New England Workshop on Science and Social Change

  • innovative, interaction-intensive workshops designed to facilitate discussion, research, teaching innovation, and longer-term collaboration among people who teach and write about interactions between scientific developments and social change
  • participants are sought who want to develop their knowledge, skills, and interest in promoting the social contextualization of science through interdisciplinary research, education, and other activities beyond their current disciplinary and academic boundaries
  • applicants welcome from all levels of experience in the various areas of Science and Technology Studies, the sciences, science education and public engagement
  • formative (during the process) and summative (after the fact) evaluations of the workshops provide a basis for developing the workshop experience from one year to the next and for establishing a model of workshops that can be repeated, evolve in response to evaluations, and be adapted by participants

Objectives of NewSSC workshops

1. Promote Social Contextualization of Science
(To promote the social contextualization of science in education and other activities beyond the participants' current disciplinary and academic boundaries.)

2. Innovative workshop processes
(To facilitate participants connecting theoretical, pedagogical, practical, political, and personal aspects of the issue at hand in constructive ways.)

3. Training and capacity-building
(To train novice and experienced scholars in process / participation skills valuable in activity-centered teaching, workshops, and collaboration.)

4. Repeatable, evolving workshops
(To provide a workshop model that can be repeated, evolve in response to evaluations, and adapted by participants.)

5. Tangible outcomes and experiences developed beyond the workshop
(For participants to go on to build on the tools and processes of the workshop, on connections made among participants, and on their contributions to the issue at hand, buoyed by the enthusiasm, hope, resolve, and courage that is generated by the learning, interacting, sharing, connecting, and communing that happens during the workshop.)

Organizer: Peter J. Taylor, University of Massachusetts Boston, Science in a Changing World graduate track
Application form

Upcoming Workshops

date to be determined, "Making Spaces for Connecting, Probing, Reflecting, Creating" (See also online Collaborative Exploration on this topic, October 2017
date to be determined, "Opening up New Directions in Epidemiology and Population Health"

Workshop Webpages

(See webpages linked below for participant profiles, program, evaluations, reports, and other links.)
August 2017, "Impossible to Simply Continue Along Previous Lines: Changing Life in Times of Crisis"
May 2017, "Intersecting Processes"
2016, "Impossible to Simply Continue Along Previous Lines: Changing Life in Times of Crisis"
2015, "Fostering Critical Thinking and Reflective Practice in Times of Crisis"
2014, "Changing life in times of crisis"
2013, "Scaffolding Scientific and Social Change"
2012, "Troubled by heterogeneity?" Coimbra, Portugal
2012, "Open Spaces for Scientific and Social Change II: Support for Translation"
2011, B, "Collaborative production of knowledge: Health, environment, and publics" (in Portugal in collaboration with BIOSENSE research group at the University of Coimbra)
2011, "Open Spaces for Changing Science and Society"
2010, workshop 1, "Where social theory meets critical engagement with the production of scientific knowledge"
2010, workshop 2, "Problem- and case-based learning about biology-in-society"
2009, "Heterogeneity and Development: Methods and Perspectives from Sciences and Science Studies"
2008, "Science-in-society: Teaching and engaging across boundaries"
2007, "Collaborative generation of environmental knowledge and inquiry"
2006, "Ecological restoration as social reconstruction"
2005, "How complexities of the social environment shape the ways that society makes use of knowledge about 'genetic' conditions"
2004, "Complexities of environment and development in the Age of DNA"

Increasingly from 2006 on much of the working, "in progress" material has been developed on this wiki (see links below), and only the final products and reports are posted on the webpages for each workshop. From 2008 onwards commuity-building and collaborative reviewing of materials is being pursued using a social network "ning" site open to NewSSC participants only. Interactions on the ning may lead to materials for wider circulation, which will be transferred to this wiki and, when appropriate, to the webpages.

Partial funding for the 2004 and 2006-8 workshops has been provided by a National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Work in Progess

The wikipages below allow workshop participants to share resources and work in progress. See instructions for editing etc.

Online Resources for Science in Society Education and Outreach
Making and Doing exhibit at 4S conference, 2017


Links to products


Links to products


Compare and Contrast reflections


Workshop 1 wikipage (social theory)
Workshop 2 wikipage (Problem-based learning)


Workshop wikipage




Readings from evening read aloud session, '07