Disentangling Futures from a Science and Technology Studies Perspective
Keywords:future, technoscientific expectations, socio-technical imaginaries, promises, art-science collaborations
In the last decade, science and technology studies have paid increasing attention to the role of futures, anticipatory expectations, and forward-looking statements in co-defining the nexus between science, technology and society. This broad interest is articulated into several research streams, from the assessment of long-term futures of technological innovation and setting out how future-oriented socio-technical imaginaries act upon real-time technoscientific innovation to actionable anticipatory frameworks and scenarios adopted to intervene in science, technology and innovation governance. This paper introduces the special section Disentangling Features, which collects four lectures from the teaching and mutual learning activities held during the VI STS Italia Summer School, organised at the University of Padova in September 2022. By situating the four lectures within a composite conceptual framework, the paper discusses the relationship between the future and technoscientific processes in the context of science and technology studies with an emphasis on the performative role of futures and imaginaries in co-shaping knowledge-making practices and technological developments.