"Sociotechnical Promises and Their By-products"
Attend this event via Zoom (advance registration required)
Gabriel Dorthe, Postdoctoral researcher, Program on Science, Technology & Society, Harvard Kennedy School; Postdoctoral researcher, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam (IASS).
Co-sponsored by the Graduate School or Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
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Sheila Jasanoff, Faculty Associate. Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School.
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Do people involved in some degree of belief and spread of conspiracy theories distrust science, or do they trust it too much? Some are raising concerns towards the injection of nanobots that have long been promised by prominent engineers, while others demand an immediate stop to stratospheric chemical spraying, a scheme that is slowly making its way in the portfolio of measures against global warming. In this talk, drawing on an ongoing ethnographic research, I will look at how conspiracy theories regarding sociotechnical issues such as solar geoengineering, vaccines or 5G bear key insights about the reception of technoscientific promises. In such highly contested debates, what counts as trustworthy, for whom, at which cost? How is trust and suspicion negotiated and stabilized? What does this say about the shifting relationships between the naked-eye perception and the invisible, the local and the global, citizens and political or economic power?