13,086 Sociology of Science and Technology’ International Sociological Association (ISA) CALL FOR SESSION PROPOSALS RESEARCH COMMITTEE 23: SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

RC-23 ‘Sociology of Science and Technology’ International Sociological Association (ISA)




Yes, 2018 and the World Congress seem a very long way away. But it is time to start planning now. From February 2-March 15, 2017 the ISA website will accept proposals for sessions from individuals willing to act as organizers. Additional details about how to submit your Session Proposal will be provided as they become available.

As those of you who have attended in the past are aware, 1) the ISA allocates RC23 a fixed number of program slots and 2) the number of quality submissions that RC23 receives cannot be accommodated if we allocate all our program slots to traditional paper presentations. Thus, we are looking for creative ways to incorporate as many individuals into the program as possible. Specifically, we encourage you 1) to avoid session themes that are excessively narrow and may not attract a sufficient number of abstracts, 2) to consider organizing a session in one of the less traditional formats (see details below), or 3) to consider the possibility of organizing a Joint Session (particularly with smaller Research Committees and Working Groups). Smaller RCs and WGs have disproportionately more program space relative to applications than the larger RCs. Since Joint Sessions only count against the allocation of one RC, participating in Joint Sessions that the other RC agrees to have count against their allocation is one way to get additional RC23 program space.


• Paper presentation session


A 110 minute session designed to accommodate 4-5 papers and 15-20 minutes of collective discussion. All other papers will be listed as “distributed papers” in the relevant session and serve as “waitlist” for Session Organizers. These papers will be listed in the program and, providing the authors register in time, their abstracts will be included in the abstracts book. If a participant does not show up, the first participant listed under distributed papers will be asked to present a paper.


As you can see from the above description, this format — despite the obvious attraction for those who are selected to present — has a significant downside, individuals on the “waitlist” for “distributed papers” often do not get to present at all. Based on prior experience, if all of our sessions are of this type, approximately 75% of the accepted abstracts will be for “distributed papers.”


• Roundtable Session


In order to accommodate more papers, a regular session time-slot may be used for a maximum of 5 concurrent running round table presentations in one room (maximum of 5-6 presenters at each table). Five tables will be set up at the same time and in the same room. Each table will accommodate 10 persons including the presenters (suggested number of 5 presenters). Each RC can organize up to 2 Round Table sessions.

This format allows the participation of a greater number of individuals, but the audience for each presenter is reduced. The key is to create a strong thematic focus at each table in order to maximize the interaction among the individuals present at the table.


• Poster session

Poster presentations of research information and results. Each RC can organize up to 2 Poster

sessions. Each RC will be given a specific date/time for its Poster Session.

A poster presentation combines text and graphics to present the project in a way that is visually interesting and accessible. This format allows a large number of individuals to display their work to a large group of other scholars and to talk to and receive feedback from interested viewers.


• PechaKucha 20×20 Session


PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where the individual shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and the presenter talks along as the images advance.

Because of the time limitation, this format more than doubles the number of individuals who can present in a normal 110 minute time slot. Done well, through the creative linking of words and images, this format has the potential for particularly high levels of audience engagement.


• Joint Session


Joint Sessions are sessions organized jointly by two or more RCs, or an RC combined with a WG or TG on a theme of overlapping interest. Please note that Joint Sessions must be included in the regular session allocation of one of the participating units. Joint sessions cannot constitute more than 50% of all sessions in which a RC/WG/TG is involved (as host and/or co-organizer).

ISA RC23 Program Co-Coordinators for the XIX World Congress in Toronto

o NadiaASHEULOVA,InstitutefortheHistoryofScienceandTechnology,RussianAcademy of Sciences, Russia, asheulova_n@bk.ru

o Gary Bowden, University of New Brunswick, Canada, glb@unb.ca


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