SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

What's at Stake (?)

A one day workshop for science, technology, society and innovation scholars at postgraduate and early career stages

Wednesday December 6th 2017

This free workshop aims to offer a discursive space for PhDs and ECRs to articulate the stakes of STIS research as they see them and to begin to convey them to non-academic audiences. This will offer important skill development for early career scholars in terms of selecting and writing with peers, writing funding proposals and demonstrating the relevance of research to wider society.

“What’s at stake?” has many interpretations and can mean many different things topics participants might want to bring to the discussion may include:

  • The autonomy of science and innovation
  • Future societies
  • Inequality
  • Technoscientific-society networks
  • Environment
  • Science funding
  • Identity
  • Relations
  • Knowledges
  • Categories
  • Risk
  • Science policy
  • Precarity of interdisciplinary careers

The ability to reframe these issues and argue convincingly to non-academic audiences is an invaluable skill in contemporary academe and participants will work towards writing a post to be considered for publication on The Guardians Political Science blog.

About the Workshop

The workshop will be a site for interdisciplinary idea exchange and provide an opportunity for participants to expand their network of contacts and collaborate on non-academic output.

During an introductory session participants will be invited to explore the topic through engaging with peers working in similar substantive areas while cross-fertilisation with others from various theoretical backgrounds or empirical sites will be actively encouraged. The workshop will proceed with small groups co-authoring an article for further development and submission to the Guardians Political Science blog. Advice and facilitation during the collaborative writing session will be provided by a senior scholar well known for their non-academic communication. These activities fulfil a core aim of the forum to support scholars as they transition from PhDs to early career and on to midcareer research, whilst reflecting the diversity of STIS and the importance of continued dialogue with other scholars.

To this end, workshop participants are encouraged to attend the networking dinner on the evening of Tuesday 5th December in Brighton. Some funds are available to subsidise travel and maintenance for those whom sufficient financial support is unavailable. This will be assessed on a needs basis, please contact Cian O’Donovan (c.odonovan@sussex.ac.uk) for more details. STS scholars from departments in which STS is not a core discipline are particularly encouraged to attend.

About the Organisers

The workshop is hosted by the Postgraduate Forum for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (PFSTIS) and supported by SPRU Science Policy Research Unit and the University of Sussex Doctoral School. PFSTIS is a self-organised forum for doctoral students and early career researchers to exchange ideas and discuss academic and professional development. PFSTIS aims to be a space that encourages new scholars to refine their ideas, methodologies and projects in dialogue with one another and to provide a network of colleagues as people move into professional roles. PFSTIS welcomes a broad range of topics including studies focusing on sciences, technologies and innovation.


Sign up for the workshop now at eventbrite page:

Workshop tickets

Deadline: November 20th


SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit

University of Sussex