How Are Science and Technology Engaged in Eco-Innovations?

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 16:00-17:30
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology (host committee)
RC24 Environment and Society

Language: English and French

Since the first occurrence of the term in 1996 (Fussler and James, 1996), eco-innovations have exhorted a cross-disciplinary knowledge production. The environmental challenges give rise to scientific, technological and organisational innovations. These are said to be “clean”, sometimes even “smart” in respect of their ecological performances. Their resonance is noticeable among the levers to activate with a view to the sustainable development of current societies. Does it reflect a renewed relationship with the governance of nature? The challenges involve a technical dimension that relies heavily on exact sciences, but they also refer to political, economic, social and territorial processes that receive increasing attention from and for sociology. 
The aim of this joint session is to explore the various ways in which eco-innovations are studied at the intersection of environmental sociology and sociology of science and technology. The session invites scholars who improve our understanding about the technical resolution of environmental issues. By so doing, we would like to open new paths for analysing the production, the adoption and the institutionalisation of eco-innovations, but also the mobilization of skills and knowledge. How are sciences and technologies engaged in solving the environmental problems? What are the visions of human behaviour, of nature and risks that underlie the roles assigned to technology? To what extent do these different factors contribute to the framing of practices and devices? The session seeks to host rich, empirically-informed contributions that address these questions.
Session Organizer:
Sophie NEMOZ, University of Versailles, France
The Relational Sociology of Shaping Eco-Innovations
Martin DAVID, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany; Alena BLEICHER, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany; Magdalena WALLKAMM, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany
Beyond Incineration? Beyond Incineration? Representing Gasification for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Treatment
Les LEVIDOW, Open University, United Kingdom; Paul UPHAM, Leuphana Universität, Germany
The Social Effects of Eco-Innovations in Italian Smart Cities
Beretta ILARIA, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Brescia, Italy