Our organizing

We are in a transitioning phase and on the verge of establishing a new structure. We initially wanted to establish a Verein in early 2020, but due to the pandemic we postponed the initiating rituals. Final dates and the procedure will be discussed during the EASST/4S conference. So far, we organized ourselves in open groups, via mail, mailing lists, and (digital) meetings. The newsletter DESTS is also co-organized by stsing. Mattermost, however, is our main new device (see below). 

For a general overview, down below are all the groups that we work with, their recent activities, and a list of access points you can contact to get in touch with the groups. If you want to now more about the history of stsing, check the old website of the Kassel workshop and its archive, and here as well as here are reports about the prior Lancaster event. To get in touch with the community, however, you don't need this historical stuff and can just start chatting via Mattermost.

Mattermost

Recently, we moved to the chat-platform Mattermost, an open-access alternative to the more famous Slack system. Our Mattermost is hosted by Spline (Free University). You are free to join this platform, meet STS folks, catch up with research and teaching discussions, and take part in the organizing. Well, discussing your topic of choice or meeting people is organizing in itself. No worries, you don't have to engage in any formal work if you don't want to. Yet, based on the Satzung we want to use this platform as a crucial device to organize the work of our groups, to set up new initiatives, to document progress, and more. The idea of stsing here is the free development of ideas and initiatives detached from external evaluation criteria that haunt current academia and life more generally. At least new areas of freedom will have to be explored.

Here's a screenshot of the system with the general info on how to join (click-able links below).

In short, 

Just drop a message to our Mattermost organizer Simon Hirsbrunner (part of the tech team) if you have any questions.

The Groups

Organizational form

The Orga-Group sees its task to be the formulation of a proposal for an organisational form of stsing. After the Lancaster meeting in 2018 the “Infrastructure Group” was formed out of the people who had initiated this meeting plus additional people joining after Lancaster. Due to the formation of six working groups on the follow-up meeting in Kassel the “Infrastructure Group” became obsolete and dissolved itself on a meeting in spring 2019, which was attended by additional people joining after Kassel. On that meeting it was decided to form the Orga-Group that would be in charge of suggesting an organisational form for STSING. More people have joined since then and the current members are: Kathrin Eitel, Ingmar Lippert, Jörg Niewöhner, Songi Park, Martina Schlünder and Estrid Sørensen. The guiding idea for this organisational structure is to create a decentral organisation that will mobilise and support independent local and thematic groups, while also maintaining a group of “caregivers” (officially the board). See also the document over here

Access points

Funding proposals

The working group ‘funding proposals’ currently consists of four active members: Sandra Calkins (FU Berlin), Simon Egbert (TU Berlin), Kathrin Eitel (Goethe Universität Frankfurt) und Tanja Schneider (Universität St. Gallen). Our aim is to identify and apply for funding opportunities (including conference funding, network funding etc.) that support efforts to initiate and sustain network. To date we have received support by the EASST fund towards organising an inaugural conference for establishing a network. Currently we are developing a proposal to be submitted towards the DFG-network funding scheme. We already successfully checked with DFG-representatives, if our approach is suitable for this scheme. In the proposal, our aim is to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of STS research, what tends to be transverse to the otherwise usual mono-disciplinary oriented professional societies. Therefore, STSING will be presented as an option to implement a transdisciplinary scientific network, whose denominator is the common interest in the study of science, technology and society.  We are still looking for collaborators. Please get in touch, if you would like to join us! 

Access points

Web-Platform and Communication Devices

The Web Group assembles roughly 15 people and explores the various challenges and opportunities of digital communication and collaboration. This includes mailing lists (internal and external, such as DESTS), the website and other tools that potentially facilitate collaboration. Our meetings were held using digital tools, live via Adobe Connect and documented on an Etherpad, and now Mattermost. We are strongly oriented towards Free Software and Open Access, and together with the consolidation of the organizational structure we want to build an infrastructure. This website and Mattermost are two examples of where we want to go. We also collaborated intensively with the mapping group (and potentially with all the other groups).

Access points

Mapping of STS landscape in Germany

This group explores the width of STS research in Germany, and has met multiple times digitally.

Where we are now:   

  • mapping both organizations and individuals   
  • preparing some kind of formular to contribute new profiles, and of a map and a kind of filter function to show the data under certain criteria.
  • We’ve got a beta questionary to send around for building a beta dataset (https://medienpad.de/p/stsing_mapping_form)
  • Next steps:
    • evaluation, and improving the questionary       
    • setting up categories and filtering options for a) the database and b) the data visualization

Access points

Events

The Events Group has explored the possibilities of content workshops and is in close contact with the Organizing Group. After (probably) finding a form in 2020, the focus is more on small formats, also due to other big events such as the EASST/4S conference and the sociology congress. 

Access points

Best Practices

During the workshop in Kassel, a Code of Conduct was a potentially central element of a new organisation. The group reflects the inclusivity of the process in advance. stsing generally strives for an open and inclusive way of working together, not least as a counterweight to the sometimes rigid academic structures. This is about power relations. About a year ago, the "code of conduct" group decided to rename is as the "best practices" group. This title is still tentative but we felt it rin

Access points

Formal Ways of Peer-Support

How do we practice STSING as a supportive environment?

Access points