STS Talk


We are delighted to announce Eva Šlesingerová STS talk on 22 November, 5.30 pm.

Persons, Things and Emotions/Encounters of social robotics and autism diagnosis

You can either participate in the STS Seminar Room (Universitätsstraße 7/Stiege II/6. Stock (NIG) 1010 Vienna) or you can also join us via Zoom (Meeting ID: 664 4961 7712, Passcode: 785308). 




The talk concentrates mainly on imaginative entanglements of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, affective computing, and social robotics. One of the first and most important applications of social robotics and affective computing was socially assistive robots used for treating people with autism. Here, cultural imagery associated with ASD diagnosis has become essentially interconnected with social robotic technologies. In that context, computed social bodies and embodiments, including various biosensors, programmed emotions, emotional algorithms, neurofeedback, measuring of cognitive entropy, or synthetic faces and skin have emerged. Regardless of the effectivity or actual functioning of social robotics in ASD therapy and care – humanoid robots are designed and supposed to fill the gaps or address the insecurities, unpredictability, and ambiguity in human social relations; they are envisioned as friends and companions or therapeutic support. The talk critically analyses the human-robot interaction as a human-machine symbiosis, where networks of mechanisms, humans, metaphors, or synthetic bodies produce reconfigurations of specific social personhoods. Also, focusing on the area of neurodiversity and cultures of autistic sociality, or critique of technological anthropomorphism the talk shows how the otherness of both humans and machines is simplified and reduced stereotypically – machines as humans and humans as machines. 




Eva Šlesingerová is Associate Professor in sociology at Masaryk University, Czech Republic. She works as deputy head of the Department of Sociology/program Social Anthropology, Faculty of Social Studies. Eva's primary research interest and expertise lies in the application of insights from sociology, social anthropology and science and technology studies (STS). Specifically, she uses perspectives from medical humanities or posthuman and more-than-human studies to the study of artificial life, emotion AI and human-robot interactions. Eva has previously published her research in a monography titled We, Other Utopians/Recombinant DNA, Editing Genome and Artificial Life (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). Eva's papers have appeared in Body&Society, Medicine, Health Care&Philosophy or Social Studies Information.

Twitter: @EvaSlesingerov1



Save the Date for our next STS talks 

Tues. Dec. 12. 5:30 pm, Stefan Böschen, “Engineering Turn? Transformations within cultures of research as challenge for science studies” 

Stefan is Professor at HumTec at RWTH Aachen, RWTH. He is also the Chair of the research and teaching area “Technology and Society”, the Director of the Käte Hamburger Center “Cultures of Research”, and a spokesperson for the Human Technology Center at RWTH. His work focuses on Science and Technology Studies, Technology assessment, collaborative research and innovation activities, and knowledge democracy.


Wed. Jan. 17.  5:30 pm, Thomas Völker, Towards a responsible and circular aquaculture in Norway: understanding entanglements between marine sustainability, policy, and society

Thomas Völker is a MSCA SEAS postdoctoral research fellow in Science and Technology Studies (STS). His research focuses on environmental governance and on attempts of transitioning towards more sustainable aquacultures. More specifically, Völker is interested in the development of novel feeds as a case of implementing circular economy policies and introducing principles of responsible research and innovation (RRI) in Norway.