The Area of Social Studies of Technology and Innovation stems from a research program started in 1999. It propounds a conception of technology development understood as the result of interaction processes between actors and artifacts in specific historical and institutional settings, and in socio-cognitive arenas where local, international or global dimensions intersect generating synergies and tensions. Thus, it is considered that artifacts and societies are simultaneously built in a socio-technical co-construction process.
The activities of the area are based on a research agenda aimed at maximizing the descriptive-explanatory potential of the convergence between sociology of science and technology, history of science and technology, critical philosophy of technology, economic and social development studies, economics of technological change and policy analysis, which constitutes a new approach in the country and the region.
In this regard, a set of theoretical and conceptual tools were generated, suitable for the analysis of the processes of design, production and use of locally generated technological knowledge, as well as public S&T policies. These tools have been produced from –and tested in- a wide variety of empirical studies covering the development of technologies from the 16th century to the present, involving knowledge production on a wide range of techno-productive sectors.
Currently, the main research lines are:
- Design, production and implementation of Technologies for Social Inclusion (Social Technologies)
- Production of knowledge-intensive technologies
- Information and communication technologies (ICT), intellectual property and accumulation dynamics
- Philosophy applied to new technologies (nanotechnology, ICT and genetically modified organisms)
The area has been running diverse projects funded by national, regional and international agencies organized in inter-institutional networks. A significant evidence-based work has been generated in different areas of the production of scientific and technological knowledge. The area has also gathered and consolidated a significant set of teaching, advice and consulting capacities.