"The? New? Normal?"
Reflecting on normalization as a perpetuation of pre-existing conditions of power
Wednesday, May 11th, 2022, 2 pm
The ‘normal’ is a constantly changing socio-technical construct. It is based on normative assumptions and power relations; introduction of any ‘new normal’ requires interrogating tacit hierarchies of power/knowledge. This becomes particularly important in times of crisis when potential openings for change become visible and power plays may come to the fore.
Robert Braun, Senior Researcher at the research group Science, Technology and Social Transformation,will critically reflect on naming the post-pandemic era as the ‘New Normal’. From a Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies perspective normalization suggests that there are no alternatives to the ways the world is constructed for us in the here and now by new and emerging technologies, such as dataspace and artificial intelligence.
With examples from ‘smart city’ to ‘autonomous driving’, Robert Braun will suggest that the new normal is neither ‘new’, nor ‘normal’ – but a continuation of the politics of technology optimism, colonization, and exploitation by other means. Central to this politics is the use of science creating ignorance, what historian of science Robert Proctor called agnotology.
The lecture will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by Katrin Auel, head of the research group European Governance, Public Finance and Labour Market.
This lecture will take place over Microsoft Teams. The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be published on IHS' social media channels and website.
Please register by sending a mail to event@IHS.ac.at.