It Could Be Otherwise: Provocation, Irony, and Limits

10 Apr 2014
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Steve Woolgar
Professor of Marketing and Director of Science and Technology Studies, University of Oxford

One element of the enduring success of STS is its capacity to apply analytic scepticism to a wide range of areas beyond science and technology (which we used to think of as the hardest possible case). Yet STS’ radical capacity has been continually compromised by successive failures of nerve and by its appropriation and domestication at the hands of a diverse range of organisations and institutions. In this paper I consider the fate of radical arguments with reference to STS. I discuss some general features of provocation as provided by the slogan “It Could Be Otherwise”. And I look in particular at the operation of certain kinds of irony and at the limits on provocation, if any. If my nerve holds, I shall try to work some of this through in relation to reportings of 911.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies • Office for the History of Science and Technology
Office for the History of Science and Technology

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