Submit your proposal (closed)
The symposium accepts presentation abstracts. Please see instructions and tracks below.
Individual presentations --> CLOSED April 11

We invite individual presentations (10-15 minutes) relating to the CFP themes. Presentation abstracts can be directed to thematic tracks (see below) or directed generally to the symposium, in which case the presentations will be grouped thematically by the organizers. 

Guidelines for submitting:

1. Submit your abstract  (max 250 words) both as a Word file and also copied to the email message field

2. Indicate either

A) Track preference: [insert track name] --> send abstract to track organizers via email (see contact emails in track listing below)


B) Track preference: ['no preference'] --> send abstract to The organizers create additional thematic sessions as the need arises.


The deadline for these submissions is April 11, 2022.

Notification of acceptance by April 7.

Thematic tracks

Reetta Muhonen

University of Turku,


In recent years, academics have witnessed mounting distrust towards science and particularly to social sciences and humanities (SSH), which have been accused of spending taxpayers’ money on ‘useless’ research. The most profound contributions of research are not always visible to laypeople as they are seldom concrete and tangible, but instead, they are diffuse and conceptual by their nature. Thus, it is not only SSH fields who are confronted with the claims for more valuable research, but the call for uses of research concerns at some extent all disciplines.

In parallel, research institutions and research funding agencies have boosted their efforts to increase trust in science. Such efforts aim for instance at stimulating closer interactions between researchers and stakeholders. The practical implications of this trend are manifold and include requirements to integrate stakeholders as partners in research projects, call for detailed dissemination plans in research proposals, the growth of the communications profession within academic institutions, and promote and document the societal impact of research. Besides practical implications, ‘impact era’ raises challenges related to academic autonomy. Tensions between intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations in science are no novel issue in academia, but the challenges on science-society interface have long lain at the heart of the academic life.

This session focuses on exploring the challenges thrown up by the “impact era” stressing the utility of research, and welcomes scholars to explore the recent shifts in the science-society interface and the manifestations of these shifts in the academia. What are the characteristics of the claims for more societally relevant research in our time? How the characteristics of “impact era” we are living through differ from the earlier times? What kinds of opportunities and/or challenges these shifts bring along with them? Also, what – if anything – is lost in a process that its critics decry as “instrumentalization” of science? The suggested topics may involve but need not to limit to the questions related to societal impact of research, drivers and hurdles of societally relevant research, research collaboration, and issues related to encouraging, evaluating and measuring impact.

Heta Tarkkala 

University of Helsinki,

Annerose Böhrer

Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg,

Marie-Kristin Döbler 

Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg,


In science proposals ‘interdisciplinary collaboration’ often refers to the various disciplinary backgrounds the research partners have in the academia. However, more experimental forms of collaboration between social scientists and artists from various fields – film, theatre, visual arts, comics and/or illustration – are executed too. For science and technology scholars and social scientists, these collaborations offer a new angle on how to approach knowledge production and circulation in our own field. They allow us to reflect on the worlds we bring into being through our own engagements in our work. Further, science-art-cooperation can also enable new ways of communicating and collaborating with informants and open up innovative avenues in science communication.

This panel wants to invite researchers as well as their artist partners to reflect and discuss these collaborations from various different viewpoints be they ethical, practical, theoretical or methodological. We hope to explore the potentials and (im)possibilities of interdisciplinary cooperation of sciences with arts and artists also from unexpected viewpoints. We wish to address the new resources, side projects and creative potentials that the collaboration has perhaps resulted in, but we also want to encourage discussions of possible limitations, uncertainties or simply moments when a different direction had to be taken. We hope to hear more about the creative ways of institutional border crossing that such collaborations often require. We are also curious to know if the collaboration resulted in alternative forms of writing and presenting research data and findings, or if it resulted in plans to institutionalise such fruitful border crossing engagements.

Ilkka Arminen

University of Helsinki,

Aurora Guxholli

University of Helsinki

Sanna Tiilikainen

Aalto University


The track calls for methodological reflections on collaboration. We ask what collaboration is and how it can be achieved. Moreover, we want to know how it has been investigated and how different methods inform our understanding of it in different ways.  We invite presentations that address collaboration as a matter of situated practices, conventions, and tacit understandings. In particular, we welcome micro-ethnographic perspectives on collaboration to offer insights on practices and procedures through which parties orient to building, maintaining or challenging collaborative engagements. We are also interested in practices and procedures through which attempts are made to restore the threatened or compromised collaboration.  Among our interests are the social organization of interdisciplinary collaboration including distribution of types of expertise, ways of overcoming epistemic and interest disparities and uses of media and technologies in the arrangements of collaboration. In all, we want to encourage discussions on embodied, ethical and political aspects of the micro-foundations of collaboration across disciplinary and institutional divides. Our goal is to offer an arena for discussion of methodical tools to gain refined sense of what collaboration is and how situated practices may assist or threaten collaboration. Through a more granular view on the conditions of the achievement of collaboration we aim at building knowledge that may contribute toward designing good collaboration projects and practices, and assist preparing guidelines to good collaborative practices in interdisciplinary projects.

The track is open for discussion on collaboration in different kinds of settings and topical areas. In terms of methodologies, we invite micro-ethnographic perspectives that may have varied theoretical and methodical basis on humanities and social sciences and theories and methods ranging from ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to practice theory and ethnography. 

Mikko Salmela

University of Helsinki & University of Copenhagen, (Corresponding)

Bianca Vienni Baptista

ETH Zürich,

Kirsi Cheas

University of Vaasa, New York University,


The paradigmatic narrative of interdisciplinary research (IDR) and transdisciplinary research (TDR) presents them as collaboration of disciplinary and societal actors who come together to solve complex problems whose solution is beyond single disciplines. Similarly, the challenges of IDR/TDR – whether cognitive, interactional, or emotional – have been identified to emerge from divergent epistemic, methodological, and cultural commitments or practices of disciplines and societal actors (Mansilla et al., 2016; Salmela et al., 2021; Turner et al. 2015). However, these narratives do not recognise the existence of researchers who engage in IDR or TDR in their own work, in addition to collaborating with others. Those researchers are better equipped to avoid and resolve the challenges of IDR/TDR as the ability to bring together and synthesize different bodies of knowledge is the key expertise of researchers educated in ID and TD programs or projects (Felt et al., 2013; Lyall, 2019). Even so, these researchers have other serious challenges in contemporary academia. We relate these challenges to a problem of recognition of the academic identities of ID and TD researchers.

ID and TD researchers face institutional, social, and psychological challenges with having a positive academic identity. Achieving expertise in more than one discipline, as well as acquiring skills and competences to work with stakeholders or policy makers, are investments that take time and effort (Rogga & Zscheiscler, 2021; Killion et al., 2018). Unfortunately, these efforts are not typically appreciated by disciplinary communities that do not recognize other expertise beyond disciplinary. Moreover, academic positions and reward systems are organised in relation to disciplines, which can be detrimental to ID and TD researchers’ careers (Bridle et al., 2013; Salmela et al., 2021; Lyall, 2019). Finally, whereas education in a discipline produces a strong, positive academic identity, an ID or TD education or career development often leads to an identity crisis (Lyall, 2019). The reason is that ID and TD academic identities are precarious, undervalued, and anomalous in comparison to prestigious disciplinary academic identities (Lyall, 2019; Cuevas-Garcia, 2016).

Major investments to certain fields of IDR/TDR – most notably sustainability science – should not prevent us from seeing that the recognition of ID and TD researchers in most areas in the humanities and social sciences has received much less attention (Pedersen, 2016; Spaapen et al., 2020; Vienni Baptista et al., 2020). We identify this situation as a denial of recognition of the academic identities of ID and TD researchers, as a positive identity is a vital human need and a fundamental moral right of all researchers.

We invite individual papers that address the problem of recognition of ID and TD academic identities, as well as the emergence, development, and enhancement of such identities, from various theoretical and empirical perspectives with different methodologies.

