Jessica Mesman

Jessica Mesman is Associate Professor in the Department of Technology and Society Studies, Faculty of Arts and Culture, University of Maastricht, Netherlands.

  • Vulnerability in Technological Cultures

    Vulnerability in Technological Cultures

    New Directions in Research and Governance

    Anique Hommels, Jessica Mesman, and Wiebe E. Bijker

    Analysis and case studies explore the concept of vulnerability, offering a novel and broader approach to understanding the risks and benefits of science and technology.

    Novel technologies and scientific advancements offer not only opportunities but risks. Technological systems are vulnerable to human error and technical malfunctioning that have far-reaching consequences: one flipped switch can cause a cascading power failure across a networked electric grid. Yet, once addressed, vulnerability accompanied by coping mechanisms may yield a more flexible and resilient society. This book investigates vulnerability, in both its negative and positive aspects, in technological cultures. The contributors argue that viewing risk in terms of vulnerability offers a novel approach to understanding the risks and benefits of science and technology. Such an approach broadens conventional risk analysis by connecting to issues of justice, solidarity, and livelihood, and enabling comparisons between the global north and south.

    The book explores case studies that range from agricultural practices in India to neonatal intensive care medicine in Western hospitals; these cases, spanning the issues addressed in the book, illustrate what vulnerability is and does. The book offers conceptual frameworks for empirical description and analysis of vulnerability that elucidate its ambiguity, context dependence, and constructed nature. Finally, the book addresses the implications of these analyses for the governance of vulnerability, proposing a more reflexive way of dealing with vulnerability in technological cultures.

    Contributors Marjolein van Asselt, Martin Boeckhout, Wiebe Bijker, Tessa Fox, Stephen Healy, Anique Hommels, Sheila Jasanoff, Jozef Keulartz, Jessica Mesman, Ger Palmboom, C. Shambu Prasad, Julia Quartz, Johan M. Sanne, Maartje Schermer, Teesta Setelvad, Esha Shah, Andy Stirling, Imrat Verhoeven, Esther Versluis, Shiv Visvanathan, Gerard de Vries, Ger Wackers, Dick Willems

    • Hardcover $68.00
    • Paperback $40.00

Contributor

  • Making & Doing

    Making & Doing

    Activating STS through Knowledge Expression and Travel

    Gary Lee Downey and Teun Zuiderent-Jerak

    How ten making & doing projects expand STS scholarship through a focus on knowledge expression and knowledge travel in addition to knowledge production.

    The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

    Making & doing projects expand STS scholarship to include the trajectories of STS knowledge flow beyond the boundaries of the field by actively interweaving knowledge expression and travel with knowledge production. In this edited volume, contributors from around the world present and critically assess ten empirical making & doing projects. They recount how their projects advance STS, and describe how they themselves learn from their interlocutors and the settings in which they do and share their STS work. A coda explains how the infrastructures of STS scholarship are broadening to include practices of making & doing.

    The contributors examine and reflect upon their dilemmas, frustrations, and failures, especially when these generate new practices that might not have occurred had their work not taken the form of making and doing scholarship. While each project raises a distinct set of scholarly issues, all of the projects include practices that express STS knowledge through “STS sensibilities” and attach those sensibilities to practices in empirical fields. The projects include one each in Argentina, Taiwan, Canada, and Denmark; two in the US; one in Austria, the UK, and multiple countries in Africa and Asia; one in the US and Latin America; one in the Netherlands and Australia; and one in an international network that includes members from Europe, the Americas, and Australia.

    Contributors

    Gary Lee Downey and Teun Zuiderent-Jerak; Yi-Ping Lin and Hsin-Hsing Chen; Dawn Nafus, Michael Guggenheim, Judith Kröll, and Bernd Kräftner (with Alexander Martos); Hernán Thomas, Lucas Becerra, and Paula Juárez; Torben Elgaard Jensen, Andreas Birkbak, Anders Koed Madsen, and Anders Kristian Munk; Max Liboiron, Emily Simmonds, Edward Allen, Emily Wells, Jess Melvin, Alex Zahara, and Charles Mather; Jessica Mesman and Katherine Carroll; Nicholas Shapiro

    • Paperback $45.00