Past events

Below is a selection of academic activities, (co-)organized by MUSTS researchers.


Digital Society Research Day

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Maastricht, November 15, 2019.

For more information about this event, see the programme of the day.


S.Net Conference 2018: Anticipatory Technologies: Data and Disorientation

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Maastricht, June 25-27, 2018.

For more information about this event, see here. For short videos from the event, see here.


Valedictory lecture by Wiebe Bijker and ‘Adventuring into STS’ symposium

Maastricht University, May 12, 2017

For more details, texts and videos, see here.


Critical Theory of Technology & STS: Method, Design, & Politics: A Symposium with Andrew Feenberg

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Maastricht, April 20, 2016.
Organized by Darryl Cressman. More details and video, see here.


Experts and the Global Environment in the 20th Century: A History of Coproduction and Negotiation

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Maastricht, January 19, 2016.
Organized by Raf de Bont, Ernst Homburg, Hans Schouwenburg and Simone Schleper.



Innovation: Brokering Nanotechnology, Creating Capacity

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER). Pune, India, March 27-28, 2014.
Organized by Aalok Khandekar as part of the Nano-Dev project.



Symposium ‘Koningsblauw en giftig groen: twee episodes uit de rijke historie van pigmenten’

Chemie Historische Groep, 19 December 2012.
Co-organized by Ernst Homburg

(in Dutch) Kleurrijke materialen en chemicaliën spreken sinds mensenheugenis tot de verbeelding. Op het grensvlak van kunst, wetenschap en ambacht hebben ze een veelzijdige geschiedenis. Nadat eeuwenlang van dezelfde pigmenten gebruik was gemaakt, werden er in de 18de eeuw verschillende nieuwe pigmenten ontdekt. Deze leverden nieuwe uitdagingen op voor zowel de chemische wetenschap, de kunst, en ook de geneeskunst en volksgezondheid. Aan de hand van twee voorbeelden komt die veelzijdigheid op dit mini-symposium aan bod.

Lecture series ‘The place of science in Western culture’ 

Studium Generale, 31 October – 28 November 2012.
Coordinated by : Dr. Geert Somsen

Whether we like it or not, science seems to be what has made us modern. Without it, wouldn’t we still walk in bear skins and believe in religion and magic? Isn’t science precisely what distinguishes Western civilization from traditional cultures? This lecture series took a critical look at these questions by examining the place of science in Western culture.
See also: Studium Generale – The place of science in Western culture

Workshop ‘Genetics goes online’

Maastricht, 13-14 September, 2012.
Organizers: Anne Harris, Sally Wyatt and Susan Kelly (University of Exeter).

The growing internet market for personal genomics was the subject of an intimate and lively workshop hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. The variety of disciplinary backgrounds of participants (science and technology studies; ethics; philosophy; sociology, law; anthropology; and clinical genetics) facilitated rich, critical discussions from a range of perspectives.

ce ‘Ethics and Politics of Emerging Technologies’ (EPET)

Maastricht University, 2-4 July 2012.
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Tsjalling Swierstra, Dr. Katinka Waelbers, in collaboration with Dr. Marianne Boenink (University of Twente) and Dr. Simone van der Burg (Radboud University Nijmegen).
See also: EPET Conference 2012


Workshop ‘Mega-event Evaluation and Measuring Impacts

Cities Institute, London Metropolitan University, London, 25 June 2012.
Organiser / chairman: Graham Evans, in association with Regional Studies Association Research Network.

Workshop ‘Soundscapes of the urban past’

Maastricht University, 30-31 March 2012.
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Karin Bijsterveld in collaboration with others.

Workshop ‘Hazardous chemicals: agents of risk and change (1800-2000)’

Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany, 27-29 April 2012.
Co-organizer:Prof. Ernst Homburg.

The workshop focused on the interaction between (a) the growing presence of hazardous substances in the economy and the environment, and (b) the cultural, scientific, regulatory and legal responses by modern society to these hazards. In each paper a specific chemical, or group of related chemicals, took centre stage. Using a ‘biographical approach’ it traced the entire ‘life history’ (production, use, problems, risk assessment, management strategies, and disposal) of those hazardous substances, culminating at the point at which legislative controls or alternative technical pathways were finally established. The focus was on the main period of chemical industrialisation (ca. 1800-2000).

Symposium ‘Experimental Crossings’

Research Centre Autonomy and the Public Sphere in the Arts at Zuyd University, 10-11 February 2012.
Organizers: Peter Peters & Ruth Benschop

This symposium investigated experimental crossings between the domains of the arts, the sciences, as well as politics and the public sphere. It had two major goals: (i) to explore how artists and cultural workers actually create these crossings and how this work can be taught in arts education and (ii) to investigate how interdisciplinarity can help to re-evaluate the artistic, scientific, economic, social and political value of the arts. –

Symposium ‘Staging Sound in the Museum’

Institute for Image and Sound (Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid), Hilversum, 3 February 2012.
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Karin Bijsterveld in collaboration with others.



