Working Group 4 (WG4)

Traces & Technology

Working Group Leadership
Dr Nikita Chiu Senior Lecturer in Innovation Policy, University of Exeter, UK/ Ad Astra Distinguished Fellow in Robotic and Outer Space Governance, Space Engineering Research Center, US
Dr Ivan Šulc Assistant Professor, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Working Group 4 inspired by the vision behind Zagreb's original Museum of Broken Relationship.
THE SPIRIT of Working Group 4
Working group 4 consists of a eclectic mix of STEM, social and applied scientists, artists, as well as arts and humanities scholars interested in investigating the interplay between society, traces, innovation, and technologies. As a diverse group, it is Working Group 4's principle and vision to always include a group visit to a museum unique to its host city. This creates a unique opportunity for group members to get out of their usual habitat, to exchange cross-disciplinary ideas while enjoying a shared museum experience.

Collection on Kodak and Eastman Kodak from the archive of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.

Museums that the group visited in the past years include:
2021-2022
Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
The museum hosts one of UK's largest collections related to moving images, including curated items related to the prehistory of cinema. Working Group 4 is pleased to announce that - Marcin Nowicki (WG4 member) - has been elected for a Visiting Fellowship at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter.
2022-2023
The State Homer Tactile Museum, Ancona, Italy
One of the world's most unique tactile museums that traces with touches.
The Museum of Broken Relationship, Zagreb, Croatia
Created by two founders who were ex-partners, the museum was conceptualized when the co-founders decided to exhibit and curate items related to their broken relationship. The museum has since attract donated items tracing broken relationships from all over the world.

Cornwall Symposium on Traces and Technology 22-24 February 2024

The Cornwall Symposium is pleased to announce its Keynote Speaker - Prof Martin Siegert. For further information, please go to the Symposium's dedicated page.

WG4 Announces The TECHnaissance Museum Collection - a Toolkit Framework to Raise Awareness of the Potential and Challenges that Science & Technologies Bring to Societies

Exeter, July 2023

WG4 gathered in Zagreb in Croatia on 30 June and 1 July and explored the policy and societal implications associated with the increasing commercialization of technologies. The group identified that technologies increasingly interface with societies rapidly. For example, the increasing uses of touch screen technologies had facilitated innovation and the creation of new waves of digitalization. However, the proliferation of touch screens also rendered it more difficult for people with a visual impairment to access services than before. The introduction of satellites give us cost-effective to essential data and information that are otherwise difficult to secure, such as monitoring of oil spill, over-tourism, and climate modeling (50% of climate essential data can only be observed from space). Nevertheless, the explosion of space activities pose increasing risk of space debris, satellite competitions, and frequency interference. To further advance a shared understanding of best practices in managing rapid technological developments, the group devised the TECHnaissance Museum Collection - a framework which would allow the archiving of past lessons learned regarding science and technologies (S&T). Each virtual museum is envisioned to provide updated annual recommendations to local, national, and international policy stakeholders base on the curation of its collection. Working Group 4 looks forward to engaging you in expanding its museums' collections!

The Museum of Techno Utopia/Dystopia captures traces of technology-driven, optimistic utopian attempts in advancing societies that led to unintended dystopia, e.g. the commercialization of social media and increasing concerns of data sales and surveillance.

The Museum of Hacked Technologies traces the appropriated uses of technologies that may not be the technology's original intended purposes, with a focus on social "hacks". e.g. the uses of plastic bottles in furniture-making, urban mining, etc.

Working Group 4 Delivered Capacity Training on Technology Policy with European Space Agency's Expert

Working Group 4 at Ancona, Italy for Capacity Building with European Space Agency's expert. Photo credit: Noviki

Ancona, December 2022

Dr Nikita Chiu, Working Group Lead, joined hands with Piero Messina from the European Space Agency in developing and delivering training on Technology Policy for early to mid-career researchers. The training school, entitled "Technology Policy - Capacity Building for Advancing Interdisciplinary Enquiry", was hosted at the Università Politecnica delle Marche in collaboration with Museo tattile statale omero (Homer Tactile Museum), located at the historic pentagon of Mole Vanvitelliana.