Call for Papers: Open Panel “Found problems and found practices in science” at STS-Hub 2023, deadline October 31st 2022

CFP Open Panel – Found problems and found practices in science
STS Hub 2023, March 15-17, Aachen, Germany

Organizers: Robert Meunier (University of Lüebeck) and Sophia Efstathiou (NTNU)
Deadline: October 31, 2022

STS scholars have developed conceptual tools to address situations where scientific research interfaces with other areas of practice, i.e. other scientific fields or other areas of human activity like medicine, agriculture, industries, trades, public services, arts, etc. Among them are nomadic concepts, theory-methods packages, boundary concepts, and boundary objects, as well as trading zones, social arenas, or ecologies of practice. All these frameworks address the circulation of elements of discourse and the spaces in which this circulation unfolds.

This open panel invites contributions reflecting on the framework of found science inspired by an analogy to found art (Efstathiou 2012, 2016; Efstathiou et al. 2019, Lee et al. 2021). Found science serves similar purposes as the mentioned frameworks but emphasizes a particular trajectory where elements are found by scientists outside of their own context, are noted as interesting, and subsequently become transfigured following implicit and explicit scientific norms and founded as constituents of the science in question.

We are particularly interested to develop these ideas further by looking beyond founded concepts and objects to include problems and practices as elements that circulate between scientific and non-scientific domains and also between scientific fields. In biomedicine, for instance, the problems of patients living with a chronic disease become problems to be solved by research in precision medicine or in psychology: founded problems. When agricultural research studies tilling techniques, farming practices become founded in the context of this science. The finding and founding of problems and practices can also happen across disciplines: e.g., Thorén and Persson (2013) speak of problem-feeding in sustainability science.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • How is founding enabled and constrained by social, material, economic, environmental, disciplinary, and other infrastructures?
  • How are the meanings, norms, and values of the contexts of origin carried into the science where problems and practices become founded?
  • How does the process of founding a problem or practice in science affect the contexts of its origin?
  • What is the role of power and of power relations in shaping possibilities and directions of founding?

Abstracts should be 250-300 words. The deadline for submission is October 31, 2022.

Please send your abstract to

For the full call, see here:

For the conference, see here: