Social construction of technology coming of age: new challenges and opportunities ahead

- Workshop in Trondheim, June 3-5, 2014

In 1984, Trevor Pinch and Wiebe Bijker published their seminal paper "The social construction of facts and artifacts - or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other" in Social Studies of Science. Thus, in 2014, we may look back at 30 years of scholarly efforts of studying social construction of technology through the SCOT model and related approaches. This workshop is meant as a celebration but also as an invitation to look forward. How should we assess the achievements of social construction of technology efforts? What are the promising avenues for the future of technology studies? Where are the theoretical challenges and opportunities that will take the field forward?

The SCOT model together with the social shaping of technology, large technical systems and actor network theory emerged in the early 1980s to mark the development of what used to be called ‘the new sociology of technology' (now more commonly is put under the label of ‘technology studies').  This gave a boost to social science and humanities' approaches to the analysis of the making and use of technology, making technology studies a fairly large and vibrant field of research.

The workshop is intended to serve three main purposes. First, it will provide a retrospect on the emergence of the social construction of technology approach. Second, the workshop shall engage with assessments of what has been achieved during the 30 years that have passed since the publication of the initial SCOT paper. Third, we hope that the workshop will be an arena for debates about the way forward. What are the exciting new theories and concept that may guide technology studies in the years to come?

The workshop will be held in Trondheim, Norway, June 3-5 2014. It will consist of a mix of invited talks, presentation of papers, and poster sessions. Keynote speakers include Wiebe E. Bijker, Trevor J. Pinch, Vivian A. Lagesen, Nelly Oudshoorn, Ranjit Singh and Robin Williams.

We plan to use the workshop as a basis for publication of a special issue and/or edited volume. PhD-students may use the workshop as a course to get 5 credit points (ECTS) if they present a paper or write a paper after the workshop.

The workshop is organised by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Centre for Technology and Society, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture. Organisers: Professor Vivian A. Lagesen and Professor Knut H. Sørensen.



Important dates

March 7: Deadline for abstracts
March 24: Information about decicions regarding acceptance
June 3-5: Workshop

Abstracts of proposed papers or posters, approx. 4-500 words, should be sent to by March 7.