Call for Papers: (Un)leaking marine and coastal ecosystems, Inaugural conference of German STS association stsing e.V., 19.-22.03.2024, TU Dresden, Deadline: 23.10.2023

Call for Contributions: Marine stsing Panel, inaugural conference of German STS association stsing e.V. –

(Un)leaking marine and coastal ecosystems

Conference Dates: March 19-22, 2024; Location: TU Dresden

About the Panel:

Do leakages exist in marine and coastal ecosystems? The answer might be “yes” or “no”, or both at the same time. Current marine social science research proposes three possible approaches:

  1. Thinking through a wet ontology (Peters & Steinberg 2015), the ocean embodies a world of constant flows, connections, and liquidities, forever evolving. Such a perspective, stressing the material and phenomenological peculiarities of the ocean challenges to reimagine the world (ibid.) and comprise the ocean as being in a perpetual state of “leaking” or in a state of “unleaking”. “Leakage”, reflected through the lenses of marine ontology, seems, here, either taken for granted or paradoxical to think through.
  2. Yet, thinking through marine and coastal ecosystems as a network of materialities, species, practices, and human beings, allows for exploring “leakages” within marine and coastal ecosystems. Unwanted “leakages” in gas pipelines, for instance, stoke fear concerning the potential impact on marine lives and societies. The introduction of so-called “invasive species”, such as the Chinese mitten crab or lionfish “invading new waters”, underscores “leakages” within oceanic habitats resulting from human classifications. Sinking container ships could impact marine fauna and flora by “leaking” consumer goods and substances. The UN High Seas Treaty, has just illuminated targeted “leakages” of oceanic concerns, materialities, species, and governance, thereby exemplifying the political and economic dimensions of leakages.
  3. Thinking through knowledge systems, finally, the ocean knowledge system has predominantly been shaped by natural scientists, and academics, primarily from the Global North. While marine social scientists recently seeped into the ocean knowledge system providing important societal knowledge, their approach has often been grounded in “marine empiricism” (Bavinck & Verrips 2020). Reconsidering this ocean knowledge system calls for a transgression of a boundary, for a provoked “leakage”: a “leakage” that enables collaboration between marine social sciences, the natural and engineering sciences, and civic society, but also promotes thinking through the “sea as a theory machine” (Helmreich 2015).

In this interdisciplinary panel, we invite scholars and practitioners from diverse fields to join us exploring the complex and dynamic interactions between sea, science, technology, society, and marine and coastal ecosystems. Our panel will provide a platform for examining oceanic “entanglements of what may count as leakage, leaky, or leaking” through STS-methodology.

Key Themes and Topics:

We invite contributions that address a wide range of topics within the realm of marine and coastal environment research, with a specific focus on the intersection with Science and Technology Studies and the overall conference theme of “leakages”. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. Methodological approaches and empirical gains and challenges in conducting STS research in marine and coastal environments.
  2. Seeing like a sea? Exploring marine social theories.
  3. Technoscientific innovations and their impact on coastal communities, marine conservation, and sustainable practices.
  4. The role of transdisciplinary and civic society expertise in shaping marine economies and policies.
  5. Social justice, inclusion, and exclusion in marine and coastal research and conservation efforts.
  6. Knowledge leakages, e.g. indigenous knowledge in coastal and marine research; or the critical need for methodological innovation and inter- and transdisciplinary marine cooperations.

Submission Details:

We welcome contributions in the form of talks and discussions. Please submit your abstract or proposal (max. 200 words) plus short bio notes (150 words) related to your activities in the marine-STS field by the 15th of October 2023. Accepted contributions will be notified until the 20th of October 2023. We look forward to your contributions and to creating an enriching conference experience. Please send your abstracts to and

Conference Format:

The conference will be held at the TU Dresden.

Important Dates:

  • Submission Deadline: 15th of October 2023
  • Notification of Acceptance: 20th of October 2023
  • Conference Dates: 19-22 March 2024


Details on registration will be available on the conference website once accepted contributions are announced.

Contact Information:

For inquiries and further information, please visit the conference website or contact us at, or


Tanja Bogusz and Nane Pelke on behalf of the working group “Marine stsing” in stsing e.V.