described, but I was there this year in Barcelona. How many people were there? Lots of students, I think.
I was a little bit shocked. I thought this is not your father's STS. For example, a queer caucus was founded. One of my students was involved in that who's here today. The plenaries were unabashedly political activists even. And both the Fleck Price and Mullins Prize were won by women of color.
The most recent issue of a new online journal, called "Engaging Science and Technology Studies"-- no, "Science, Technology, and Society" has several articles about critical race and STS. One paper by Michael Rodriguez-Muniz from Brown University called for "greater traffic on the bridge between critical sociologies of race and STS," just as Michael's done.
I can't help but wish the Oracle at Delphi had told Tom something like this taken from that paper. "Those invested in conceptual, theoretical, and methodological purity, be forewarned." So I would end by saying, let us not discount the "tarot card readers on the Jersey Shore." That maybe should be where the after-party is. That I think it's essential to the future of STS. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: I still may ask you guys to sit on the stage, please. Maybe you could also get the [INAUDIBLE]. So that's just food for thought. We have quite a bit of time for questions [INAUDIBLE]. Because I'd rather permission to [INAUDIBLE] to make up the time in this session. So [INAUDIBLE] we'll be starting our lunch [INAUDIBLE]. We'll be starting our lunch at 12:15. So we have 20 minutes now for discussion and then move on to the next session. So just raise your hand if you have a question. I'm going to sprint around the room and make sure you have the microphone in the order I can remember you.
AUDIENCE: Hey. [INAUDIBLE] I'm a fourth-year [INAUDIBLE] student here at Cornell in the STS department. And I have a question for both Mike Gieryn and [INAUDIBLE]. It's about avoiding neo-liberal mechanisms of inclusion and the rhetoric of inclusion. And that allows institutions to claim that they're making changes towards including more diverse people. And how can we have practically a more radical politics, given the rather conservative and oppressive tendencies of institutional functioning.
MICHAEL MASCARENHAS: [INAUDIBLE]. I mean, I don't know if I have an answer to that. My concern really is color blindness. So we're not going to provide the [INAUDIBLE] to under-serviced people. We're going to treat all students equally. We're going to give them all the best. And that ignores things like [INAUDIBLE], it ignores gender, it ignores race.
So that's-- so at RPI there's this kind of class system at the graduate level. And we [INAUDIBLE] for the Office of Minority Student Association and we're defunding [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] and things like that. So that's my concern. I don't know how you can-- I mean, I think the fight is to make sure that we still have affirmative action in our policy.
SPEAKER: I think I'm at a very different institutional context because I'm a candidate, and I feel very fortunate about that.
Affirmative action is mainstream. Because, I'll be honest, I haven't [INAUDIBLE] at the university [INAUDIBLE]. So that's in hiring committees. I think there are lots of places to do it in softer institutional structures. For example, like student admissions. And to do it in a way that is caring rather than quantity of chauvinism.
So I'm in-- I don't know, maybe your utopia. But then it's not, actually, a utopia either and that they're-- because we're not protecting affirmative action yet, that means we use our energies in having fellowships for contingent faculty to improve their publication records so they become more competitive. Other ways of recognizing the same kind of politics [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: Do you have a question?
AUDIENCE: I don't feel qualified to say much about race in the United States. But I do have two questions, Michael. One is STS has a tradition in India, which is as old as ours. Maybe [INAUDIBLE] you've been talking about is specifically American. I mean, and you've been through, you can't give.
I mean, there have been institutions and researchers working on science and technology in India since I came into the field at the end of the 1960s. But maybe they're less visible. Maybe it's a question of who you acknowledge or who feels able to participate.
And the other question is maybe it has to do with the role of STS along the disciplines as a channel of social mobility. I mean, I can make better comparisons with social stratification in Europe. I mean, kids from under-privileged backgrounds-- I'm not-- I don't dare to say whether this correlates with what you're talking about-- did not choose to go into art history or cultural studies.