Workshop ‘Nanotechnologyies for Kenya’s development’

Maastricht Universty and African Technology Policy Studies network, 12-13 December 2011.
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Wiebe Bijker, Charity Urama, and Trust Saidi, in collaboration with ATPS.

This workshop investigated the following central question: How can Kenya control its own nanotechnologies and nanoscience to benefit its own development agenda? Several sub-questions were addressed: which forms of stakeholder participation or knowledge brokerage can help to realize this? What regulatory and political institutions can be used or developed to assure a balancing of risks and benefits of this new scientific development? How can Kenya learn from Indian and European experiences, and how can India and Europe learn from Kenyan experience? (See also: Nanotechnologies for Kenya)

Colloquim ‘From industrial to social networks: cultural history, political economy and society of the digital age’

Maastricht University and Université de Liège, 20-21 October 2011.
Organizers: Dr. Andreas Fickers, in collaboration with Geoffrey Geuens (Université de Liège).

This colloquium aimed at studying and reflecting some of new digital practices that have emerged in the last decade or two and to analyze their inherent and overt political, economical and cultural meanings both in a historical and contemporary framework. Based on ongoing research at both universities, the colloquium addressed the complex relationships between digital technologies, cultural practices, socio-political impacts and economic strategies in an interdisciplinary format.

Workshop ‘The early Solvay councils and the advent of the quantum era’

Brussels, 14 October 2011.
Co-organizer: Prof. Dr. Ernst Homburg (session chair).
See also: Solvay workshop

To celebrate the centenary of the first Solvay Council on Physics, the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry organized a round table meeting of distinguished historians of science. A panel of experts discussed and publicized the impact of the early Solvay Councils on the development of quantum physics.

Exposition ‘Van zwavelzuur tot katalysatorproductie’

Amsterdam, 11 October 2011.
Co-organizer: Prof. Dr. Ernst Homburg.

Al in 1835 richtte Gerard Tilman Ketjen in Amsterdam een fabriek op ter vervaardiging van “vitriool olie”. In 1953 werd in samenwerking met Cyanamid een katalysatorfabriek gebouwd ten behoeve van de olieindustrie. In 1962 fuseerde Ketjen met de Koninklijke Zout Industrie tot Koninklijke Zout Ketjen, wat door verdere fusies later AKZONobel is geworden. Deze dag bood aan de hand van een aantal lezingen en rondleidingen een mix van bedrijfsgeschiedenis en historische aspecten van de katalysatorontwikkeling.

Symposium ‘Frenemies – the love-hate relationship between science and society’

De Waaier, University of Twente, September 14, 2011.
Organizers: Tsjalling Swierstra, in collaboration with Hedwig te Molder (Wageningen University).

This symposium looked at the dynamic role of expertise in our society. How should we understand the notion of expertise? What operates as credible expertise, and when? Is scientific expertise overrated, and are other forms of expertise too easily dismissed? Or is it precisely the other way around? And what, if anything, does this mean for communicating science and technology?

Conference ‘Pathways of knowledge’

Rostock, 14-16 september 2011.
Member Programme Committee: Prof.dr. E. Homburg.

The Working Party (WP) on History of Chemistry of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS) held its bi-annual International Conference on the History of Chemistry (8th ICHC) in Rostock, Germany, from 14 to 16 September 2011. The 8th ICHC focussed on the theme “Pathways of Knowledge”. This theme is in direct connection to the general aim of the conferences organised by the WP, namely to facilitate communication between historically interested chemists and historians of chemistry from all over Europe.

Workshop ‘Transmitting and Receiving Europe’

Maastricht University, 1-2 September 2011.
Organizer: Dr. Andreas Fickers.

The TRANS-group is an international group of 15 broadcasting historians collaborating within the framework of the Tensions of Europe network. After workshops in Geneva, Lisbon, and Siegen, this fourth workshop was dedicated to the final discussion of the chapters for the forthcoming book “Airy Curtains in the European Ether: Broadcasting and the Cold War” that were published in 2012 (edited by Alexander Badenoch / Andreas Fickers / Christian Henrich-Franke, Nomos-Verlag, Baden-Baden).

Workshop ‘Participatory Knowledge Production 2.0 – Critical Views and Experiences’

Maastricht University, 23 March 2011.
Organizer: Dr. Anna Harris, Jess Bier, Jose Cornips, Dr. Bas van Heur, Matthijs Kouw and Prof. Dr. Sally Wyatt.

This workshop critically examined the notion of ‘participatory knowledge production’ in the digital age from a variety of perspectives. As a result of this workshop a special issue is prepared for Information, Communication and Society.




