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The field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) offers rich concepts, methods, and empirical studies to advance understanding of scientific knowledge production, expertise, and technological development. However, growing interest in “making and doing” engaged, applied, and action-oriented research is rapidly transforming what kind of STS scholarship is possible. These commitments explore how STS sensibilities can contribute to complex societal and environmental debates by embracing participatory research with communities, scientists, and regulators. However, they also demand a profound rethinking of how STS practitioners consider their personal ethical and political relationships to science, research subjects, and sites of study. I illustrate these points by drawing on my experiences facilitating engaged STS projects with advocacy groups fighting oil and gas extraction and pipeline infrastructure projects across the US, where critical inquiry at the intersection of practice and theory also builds capacity for project partners to more effectively engage with the industry.
Jalbert is an assistant professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society with a joint appointment in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at ASU. Jalbert is also a JPB Environmental Health Fellow with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. At ASU, he directs the Civic Science for Environmental Futures Collaborative. His research addresses how public engagements with environmental science and governance are shaped by advocacy uses of data and technologies. Prior to joining ASU, Jalbert worked in the nonprofit sector facilitating data transparency and critical mapping projects with energy justice coalitions.