Patrick Suppes Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science & Technology: Critical Conversations

Critical Conversations: Methods and Practices in Interdisciplinary Science Studies

Friday, May 18th, 2007

9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center

424 Santa Teresa Street

Stanford University

Critical Conversations is a one-day conference exhibiting graduate work in science studies at Stanford and refecting on the excitement and anxieties of interdisciplinary exchange. The highlight of the event will be a keynote address by science studies scholar Naomi Oreskes (University of California, San Diego) and a roundtable discussion with Stanford graduate students and professors on interdisciplinary methods in science studies.

The conference takes up questions of interdisciplinary methodology in science and technology studies scholarship. Graduate students across several departments will present short papers in dialogue with one another, discussing the methodological questions and framework engaged by their work. Professors from Stanford will serve as respondents and commentators on student work. The conference will close with a reception and poster session for Science and Technology Studies undergraduate honors projects.


Keynote Speaker:

Naomi Oreskes, Professor, Department of History and Program in Science Studies at the UC, San Diego

photo of Naomi Oreskes Naomi Oreskes (Ph.D., Stanford, 1990) is Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on the historical development of scientific knowledge, methods, and practices in the earth and environmental sciences. Her works include The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science (Oxford University Press, 1999), and Plate Tectonics: An Insider's History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (with Homer Le Grand, Westview Press, 2001), cited by Library Journal as one of the best science and technology books of 2002, and by Choice as an outstanding academic title of 2003. She is currently completing "Science on a Mission: American Oceanography in the Cold War and Beyond," to be published by the University of Chicago Press.

Oreskes's current research deals with the science of climate change. Her 2004 essay "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" (Science 306: 1686), led to Op-Ed pieces in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times, and has been widely cited, including in The New Yorker, USA Today, the Royal Society's publication, "A guide to facts and fictions about climate change.," and in the film, "An Inconvenient Truth." In December 2006, she testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the history of climate science:

Download her Testimony before Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate (pdf)

Keynote Discussant:

Andrew Pickering Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

photo of Andy PickeringAndy Pickering is professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He is the author of Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics and The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency and Science (which includes a discussion of inter- and anti-disciplinarity, preferring the latter), and editor of Science as Practice and Culture and (forthcoming, with Keith Guzik) The Mangle in Practice: Science, Society and Becoming. His latest project has been a history of the world's most anti-disciplinary field, cybernetics, on which two books are forthcoming: Cybernetics and New Ontologies (in German) and Sketches of Another Future: Cybernetics in Britain, 1940-2000.

Reception and Poster Session for STS, Philosophy of Science, and History of Science Honors Students


9:30 - 10:30am
Continental breakfast

10:30 am - 12:00pm
Keynote Talk

"Pragmatic Interdisciplinarity (Or, Against Disciplining Interdisciplinarity)"
Naomi Oreskes, UC-San Diego

Andrew Pickering, University of Illinois

12:00 pm - 1:00pm
Lunch served

1:00 - 1:50pm
Critical Conversations Session I

Brad Bouley & Angela Potochnik
Discussant: Robert Proctor

Lydia Barnett & Teru Miyake
Discussant: Jessica Riskin

2:00 - 2:50pm
Critical Conversations Session II

Sarah Richardson & Quayshawn Spencer
Discussant: Paula Findlen

Josh Howe & Brianna Rego
Discussant: Sarah Jain

3:00 - 4:00pm
Roundtable on Interdisciplinary Methods and Practices in Science Studies

Roundtable participants include:

Paula Findlen
Sarah Jain
Jessica Riskin
David Magnus
Londa Schiebinger
Thomas Mulaney
Thomas Ryckman
Robert Proctor

4:00 - 5:00pm

Opening remarks by Patrick Suppes

Download a pdf version of the flyer (8x10 for printing)

Organized by the Graduate Student Science and Technology Studies Writing Group at Stanford University, with support from the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science and Technology, the Program in History and Philosophy of Science, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Program in Modern Thought and Literature

Contact: Sarah Richardson, richardson at stanford dot edu and Lydia Barnett, lbarnett at stanford dot edu