C05
Science, innovation and inequality: part of the solution or the problem?

Convenors:
Melanie Smallman (University College London)
Koen Beumer (Utrecht University)
Chair:
Melanie Smallman and Koen Beumer
Format:
Location:
Frankland Colloquium (Faraday Complex)
Start time:
27 July, 2018 at 14:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This session explores the intersection between science, innovation & economic inequality from an STS perspective. In particular, whether recent technological developments are reinforcing inequalities or creating new ones, and how concepts of equity are handled within science & innovation policy.

Long abstract:

'Traditional' scientific and policy discourses around science and innovation casts science as a solver of the biggest problems facing humanity and to drive economic growth and wealth creation. Recent studies in Economics and Science and Technology Studies (STS) however are showing that economic inequality is a growing challenge in developed and developing economies alike. Importantly, science and technology appears to be playing a role in this, as the benefits and downsides of science and innovation are distributed unevenly. In this session we aim to explore the intersection between science, innovation, and economic inequality from an STS perspective by bringing together research that tackles the question of whether science is part of the problem or part of the solution. In particular, we will consider the question of whether recent technological developments are reinforcing existing inequalities or creating new ones, and how concepts of equity are being handled within science and innovation policy.