Knowledges and technosciences for living together
As we deepen our understanding of inequalities, forms of oppression, and the role of sciences and technologies in them, so deepens our need to act and our sense of responsibility. For many of us, an ethic of care permeates our practices of knowledge production in STS and calls us to new ways of relating to each other. These common questions of care, responsibility, relation and action arise whether our research focuses on laboratories, forests, genetic databases, smart cities or forced migrations. The current pandemic and the ongoing climate emergency make these common questions more urgent than ever and raise concerns about the status of expert knowledge, the reconfiguration of a global geopolitical and technoscientific order, and the decentralization of epistemic infrastructures. At stake is our capacity to recuperate valuable forms of life, to learn which forms we should let go of, and, as far as we are able, to critically join in the enactment of new ones. This brings to the fore the labor required to live well with others and provides an opportunity to reconfigure things differently. Living together is both a power relation, with some disproportionately bearing the costs and others reaping the benefits, and a hope for good, or at least better, relations. Thus, reunion does not imply reviving a previous union that may be idealized by some and highly criticized by others. Reunion indicates there has been a break in relations, providing an opportunity to engage differently, this time.
As we convene for the ESOCITE/4S 2022 Joint Meeting in Cholula, Mexico, we invite our colleagues to consider how to come together again (in difference), how to recover what was valuable (and dismantle oppressive structures), and how to reconfigure assemblages of humans and more-than-humans (and design and create new ones). We aim to provoke reflection on the practices, representations, materializations, and dynamics of social relations in which science, technology and knowledge are central elements. We thus propose to continue the tradition of a deep and broad understanding of the production, use and circulation of technoscientific knowledge, as well as its critical evaluation and the way in which it is articulated with economic, social, cultural, and political power structures. This second joint conference in Latin America, after the first in Buenos Aires in 2014, invites us to update debates that, although marked by the traditions brought together here, can transcend them, and trigger further encounters.
Speaking in the periphery: Cholula as a venue and place of enunciation
The name of Cholula comes from the Nahuatl word (Nahuatl languages: Cholōllān), meaning “where water falls,” or “place of those who fled” – the latter being a reference to a myth about the arrival of Toltec refugees to this area. According to Mexica knowledge, the people of Cholula (Chololtecs) descended from one of the seven Aztec tribes that migrated to central Mexico from their mythical homeland Aztlan. Archeological accounts of Cholula date the first permanent settlements to between 500 and 200 BCE, with two small villages established near water sources by the eastern side of the current city. Cholula has been continuously inhabited for 25 centuries since then. By the time the Spanish arrived, Cholula was a major religious and mercantile center, with the Quetzalcoatl Temple as one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the central Mexican highlands. Hernán Cortés estimated that the city had 430 temples and about 20,000 homes in the center of the city with another 20,000 on the periphery. With 100,000 inhabitants, Cholula was as large as Paris, Delhi and Venice in the beginning of the 15th Century.
An urban center of Indigenous pilgrimage and a strategic city for the Spanish colonizers, Cholula expresses the complexity of encounters, their contradictions and potentialities, their violence and their vitality. Hosting an international conference here is an opportunity to speak from a mixed place, in several languages, with interests that are not always aligned. To speak of Cholula only as the conference venue is an understatement. We want to make it a place of enunciation for the global STS community. A space from which we can experience the challenges of communicating across differences. A place to experiment with living together better through the labor of understanding each other.
In recognition of place and of the multiple language communities that contribute to STS scholarship, the 2022 ESOCITE/4S Joint Meeting will include multilingual sessions in English, Spanish and/or Portuguese. We encourage those who do not speak Spanish or Portuguese to seek out Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking colleagues to co-chair panels and/or co-author papers that can be accessible to multiple language communities.
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters another phase, another year of uncertainty awaits us. The 2022 ESOCITE/4S Joint Meeting has been planned as an in-person conference at which all health protocols established by local and national authorities, as well as suggestions made by international health organizations, will be addressed. In mid-2022 we will make a rigorous assessment of the possibilities of hosting our colleagues. We understand that the revival of face-to-face meetings is a challenge not only for the organizers, but for all members of the associations who must consider a range of issues depending on their place of residence and personal circumstances. With this in mind, we will do our best to encourage the participation of scholars visiting us from all over the world.