Conference ‘Nutrition, Eating and Drinking in the History of Medicine, Science & Technology’

Maastricht University, 24-26 September 2010.
Organizer: Dr. Andreas Fickers.

93rd Annual Conference of the German Association for the History of Medicine, Science and Technology (DGGMNT) in collaboration with th German Association for the History of Technology (GTG) and the Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC).

Workshop ‘The digital making of art and science’

Maastricht University, 14 April 2010.
Organizer: Matthijs Kouw.

What are the artistic dimensions of scientific practice? What are the scientific dimensions of art? And how do digital technologies affect interactions between science and art? This workshop focused on the role of digital technologies in interactions between science and art.




Workshop ‘Urban laboratories: Towards an STS of the built environment’

Maastricht University, 5-6 November 2009.
Organizers: Dr. Bas van Heur and Prof. dr. Sally Wyatt, in collaboration with Simon Guy, Andrew Karvonen and Ralf Brand (Manchester University).

At this workshop the different uses of the urban laboratory concept both within and outside of academia were traced and the analytical relevance of this notion and related vocabularies for interpreting socio-technical urban change were analyzed. As a result of this workshop a special issue is being prepared for International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies Description.

Symposium ‘Het Nieuwe Luisterleven’

Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Hilversum, November 20, 2009.
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Karin Bijsterveld in collaboration with others.

Conference ‘Sound Studies’

Maastricht University, 21-22 November 2009.
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Karin Bijsterveld in collaboration with others.

Conference ‘National history of science’

Woudschoten, 26-27 2009.
Organizer: Dr. Geert Somsen, Cristoph Lüthy (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis (University of Twente)

Conference session ‘Digitising social science and humanities: Global challenges and opportunities’

Bergen, Norway, 10-12 May 2009.
Organizer: Prof. dr. Sally Wyatt.

Conference session at the World Social Science Forum. Resulted in a publication: S Wyatt (2010) ‘Digitizing Social Sciences and Humanities: Global Challenges and Opportunities’ World Social Science Report, Paris: UNESCO & International Social Science Council (pp.303-306).

Workshop ‘Digitising Lives – of People, Places, Facts and Things’

Maastricht University, April 8 2009.
Organizer: Prof. dr. Sally Wyatt.



Workshop ‘Artificial Cold and International Cooperation in Science, 1870-1920’

Lorentz Centre, Leiden, August 4-8, 2008.
Organizers: Dr. Geert Somsen with Dirk van Delft (University of Leiden and Museum Boerhaave) and Frans van Lunteren (Free University Amsterdam and University of Utrecht)

Conference ‘Vulnerability of technological culture’

Maastricht, June 2008.
Organizers: Dr. Anique Hommels, Dr. Jessica Mesman and Wiebe Bijker.

In this working conference we discussed draft chapters for an edited book on vulnerability of technological cultures. We invited 20 scholars from different parts of Europe, the US and India. We focused in questions as how to define vulnerability and differentiate it from the concept of risk? How to study vulnerability empirically and conceptually? Which strategies for the governance of vulnerability can we derive from our studies?

Workshop ‘Working to be healthy – negotiating health information and technology in a consumerist age’

University of Western Ontario, 21-22 May 2008.
Organizers: Prof. dr. Sally Wyatt, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Roma Harris and Dr. Nadine Wathen (UWO).

Workshop ‘The Science, Politics and Culture of Neutrality, 1914-39’

Nobel Museum, Stockholm, March 12-15, 2008.
Organizers: Dr. Geert Somsen with Sven Widmalm (Universities of Linköping and Uppsala) and Rebecka Lettevall (Nobel Museum)




Workshop ‘Critical infrastructures’

Utrecht, November 2007.
Organizers: Dr. Anique Hommels , in collaboration with Prof.dr. Arne Kaijser (KTH Stockholm), Dr. Erik van der Vleuten (TUE) and Drs. Vincent Lagendijk (TUE).

This workshop was organized in the context of the ESF-NWO funded project “Europe goes critical”. We discussed selected literature on critical infrastructure and vulnerability from STS, history and policy perspectives.

Workshop ‘Sound Souvenirs’

Maastricht University, 2-3 November 2007.
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Karin Bijsterveld in collaboration with others.

Workshop ‘Bargaining norms – arguing standards’

Utrecht, June 2007.
Organizers: Dr. Anique Hommels and Dr. Andreas Fickers, in collaboration with Dr. Judith Schueler.

In this international workshop with invited speakers from all over Europe, we addressed the role of negotiations in standard-setting processes. What is the role of national and international (political) styles, informal networks, reputation and prestige in these processes? The workshop resulted in an edited volume, published by the Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends.

Symposium ‘Historicide and Reiteration’

Maastricht, February 9-10, 2007.
Organizers: Dr. Geert Somsen with Lies Wesseling, René Gabriëls (University of Maastricht) and Robert Zwijnenberg (University of Leiden).