They chose engineering. They chose disciplines that offered, if successful, a possibility of social change, social mobility. I think part of the question is the perception among kids of color or from poor backgrounds, that STS is not a discipline or a field that offers much possibility of social advancement.
I mean, that's a question. I didn't make it sound like one, but it was-- do you think that that's the case? I mean, has it to do with perceptions of STS as a channel or mobility compared to all other disciplines that one might study. And the other is, perhaps you need to make a distinction between the STS population and the kinds of things that people study.
I mean, in Amsterdam, we didn't have many faculty members of color. We don't have a department anymore in the social sciences. But we have a big program on race and forensic science.
So emotionally, of course, I support what you're saying very much, but I believe that they kind of-- perhaps the issues are slightly more complicated depending on how broadly you cast from there and then how far you look at the substance of things-- race in censuses, in classifications. I mean, there are a lot of things that one might look at. So I think maybe this underestimates the interest attaching to racial categories in the sciences. So I didn't formulate them as questions but they were.
MICHAEL MASCARENHAS: I think that, yes, STS global discipline, is certainly. So what happens in the United States, in the United States today, the ways the organization is done. The way society is organized in the United States and the way it's racist in so much a part of its history, so much a part of its economy, really, plays out in different ways in which [INAUDIBLE].
So I get that. And most [INAUDIBLE] US [INAUDIBLE]. The perception question-- I'm not sure it's perception more as it is socialization. We're only now socializing women, or young girls, to be physicists and scientists now. They are socialized in the US better than-- so we're only, I think, at the beginning now socializing. I think that we have STEM [INAUDIBLE] students trying to get their interest in STEM. And I think it's more of a socialization than perception.
Again, in terms of counting and accounting, I mean, the analysis was-- we need to do more analysis. I think that's-- good analysis is just the tip of the iceberg. But I think-- and I will say that-- there's a couple of things. I go back to my original cite. It's a hard thing to talk about.
And I don't want to get up here an say I don't want to represent people of color. And, often, we're asked to do that because, in a way, Tom is not representing all the white males.
It feels like I have to do that. And so it's kind of not a fair question to be asked. And the other thing-- white people and colored don't like talking about race is because it's kind of, look over here. Look over here. Aren't we changing?
I don't want us to have that conversation. I think we need more data. I agree. But we need to-- if we're serious about this, we need to kind of leave those things and have a different discussion about the organization and the institutions and society more in general. We're talking about enduring social [INAUDIBLE]. And we're just [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: Thank you, guys. Those were-- all three talks were [INAUDIBLE] really great. And I want to thank Michael for pointing to the elephant in the room.
The question of how we move forward seems to me to be-- that's the title of our conference, STS Travels. Where do we travel to? And that makes me look for a connection between Tom's talk and Michael's, which is that Tom was pointing-- you were focusing on Delphi.
But the real point is that there are lots of places that we can be looking for and that we can be traveling to. And many of those places are places where issues of race, or poverty, or gender may be more visible than what in our traditional focus in Northern Europe and the United States. So it's really a question about whether we are deemed, we are more active about seeking out those other places or [INAUDIBLE]. Will that necessarily-- that won't, necessarily, but does it make it much easier for us to get at some of these challenging questions?
THOMAS GIERYN: I'm surprised Michael gave me the microphone to give me a chance to speak. First, let me say that I think we've managed to recover some of the intensity of the 1970s.
I feel some of the intensity of the 1970s [INAUDIBLE], and I welcome it. The suggestions that Aaron made about my work are terrific. But I want to suggest this. It would be all too easy for me speaking from the gray hair and the many years to say all this will pass, too.
It would be too easy for me to say that as if, at some point, we won't have a conversation about race, in general. Too easy and wrong because what we've got here-- and you see-- and I'm glad, Bruce, trying to make that connection that there are issues that are left over and lingering from the white male, white space of STS 40 years ago in this room that are still a concern.
