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Nordic STS conference 2021: STS and the Future as a Matter of Collective Concern

May 20, 2021 - May 21, 2021

The Nordic STS conference 2021 will take place May 20-21, 2021


Confirmed keynote speakers: Maria Puig de la Bellacasa and Annelise Riles

Confirmed panel speakers: Joan Fujimura, Susi Geiger, Alan Irwin, Lise Justesen, Daniel Neyland


Deadline for submission of abstracts: MARCH 1, 2021

The conference format will be fully online


Please visit the NOSTS conference website for more information:



Rising sea levels, mass extinctions, global displacements, climate catastrophe, everyday devices that conduct mass-surveillance, digitalization and automation of warfare, nationalistic politicians in important offices, and now, on top of all, the global COVID-19 pandemic. We live in times when the future appears deeply concerning. In this context, we dedicate the NOSTS Conference 2021 to a conversation about STS and the future as a matter of collective concern.


We especially welcome contributions relating to the following topics:

  • STS and the socio-technical construction of the future. We invite studies that explore how the future (and “time” more generally) is produced, experienced, and lived today. For example, studies of multiple ways of constructing the future, analysis of temporal narratives in science and science fiction, conceptual reflections about time and the Anthropocene, and case studies of temporality in different socio-technical settings.
  • STS and matters of concern. For several decades, STS research has paid attention to many of the issues that are at the core of today’s concern for the future. In line with this, we welcome empirical studies that explore socio-technical attempts to deal with, for example, climate catastrophe, automation, and algorithmic warfare.
  • The future of STS. We welcome papers that engage with the expanding repertoires and specific instruments that STS scholars use to reflect on and conceptualize their own forms of engagement in the study of collective concerns. For example, comparisons and discussions concerning as the notion of “matters of concern” itself, the different personae adopted by the STS scholar (for example, the figure of the “idiot”) as well as methodological reflections on “intervention,” “collaboration,” “dialogical democracy,” and “responsible innovation.”
  • STS in the time of a pandemic. We welcome papers that respond to the current context of a pandemic by considering, for instance, how COVID-19 challenges our understanding of how futures are constructed, our knowledge about socio-technical attempts to deal with catastrophic situations, and the position of the STS scholar vis-à-vis crucial collective concerns.


On behalf of the organizing committee,

Jane Bjørn Vedel


May 20, 2021
May 21, 2021