Since the 1980s Bruno Latour has attempted to supplant the prevailing image of science by proposing a pragmatic and anthropological perspective. According to Latour, scientific practices forge ‘objective’ and ‘accurate’ knowledge that speaks on behalf of the world. Latour has written extensively on climate change and ecological politics, and on the challenges posed by the figure of Gaia for thought and for scientific and political practice. However, he has made limited reference to the specifics of the work carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and similar institutions involved in mobilising knowledge for environmental governance.
The IPCC is the leading international authority for the assessment of climate change. Formed in 1988 by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the IPCC produces reports that assess and summarise scientific literature on the physical science of climate change, adaptation and mitigation.
The two-day workshop takes as its starting point the idea the Latour’s work can be used to explain and understand the workings of environmental governance, using the IPCC as a prime example.
Despite the rich history of innovative methods and techniques employed by documentary filmmakers across a range of genres, there seems to be little awareness or integration of the findings and approaches of psychological anthropology in ethnographic film
Some relatively fresh ideas include the notion of “fault lines” as a way to characterize cross-disciplinary work:
This is where we operate as STS scholars: at intersecting research areas, bridging “fault lines” (as Traweek’s felicitous expression puts it), and doing anthropology with and not without anthropologists.
The blog post reviews two sessions, mainly just relaying what was discussed and who does that sort of research, but the common thread pulled through all this description is an earnest inquiry into how do we do the anthropology/STS relationship and how should we do the anthropology/STS relationship. The piece closes with a somewhat haunting quote:
As suggested by Michael Fortun, we are just collectively conjuring – with much more empiria than magic – a new beginning in the experimental tradition for world anthropologies of sciences and technologies.