I’m going to start this brief announcement post with the classic blogger’s apology. I’m sorry I haven’t been posting very often lately. Those of you who know me personally will probably have a pretty good idea of the reason for this, but for the benefits of readers who don’t, I’ll explain. I’ve alluded to a recent move to Manchester in a few previous posts. The reason for this move is that a few months ago I was offered a full scholarship to do PhD research at the University of Manchester. I’m supervised by Professor Frank Geels, who is a pretty big deal in the world of socio-technical transitions theory, and my PhD project considers the role of discursive and cultural factors in conflicts over historical and present-day transportation transitions. To phrase that in a slightly less jargon-y way, I’m looking at how people have argued about the relative merits of different transportation technologies when cars were a very new (and highly contested) technology, and looking for patterns that could be relevant now that the car a dominant technology that, for a variety of reasons, we might want to move away from as a society.
Naturally, this is a pretty exciting opportunity for me. But it’s also been quite a shock to the system. Moving to a new city where I don’t know anybody while going through the intellectually humbling experience of starting a PhD programme has been fairly stressful, and it’s been hard to find much time or energy to blog. I still want to maintain this blog, because there are conversations I still want to have, but my posts will probably be a bit less frequent for the next three years. Hopefully I can compensate for the reduction in quantity with an increase in quality.
There is, however, now another way to read my writing on the internet! You may recall I wrote a post a while back that summarizes some of my academic work. I thought at the time that it might be a good idea to write academic stuff here, but somehow it didn’t feel quite right. The subject matter just seemed a bit too far removed from what I normally write about here to be pertinent. That being said, I still really want to experiment with more academic blogging. Blogging has always been a good way for me to organize my thoughts on a particular issue, and I’ll have a lot of thoughts to organize over the next three years. Furthermore, the relationship between science, technology, and society is a pretty important topic these days, yet there is very little awareness that there is an entire academic field devoted to discussing these questions. Since I’m trying to become an expert in that field, I thought I might as well try and make a contribution to the more public conversation. It’s nice to get out of the ivory tower from time to time.
With that in mind, then, I’d like to proudly introduce The Untitled Science and Technology Studies Blog!
It’s not a whole lot right now. It doesn’t even have a real title yet. But I’ve got a few posts up already, and I have plans to add more. The current plan is to use it as a bit of a sounding board, where I write up reflections and brainstorms about my research. I’m hoping for some expansion, though. I have a few friends who might start to contribute. If all goes well, it will become a little internet hub for the popularizing of science and technology studies research.
So check it out, if you’re so inclined.