Past events


  • Swiss STS Meeting 2014: Collecting, organizing, trading big data
  • > Swiss STS Meeting 2014 website
  • Since the first Swiss STS Meeting in Zürich in 1999, several conferences have been organized with the Swiss Association for the Study of Science, Technology and Society (STS-CH), like the STS Summer School 2001 in Lausanne, the EASST conference 2006 in Lausanne, the Swiss STS Meeting 2008 ScienceFutures in Zurich, the Science Going Neuro Conference 2010 in Basel. STS-CH intends to encourage and promote the social, historical and philosophical study of the sciences in Switzerland.
  • The next Swiss STS Meeting, to be held 20-22 February 2014 at the University of Lausanne, is devoted to the subject of big data, of scientific projects based on the production, management and analysis of very large quantities of data. Creating biobanks, statistical processing of behavior and ways of life of large cohorts, computerized modeling of cerebral functioning or human genome sequencing are research practices that a priori seem to bear witness to new ways of doing science. They raise novel questions as to their impact and the concrete applications they promise both in social and sanitary politics as well as in the development of new
  • technologies. This meeting attempts to scrutinize the notion of big and its effects (conceptual, rhetoric and practical) in the human and life sciences through two lines of thought: Does the processing of large quantities of data give way to more reliable, useful, efficient, convincing and implementable explanations or does it generate new problems? How do the fabrication modes and tools of big data differ from the ones employed in the production of atlases, encyclopedias, censuses or other collections of information in the 19th and 20th centuries?
  • We invite participants to discuss the concrete stages of the fabrication and usage of big data, and the problems each of these steps might raise: collecting, discriminating, sharing, sorting, touching, seeing, visualizing, choosing algorithms, conserving, standardizing, applying, etc. The meeting intends to encourage contributions that adopt a historical, ethnographical, critical and reflexive perspective and that suggest comparison of ways of collecting and analyzing large quantities of data.
  • The Swiss STS Meeting will last three days, and will host plenary sessions, roundtables, and paper sessions. It proposes to bring together keynote speakers of the field and young STS scholars (PhD candidates and postdoc). Aside of the Meeting's main topic, colleagues may propose to present work from other areas of interest, for example about reproductive technologies, psychiatry and brain sciences, scientific promises, history of devices, etc. 
  • Keynote speakers:
  • Anne Beaulieu, University of Groningen
  • Rebecca Lemov, Harvard University
  • Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter
  • Bruno Strasser, University of Geneva
  • Aaro Tupasela, University of Helsinki
  • Roundtable speakers:
  • Thomas Heinis, Data-Intensive Applications and Systems Laboratory - EPFL, Lausanne
  • Vincent Mooser, Lausanne Institutional Biobank - CHUV, Lausanne
  • Patrice Poiraud, Smarter Analytics & Big Data Initiative - IBM France
  • Jean-Henry Morin, UNIGE & ThinkServices, Geneva
  • Boi Faltings, Social Media Lab & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory - EPFL, Lausanne
  • Stéphane Grumbach, INRIA & IXXI, Rhône-Alpes Complex Systems Institute
  • Organizing committee:
  • Marc AUDETAT (Interface sciences - société, UNIL)
  • Emilie BOVET (Institut des sciences sociales - ISS, UNIL)
  • Nolwenn BÜHLER (University of Zurich)
  • Gabriel DORTHE (Inst. Géo. et Durabilité, UNIL; CETCOPRA, Uni. Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne)
  • Olivier GLASSEY (Observatoire Science, Politique et Société - OSPS, UNIL)
  • Christel GUMY (ISS, UNIL), Alain KAUFMANN (Interface sciences - société, UNIL)
  • Alain KAUFMANN (Interface Sciences-Société, UNIL)
  • Martina MERZ (University of Lucerne)
  • Pierre-Nicolas OBERHAUSER (ISS, UNIL)
  • Vincent PIDOUX (ISS, UNIL)
  • Michael POSSE (ISS, UNIL)
  • Nicholas STÜCKLIN (ISS, UNIL).

Older events:

Evaluation: a constitutive part of research practice (conference), University of Neuchâtel, November 2010 ►Additional information

Balzan Distinguished Lecture 2010 by Professor Anthony Grafton (University of Princeton), ETH Zurich, December 2010 ►Additional information

Two Kinds of Science Going Neuro (conference), University of Basel, October 2010 ►Additional information

Die fünf Sinne der Wissenschaft (conference), University of Tübingen, November 2009 ►Additional information

Ironists, Reformers or Rebels? The Role of the Social Sciences in Participatory Policy Making(interdisciplinary workshop), ETH/University of Zurich, June 2008 ►Additional information

ScienceFutures: Swiss STS Meeting 2008

Wissenschaftliche Politikberatung zwischen Vogelgrippe und Klimawandellecture by Professor Peter Weingart (University of Bielefeld), Collegium Helveticum Zurich, December 2007  ►Additional information

Beobachtungen und / oder Praktiken: Zur Vermittlung von Wissenschaft in Ausstellungen, University of Basel, January 2007

Deliberative Mapping: Staging symmetry in deliberative processes lecture by Dr. Gail Davies (University of London), Collegium Helveticum Zurich, February 2007

Escalating controversies: Dynamics in WTO Disputes over Environment, Health and Safety Issues public lecture by Professor Thomas Bernauer (ETH Zurich), Collegium Helveticum Zurich, October 2006

EASST 2006: Reviewing Humanness: Bodies, Technologies and Space

EASST 2006: Session organized by STS-CH with Helga Nowotny, 'Hormone Stories': Science, Industry, and Gender Hierarchy public lecture by Illana Löwy, University of Lausanne, June 2006

Confronting GMO: Local understandings of biotechnology in Vietnam and Switzerland (public event) Dr. Angelika Hilbeck (ETH Zurich), Collegium Helveticum Zurich, February 2006

Science, Reason and Society, A symposium on the place of philosophy in science and technology studies (public event), Basel, July 2005

Sites of Knowledge Production STS Spring School, University of Basel, March 2004

June 2003: STS-CH Annual Assembly in Lausanne + two public events, Thursday 19 June 2003

July 2002: Trip to Iconoclash (Karlsruhe)

Knowledge in plural contexts STS-CH Summer School, University of Lausanne, September 2001

Founding meeting of STS-CH, Bern, April 2001


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