Dear RC-40 members,
The Annual 4S Meeting (Society for Social Studies of Science) will take place in New Orleans Sept 4-7 2019 around the theme "Innovations, Interruptions, Regenerations." Please consider submitting a proposal for the open panel Charlotte Biltekoff and I have organized:
52. Feeding The Anthropocene: The Promises Of Agri-Food Tech And The Difference Of Food
Charlotte Biltekoff, UC Davis
Julie Guthman, University of California, Santa Cruz
The agri-food sector is seeing a tidal wave of innovation. With the backing of venture capital, scientists cum entrepreneurs are deploying new techniques in artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, tissue engineering, digitalization, big data analytics, robotics, and other fields, with the aim of both improving upon and disrupting farming and food production. As STS and other scholars have pointed out, much of the financial investment is speculative and the technologies promissory, operating with much uncertainty regarding their potential to "scale up" and be accepted by the public much less provide things of value to their imagined clientele. Papers selected for this open call will draw on case study material to build upon these emergent observations. We are particularly interested in papers that cross fertilize questions and concerns from STS, such as public acceptance of technology, with those of food studies, such as the exceptionalism of food and agriculture. More pointedly, we ask how and to what extent do food and farm tech entrepreneurs engage the specificity of food and farming as organic, biological processes uniquely laden with cultural meaning in their techno-utopian dreams for Anthropocene futures.