Tomi Lehtimäki

University of Helsinki,

Terhi Esko

University of Helsinki,


As Jasanoff (2008) for example has noted, science and law are two of the most central ways of making order in modern societies, both operating as significant sources for producing certainty. At the same time, while they display a similar focus on constructing and establishing truth, as well as mobilizing evidence and expertise, they also differ in many significant ways in their ways of coordination. They are also both increasingly challenged in many way in contemporary societies, with their capacities to settle disputes and controversies being questioned in uncertain/tension-laden environments/contexts by diverse actors. One result of this can the increased collaboration and interaction between science, technology and law, as political turmoil, technological change and environmental problems result in novel controversies that need to be dealt with by engaging new combinations of scientific and legal practices.

These similarities and differences therefore produce both opportunities and tensions for collaboration. This panel session engages then in discussing various collaborations between science, technology and law. We welcome both empirical and theoretical presentations that deal with this topic. In addition to the general focus on the collaboration of these institutions and practices, presentations can address for example issues of participation in the science-technology-law nexus as a form of collaboration. Such issues can address both citizen and expert engagements with the legal system, how the law structures scientific practice, or how various technologies and techniques support and hinder participation. Additionally, interdisciplinary work that combines science, technology and law (or legal expertise) can be seen as an interesting domain.

Track organised by SLOES - The Finnish Association for Medical Law and Ethics
Contact person, Karoliina Snell,


Medical ethics happens in many situations, for example at the clinics, in designing research settings and in evaluation of clinical trials. Medical ethics is also done in collaboration with people in different roles and positions – not only doctors, patients, researchers and research subjects – but through interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration with people from diverse scientific fields, expertise and backgrounds.

Given the complexity of most ethical issues in contemporary medicine, this kind of collaboration is essential. Collaboration enables incorporation of multiple viewpoints to ethical decision making, which can enhance accountability and inclusiveness. However, diverse (professional) backgrounds and academic disciplines might also create tension. It can be difficult to reach consensus over values, principles, goals and procedures when backgrounds are diverse. It is also not evident who should be included in medical ethics. This track addresses the many forms of collaboration in medical ethics and the practical benefits and problems that arise when people work together to identify, analyse, and resolve ethical questions or concerns.

We invite presentations that explore concrete cases and examples of ethical collaboration as well as more conceptual and theoretical presentations. The presentations can address, for example, drafting of ethical guidelines, multidisciplinary collaboration in review boards, doctor-patient encounters or large health databases.

Presentations can be both in Finnish and English

Mikko Rask

Helsingin yliopisto,

Bokyong Shin

Helsingin yliopisto

Pekka Tuominen

Helsingin yliopisto


Co-creation is an approach for developing new value and solutions through collaborations among public and private organizations, consumers, and citizens. As an approach, co-creation is more systematic than mere co-operation; and it often involves a broader mix of goals and actors than co-production focusing on the interaction between providers and users. Originally developed in the private sector to explain how customers can contribute to the creation of the service they are purchasing, co-creation has lately travelled to other sectors as well, including the public sector, where it has been described as “processes through which two or more public and private actors attempt to solve a shared problem, challenge, or task through a constructive exchange of different kinds of knowledge, resources, competences, and ideas that enhance the production of public value in terms of visions, plans, policies, strategies, regulatory frameworks, or services, either through a continuous improvement of outputs or outcomes or through innovative step-changes that transform the understanding of the problem or task at hand and lead to new ways of solving it. (Torfing et al., 2019)” Co-creation principles have become prominent also in the scientific disciplines that aim to respond to global sustainability challenges.

Considering co-creation as a “fuzzy” social practice that both involves multiple actors, and serves multiple goals, this panel calls for papers proposing how to evaluate the worth and success of co-creation. How could different epistemic interests and viewpoints be balanced? Could it be possible to create an integrated framework reflecting the highly different expectations related to co-creative processes? How to take into account the complex and emergent nature of co-creative processes, as indirect impacts often prove to be more interesting than the direct or intended impacts. Can new methods such as big data analysis, peer evaluation or participatory approaches be helpful in developing more relevant evaluation methodologies? Is there a danger that evaluations just bureaucratize processes intended to be creative? How many resources should be allocated to evaluation? Is there a tendency that the role of evaluation is increasing viz a viz organizations’ core processes, such as policy making, planning or knowledge production? – These and other topics, be they empirical studies or theoretical reflections, related to evaluation are welcome in this panel.