And though I talked about as white space and as male a space today as you possibly can find, issues of the grounds of credibility, the grounds by which a claim is accepted or rejection, questions of who gets to speak or not, and heard and listened to. Those move from issues of Delphi to issues that Michael is raising now, very nicely. So what will happen in the future if we may not have standing ovations after a talk that lays out the unbelievable whiteness of academic life in the future?
And that would be a terrific thing. But what we'll have is a changed world where the issues raised by Michael and by many of the young scholars in this room will get pulled through in different ways, in the same way that the concern that I have and have had from the beginning of STS, in terms of the grounds of credibility and claims are getting pulled through. And the field will take off in some other way in 40 years.
Some of you will feel like I felt today. And it's a good thing. Forget what I had to say about nice before in my comments on [INAUDIBLE]. This was all respectful and completely civil but pointed differences in how we approach our work are what this field has always been about. And I'm so happy to see it.
AUDIENCE: Thank you all. That was enjoyable. I just wanted to ask kind of a follow-up to Bruce as he mentioned where we're going and asked if we need to then be looking at places where these issues of race and gender might seem more apparent.
But I think that may be the places where they're not so apparent are the important ones, right. So if we take seriously the idea that we're talking about, science or technology, in context and given that, no matter what that context, in the society we live in, there will be these questions. And maybe the ones more invisible are the important ones that we need to-- so almost a question of not why aren't there more studies talking about race?
But why isn't every study talking about race and gender that we do, right? So I was just wondering if you think not just a where is it going but a how, as in how we approach each study we do, if there is something that you-- if there is something that you see as like a gap in the approach or a gap in the methodology in the how we look at what we look and not just where.
SPEAKER: I think one very pragmatic answer is what we read in our introductory class in STS, so it's not as [INAUDIBLE]. Inform a sensibility and a sensitivity that then just carries through your field sites.
MICHAEL MASCARENHAS: That's a difficult question because a lot depends on your research question whether race is a-- I mean, you could argue as a racial formation, so race will play out no matter what. So that's a difficult question. But I will say the work that we're doing with some of my graduate students her is we've been in Detroit, we've been in Flint. And we actually-- we've actually brought some of those activists to campus to explain the science and technology of [INAUDIBLE] racism around water. [INAUDIBLE]. A real public health concern, right?
I'm always amazed at how many of us aren't working here because I think we have the skills to be working at this nexus of where-- you know, what I see is where government agencies have kind of failed-- border police. And so what we're doing as [INAUDIBLE] science. We're kind of learning from people who are in the trenches. I think that that's a place to learn some of this stuff. But, again, it's like I don't want to approach this as-- I know you're not saying this-- but just checking off boxes. That is the questions that drives your field sites and the world in which we're playing [INAUDIBLE]. I think it should all be clear.
AUDIENCE: Hi. I'm [INAUDIBLE] from RPI. I wanted to comment on both talks. What she was saying how we push forward. I think the STS Delphi, maybe, is kind of covering inequalities with [? civility. ?]
That means in my department, I've seen a lot we have to recognize ourselves as good scholar, successful scholar, productive scholars. We have to [INAUDIBLE] professional-- professional among each other, not emotional, on this stuff. But, actually-- yeah, like trying to defend the STS will cover in this more values, [INAUDIBLE] values within our own discipline about white male [INAUDIBLE].
And I've been also shocked-- not shocked, sorry-- from the previous panel and this panel were highly aware and [INAUDIBLE] have been cited as feminist scholars. Like, we are feminist now, but we are counting only for the host, which is great. STS is great in accounting. It has a history of that. What about the stories of knowledge and race and production that we are not accounting for it? It sounds like [INAUDIBLE] say, yeah, we have some people working with us. It sounds like we are defending ourselves for some [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: Thank you. Anyone else any [INAUDIBLE]?
MICHAEL MASCARENHAS: You can open it up.
AUDIENCE: Actually, I have a different question, not a comment.
AUDIENCE: Any reflections on this specific question? [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: I'm Karen [INAUDIBLE] from RPI as well. And during the break earlier, we were talking about this notion of accountability, specifically when it came up in the question and answer session earlier when someone asked about gender, and the panel not uniformly but made an effort to say that gender was well-represented in 1976, 40 years ago, as a means of thinking about how STS looked then and looks now.
