The Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School is coordinating a writing effort in response to the recent US presidential election and related electoral trends around the world. Seeking to address issues of expertise and democracy, we are soliciting short written contributions from scholars in STS and related fields. The blog will launch around inauguration (January 20, 2017) and run throughout the “First 100 Days” of the Trump Administration.
The blog will serve as a platform for sharing STS insights with broader audiences and a possible means for wider dissemination (e.g., some posts as op-eds in established media outlets, some through social media, and some through institutional platforms such as school or departmental websites and newsletters). As such, the format will be flexible, but each post should aim to be brief, targeted, and aimed at speaking to a broad audience of non-specialists (both in terms of specific policy and STS framings). We also welcome other forms of media including video and photographic essays.
We invite posts of 700–1000 words in three formats:
- A policy issue that is undergoing (or expected to undergo) a process of disruption and re-normalization in the new administration’s first 100 days. These posts will examine the narratives attached to specific proposals and the epistemic and political resources they draw upon. One suggested format is a conversation between a policy specialist (for example a climate scientist) and an STS scholar, addressing a specific provocation (e.g., Is COP21 dead?).
- An aspect of knowledge/power relations (e.g., normalization, expert consensus, post-truth, numeration) that STS has something to say about and that policy-makers and citizens should become more actively aware of. Rethinking such salient concepts, drawing on existing STS analysis, these posts will serve as both a pedagogical and a political intervention.
- A series of thematic posts: individuals or groups could offer to write a series of posts that are thematically related and in conversation with one another. Such a series might follow a specific question and its treatment across different contexts, for example, the reportage on “post-truth politics” outside the US context (does the concept travel and if so how?).