The Lives and Deaths of Data

This looks superb:

Open Track: The Lives and Deaths of Data

Convenors: Sabina Leonelli and Brian Rappert, Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology & Exeter Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences (Egenis), University of Exeter, UK (see also the Exeter Data Studies group:

Abstract: This track investigates the relational constitution of data: how stages in the life of data articulate to one another and the challenges involved in storing, moving, classifying, manipulating and interpreting them. The session is intended to explore the collectivities emerging through data collection, dissemination, assemblage and analysis. Analysing the ways in which information becomes taken as given things, the manner in which data and their varying contexts of use are co-constituted, and the means by which utility is invested and divested in them provides a platform to explore and challenge the powers attributed to “Big” and “Open” data by governments, lobby groups and institutions around the world. With its long standing attention to the conditions of knowledge production, STS scholarship is well positioned to reflect on the value(s) attributed to data under a variety of different circumstances, how such attribution changes in time, and what this indicates about the properties of the objects being identified and used as ‘data’ and of the communities involved in such identification and use. Questions to be addressed include: What would it mean to speak of the birth of data? How do they develop, especially when they are used for a variety of purposes by different stakeholders? Do they ever cease to be data, and how can we conceptualize situations in which data are dismissed, forgotten, erased, lost or regarded as obsolete? This session will be organised as a set of individual presentations encompassing several different aspects and areas of data use.

Process: The deadline for submitting an abstract is 21 February 2016. If you want to participate in this open track then you will need to select it when you submit your abstract to the 4S/EASST Conference. Instructions for submission of your abstract are available at

. If you would like to discuss the relevance of your paper to the open track, then please contact either or both of us: