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Date: 10 June 2009 Time: 10.00 - 17.00

Venue: A217, (via door 216) Management School

Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot
Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot

What are the rhetorics and material practices that distinguish, but also conjoin, contemporary sociotechnologies of warfare and healthcare? Inspired by recent scholarship in feminist science and technology studies, the focus of this workshop is on cultural imaginaries, practical activities and technoscientific investments that operate within and across these domains. More specifically, we are interested in exploring ambitions to extend capacities for action at a distance, on one hand, and the forms of proximate, embodied co-presence that still characterise realities 'on the ground', on the other.

An initial comparison of projects in battlefield automation and in technology-mediated healthcare suggests the central role of telecommunications and robotics in both, whether for the 'safe' delivery of lethal weapons or of prescribed drugs, or for the retrieval of wounded combatants or the provision of remote diagnosis and care. Along with their comparative analysis, we are also interested in whether and how these domains are enacted as related or separate by relevant participants, including policy makers, technology producers and users, and affected citizens.

An aim of the workshop is to establish a group of Lancaster based researchers and advisors interested in the development of an externally funded Seminar Series. A preliminary list of series themes might include: >

  • (Con)figuring the future soldier/combatant and the future provider/patient
  • The place of simulation in war fighting and healthcare provision
  • Ethics and politics of design/use relations in military and healthcare
  • The city as battlefield and the home as clinic
  • Embodied encounters of wounding and care
  • Shifting agencies and located accountabilities

Featured speakers:

  • Miquel Domenech and Francisco Tirado (Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona)
  • Rachel Prentice (Cornell University, U.S.)
  • Lucy Suchman (Lancaster University, UK)
  • Jutta Weber (Uppsala University, Sweden)


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Ruth Love, Maggie Mort, Celia Roberts, Lucy Suchman

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Science Studies, Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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