MUSTS Colloquium with Teun Zuiderent (VU Amsterdam) on ‘Making & Doing’

Teun Zuiderent

Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 15:30-17:00

The link to this online event can be requested by sending an email to j{dot}bruyninckx{at}maastrichtuniversity{dot}nl


If scholars in the eclectic field of STS were to agree on anything, it would probably be the nonlinearity of knowledge production, expression and travel. STS making & doing scholarships turns this STS lesson onto STS work. Making & doing projects expand STS scholarship to include the trajectories of STS knowledge flows beyond the boundaries of the field by actively interweaving knowledge expression and travel with knowledge production. In this talk Zuiderent-Jerak presents an edited volume (MIT Press 2021), where contributors from around the world critically assess ten empirical making & doing projects. He illustrates the potential value of such scholarship by presenting his own experimental interventions in evidence-based guideline development practices. The mobilization of STS sensibilities about non-linear knowledge development and the situatedness of hierarchies of evidence, can help generate spaces of transformation that ‘lie between’ the opposite shores of Evidence-Based Medicine and sociology – what Michel Serres would call the ‘third space’. Zuiderent-Jerak explores how this third space allows the mobilization of digital methods for the inclusion of different knowledges and value considerations by citizens, patients and health professionals in the development of the Dutch Covid-19 vaccination guideline. He presents collaborative work between the VU Athena Institute, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, and VU Social AI computer scientists, that combines AI methods from the field of natural language processing, ethnographic observations of guideline development practices, and guidance development itself. Zuiderent-Jerak argues that, by situating our theoretical, methodological, and normative learnings right in the heart of such experiments, STS scholarship not merely has much to offer to the practices it studies; it also has much to learn from – or rather with – our ‘fields’.



Teun Zuiderent-Jerak is Associate Professor of Transdisciplinary Science & Technology Studies at the Athena Institute of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is author of Situated Intervention; Sociological Experiments in Health Care (2015, MIT Press) and editor, with Gary Lee Downey, of Making & Doing: Activating STS through Knowledge Expression and Travel (2021, MIT Press). His research focuses broadly on transdisciplinary social studies of health care and medicine and includes the study of evidence appraisal in relation to different knowledges (Argentina, India and the Netherlands), knowledge standardization and health care improvement (Sweden and the Netherlands), and technology development for inclusive health and employment (the Netherlands). He is an alumnus of the Maastricht University FASOS programs in Cultuur & Wetenschapsstudies and ESST (1999) and of WTMC (2007).