30 August 2021

On the 19th and 20th of August, Steve Woolgar, Professor at Technology and Social Change, was honored during a conference that attracted celebrities in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS).

A picture from the conference where some people participated on campus and others via Zoom.
Picture from the conference where some people participated on campus and others via Zoom. Eric Snodgrass

Provocation: STS after Woolgar marks the end of Steve Woolgar's time as a professor at Linköping University and became a celebration of his academic life. The conference was a summary of Woolgar's various contributions to his field, with the participation of researchers who in various ways have crossed his path or picked up his ideas.

– It was a completely fabulous event, with exciting and stimulating contributions from a very wide range of lively colleagues. A brilliantly organised hybrid celebration, Woolgar says after the conference.

Steve Woolgar works in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). Woolgar was one of the pioneers of the field and has written several of the texts that give an introduction to it. Together with other researchers, he looked at research as a social practice, to explore how research is carried out.

Brian’s Magical Provocations.Brian’s Magical Provocations. Participants: Mark Elam, Maja Horst, Alan Irwin, Steve Woolgar and Brian Rappert Photo credit Catelijne CoopmansBig names in STS participated and contributed during the conference, including Annemarie Mol, University of Amsterdam and Michael Lynch, Cornell University. Traditional lectures were mixed with humorous elements addressed directly to Woolgar. A thank-you dinner ended the festivities on Friday evening.

– It made me proud to have helped and encouraged so many great colleagues to “think otherwise”, says professor Woolgar.

The conference was supposed to take place in December 2020 but was moved due to the pandemic. It was held as a hybrid conference where half of the participants were present in Kåkenhus in Norrköping and half participated online. The organizers of the conference were Catelijne Coopmans, David Moats, Else Vogel and Josefin Frilund and the event was produced by Imponera AB.

– Many who I spoke to hailed it as the best hybrid conference they have ever been to, very professional, says Jelmer Brüggemann, Head of Division at Technology and Social Change and one of the participants.

Steve Woolgars latest work is the book The Imposter as Social Theory – Thinking with Gatecrashers, Cheats and Charlatans. Since he came to Linköping University, he has put Technology and Social Change on the map. Among other things, he has attracted several internationally renowned researchers as employees to the division or to the seminar series held there, supervised doctoral students and collaborated with the department's researchers in various projects.

– He has really broadened the network for the researchers at our division, says Jelmer Brüggemann.

Video with highlights from the conference

This video was produced by Imponera AB.


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