HomeMultiple Matters: From neglected things to arts of noticing fragility

HomeMultiple Matters: From neglected things to arts of noticing fragility

*  *  *

Published on Friday, January 10, 2020


STS-CH, the Swiss Science and Technology Studies (STS) association, lauches the call for contributions to its 5th International Conference. Taking place at the University of Lausanne, by the Lake Geneva, from 7 to 9 September 2020, this 3-day event aims at bringing together scholars interested in STS across all disciplines, at all career levels. The overarching topic, “Multiple Matters: From neglected things to arts of noticing fragility” highlights the salience of research which addresses the fragility not only of the Earth and its ecosystems, but also of large technical systems, forms of life, human bodies and scientific knowledge.


Call for contributions to the 5th STS-CH Conference, University of Lausanne, 7-9 September 2020


Over the past decades, in the face of natural hazards, economic collapses, democratic deficits and other forms of daunting setbacks, a prosperous body of literature has emerged to address the precariousness, complexity and plurality of things, beings and their coexistence. Within this literature emerging from Science and Technology studies, as well as from bordering disciplines, various debates have suggested the fragility of not only the Earth and its ecosystems, but also of large technical systems, forms of life, human bodies and scientific knowledge. Different scholars and researchers have argued that such cataclysms offer us potential pathways to rethink the emergence and composition of heterogeneous worlds, the relations between various ecologies of possibility, so as to reconnect with non-human forms, values, actors and species. Many of them argue for re-imagining the politics of inquiry to develop arts of noticing the “thickness” or “togetherness” of the actual and multiple worlds we inhabit.

Building on these debates, this international conference invites contributions that engage empirically, but also methodologically or theoretically, with fragile futures. The aim is to reassess the recent contributions of STS and beyond to the study of emerging worlds by gathering scholars from both inside and outside this field of research. Through different formats (workshops, thematic panels, exhibitions, art performances, round tables, etc.), our objective is to address how such approaches can have significant impact on the understanding of contemporary issues such as climate change, artificial intelligence, knowledge politics, maintenance and repair, heritage and futurism, open innovation, migration and border studies and care practices by capturing how they participate in reinventing worlds in the making. We welcome all proposals that allow for fruitful exchanges, experimental collaborations and speculative modes of engagement between academics from various disciplines, but also with and among activists, artists, and anyone concerned.

Like former editions before the Swiss STS Meeting 2020 is intended to encourage and promote the social, historical and philosophical study of sciences in Switzerland. This event lasts for three days and aims at bringing together STS scholars of all career levels.

Submission formats

It is possible to submit either a paper or a panel (including workshops, thematic panels, exhibitions, art performances, round tables etc.). Multiple submissions are permitted in principle. In order to give a maximum of people an opportunity to participate in the conference, the organizers may take multiple authorship into consideration when making final decisions. 

Important dates:

  • March 31, 2020: Deadline for paper and panel submissions

  • April 30, 2020: Notification acceptance or rejection
  • May 31, 2020: Publication of the conference programme
  • June 30, 2020: Closing date for registration
  • September 7-9, 2020: Conference

Paper submission

Paper proposals should be submitted via this form, by 31 March 2020. We welcome proposals covering a wide variety of topics and domains, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Climate change and environmental sciences
  • Artificial intelligence and algorithm studies Knowledge politics and post-truth
  • Maintenance and repair studies
  • Heritage and futurism
  • Migration and border studies
  • Medicine and environmental health
  • Gender studies and material feminism
  • Communication infrastructure and digital technologies
  • Hacking, DIY and open innovation
  • Market devices and the platform economy
  • Digital cities, open government and platform urbanism
  • Participatory design and experimental infrastructures
  • Media studies and web philosophy

The organizers will group paper proposals into panels. Submissions for papers should be written in English. They should include the name and contact details (email address and affiliation) of the proposer, the title of the proposal and an abstract of no more than 250 words. 

Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent by April 30, 2020.

Panel submission

Panel proposals should be submitted via this form, by 31 March 2020. Along with traditional academic sessions, the submission of alternative formats is encouraged. These can include (but are not limited to) round tables, workshop style sessions, art performances, exhibitions, and other performances. We welcome panels covering the above topics or any other relevant issue.

Panels will be comprised of 3 to 6 papers. Panel proposals should be written in English and include:

  • The names and contact details of convenors (email addresses and affiliation).
  • The short description of the proposed theme (max. 200 words).
  • The list of Participants and Titles of their papers. 

Participants in proposed panels must submit their paper individually in addition to the panel submission. 

Convenors will be responsible for organizing their panel according to the constraints specified by the conference organizers. The organizers might ask convenors to include additional papers that fit into their panels.

Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent by April 30, 2020. 

Conference Fee (including STS-CH membership for one year)

  • Regular: 100 CHF
  • Student: 50 CHF
  • Exemptions: possible on demand

About STS-CH meetings

Since the foundation of the Swiss Association for the Study of Science, Technology and Society (STS-CH) in Bern in 2001, several meetings and panels have been organized in cooperation with different universities and research institutes (STS-Summer School in Lausanne, 2001; EASST conference in Lausanne, 2006; Swiss STS Meeting “ScienceFutures” in Zurich, 2008; “Kinds of Science Going Neuro” in Basel, 2010; “Collecting, organizing, trading big data” in Lausanne, 2014).

Partner institutions

Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of social science (University of Lausanne), STS-Lab (University of Lausanne), ColLaboratoire (University of Lausanne), Confucius Institute (University of Geneva), Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux (University of Neuchâtel), Rethinking Public Participation in Science research group (University of Geneva).

Organizing committee

Nicolas Baya-Laffite (UNIL), Nolwenn Bühler (UNINE/UNIL), Giada Danesi (UNIL), Laetitia Della Bianca (UNIL), Anna Jobin (ETHZ), Julio Paulos (HU Berlin), Loïc Riom (Mines-ParisTech), Tanja Schneider (UNISG).

Local committee

Marc Audétat (UNIL), Olivier Glassey (UNIL), Cynthia Kraus (UNIL), Alain Kaufmann (UNIL), Francesco Panese (UNIL), Dominique Vinck (UNIL), Gianluigi Viscusi (EPFL).

Conference site

the conference will take place at the campus of the University of Lausanne, at the Synathlon building, UNIL-centre, in Lausanne, Switzerland.  


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at: contact@sts-ch.org 



  • Synathlon building, UNIL-Centre - Université de Lausanne
    Lausanne, Switzerland (1015)


  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020


  • climate change, environmental issues, artificial intelligence, algorithm studies, knowledge politics, post-truth, maintenance, repair studies, heritage, futurism, migration studies, medicine, environmental health, gender studies, material feminism, infras


  • STS-CH 2020 Organizing committee
    courriel : contact [at] sts-ch [dot] org

Information source

  • Nicolas Baya-Laffite
    courriel : nicolas [dot] bayalaffite [at] unil [dot] ch


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Multiple Matters: From neglected things to arts of noticing fragility », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, January 10, 2020, https://doi.org/10.58079/145r

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search