Daria Jadreškić

University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Martina Merz

University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Helene Sorgner
University of Klagenfurt, Austria,


Alongside the exchange of ideas, expertise, and skills within or between disciplines, the shared use of research instruments and infrastructures is characteristic of research collaborations. Particularly in Big Science efforts, sharing the burden of financing, building, and maintaining central research instruments such as telescopes or detectors is a key feature of collaboration that sustains it in the long run. Yet also smaller-scale or more informally organized research collaboration typically depends on some kind of communal infrastructure, be it research facilities, data repositories, or software applications, which need to be cared for, curated, and maintained. Whereas the maintenance of instruments and facilities has traditionally been delegated to ‘invisible technicians’ (Shapin), collaborative research tends to blur the boundaries between ‘technical’ and ‘scientific’ work, and the associated roles and expertise. Far from being invisible, instruments and infrastructures often become the focal point of collaborators’ attention, as technologies’ affordances and inherent temporalities shape epistemic practices in non-trivial ways. While maintenance work may be less recognized in public, it may at times be experienced as more immediately rewarding, innovative and creative than ‘scientific’ work. Foregrounding the central role of shared instruments and infrastructures, we aim to explore the status and appeal of maintenance work in collaborative research and its relation to other notions such as care, repair and ‘infrastructuring’.

We invite empirical contributions addressing one or more of the following questions:

  • How are collectively shared infrastructures and instruments maintained and cared for in collaborative work? What kinds of work are considered to be (mere) maintenance?
  • How is maintenance work embedded in, and how does it shape the temporal structures and dimensions of collaborative research?
  • How is maintenance and infrastructuring work distributed and recognized in research collaborations? What internal distinctions and boundaries are constructed or overcome in this process?
  • How are maintenance work, the expertise it requires, and the actors performing it made invisible and/or visible in research collaborations? Does the figure of the ‘invisible technician’ still play a role?
  • How can we define ‘infrastructuring’ in relation to maintenance? Are these distinct kinds of activities? If so, what other kinds of work, actors, and valuations does infrastructuring involve?
  • How does maintenance sustain conservation and innovation of collaborative infrastructures and instruments? Are there tensions and trade-offs between durability and innovation? In what ways can maintenance work be creative? 
  • Which care practices and affective relations occur in maintenance work? How do researchers identify with and valorize this work?
  • How does the maintenance of infrastructures and instruments reflect and shape organizational practices in research collaborations?

Pia Vuolanto

Tampere University,


Researchers’ work is being contested in many different ways in current societies. In the Covid-19 pandemic, medical sciences have been at the center of criticisms, and many citizens have chosen to contest vaccinations and pandemic policies. However, criticisms span across different disciplines, which gets accentuated in, for instance, contesting climate change research, economics, gender research or theology, to name a few areas where criticisms affect the everyday practices and intellectual milieu of researchers’ work. This trend is not new to science studies, which has often focused on conflicts and contestations of the value of different disciplinary traditions and has digged deeply into the so called “crisis of expertise”.

This session draws attention to criticisms of research work in different disciplines, and aims to discuss criticisms as restrictive and disruptive for researchers’ work and practices, but at the same take into account that criticisms can also be beneficial and fruitful, even valuable or essential to the advancement of intellectual thought. In line with the broader theme of the symposium, the session seeks elements of criticisms that could foster new forms of collaboration. Also, the session is interested in the forms of researchers’ defence in the midst of different criticisms.

The session welcomes theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions based on studies of conflicts, criticisms and contestations in different disciplines. These contributions may ask, but are not limited to, questions such as:

  • In which ways is research work being contested and criticised by different societal actors?
  • What are the arenas of criticisms like (including forums such as social media, popular books, and blogs)?
  • What have researchers done with the criticisms, how have they, for instance, dealt with them in public or in relation to funding of research?
  • What is at the core of criticisms and what actors take part in generating these criticisms?
  • Can different disciplines collaborate in understanding these critiques and finding out what is behind criticisms – and doing something about them?
  • What can Science Studies do in collaboration with different disciplines to defend and to analyse the criticisms?
  • What tactics for defending research work would be beneficial and what others harmful?
  • What partners (e.g. media, policy-makers, the general public etc.) do the different disciplines have for coping with criticisms and what is common to collaboration with these partners in different areas of research work?
  • What kind of channels of novel collaboration could criticisms form?

