Call for Applications
4th STS Italia Summer School
September 5th- 9th, 2017 Catania, Italy
STS Italia, the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies – in collaboration with the Department of Political and Social Sciences and the Department of Mathematics and Informatics of the University of Catania is organizing its 4th Summer School, “Almost Human: Robotics, Healthcare and STS“, to be held in Catania (Italy) from September 5th to 9th, 2017.
Goals and main topics
Robotics in its various applications and research fields (work, leisure, medicine, care, education, military use, etc.) emerges as a set of technological innovations designed to have a disruptive impact on the economy, politics, and society. Technological artifacts pervasively permeate different spheres of personal and professional life, reconfiguring the relationship between humans and humans and artifacts. Robots, in their various forms, are a “presence” which calls/solicits our attention. After colonizing factories and research laboratories, robots, humanoid or animal, “dispersed” in our technological environments as meta-media (the chatbot, for example), or as professionals of care, are already living among us, populating our cities, inhabiting our homes, taking care of us, and even observing what we do. Consequently, the development of robotics raises new questions in a great number of ethical, legal, social and anthropological issues.
The STS Italia Summer School aims to address the challenges posed by recent developments in robotics and artificial intelligence through a variety of approaches, theoretical frameworks and methodological insights. PhD students and early career researchers in Science and Technology Studies (STS) are invited to participate in a joint reflection that will try to trace some interdisciplinary interpretative frameworks and to propose a space of exchange between social sciences and scientific research.
A particular attention will be given to the role of robotics in the field of health and care. We would like to question the relationship between technological innovation and new practices, or relationships, of care; to question the professional reconfigurations and skills modified by the introduction of assistive technological devices to the cure gesture (surgery, for example) and care practices (in homes and hospitals); to highlight the different concepts of care receivers and care givers that emerge in the contexts of innovation and in always singular and specific contexts of practices andeveryday life (prosthetics, assistive robotics, etc.). These issues can be addressed more politically and institutionally (issues of surveillance, infrastructures, social, economic and research policies); at an intermediate level, in the boundaries between private and public sector (in particular as regards the transfer of skills and practices between place of cure – hospital – and place of life – home); at individual level in familiar and professional relationships of care. A question that surely crosses the technological, sociological, institutional and ethical aspects is the concept of autonomy (of person, of patient, of devices, of familiar or professional collectives), which increasingly includes the human and non-human relationship in its definition, in particular in the healthcare field.
This summer school introduces participants to major approaches, exploring new research frontiers and emerging themes under ethical, cultural and socio-technical perspectives:
– Autonomy (of technological devices, of person, of systems), which includes the notion of enable/disable, empowerment, accessibility, dependency;
– Robotics in work’s contexts (in particular in healthcare);
– Human/non human relationship (in particular in healthcare, which includes non human animals);
– Imaginaries of the body, the machine, the hybrid (cyborg);
– Ethical and legal approaches;
– Technological innovation in healthcare: state of the art, perspectives, problems;
– Epistemological and theoretical approaches to robotics and AI;
– Technological innovation in healthcare and disabilities and gender studies;
Read Confirmed speakers and How to apply HERE
June 15th, 2017: Applications deadline.
June 25th, 2017: Notification for participation and for scholarship eligibility.
July 10th, 2017: Registration deadline.
For any further questions regarding the school not hesitate to contact the Organizing Committee via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
(Photo: Cyborg manual by Randy Adams from Flickr)