CFP: On Being the Right Size: Science, Technology and Scale

April 29, 2015, University College London

Call for papers

Scholars in the Science and Technology Studies community, broadly construed, have had much to say about specific kinds of scale. For example, we have asked how measurement scales are built, how science travels from local to global and back again, how laboratories transform microcosm and macrocosm, how models stand for the world, and how big science differs from table-top experiment. Likewise history, sociology and philosophy of technology have yet adequately to bring scale and scaling into view. But what can we say about scaling in general? What do models, games, photographs, maps, instruments, units, inscriptions, amplifiers and laboratories have in common?

We want to ask: how is scale in science governed? Can, or should, big science ever become small again? What scales should STS and HPS study? Is there more to scale than the local and the global? What are the relationships between materiality and scale? Are technologies always implicated in changing scale? Is the human scale the best scale for science?

We are particularly interested in fresh thinking about scale that is integrative, bold, playful and not afraid to challenge sacred cows, big or small.

The workshop will involve short papers from speakers, invited and found through an open call, with plenty of time for discussion. We are planning a mix of historical, philosophical and sociological perspectives.

If you are interested in contributing a paper – we envision space for 4 speakers through the open call – please contact, on behalf of the organizers: Jon Agar, Jean-Baptiste Gouyon, and Simon Werrett

More information on the STS department can be found here:

For more information about the CFP, please visit

Please submit a title and short abstract by 1 January 2015.

Deadline: January 1, 2015

Posted: December 11, 2014