AsSIST-UK Annual Conference 9-10th September, University of Manchester Plenary Speakers Announced

The Association’s Annual Conference will be held in Manchester this year, over two days, September 9-10th. The theme for the meeting is ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Studies: Critical Inquiries in Theory and Practice’. The two day meeting is being hosted at the new Alliance Business School building at the University of Manchester.

We are delighted to announce that the Plenary speakers for the Conference will be:

Professor Albena Yaneva, Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Manchester link

Professor Jane Calvert, Professor of STS, University of Edinburgh link

Dr Claire Marris, Reader for Food Policy, City University, London link

The full Call for Papers is available here

Registration: please go to the following webpage

POST, REF and Social Science Impact

Abbi Hobbs, Head of the Social Science Division at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has published a very helpful article in the latest BSA Network Magazine that describes the work of POST and of her group. AsSIST-UK members should find it a valuable summary of different ways of engaging with Westminster. In regard to the REF Impact agenda, Abbi comments:

‘ The draft panel criteria and working methods for REF 2021 now out for consultation include various types of impact on Parliament, such as research which helps to highlight issues of concern to parliamentarians, contributes to new analysis of existing issues, helps parliamentarians and staff to identify inquiry topics, and shapes the focus of inquiries. These are all types of impact that sociological research can and should be having, so do think about Parliament when you are considering how to use your research findings to effect change in society. ‘

For further information see here

MPs seek assurances on security of UK communications infrastructure

The Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, Norman Lamb MP, has written to Government Ministers and Huawei seeking assurances regarding the security of the UK’s communications infrastructure.

The letters have been written in response to concerns about foreign telecommunications providers, including Huawei, providing products and services to UK telecommunications network operators.

Concerns have also been raised regarding the implications of Chinese legislation, such as the National Intelligence Law passed in 2017, and the requirement it might place on Chinese companies to assist in intelligence work.

▪ Letter from the Chair of the Committee to Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

▪ Letter from the Chair of the Committee to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Ministry of Defence

▪ Letter from the Chair of the Committee to Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

▪ Letter from the Chair of the Committee to Ryan Ding, Executive Director, Huawei

Professor Johan Schot moves to Utrecht from SPRU

AsSIST-UK member and Director of SPRU at Sussex, Professor Johan Schot, has taken up a new position at the University of Utrecht at its Centre for Global Challenges. Johan has made a major contribution to the continued success of SPRU as well as being a key member of AsSIST-UK, representing the Association at various events in Westminster and helping steer its formation in earlier days. We wish him every success and thank him for the contribution he has made to STIS during his time at SPRU. For more information see this link