Information to enter Mexico
Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana once said that “one day there will be no borders, no boundaries, no flags and no countries and the only passport will be the heart”. In anticipation of that day, and in order to be able to meet in Cholula in December this year, it is important that everyone has their documents in order for entry into Mexico. In addition to a valid passport with enough pages available for entry and exit stamps, it is very important that you check if you need a visa, depending on your nationality. Please check these official sites of the Mexican National Migration Institute.
Countries whose citizens do NOT require a visa to enter Mexico: https://www.inm.gob.mx/gobmx/word/index.php/paises-no-requieren-visa-para-mexico/
Countries whose citizens DO require a visa to enter Mexico: https://www.inm.gob.mx/gobmx/word/index.php/paises-requieren-visa-para-mexico/
To enter Mexican territory the travelers must present:
- A valid passport. Mexican authorities do not require a minimum period of validity of the passport; nevertheless, this document must be valid during the length of stay in Mexico.
- A properly completed Multiple Migratory Form (FMM); this form will be provided to you by the airline or at the port of entry.
Migratory authorities at the port of entry may request documents proving the purpose of your trip, depending on the activity you will undertake in Mexico: tourism (hotel reservation, itinerary of your return or departure); business (letter in Spanish from the company indicating that you are an employee of the company and that the services you will provide in Mexico will be paid for by that company, or a letter of invitation from a public or private institution to perform non-remunerated activities in Mexico, indicating the purpose of the trip, estimated time of stay and taking responsibility for your travel and lodging costs); technicians (a copy of the contract for the transfer of technology, patents and brands, purchase of machinery and equipment, technical training of personnel, or any other related to the production process of a company established in Mexico); student (letter of invitation or acceptance from any institution pertaining to the National Educational System to take courses, conduct a research project or undertake academic training for a maximum period of 180 days.
If you require a visa and need a letter, please write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be delighted to support your application and to send it to you.
Additional information about travel permissions
If you need more information about how to obtain a visa or other specific information related with travel permissions, please ask the Mexican Embassy in your country. Here’s a list of Mexican embassies around the world: https://portales.sre.gob.mx/directorio/index.php/embajadas-de-mexico-en-el-exterior
If you need a proof of acceptance of your work to be presented to any authority, such as an embassy or your university, click on the following link where you can obtain your proof of acceptance: https://forms.gle/9RdcDZ3kVfPQkWS26
Leandro Rodriguez Medina is Professor in the Department of International Relations and Political Science at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (Mexico). He is a member of the National System of Researchers (CONACYT, Level II) and founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society. He was co-Chair of the joint annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science/4S and the Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ESOCITE) in Buenos Aires, 2014. He has been visiting professor and researcher at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco (Mexico), the Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle (France), the Université Paris 5 Descartes (France) and the Albert Ludwig Universität Freiburg (Germany). His research interest are the international circulation of knowledge, Latin American STS, the relationship between culture and city, and social aspects of diseases. E-mail: email@example.com
Luciano Levin is a chemist, a biotechnologist and holds a PhD in Social Sciences, with specialization in the field of Science, Technology and Society. Currently is Adjunct Researcher at CONICET (Argentina). His academic and professional activity is focused on the quali-quantitative analysis of international scientific cooperation and the dynamics and politics of scientific fields and their relationships with social problems. He teaches at the National University of Río Negro and at FLACSO Argentina. He is also a researcher at the Center for the Study of Science, Technology, Culture and Development (CITECDE-UNRN) and is the Director of the MA in Science, Technology, Innovation and Development of CITECDE-UNRN. He is the Vice-president of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ESOCITE). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Bojalil holds a MA in Public Communication (UDLAP, Mexico) and is a PhD candidate in Communication Research (Anahuac University, Mexico). She has taught public opinion and organizational and political communication at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla and Universidad Ibero-Americana Puebla. E-mail: email@example.com
August 29 — Preliminary program and requests for meet-ups & business meetings are made available
September 26 — Last date to register to be in the program
October 31 — Final program posted online
December 7-10 — 4S-ESOCITE Cholula, Mexico