And I think that the ways in which we try and justify our work in a particular way without thinking about the consequences of those re-narrations, often does more damage and disallows reflexivity in a way that Jasanoff was advocating for last night, quite specifically, that as a field, we have to be reflexive and account for the mistakes that we've made. So I think that's a really provocative way of asking that question [INAUDIBLE].
MICHAEL MASCARENHAS: I do want to say, though. Starting to get a bit downers here. I think if-- you know, I'm a sociologist by training and I've always dealt from a [INAUDIBLE] sociology ASA meetings. ASA is actually not that much different. I mean, [INAUDIBLE] presidents of color [INAUDIBLE] so associations.
So, you know, I kind of drift in and out of STS, and I drift in and out of sociology, in part, because it doesn't align at moments in my own intellectual curiosity [INAUDIBLE] development. It doesn't align well, so I may not go to 4S meetings. I may not go to the ASA. I often go-- I often go to the [? SSSD. ?]
But I actually do believe that the STS Toolbox is a very useful toolbox for addressing this. I actually really do believe that if any society can do it in a kind of an exciting, dynamic way-- I mean, it's enough that Mike [INAUDIBLE] are doing in Flint. It's dynamic, exciting, and it's using basic STS skills. You know, in that sense, I think we all have our blind spots but we need to address them. We can't do less than [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: So this is just a small comment but about a way to move forward. I think one of the things that's been really valuable for me to realize and I think is viable for the field is to realize that when you're talking about gender, you're not just talking about women. And when you're studying a context that's all men, it turns out that gender matters there, too. And the same there is true for race. So--
And our case study right now is a completely homogeneously white space, a small, traditional Canadian fishing village. And the fact that they're all white, and the race really matters in this story, and realizing that, and realizing the ways in which race plays into all the ways things work. So, for example, outside commentators are, like, how could white people sink so low as these impoverished people, right?
Those things really matter there. And having realized that means that it's really easy for me to build on work that's looking at race and other kinds of conflicts, such as in Jamaica. And you start to realize those connections. I think one of the really important things for us to do is to realize that whiteness is something we need to be talking about. And it's not just when there's people of color around.
AUDIENCE: I ended my Enrico Fermi stage quite a lot of years ago. I don't read the journals anymore. So my question has to do about whether there's any real criticism of the STEM idea, which I think harkens back to a very white period in American science and public policy. Alvin [INAUDIBLE] and the [INAUDIBLE] fix idea.
So here's an idea that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is going to solve our problems and encourage diversity. Somebody's already expanded it at the [INAUDIBLE] in the arts. I have not [INAUDIBLE] yet for, including the humanities. So I think as long as we're stuck on STEM, we're stuck in a very white position.
MICHAEL MASCARENHAS: Yeah. I mean, I think it's a way in which STEM is in a moment of relations for the Academy, Stouffer Academy. So that has been where we've been looking to our field work, and that's why we [INAUDIBLE]. So it's very difficult to critique that. I mean, if your department has got a lot of STEM money coming in, and that's where the NSF events are, and you're marginalizing yourself, and we all do this at this level. But you're critiquing-- you're relating [INAUDIBLE] administration [INAUDIBLE]. So that's tough, right? And I welcome those discussions, but there's that risk involved.
AUDIENCE: OK. Great. So, on that note, there's plenty of opportunity to continue this discussion over the box lunch in the next session, which will begin in a few minutes. Please join me in thanking our three wonderful speakers--
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Presentations by Thomas Gieryn of Indiana University and Michael Mascarenhas of RPI Oct. 28, 2016 at the conference, "Where has STS Traveled?" Gieryn and Mascarenhas are joined by discussant Aryn Martin of York University and chair Malte Ziewitz of Cornell University. The two-day event held Oct. 27-28, 2016 celebrated the developments in the field of science and technology studies (STS) over the last four decades.