The German Science and Technology Studies (STS) community meets 15-17 March 2023 in Aachen at the event STS Hub. With this open call we are looking for collaborators for the following panel:
Open Panel Call: Circulations Ergonomics | STS
This open panel invites scholars to explore circulations – historically, conceptually, and methodologically – between the fields of Ergonomics/Human Factors and Science and Technology Studies (STS). The goal of the panel is to identify, investigate and strengthen the interfaces and linkages between the two academic fields.
The discipline Ergonomics focuses on human-technology interfaces, with the often practical goal of ensuring productivity and safety, and with a theoretical interest in human-machine interactions within work systems. Especially in the USA, Ergonomics is mostly known as “Human Factors” or “Ergonomics / Human Factors”, nodding to the fact that the discipline studies the human factors within complex sociotechnical systems. Aircraft interface design and workflows in high-risk technological environments, such as vehicles or powerplants are classical Human Factors/Ergonomics topics of research. Its students and scholars typically have a background in psychology or engineering, working mostly with quantitative and experimental study designs, and sometimes more qualitative observational approaches. Although there are strong overlaps in research topics and foci, there has been little circulation of concepts, methodologies or scholarly careers between Human Factors/Ergonomics and STS, with the two fields also seemingly paradigmatically conflictive (quantitative versus qualitative, experimental vs. interpretative, scholarly identities as natural scientists or technicians versus scholarly identities as social scientists etc. pp…). Nevertheless, there have been circulations: some scholars are important for both disciplines (most notably Lucy Suchman), some concepts are explored on both “sides” (for example Gibson’ affordances) and some methodologies shared (for instance ethnography).
Our panel invites contributions which explore these circulations and zones of frictions between the academic fields of Ergonomics/Human Factors and STS. For example, through:
- Historiographical accounts of the circulations between STS and Ergonomics/Human Factors
- Conceptual explorations focusing on shared theoretical approaches or approaches which could be particularly productive when transferred from one discipline to the other
- Methodological enquiries, for instance into Mixed Methods research
Please send your proposal (circa 400 words + short author biography) to firstname.lastname@example.org until 31.10.2022. We will contact you until 7.11.2022. The STS Hub Conference takes place in Aachen 15-17 March 2023 and our panel will be 120 minutes long, allowing up to five presenters.