Minna Vigren

University of Helsinki,


Especially digital technology is often considered an enabler and driver to solve major global challenges like climate change and democracy deficit. Contrary to this thinking, in this track, the social and societal impacts of technologies and related services are taken into focus. The aim is to recast and map their adverse effects on our lives in the Global North and South.

The perspective we hope to take on the question of social and societal impacts of technology is responsibility and accountability. This engages us to consider the principles and practices demanded from institutions, corporations, and individuals to be answerable on their actions. We consider it to have a broad social significance as it comes with a promise to prevent abuse of power, misconduct, as well as ecological neglect. As a social relationship, this kind of responsibility and accountability means that the powerful are expected to justify and explain their decisions, be answerable for their conduct, and held responsible for their wrongdoings (Bovens, 2007).

In the times of climate crisis, special focus must be directed at the question of environmental responsibility and accountability. Then the point of embarkation is that technologies, digital services, and the devices we use them with do not create a post-material environment where our relations would dissolve into words, bits, and flows of information. Instead, they produce an ’environmental wasteland’ of pollution, hazardous chemicals, and scrap metal. (Parikka 2015.) This raises the question of what ‘sustainable digital everyday life’ means to citizens and more broadly the Earth in different parts of the world.

This track invites presentations that analyse and reflect question on the responsibility and accountability of technology by discussing what responsible and accountable technology is and should be, and what it means to technology users, companies, institutions, and the Earth. The presentations can tackle the topic from theoretical, methodological, or empirical point of views. We invite sharing of research results, conceptual elaborations, presentations on research ideas as well as provocations. 

Miles MacLeod

University of Twente,

Michiru Nagatsu

University of Helsinki

Milutin Stojanovic

University of Helsinki


Keywords: transdisciplinarity, participatory research, uncertainty, values in science, modelling

Modern modeling methods in the environmental sciences and sustainability science attempt to provide accurate predictions of future climate and resource availability and supply based on current stocks and projections of future behaviors in order for policy makers and the public to make informed decisions on how best to manage human behavior and resources. Philosophers, STS researchers and others give two related criticisms of these “hard” uses of modeling. Firstly reliable predictions (and reliable measurements of uncertainty) from complex models are hard to obtain, and the capacity for models to play these kinds of roles for complex environmental systems is severely limited. Secondly, building these models requires unavoidable and often implicit value-laden decisions in design and interpretation. These decisions are not necessarily well understood by modelers, nor well represented to stakeholders, leading to criticisms that the selection of modeling platforms are not neutral with respect to ethical questions. Deeply embedded traditional approaches, such as those often used in integrated assessment modeling reinforce particular ethical frameworks. However in these sciences – particularly sustainability science - there are both high stakes and deep disagreement over the right ethical frameworks to apply.

In this track proposal we invite contributions that study participatory research, which engages stakeholders in knowledge production processes in varying degrees, as a reaction to both these two concerns; namely a concern with predictiveness and accuracy, and with value-ladenness. Participatory approaches involve stakeholders deeply in the scientific process including the selection of relevant variables, the modeling goals etc. Stakeholders then run the model with scientists and explore outcomes. Since stakeholders participate in the design process in theory and have control over which values and goals are represented and also gain knowledge of how the model works and by virtue how their systems work they should be more willing to be bound by the outcomes. We welcome contributions that critically examine the extent to which participatory modeling, experimentation, workshops, etc. can be a solution to both these problems mentioned above using reported cases. One particular concern, which has yet to be addressed in research literature, is that there is no evidence participatory modeling results are robust generally. Running a participatory process again with say different organizers and participants (and different platform choices) will not always produce a similar outcome. This raises essential ethical problems. Given that participants may indeed feel more bound by such a process, is it reasonable to rely on non-robust outcomes?

