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About the institute

The Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) is a research network established in 2000 to bring together groups of academics and individual researchers across the University of Edinburgh who are involved in research, teaching and knowledge transfer on social and policy aspects of science, technology and innovation.

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Upcoming Events

3rd Oct 2016

Seminar: Speaker: Dr Katie Dow # University of Cambridge Looking into the Test-Tube: The Birth of IVF on British Television 15:30 (1 hour and 30 minutes)

10th Oct 2016

Seminar: Speaker: Dr Susan Molyneux-Hodgson # University of Exeter, University of Sheffield Barriers, bodies and bacteria: the 'scaling up' of synthetic biology 15:30 (1 hour and 30 minutes)

Obituary: Prof. Zeng Guoping (1953-2015)

Zeng Guoping (1953-2015)

Prof ZENG Guo-Ping, one of the key Chinese scholars in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) field, passed away suddenly on 8 July 2015 when he was carrying out a field study in China. He was director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Society, at Tsinghua University. Since 2001 he was Vice-President of the Chinese Society of Studies in Science of Science and Policy of Science & Technology and Vice General Editor of the leading Chinese STS journal Studies in Science of Science. He contributed to the systematic introduction of STS into China, and nurturing of young academics in the field. He worked closely with STS scholars in the University of Edinburgh, Technical University of Munich, Penn State University, USA, the University of Tokyo and The University of Victoria, B.C., Canada, to establish a long-term cooperation between Chinese STS and STS networks in the world.

Prof. Zeng was born in 1953 and raised in Yinjiang, a less-developed town in western China. He taught himself to pass the first college entrance examination in 1977 after the Cultural Revolution, got his first degree in 1979, and taught at a middle school in his hometown. His hunger for knowledge however, pushed him to study harder and pursue a larger stage. Finally, he obtained a Master in Philosophy degree in 1986 at Beijing Normal University, since when he worked as a university lecturer ever since. In May 1994, he was invited to work for Tsinghua University, and chaired its Institute of Science, Technology and Society from 1995 to 2010. A gifted teacher, he educated his students enthusiastically and trained many STS scholars and practitioners all over the world. Many of the Ph.D. and master students under his supervision, won honours including China National Scholarship and Tsinghua Excellent Dissertation. His scientific work was characterized by his broad horizon and insightful perspectives.

He published several books, “A Self-Organized View of Nature”, “Studies on Chinese Innovation System: Technology, Institution and Knowledge” (with Prof. Li Zhengfeng). For this and many other pieces he was awarded the Beijing Outstanding Social Sciences Publication Prize. The novel concepts he developed, such as “Philosophy of Industry” and “Science for Lives”, continue to receive attention in academia. His recent research included a study of Basic Science in China for the China National Science Foundation and various studies on science communication. His international reputation in STS scholar revolved around his sustained efforts to bridge the Chinese STS community to counterparts in other parts of the world. This included helping establish the East Asian Science, Technology and Society network and securing the first European research (EU FP7) funding for social sciences in Tsinghua with his international colleagues.

Prof. Robin Williams at the ISSTI, University of Edinburgh said,

"ZENG Guo Ping worked tirelessly to overcome disciplinary and institutional barriers and build scholarship and collaboration in the area of science and technology studies across China and with the international research community. We are very sorry for the loss of such a great mentor, friend and scholar."



08 Sep 2016

Welcome Week and STIS welcome meetings

We look forward to welcoming our new cohorts of postgraduate students, from 10.30 on Wednesday 14th September in Old Surgeons Hall.

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ISSTI News 05 Sep 2016

Edinburgh contributes to largest ever STS event

Last week’s joint meeting of the European Association for Science and Technology Studies (EASST) and the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) (Barcelona 31 August – 3 September 2016), with over 2000 participants, was perhaps the largest ever academic conference in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies. Edinburgh made a major contribution. Over 40 colleagues presented papers and ran tracks revolving around the theme of Science and Technology by Other Means. Edinburgh’s Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Subject Group sponsored the conference celebration – the STS Verbena as part of our programme of activities this year to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Science Studies Unit and its contribution to our field.

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ISSTI News 04 Sep 2016

User book wins EASST Freeman Award

Congratualtions are due to our good friends Sampsa Hyysalo, Torben Elgaard Jensen and Nelly Oudshoorn who received the EASST Freeman Award.

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04 Aug 2016

SSU50 Celebrations Reach Barcelona!

We are delighted to announce that, as part of our SSU50 celebrations, our subject group has co-sponsored the main social event at the 4S/EASST conference in Barcelona - the STS Verbena.

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04 Aug 2016

STIS Takes It To The Fringe!

STIS staff and students are involved in a series of Edinburgh Fringe Festival events, showcasing our research and celebrating the 50th anniversary of our department.

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Latest Issue of the ISSTI Newsletter: ISSTI Newsletter Issue 24 - March 2014