Criticisms of bullshit excesses in some parts of the STS community aside, museums of science, tech nology and medicine can learn lots from the ongoing discussion in the STS community.
So why not follow the live feed from the conference STS 20+20 — Science and Technology Studies: The Next Twenty, to be held at Harvard, 7-9 April?
The aim of the meeting is simple: “to provoke thinking and discussion on both the last twenty years of STS development and how we are preparing ourselves for the next twenty”. The organisers are asking questions like:
After two decades of increased public funding for STS, what can we say about our achievements as a “thought collective”?
What have we learned from speaking the truths of our field to the power of established disciplines?
Which areas of work do we recognize as displaying the greatest theoretical depth and creativity?
What do we impart to STS scholars-in-the-making, and what can we do to ensure that their ideas are heard more widely and that they find appropriate academic homes?
Why do STS? What makes it interesting, distinctive, coherent, relevant, and deserving of stronger institutionalization?
I’m not sure I like that exclusive “we”-speak in the way the organisers phrase the questions (it smacks too much of religious congregation announcements) — but that said, it will be interesting to follow the discussions.