Seminar – Silvia Casini: Visualising Data: A study of biomedical imaging practices in MRI innovation, past and present

January 18, 2018 – h. 16.00

Sala del Consiglio – Via Cesarotti 10/12, Dip. FISPPA – University of Padova


Silvia Casini  (Lecturer in Visual Culture of Science and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, UK)

Visualising Data: A study of biomedical imaging practices in MRI innovation, past and present


In recent years, visual culture research entered into a dialogue with STS to investigate the material contexts and practices that make use of computerised visualizations and models (Carusi et. al. 2015). Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have always been at the forefront of biomedical imaging research, initially thanks to the construction in the late 1970s of the world’s first whole-body clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner led by Professor Mallard and, more recently, associated with the development of Fast Field-Cycling MRI, a new method for creating better quality images of the body and the brain.

Using both archival and ethnographic methods (Latour and Woolgar 1979, Knorr-Cetina 1999), this paper analyses the visual and material practices as they unfold in the laboratory. I explore how decision-making processes related to the acquisition, visualisation and interpretation of data were and still are crucial elements in the development of novel techniques for visualising the brain. The study of the archival material on the development of the first MRI scanner combined with fieldwork in the laboratory in which the new MRI is under development, highlights the importance of data visualisation before a new biomedical imaging technique becomes standardised. Making explicit the forces and procedures at work in the development of the new MRI opens up visualisation alternatives – for example, alternatives to the “extreme image” problem highlighted by Dumit (2014). Greater understanding of alternative visual representation choices enables researchers to better address the differing needs of future scientific, clinical and patient communities.

Fra STS e Postcolonial studies. Prospettive di ricerca e criticità

Giovedì 29 Giugno 2017, presso l’Aula 1 della Sezione di Sociologia del Dipartimento FISPPA (via Cesarotti 10/12, Padova) dell’Università di Padova si terrà l’incontro di ricerca dal titolo “Fra STS e Postcolonial studies. Prospettive di ricerca e criticità
L’incontro è aperto a tutti e sarà coordinato da Alessandro Mongili (Università di Padova). Interverranno Matteo Bortolini (Università di Padova)), Gaia Giuliani (Universidade de Coimbra) e Giuseppina Pellegrino (Università della Calabria).
L’inizio dei lavori è previsto per le h.16.00.


Sex toys are much more abundant today. On sale and display in most major European chemist shops, sex toys are moving out into the open. Sex toys, in one guise or another, have been with us for quite some time. The lecture shows how the evolution of (wo)man has also produced a concomitant evolution of sex toys. This has brought us to the present day information age where information technologies are utilised to enhance or replace sexual experiences. We traces the emergent technologies such as Augmented Reality inherent in Teledildonics, helping us to produce devices which can replicate the sexual functions of both sexes. We investigate the science fiction like notions of robot sex and beyond. What do these changes mean for us as a society and do we need new laws to govern new forms of sexual activity?

Exploring Technoscience and “Expert” Knowledge through Computational Tools

Call for participation in a two-days workshop on “Cortext Platform”

Exploring Technoscience and “Expert” Knowledge through Computational Tools

A two-days workshop is organized and promoted by the Pa.S.T.I.S. Research Unit (Padova Science, Technology & Innovation Studies, FISPPA Department – University of Padova) to train in the use of computational tools for conducting social research on technoscience, with a special focus on the Cortext Digital Platform of IFRIS (Institut Francilien Recherche, Innovation, Société).

The two-days workshop will take place on Thursday 2 and Wednesday 3, May 2017 at the FISPPA Department, Via Cesarotti 10/12, Padova. The workshop comprises an introductory lecture, followed by seminars and practical activities, as well as group discussions, with the aim to offer an opportunity to learn about innovative methodological approaches for social research on technoscience. The workshop, held in English, is open to researchers, Ph.D. and students who are conducting research, or preparing their thesis, with a specific interest in exploring technoscientific innovation process and the construction of “expert” knowledge (including Social Science and Humanities) via computational tools, such as data mining, machine learning, natural language processing, and network analysis. Since the workshops are open to a maximum of 15 participants, a selection will be made by the organizers, based on a 200 words letter of motivation (in English) describing the main topic or current investigation, the adopted approach and relevance of the participation in the workshop to their research.

Interested people should send their letter of motivation to Stefano Crabu (email: by March 31, specifying name, email and affiliation. Participants are expected to attend the entire two-days workshop. CALL & MORE INFO: call_cortext

Presentazione del volume di Giorgio Osti – Storage and Scarcity New Practices for Food, Energy and Water

L’innovazione pubblica di tipo collaborativo sul rischio industriale. Il caso del SIMAGE di Porto Marghera


Quattro incontri che affrontano una serie di aspetti problematici legati alle tecnologie informatiche usate nei media e nelle piattaforme digitali, mirando a chiarirne terminologia, meccanismi e interazioni. Lo scopo è quello di fornire alcuni strumenti cognitivi, tecnici e metodologici per analizzare criticamente alcuni aspetti delle tecnologie informatiche e valutare le loro ripercussioni sull’individuo e sulla società. Ciascun incontro si aprirà con un intervento di Alberto Cammozzo – esperto di ICT, tanto in termini applicativi, quanto in termini di riflessione critica sulle loro implicazioni sociali – a cui seguirà un commento del discussant per avviare il successivo confronto aperto.


1. Il consumatore digitale e i big data

Discussant Federico Neresini. Lunedì 7 novembre ore 16:30, Aula E complesso Ex-ECA di via degli Obizzi, 23

2. Il ruolo dello Stato tra privacy e sicurezza

Discussant Claudio Riva. Lunedì 21 novembre ore 16:30, Aula E complesso Ex-ECA di via degli Obizzi, 23

3. I governi nello scenario digitale dagli arcana imperii al monopolio della forza

Discussant Paolo Magaudda. Giovedì 1 dicembre ore 12:30, Aula B complesso Vallisneri

4. Vecchia democrazia e nuove tecnologie

Discussant Marco Rangone. Giovedì 15 dicembre ore 12:30, Aula B complesso Vallisneri

New Book: Topologie postcoloniali. Innovazione e modernizzazione in Sardegna (Condaghes 2016)