Michiru Nagatsu

University of Helsinki,

Mikko Salmela

University of Helsinki and University of Copenhagen


Keywords: niche construction, scaffolded cognition and affectivity, interdisciplinary collaboration

Let us start with a (somewhat dated but still relevant) caricature: philosophers of science model scientific reasoning as logical operations, such as deductive-nomological or counterfactual inferences, implementable in principle in one mind. Sociologists of science in contrast analyse scientific process in terms of paradigm shifts or the rises and falls of thought collectives, in which roles of individual scientists are obscured. In between these two extreme ideal types lie more mundane but recognizable—embodied and lived—scientific practices, such as interdisciplinary research with a six-year consortium funding from the EU, which we take as a paradigmatic empirical unit of analysis for science and technology studies (STS).

We propose that such scientific collaborations with particular temporal and organizational structures, to which many contemporary researchers participate in various roles (as PIs, work package leaders, postdocs, PhD students, etc.), can be fruitfully and critically studied with niche construction theory [4, 1]. Niche construction theory (NCT) is a framework to study an agent and her environment (including other agents) as a dynamically coupled system to achieve certain goals. Also called scaffolded cognition/affectivity, the theory allows us to analyse situated and interpersonal processes of scientific collaboration, as well as how emotion interact with cognition therein [2]. How do interpersonal and collective emotions facilitate cognitive goals? Do cognitive success and failure give rise to particular collective emotions in turn? Is there a trade-off between cognitive and affective goals? Is there such a thing as ‘affective division of labor’ among team members, or do they tend to experience and share the same emotions? We welcome empirical and theoretical contributions that address these questions, including those not explicitly drawing on NCT [e.g. 3]. We also welcome methodological contributions that compare NCT to other approaches such as social epistemology with agent-based modelling, which purport to overcome the caricature of philosophy-sociology divide in different ways.


[1]   Colombetti, G. and Krueger, J. (2015). Scaffoldings of the affective mind. Philosophical Psychology, 28(8):1157–1176. Publisher: Routledge eprint:

[2]   Maiese, M. (2016). Affective Scaffolds, Expressive Arts, and Cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.

[3]   Parker, J. N. and Hackett, E. J. (2012). Hot Spots and Hot Moments in Scientific Collaborations and Social Movements. American Sociological Review, 77(1):21–44. Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc.

[4]   Sterelny, K. (2010). Minds: extended or scaffolded? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 9(4):465–481

Ilpo Helén

University of Eastern Finland;

Hanna Lehtimäki

University of Eastern Finland;


Today, cutting-edge science and research, development, and innovation in high-tech are profoundly entangled with economic assumptions and commercial expectations. Technoscientific innovation does not occur in isolation but takes place in techno-economic domains in intersection of public and private sectors. These techno-economic domains are usually characterized by innovative activities and arrangements crossing and blurring conventional national, institutional, and disciplinary borders, as well as boundaries between public academic institutions and private business. The conventional view of innovation favours entrepreneurship as the central force behind wealth creation. A contemporary understanding highlights the role of governments and public sector that are significant sources of funding in innovation. Yet, there is a call for radically different types of approaches on value creation, value extraction, value destruction and value disappearance.

The discussion of this track will be focused on rationales and practices of value creation and making up value potential in such milieux for innovative R&D and business. Practices and configurations of collaboration between stakeholders, and the role and forms of competition in emerging techno-economic domains are the specific topics of interest in this track.

Questions on these topics are multiple: How collaboration, competition and their roles are conceived of by different stakeholders? Why collaboration is sought, with which partners, and by which means collaboration is pursued? What kind of new economic and business formations (e.g., ecosystems of platforms) collaborative value creation engenders? How competition figures in these new formations, and what forms does it take? What kinds of changes in value creation logics can be detected in emerging techno-economic domains? How do public and private sector actors join authoring the value creation narrative of innovation? What kinds of novel openings for radically different types of reasoning of value we can detect?

We call for presentations addressing these or alike questions through theoretical or conceptual inquiry or through an empirical analysis of a specific techno-economic domain. Contributions from a variety of approaches in STS, social sciences and business studies are very welcomed.  

Track Proposals --> CLOSED Feb 16

Track proposals should broadly relate to the CFP themes. The deadline for track proposals (300-450 words) is February 15, 2022. Send your proposal to