Workshop “Science as a Site of Inequality” co-hosted by Dr. Susanne Koch and Prof. Nelius Boshoff

May 17, 2022

Dr. Susanne Koch, Principal Investigator in the Science and Technology Policy Group, co-convened the workshop “Science as a Site of Inequality: An Exploratory Workshop for Sharing Evidence and Experience from Environment-Related Research Fields” at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (May 11-13, 2022).
Photo credit: STIAS
Together with her collaborator Prof Nelius Boshoff, Susanne brought together 29 scholars based in 21 different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and Latin America to discuss how science is shaped by inequalities and how it could become a more inclusive space of knowledge production. The three-day workshop was funded by the DFG Programme Point Sud. It was held as a hybrid event and offered simultaneous English-French translation to overcome language barriers.
Photo credit: David Ludwig
The programme consisted of thematic sessions on inequalities in four areas of scientific practice: agenda-setting and funding, research collaboration and data sharing, science publishing, and research engagement and uptake. Synthesizing presentations and discussions, the group collectively identified ‘blind spots’ in existing scholarship on inequality in science, such as intra-regional asymmetries, the linkages between different levels and forms of inequalities, or discriminatory experiences in research collaborations and their impacts on the health and well-being of scholars.
The keynote talk “On epistemic decentralization: challenges for knowledge infrastructures” was given by Prof. Leandro Rodriguez Medina (Department of Sociology, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco, Mexico). The Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) published the keynote session as an episode in its podcast Unequal Worlds.
Photo credit: Camilla Tetley
Moreover, Susanne and Nelius shared and discussed insights from the workshop in an invited talk entitled “Science and ‚inequality‘: insights from Africa and environmental fields” as part of the CWTS ‘Diversity and Inclusion in Global Science’ Seminar Series.

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