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She then turned these observations back onto her own culture, leading her to generalizations about the dynamics of power and mind. This conceptual practice -- what Sarah Richardson might term a "gender-critical" method -- sustained her identity as a feminist anthropologist. My exploration of Parsons places feminist science studies into historical relief.

This talk highlights the relevance of gender in American and European accounts of identity development in the latter half of the twentieth century. Reconsidering the implications of male-centered perspectives in the social and human sciences changes our understanding of anti-feminism. More than just an extreme opinion, anti-feminist positions structured basic constructions of the self and social order.

Not simply implying that Man was the measure of all people, Erik Erikson, Benjamin Spock, Daniel Levinson, and other social and developmental psychologists, practitioners, and psychoanalytic thinkers also exempted women from personal development. Their theories applied to boys and men almost exclusively, whose growth and self-realization they described. Yet despite their focus on men, these developmental models were primarily directed at women.


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When women challenged these directions, experts responded by barring them from redefining their lives and seeking self-fulfillment outside the home. Presented by : Lan Li. Acupuncture analgesia seemed relatively straightforward. The patient lay awake as a practitioner needled selected sites on the body to induce numbness for surgery. Numerous reports emerging from China in the s featured women and men resting on operating tables, smiling into the camera, surrounded by doctors who attended to the excised region—the esophagus, brain, belly, heart, or lungs. Readers were as amazed as they were skeptical.

To one critic, acupuncture analgesia worked, but it only worked on Communist Chinese bodies. Beyond the ontological debates that surrounded how needling actually worked, was the curious ways in which the patient and practitioner both participated in a choreography of knowledge production. Needling-induced numbness allowed the patient to lie awake during the operation. She could ask questions, drink tea, eat fruit as nurses reached into her body to remove an ovarian cyst.

Those who tested the effects of needling-induced numbness in Singapore, Hong Kong, Michigan, Berlin, and Shanghai hoped that its universalizing effects could reflect the universal properties of needling—that it could temper the idiosyncratic nature of the body and collapse conceptual differences. By drawing on literature in transnational feminism and postcolonial STS, this paper offers a cultural history of neuroscience through the queering effects of needling in the operating room.

Presented by : Soha Bayoumi , Harvard University.

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Postcolonial historians of medicine, including historians of the Middle East, have complicated our understanding of sexology as both an instrument of imperial control and a potential tool of social critique and resistance to colonial assumptions. More recently, feminist historians of medicine have highlighted the roles played by women sexologists as a way of countering the historical narrative that viewed women and their sexuality solely as objects of study and control by a male-dominated medical establishment.

Modern interest in the scientific study of sexuality in the Middle East can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century. This interest manifested in various ways during the colonial period and over the course of the twentieth century. Most recently, new media allowed for the proliferation of sex education TV programs, websites, YouTube Channels and social media accounts. In this paper, I aim to contribute to the growing scholarship on sexology by examining the role played by contemporary women sexologists in Egypt and their role in cultivating ideals of modern, bourgeois feminine sexuality. Presented by : Eli Nelson.

Deborah Coen , Yale University. Moderators Sally Shuttleworth , Ms. Over the past two decades, STS scholars have argued that the high-stakes, low-certainty conditions of much contemporary scientific research imply an urgent need for new ways of doing science. They have proposed variants such as "Mode 2 science" and "post-normal science," which would draw policy-makers and concerned citizens into the process of designing and evaluating research. Their stated aim is to democratize the knowledge-making process and orient it more firmly towards users' needs.

More recently, scientists themselves have begun to echo these recommendations. They emphasize the value of public engagement for a variety of purposes, from gaining legitimacy for their research, to mining big data, to ensuring that their conclusions will be taken up by policy-makers. This reorientation is evident, for instance, in recent initiatives arrayed under the banner of "citizen science," such as the Cornell bird count or Galaxy Zoo.

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But how novel are these modes of scientific research? Assessing the degree to which these initiatives depart from "normal science" requires historical and epistemological analysis. Accordingly, participants in this session will analyze past experiments in participatory research in a range of sciences seismology, climatology, astronomy, biomedicine, and scientific agriculture and in various transnational historical contexts from the Progressive Era to the post-Cold War , in order to generate critical historical perspectives on contemporary modes of participatory research.

What can history teach us about the promise and limitations of these endeavors? Within six month, it had attracted more than one million participants analyzing radio signals from space on their personal computer searching for signs of extraterrestrial life. The initiators of the project and the media constructed the image of the participant along the lines of an imagined amateur scientist making discoveries outside of scientific institutions, while contributing to the making of a global scientific citizenship.

Infused by libertarian, countercultural, and cyber-utopian ideals, SETI home seemed to capture the scientific aspirations of a new generation. But the tens of thousands of online biographical sketches left by the participants present a more nuanced picture. These sources helps us better understand the recent reconfigurations of the amateur scientist and, more generally, the struggles over the legitimacy of professional expertise.

The rapid expansion of citizen science, as a notion and a practice, has spawned a plethora of meanings. So here lies the issue: the notion of citizen science is both very diffuse and very specific. To address that issue, this paper tries to do two things. It has not come from nowhere. With a historical perspective, we will be able to see the genealogy of citizen science and the limits of a presentist, ahistorical definition of citizen science. And, second, this paper suggests that a fruitful — and politically relevant — way to understand citizen science is through the concept of citizenship.

This paper proposes a new perspective that will allow us to better interpret various modes of citizen science in different times and societies. Presented by : Deborah Coen , Yale University. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for instance, was created to translate science into policy, but it has focused on long-term predictions of global temperature, rather than on shorter-term, regional-scale predictions that could help guide local policies.

Generating actionable climate science will require incorporating the knowledge, experience, and values of those impacted by climate change into the process of producing and evaluating new research.

Strong claims are being made for the novelty of these modes of generating climate knowledge, but with little attention to history. In fact, the precedents for involving non-experts in scientific research date back to the very birth of professional science in the eighteenth century.

I conclude that usability needs to be defined more broadly. The Garden now connects an ever larger community of individuals to plants through citizen science programming. What can we learn from past and present approaches to environmental scholarship? Public engagement plays an indispensable role in the democratization of science by involving an increasingly diverse force of global and regional participants in a common effort to advance environmental knowledge and stewardship. The citizen science movement is reflective of wider societal forces and trends of interconnectedness: it encourages the establishment of new communities of activists that find common purpose to rally around local issues that may address broader environmental, legal and humanities concerns.

This movement is supported by easily accessible new technologies—from extensive computer networks to cell phones with sophisticated apps, such as iNaturalist which the New York Botanical Garden uses for its EcoQuests; a program challenging New Yorkers to become citizen scientists and sustain nature in the City. Increased plant awareness in the public sphere has important consequences: it helps to mitigate plant blindness and catalyzes much needed further conservation action.

Today in China publicly minded social scientists are enthusiastically employing the methods of participatory action research, a form of engaged scholarship most famously associated with Brazilian philosopher of education Paolo Freire.

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Chinese social scientists typically treat participatory action research as a refreshing foreign paradigm that became accessible to China with the increasing academic exchanges made possible during the post-Mao Reform Era. And, indeed, participatory action research emerged during the s and s, when radical intellectuals around the world were studying the epistemological writings of Mao Zedong. This paper will explore the movement of ideas about participatory knowledge-making between China and other parts of the world during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Moderators Rich Kremer , Dartmouth College. Alfonsine astronomy flourished in Latin Europe from the second half of the 13th to the middle of the 16th century. It is arguably among the first European scientific achievements and shaped a scene for well-known actors like Regiomontanus or Copernicus.